F1 to introduce sponsor-friendly bodywork

Mat Coch

Monday 22nd January, 2018 - 8:50am

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Sponsor-friendly bodywork will be introduced in 2019

Formula 1 will introduce regulations for 2019 specifically designed to improve the visibility of sponsors on cars.

Decided at a meeting of the Strategy Group last week, next year’s F1 cars will feature smaller bargeboards and a mandated flat surface on the rear wing end plate.

The bargeboards, which sit alongside the cockpit near the drivers legs, have increasingly obscured one of the premier sponsorship areas in recent years.

In response, teams agreed that from next season regulations should mandate smaller bargeboards.

Similarly on the rear wing end plate, aerodynamic development has see slots cut in an attempt to better control the airflow.

The side effect of this has been a reduction in the space available for sponsors logos.

From next season, a mandatory surface, free of slots, must be present at the top of the rear wing end plate, specifically for advertising.

The Strategy Group meeting also touched on simplifying front wings in an attempts to reduce cost and increase sponsor visibility, though it was decided such a change would have too great an influence on the car’s aerodynamics.

In November it was agreed that the shark fin which appeared on the airbox of a number of cars in 2017 will be banned from this season.

The fins were primarily an aerodynamic device, with the added benefit of offering a greater advertising space.

Though not all agreed, it was successfully argued that the fins obscured visibility of the rear wing, and while the topic was raised at last week’s meeting, the fins are not set to make a return.

News of the changes comes after a 13 percent fall in prize money offered to the team, and a season where overtaking almost halved in comparison to 2016.

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