The 4.655 kilometre Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a familiar venue to Formula 1’s teams, drivers and fans with the Montmelo track home to pre-season testing, which begins this month on February 18.
And the new cars should be a step in the right direction, towards a future with closer racing: a more level playing field coming onstream from 2021.
SOUNDBITE (English) CHASE CAREY,
CHAIRMAN & CEO, FORMULA 1:
“One of our goals is to make, not just make the sport more competitive and the action better, but to make the sport healthier for everybody. Today what some of the team spend to put up, spending half a billion dollars a year to put a team on the track, it just doesn't make sense.”
The majority of changes to the cars for 2019 are aerodynamic, to reduce the “dirty air” left behind the vehicles that inhibits racing at close quarters.
… with a simplified front wing with larger span, simplified front brake duct, smaller bargeboards, and a wider, deeper and higher rear wing to ensure plumes of water go skyward in the wet.
… while two LED lights on each of the rear wing endplates will assist with visibility in treacherous conditions.
The rear wing’s DRS opening will also increase by 20 millimetres to boost its passing power by around 25 per cent.
And the total fuel limit will rise from 105 kilograms to 110 in order to force teams and drivers to conserve less, racing harder - longer.
Pirelli has made its range easier to understand – with just hard, medium and soft tyres brought to all races. The compound behind each of these, though, will be revealed – with the selection made from five - codenamed C1 for the hardest, to C5 the softest.
Onto the drivers, and their weight will finally be considered separate to the car. They’ll also have to wear biometric gloves for better health monitoring and a new, stronger helmet-spec for improved protection.
All of which should ensure the sport is not only set for better racing, but a safer platform from which to do it.