Have the new aero regulations and new Pirelli tires really brought anything to Formula 1 this season? Sebastian Vettel asked himself the question.
In a bid to allow drivers to battle more wheel-to-wheel on the track, F1 this year introduced ground effect regulations and new 18-inch tyres. And if the spectacle was indeed there on certain events, it is still as difficult to overtake as in the past on certain circuits.
Indeed, if the single-seaters with ground effect produce less aerodynamic disturbances for those which are behind, the phenomenon of aspiration is on the other hand less strong than before and one often attends the installation of a train of cars trained by the DRS.
« It’s always been a tricky subject, but let’s put it this way: the big effort this year has been to make the cars able to overtake and follow each other more easily. But I don’t think there’s a big difference, » said Vettel.
« We follow each other closer but there is less aerodynamic drag, so you have to be really close to overtake. Regarding the tyres, the big objective was to improve the quality of the race, but again I don’t see big difference. »
« And I don’t want to say it failed. But let’s say a lot of effort was put in and not all of it was successful. »
Going back to the new Pirelli tyres, the four-time world champion finds them sometimes very difficult to make work for all the teams, especially in qualifying.
« I think everyone is exploring and finding the same thing. So as long as you’re on the safe side, it’s fine. Generally, the more competitive your package is, the less trouble you have with the tyres. »
« For our part, we are at the back of the grid and had some surprises on certain weekends where it was not working out. And you only have one or two attempts in qualifying, which makes it even more difficult. So I would say that everything is pretty much as before. »