2021 aerodynamic rules aimed at making F1 more 'level'

Ross Brawn. Image: TeamTalk
Ross Brawn. Image: TeamTalk

• New aerodynamic testing restrictions (ATR) to come in effect

• Worst finishing team to get more aero testing time

• ATR to become a fixed feature

Formula 1 motorsports boss, Ross Brawn, believes the introduction of new ATR rules next season will see a "gentle levelling of the playing field".

As of next season, F1 will introduce a sliding scale with regards to the Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions (ATR) regulations.

Teams will be restricted when it comes to the number of runs they can do in the wind tunnel as well as the number of hours of computer aided design (CAD) they can do to develop the car.

The team that wins the championship will have less runs and CAD hours than the team that finishes second, second will have less than third and so it will go.

The team that finishes last in the championship will be granted more runs and CAD time than any other team.


In the spirit of competitiveness, will ATR be good for F1? Email us.

Williams George Russell

The Williams F1 team finished last in the 2019 championship. Image: Williams / Twitter

A permanent feature

Brawn told RaceFans.net: "This is going to be a permanent feature unless we find some unintended consequence which we don't know of at the moment. It's a gentle levelling of the playing field. The important thing about it is it still is a strong meritocracy. If you do a bad job, even if you've got more aerodynamic capacity, you're going to be at the back of the grid.

And if you do a great job with less than aerodynamic capacity, you're going to be at the front of the grid.

"I like to think of it a bit like the NFL draft pick where you get to pick the best players initially, but you still have to coach them properly and you still to have the right tactics and you still have to be fit and you have to do all those other things that makes it a meritocracy.

"So this is just a general levelling of the playing field."

READ: McLaren could benefit most from budget cap 'loopholes' in 2021 - Marko

Brawn added that F1 rejected the idea of taking a more artificial route, such as success ballast in which the winning car has to carry more weight than its rivals.

According to the F1 sporting boss, the new ATR sliding scale instead hands those further down the grid a "great opportunity" to do something themselves to close the gap.

He said: "We're distinctly avoiding those. We don't like them and what's come across in many of the discussions we have with the fans is they don't like it either. If you win a race and then you have to carry 10 kilos extra at the next race, that's not what Formula 1's is about.

"I think you can draw a line between those things (and the aero handicap). What we're basically saying to the teams that aren't doing so well is 'here's a great opportunity for you - if you don't take it, that's your problem'.

"But we're not going to penalise the top teams by taking away power or adding "But we're not going to penalise the top teams by taking away power or adding weight. That will never happen."weight. That will never happen."

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