Drivers still not convinced by impact of new aero rules

© XPB 

Formula 1's new aero rules were put to the task on a full scale for the very first time in Melbourne, but drivers still aren't convinced the changes are having an impact on overtaking.

The sport's technical regulations for 2019 include a simpler and wider front wing, less sophisticated bargeboards and a bigger rear wing, with the package designed to help cars follow each other more closely by reducing the wake of dirty air.

Overtaking at Melbourne's Albert Park has always been at a premium, and Sunday's race was no different despite this year's aero tweaks.

"Yeah, I had no chance to get by, it's still very hard," said Max Verstappen, commenting on his tussle for second place late in the race with Lewis Hamilton.

"The only positive thing what we improved is the DRS effect. So, as soon as it opens, it’s a lot more powerful than last year but following is still a lot of turbulence."

Hamilton was also in the camp of those who felt that the rules have made no significant difference.

"No difference," said the reigning world champion.

However, among the mid-field runners, where wheel-to-wheel racing is more frequent, Romain Grosjean believed the aero changes had partially succeeded in improving the show.

"In the race, I got the impression that it has become easier to follow, so that’s good," said the Haas driver.

"But the tyres are still prone to overheating as you speed up. So overtaking is still very difficult.

"The best example was Antonio Giovinazzi," added Grosjean.

"Some of his opponents were faster than him, but it took a while for them to finally pass him.

"You can follow closely, but the tyres get too hot, they slip, they lose grip, and that's the end of an attack.

"The wings were a step in the right direction, but now we need stronger tyres that won't degrade when you're in someone's slipstream."

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