The Renault F1 team says it doesn’t expect new rules covering aerodynamics to have much of an impact on the quality of wheel-to-wheel racing in this year’s championship.
Changes to regulations concerning the front and rear wings are being introduced in an attempt to improve the on-track action in Grand Prix races.
F1’s director of motorsports Ross Brawn is hoping to address the issue of ‘dirty air’ from a car in front causing too much turbulence in their wake to allow rivals to catch and challenge them for position.
Brawn has suggested that his new changes could see an improvement of up to 20 per cent in the racing spectacle, but Renault’s executive director Marcin Budkowski has his doubts.
“We think it will go in the right direction a little bit, but we don’t think it’s going to make a significant change,” he told Crash.net.
“In the data I see at the moment, I don’t see a massive difference.
“Overall we were against this regulation change,” the former head of the FIA’s F1 technical department admitted. “Initially we voted against it/
“We made that public at the time because we didn’t believe it was going to reach the objectives that it was set to reach, which is to ease overtaking.
“We felt it was a lot of resources and a lot of money,” he added. “A lot of last minute work that had to be done for a very unclear objective.”
This year’s changes are an interim stop-gap before a major overhaul of the sport’s technical direction due in 2021, which Budkowski hopes will be more effective.
“On paper it is the right direction, and some of the work that’s happening for 2021 is along a similar line,” he said.
“The difference is going to be smaller in terms of aerodynamic performance. Whether that is actually going to translate onto the track into easier overtaking and easier following – in our opinion it’s going to be fairly small.”
But in the interests of the sport, Budkowski says he would be happy to be proved wrong when the 2019 cars role out on track for their first Grand Prix
“If that’s not the case and suddenly we have lots of close following and overtaking then great, we will be happy about that.”