Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez believe that Formula 1’s new aerodynamic regulations will make it easier to follow the car ahead.
F1 and the FIA have been exploring options to change the rules addressing aerodynamics to help reduce the impact of dirty air on a following car, in turn encouraging closer racing. While a significant overhaul is planned for 2021, a smaller tweak was made for this season to further inform that research, with revisions to the front wings, brake ducts, bargeboards and rear wing all being introduced this year.
Haas driver Magnussen said he had a great opportunity to analyze the impact of the changes during testing, and found a significant difference.
“Following another car, it really, really feels a lot better than last year,” Magnussen said. “I heard so many people say it wouldn’t make any difference – even our guys looking at our new car in the wind tunnel. But when I was following, I felt a big difference – I could actually follow. It felt very different – much better.”
Encouraged by the early signs at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Magnussen nonetheless warned there are no guarantees the changes would have a positive impact on every circuit.
“The car just feels more consistent, more stable, behind another car,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing if other tracks are the same. Sure, there are many factors. You go to another track and it might be different. But the first signs are good, I would say, in this ‘following’ aspect.
Reinforcing Magnussen’s comments, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez also was full of praise for the regulation changes after spending a number of laps in testing shadowing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
“I certainly feel like you lose less downforce,” Perez said. “So far, I would say that Formula 1 have done an incredible job with the rules. We will see what it is like in Melbourne, racing with cars around you with similar pace. But I really hope the show can be better.”