The FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis concedes the 2019 Formula 1 rule changes are “a halfway house” but has played down like-for-like parallels which could form the 2021 regulations shake-up.

During the build-up to the Spanish Grand Prix, Tombazis fielded questions from the media on the 2019 tweaks which were confirmed earlier this week after being passed through in a vote by F1 teams.

Central to next season’s rule adjustments are simpler front wings and front brake ducts while there will also be scope for larger and wider rear wings with the aim of increasing overtaking opportunities.

F1 Driver Ratings - Spanish GP

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Tombazis says the core of next year’s rule changes are from “the lessons learned already” on F1’s current analysis into its next major alteration of regulations which will be possible in 2021. The core of the investigation is being led by F1’s managing director for motorsports Ross Brawn with the FIA and the sport’s management team working closely on the future rules.

“In Formula 1 there’s a collaboration with the FIA for 2021 and this work is still ongoing and covers a lot more complicated areas of the car which need frankly need a lot more work before we define regulations,” Tombazis said. “These regulations for 2019 where an extract of some of the lessons learned already at Formula 1.

“They had to be implementable for 2019 so they only covered specific areas of the car which are a bit simpler. The underlying lessons that we have learned with F1 about how the cars perform in the wake of other cars, for example, have been used but let’s say it’s only a halfway house.

“I don’t want it to be confused with the work that has gone on for 2021 and the future, which is going to be more extensive and hopefully have much more time for research.”

The 2019 rule adjustments have been hit by a backlash from some F1 teams, headed up by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s scathing assessment of the changes, which he fears will costs teams “millions and millions”.

“Sometimes this sport has the ability to shoot itself in the foot,” Horner said at Circuit de Catalunya. “The work that has been done for 2021 is all good stuff the problem is a snapshot of that has been taken and hasn’t been fully analysed and there are no proven conclusions from it.”

 

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