F1 agrees 2019 rule changes to boost overtaking

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Formula One has pushed through a series of tweaks to 2019's aerodynamic rules in a bid to improve overtaking.

Next year's cars will feature simplified front wings and a bigger rear wing flap -- increasing the effect of the DRS overtaking aid -- and modified rules around front brake ducts. The proposals were agreed following "an intense period of research" into how to create closer racing, spearheaded by F1 technical chief Ross Brawn.

The changes are separate to the ongoing discussions around the aerodynamic rules for 2021. Although Brawn's goal is to settle on a set of regulations which create closer racing, it was felt something could also be done in the short-term.

The agreed tweaks are:

  • Simplified front wing, with a larger span, and low outwash potential

  • Simplified front brake duct with no winglets

  • Wider and deeper rear wing

The changes was pushed through on the final day under the regulations F1 can make changes without requiring unanimous agreement from teams. It is understood several teams on the grid were not in support of the proposals.

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe has previously voiced his support for the porposals, saying F1 could not afford to wait until the end of the current regulation cycle.

"I think it all makes sense," he said. "We've got another three years of this formula, and if we don't make changes at this point, it becomes a bit pointless, because there are a huge set of changes for 2021. So this is the time that F1 should act and act decisively for the good for the show."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was one sceptic of the change.

"I would be surprised if it's agreed," Horner is quoted as saying by Autosport ahead of the announcement of the change. "They're a snapshot of 2021, but taken in isolation. There are consequences that are detrimental, so better to leave things alone as they are for now, and then do a complete package for 2021 that encompasses everything."

The push for a quick solution to overtaking started after the drab Australian Grand Prix, which was the opening race of the season. The official confirmation of the news added that "the FIA is continuing to evaluate a range of other measures aimed at encouraging closer racing and boosting overtaking in F1."