F1 will meet set targets: ‘Differences between teams are really getting smaller’


Nikolas Tombazis, head of technology at the FIA, is confident that the differences between the teams in Formula 1 will become smaller next season. The difference between the top teams and the teams in the backfield is currently about three seconds. In addition, the sport wants to see that the cars can follow each other more easily on the track. Tombazis is sure that the goals of the FIA ​​and FOM will be achieved.

The change in regulations was planned for 2021, but due to the current pandemic, these plans have been postponed to next year. Although the new rules should create more tension, Tombazis knows it will be difficult to top last season. “I can hardly imagine that it could be any more exciting,” said the Greek at Auto, Motor und Sport. ‘But it’s important for us to achieve the set goals. The field should be closer together and the cars should be able to follow each other better.’

Tombazis is confident that the first goal will be achieved by the end of next year. ‘It takes about three seconds per lap between the first and the last car. We want to reduce that gap to one and a half seconds.’ The former engineer of Ferrari and McLaren, among others, expects teams to be able to build a lead at the start of the season. “Some teams will adapt better to the rules. The other teams will soon make up for that difference when they see what works on the new cars.

Formula 1 wary of weighing out

Formula 1 has made several changes to the cars throughout its existence. Sometimes teams managed to find a small way out in the rules, which suddenly saved a lot of time. Tombazis assures that the FIA ​​has paid close attention to this. “We used to give the teams too much freedom in that regard. We want to avoid that for this year. If teams already find something, we may be able to adjust the rules during the season.’

With the new regulations, there is a fear that the cars will resemble each other too much. The Greek expects teams to come up with all kinds of different ways to make their cars unique. “From a distance it may look like the cars look exactly the same, but in the details each car will be different. In the beginning, those differences will be easier to notice, because teams will eventually copy things from each other. Even now the cars are difficult to distinguish from each other if you paint them all white.’

The changes will initially ensure that the cars will be a lot slower. “I expect the cars to be about a second slower. But I can’t say too much just yet. We don’t know enough about how the new tires will affect driving styles yet.” The former engineer hopes that the cars will be a lot more difficult to drive. “That is only better for the sport,” concludes Tombazis.

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