The less well known points of the F1 regulations and their effect on the design
Last year, the rules underwent a truly revolutionary change, but there will be less upheaval in 2018. Nevertheless, the look of the car will change in several areas. Also down to the regulations, there will be different parameters when it comes to how the mechanical components are managed. Let’s take a closer look at these changes, including their finer points:
Chassis and Aerodynamics. The most visible modification is the introduction of the HALO, the structure designed to protect the driver from being hit by a flying object. This change involved a great deal of work for the designers, on the one hand because the 5 kilo increase in the car’s minimum weight, to 733 Kg, only partly compensates for the weight of the component and, on the other, because of the inevitable effect on air flow. Aesthetically however, one can expect an improvement over the prototypes seen to date, thanks to it being slightly faired-in and also integrated into the livery of the car.
The large “shark fin” on the engine cover has almost completely gone, while the positioning of the transversally mounted T-wing, which all the teams used in 2017 to better direct air flow towards the rear wing has been reviewed. Also gone at the back end of the car is the crash wing, better known as the “monkey seat” which used to sit below the rear wing. The exhaust exit has been position further back and this year, as a further safety precaution, each wheel will have three cable tethers to prevent them detaching in an accident. The frontal crash test standard is also more severe and finally, on the front of the chassis, cars will carry a 360 degree video camera.
Power Unit. According to the sporting regulations, the number of internal combustion units (the V6 engines) that can be used over the course of the 21 race season, has been reduced from four to three, which means each one will have to deal with a 40% increase in its mileage. There are more severe restrictions on oil consumption, with just one type of lubricant allowed over the course of a race weekend, to be used at a rate of no more than 6 litres every 100 Km. There are new regulations relating to the positioning of some electrical components in the area around the rechargeable batteries, while further restrictions are imposed when it comes to rules regarding fuel and the air temperature going into the air intake, as well as of the exhaust gases.