Priestley: "The top teams will come up with some kind of alternative for DAS"
By Tomas Mota 05 June 2020 | 19:06
Although there may be no racing, the technical development of all Formula 1 teams "simply" continues - albeit remotely and with some delay. Will the extra time that they have been given due to this unfortunate reason also resonate in better technical development of the 2020 cars? And to what extent does postponing the new F1 regulations throw a spanner in the works? We asked Marc Priestley.
In conversation with MaximumF1, Priestley zooms in on the consequences of the coronavirus and what we can expect from the late start of the season. According to the Formula 1 analyst and former McLaren engineer, the long race-free period creates an even bigger gap between the top teams and the rest of the Formula 1 grid.
Which teams do you think will benefit the most from postponing the new technical regulations?
"For the smaller teams, postponing the rules clearly means that they have some breathing space. They do not have to spend additional millions on research and development and that opportunity is cherished now that F1 is facing difficult times. For the top teams: Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, the postponement will mainly mean that they will have even longer to develop their ideas. I predict that this may have a major effect on the gap among the top 3 themselves, and between the top 3 in comparison with the rest of the field."
Do you think we will see the hotly debated DAS-system in the future?
"Unfortunately, we will probably see this type of DAS-system only for a year. A pity, as far as I am concerned. On the other hand, the knowledge gained during the development of the system will not perish. It therefore comes as no surprise to me if an engineer from one of the top teams, within the limits of the new regulations, finds a new, alternative way of achieving the same results as with the DAS system."
What can we expect in the aerodynamic field? Can the teams make good use of this "extra time" during the crisis, for further development?
"Without access to test facilities, such as wind tunnels, the teams are limited in their ability to develop further. Here too, the three top teams will be able to take the greatest advantage, because they have the best CFD software (Computational fluid dynamics). While everyone has to work remotely or at home, ideas can still be worked on this way - and quite accurately too. I think the focus will be on the technical improvement of the front and rear wings, but also the bargeboards."
What do you expect from the RB16 when we can race again?
"I can't wait to finally see Red Bull in action. The RB16 looked very good and promising during the test sessions. In addition, there was a confident atmosphere in the Red Bull box. I hope that Red Bull can make it quite difficult for Mercedes once we get back to work. I'm curious!" (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images)
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