What the first look at 2021’s F1 aero rules tells us

As well as learning a new circuit to Formula 1, several teams used their Portuguese GP practice running to try out new aero concepts ahead of rule changes for next year – providing an interesting first insight into what 2021 F1 cars will look like

As the 2020 Formula 1 season winds into its final five rounds, we already have our first clue into how next year’s cars will look. Although this year’s chassis will be carried over into 2021, thanks to the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few changes that must be made to cut the overall downforce produced.

The technical overhaul ushering in the return of ground effect cars will have to wait until 2022 and the introduction of Pirelli’s 18-inch tyres will also be delayed, meaning that the tyres designed for 2019 will get yet another year of service. There are a few aerodynamic changes to address this for next year, including the removal of part of the floor and from the diffuser, estimated to bring a 10% reduction in overall downforce to ensure the Pirelli tyres work within the load window intended.

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