Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says producing cars that are easier to follow and promote overtaking are at the forefront of the sport’s future plans.

With regulations for post-2020 at the heart of discussions betweens teams, the FIA and FOM, F1 is keen to address issues regarding overtaking. While the introduction of wider, more aggressive cars from 2017 has resulted in significant lap time reduction at most circuits, a number of concerns have been raised regarding difficulties in both following and passing cars in race scenarios. 

The problem cropped up again during last weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, which saw just five overtakes completed after the first lap. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull boss Christian Horner highlighted their concerns, while F1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said the first race of 2018 represented another “missed opportunity” for the sport. 

“There is a programme being embarked upon," Whiting told reporters during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. “A join venture between FIA and FOM for a 2021 car. The idea is to develop a car that would be easier to follow than they have been in the past."

A third Drag Reduction System zone was added to the Melbourne street circuit for the first time in a bid to boost overtaking, and while it did not result in a significant increase of on-track action, the FIA is currently evaluating ways of “optimising” DRS zones at other circuits on the 2018 calendar. 

Whiting echoed Brawn’s recent comments that F1 is set to be stuck with the current trend of being unable to follow rivals close enough until the next major shift in regulations in 2021.

“It’s a very tricky project, it’s not easy. If it was easy it would have been done in the past but it is in hand and that is one of the main goals for 2021.”



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