Slowly but surely, a consensus is emerging among F1’s drivers on the impact of the sport’s new aero rules on overtaking, with Sergio Perez the latest voice to chime in.
Pre-season testing rarely saw two drivers running together around the Circuit de Catalunya but there were nevertheless a few instances when one car was close enough to the other to sample the effect of F1’s new aero tweaks.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez emphatically praised the changes after running nose to tail with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
“I did a bit with Bottas, certainly I feel that you lose less downforce,” said the Mexican.
“So I think so far I’d say that F1, they have done an incredible job at the moment with the rules.
“We will see in Melbourne really, what it’s like racing with other cars around you with similar pace and so on, but I really hope the show can be a lot better.”
Following another car easier with new aero rules – Magnussen
Last week, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen gave the thumbs up to the new rules after experiencing the wake of another car during testing, while Bottas felt the changes have led to a more “predictable” behavior of his car.
“I’ve only been following properly maybe one lap, and behind only one car, not multiple cars,” said the Finn. “It felt a bit better, a bit easier to follow.
“You do still find the effect of losing downforce because the cars have a lot, and no matter what when you have turbulent air you lose the downforce, even though the front wings are more simple.
“I feel it’s a bit better, it just felt a bit more consistent. Like the car felt predictable still, following another car. I think that’s good. The bigger effect is maybe the cars being more draggy and more of a tow effect on the straights.
“It’s going in the right direction, it’s going to be easier to pass if you have the pace.”
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo also expressed his optimism over the impact of the new wing designs, although he wasn’t getting carried away.
“I have been able to follow some cars but I also feel like we have been faster, whether we’ve been lower fuel, or they have been doing a race sim,” the Renault driver reported.
“So I have caught them quicker, and it is not always that representative. I think it will be a little bit better, but I am not going to say it is going to be a massive difference.
“I would like to think that there is a small gain following, but it is hard when you are doing such fast laptimes.”
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