World Motor Sport Council approves aero and grid changes

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes on the grid in Barcelona
© XPB 

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted through changes to Formula 1's aerodynamics rules for the 2019 season.

It's also okayed minor changes to the pre-race starting grid procedure in time for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

The aero changes are to the front wing, brake ducts, and rear wing with the intention of improving on-track action. At the moment, cars struggle to close up on rival cars ahead of them because of the turbulence causing 'dirty air'.

A majority of teams agreed the changes with the FIA and the commercial rights holders Liberty in April. However the proposals needed to be formally approved by e-balloting at the WMSC in order to be made official.

The F1's chief technical officer of motorsports Pat Symonds worked with director of motorsports Ross Brawn to develop the proposals in time to introduce them in 2019.

The new regulations will result in a simplified front-wing with a larger span and reduced outwash. There will be simpler front-brake ducts with no winglets, and a wider and deeper rear-wing

That's expected to increase the slot for the Drag Reduction System (DRS), and therefore further reduce drag.

Meeting in Manila this week, the WMSC also voted through changes to Formula 1 pre-race grids procedures. These will take immediate effect this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Cars and drivers will now have to be on the starting grid ten minutes earlier than the national anthem ceremony .

That's to ensure that media journalists will have time to interview drivers and team representatives before the race.

Currently drivers appear on the grid only moments before they have to be present for the anthems. After that they are busy with their engineers getting ready for the start of the race.

The pitlane currently closes 20 minutes before the start of the formation lap, with anthems scheduled to take place 14 minutes before. But in Montreal the pit lane will close earlier and the drivers will be on the grid for longer

A statement from the WMSC said: "The World Council approved changes to the 2018 F1 Sporting Regulations to ensure the cars and drivers are on the starting grid for 10 minutes longer before the national anthem ceremony, thereby providing better access to the drivers for the media.

"These changes will be in effect from the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend," it added.

The start time for races remains at ten minutes past the hour, which fits in better with international broadcasters' schedules.

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