The FIA is looking to make Formula 1 more entertaining to watch, and to that end it will implement a host of changes aimed at making it easier to overtake come next season.
Such tweaks include new front and rear wing designs, as well as changes to the bargeboards and brake ducts. However, while these may seem like tiny changes overall, teams have also realized they won’t be carrying over many parts from 2018 into 2019.
“It’s made it quite a bit harder because, had we stayed with the same regs, you could have pretty much carried on developing your 2018 car and it would have been very similar to your ’19 car. The split would have almost not been there,” said Renault technical director Nick Chester.
“Now it’s a really definite split. Any work you do on an ’18 wing now you’re not going to carry forward into ’19. It’s changed our philosophy of how we do our split.”
Aside from the aero changes caused by the new wings, the fact that teams will carry more fuel next year will also force them to build all-new chassis, something small-budget outfits such as Force India weren’t planning on doing, reports Autosport.
“For sure the changes were much bigger than we anticipated a month ago. We weren’t even thinking about 2019 a month ago because it was going to be a continuation of current regulations,” said technical director Andy Green.
“Then, all of a sudden, one or two of the teams decided that they wanted more fuel, an extra 5kg. That really scuppered next year’s plans because that is a new chassis. We weren’t planning to do a new chassis.”
The Force India exec goes on to say that working on such a massive overhaul is a significant effort for his team, adding that they are not “a big enough team to be able to focus on that sort of project without taking some resource off this car.”
This means that Force India will likely stop developing their 2018 car sometime this season – Green anticipates it could happen around mid-season for all teams.
“As soon as we get to the summer shutdown, we will probably get one more update and that will be it.”
In the end, it remains to be seen which teams will afford to continue developing their 2018 car late into the season, while splitting resources between this year and the next. If anybody can do it though, it will probably be big budget outfits such as Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren.