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Tost doubts that ‘dirty air’ issue will be resolved

AlphaTauri boss, Franz Tost is not entirely convinced that the rules overhaul will allow cars to follow closely, particularly at high speeds.

With the pandemic having thrown a large spanner in the works, this season finally gets the rules overhaul Liberty Media had been seeking from the outset in its bid to level the playing field and thereby open up the chances of success to more teams.

One of the cornerstones of the new generation of F1 is the overhaul of the aero rules, which are aimed at allowing cars to follow one another more closely and thereby enable overtaking.

However, AlphaTauri team boss, Franz Tost is unconvinced that the move is a ‘magic bullet’.

“I think in the slow-speed and the mid-speed corners, the cars will be closer together,” says the Austrian. “I have some doubts for the high-speed ones because, with these wide cars and the big tyres, there’s always some dirty air behind them. Therefore, I’m not sure that it will be so easy to follow. Let’s wait and see after the first test.”

Meanwhile, technical director, Jody Egginton fears that initially, one team may have made a better job at interpreting the new rules, and will consequently enjoy an early advantage.

“Although everything is quite restricted by the regulations, it’s possible that one team has found a very special solution and will therefore have a performance advantage,” he says. “It’s not easy to estimate where the teams will be, because everything is new, from the mechanical to the aerodynamic side, but I personally hope that the cars will be closer together.

“Realistically, we will only have an idea of how well we will perform after the first tests, and we’ll have to wait until after the first two or three races to have a better picture.

“With the change to the aero regulations being extensive, there is clearly a lot of scope to experiment with new ideas and new aero concepts,” he adds. “But at the same time the new regulations also provide an increased risk of going down the wrong development path.

“I am quite sure there is plenty of scope for teams to come up with innovative aero solutions. But, at the same time, I expect that the hidden details of aero development will be a significant contributor to what teams are able to achieve from the aero regulations.

“I’m pretty confident people are going to turn up at the first test with an interesting range of interpretations of the regulations and this will provoke discussion and investigation of possible development directions for all the teams’ in-season development plans.”




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