Romain Grosjean says slower Formula 1 cars in 2021 are not a problem for the drivers if they result in better racing.
New regulations were published ahead of the United States Grand Prix that show the sport’s future direction from 2021 onwards, anchored on radically different cars utilizing ground effect to improve the aerodynamic impact on a following car. The changes, and additional weight for safety reasons, are likely to lead to cars some three seconds slower per lap than current speeds, but Grosjean says it’s an acceptable drop in performance.
“Formula 1 cars are the fastest on Earth, so I think if we lose a couple of seconds a lap, but for better racing, I don’t think that’s the end of the world,” Grosjean said. “We’ve got to see the big picture here.
“At the moment, every time you get behind a car you lose a lot of downforce, then you slide. It’s something you expect, but then the surface of the tires overheat and you completely lose grip. You can’t attack. If we don’t lose so much downforce then, hopefully, the tires won’t overheat as much, and therefore we’ll be able to stay closer and get more passing. That’s the idea, and it should be OK.”
Grosjean’s Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen is also hoping the 2021 regulations will allow F1 to drop the Drag Reduction System (DRS) in future, with the overtaking aid having been used in the sport since 2011.
“If the wake of the car in front is less, the disturbed air is less, then you’ll be able to follow closer and you’ll get a better chance of overtaking,” Magnussen said. “That’s good and, hopefully, it’ll improve enough so that we don’t need DRS.
“Hopefully, the quality of the passes will become better, as well. It’s all good having lots of passing, but if it’s all done with DRS on a straight line, it’s not really that exciting. I’d rather see the same amount of passing, or less, but better quality racing. That’s the point – to get more exciting racing.”