Williams Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe says changes to Formula 1 2019’s Technical Regulations are taking the sport in the “right direction.”

Planned 2019 regulations have simplified front wings and brake ducts to reduce the effect of dirty air, thus enabling closer wheel-to-wheel racing.

“I’ve appreciated the work that’s been done recently,” Lowe told Auto Magazine. 

He described the introduction of wider front and rear wings in 2017 as a “backward step” for overtaking.

The current generation of front wings, pictured here on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, have multiple aerodynamic elements. That will change with 2019’s ‘simpler’ regulations (Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari). 

In short, 2017’s changes promoted more aerodynamic surfaces, increasing the effect of dirty air.

“I was not a fan of the 2017 regulations,” Lowe said. 

F1’s Strategy Group, the F1 Commission, and the World Motorsport Council approved 2019’s changes on May 1st.

The FIA first presented the changes to teams during April’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“The FIA and FOM were correct to act at this point and do something different,” Lowe said. 

FIA single seater technical boss Nikolas Tombazis said current Formula 1 cars lose roughly 30% of downforce when they’re 15 to 20 metres behind a competitor.  

The Williams FW41, pictured here during Hungary’s in-season test, where the team tested prototype front wings for 2019 (Image courtesy of Pirelli Sport). 

“We hope to reduce that by 10 per cent,” Tombazis said. He admitted it’s “difficult” to provide an exact number.

Lowe said he has “high confidence” in the new regulations.

2019’s changes aim to fix the current state of wheel-to-wheel racing before 2021’s major regulation overhaul. 

FOM’s Motorsport Managing Director Ross Brawn said approving the 2019 changes was an “important step.”

Formula 1 teams conducted an “intense period” of research into 2019 regulation changes, according to Brawn.

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