FIA aim to re-introduce 'ground effect' aerodynamics for increased overtaking in F1

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain

The FIA have recently revealed that they are set to make some exciting changes to Formula 1 as we know it.

'Ground effect' aerodynamics, which previously featured during the 1983 season, is about to make its return to the F1 tracks. 

The purpose of 'ground effect' aerodynamics is to portray Formula One as a more exhilarating sport by increasing the percentages of overtaking, by at least 90%.

As previously mentioned, ground effect was first introduced in the early 1980's, but resulted in fatal consequences for two drivers. 

Gilles Villeneuve and Riccardo Paletti both tragically lost their lives, therefore, the revolutionary piece of technology was dismissed due to the interests of safety.

Nonetheless, with current increased safety in Formula 1, FIA head of single seaters Nikolas Tombazis believes it's time for change.

"The first part of the objective is to improve the wake (from) the front car so the rear car doesn’t suffer so much performance loss," he said, as per GPFans.

"As an indication, current cars two car distances behind front car may lose almost half of their downforce and that makes it much more difficult to follow closely and creates a situation where you destroy the tyres much more easily, for two reasons.

"One is because the cars slide more and hence they destroy the tyres and secondly because obviously adding more turbulence and slow-moving air the tyres and the rest of the car don’t cool down as they do otherwise."

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain

He added: "What the following car receives is much cleaner flow.

"Typically we are (going) from about 50 per cent loss of downforce for the following car at two car distances (behind) down to about five/10 per cent loss.

"So we have a massive reduction of the downforce (loss) for the following car."

A criticism of Formula 1, and particurlarly from people who don't necessarily follow the sport, is that the final standings are more or less decided by the end of qualifying, with only a few changes in positions from the starting grid to the chequered flag. 

With the re-introduction of 'ground effect' aerodynamics, this could be the beginning of a new era of modern motor racing which features far more overtaking than ever before. However, most importantly, it will take place in a much safer way than ever before. 

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