F1: New rules hurting ‘slipstream’ effect – drivers

(GMM) The all-new regulations for 2022 may actually have made overtaking more difficult, according to three prominent Formula 1 drivers.

While early feedback suggests the new ‘ground effect’ cars make it easier to follow a rival, the ‘slipstream’ or ‘tow’ effect appears to be diminished.

“I have spoken to other drivers and they say the slipstream effect is less,” Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas said.

“But I also think the DRS effect is greater this year because of the wider wing, so maybe that will make up for it.”

The man who replaced Bottas at Mercedes – George Russell – reports that he deliberately ran behind Lando Norris’ McLaren at Barcelona last week to get an idea of the effect of the new cars.

#63 George Russell: Mercedes AMG Team F1 during the winter testing days, Barcelona 23-25 February 2022, Formula 1 World championship 2022.

“We can follow closer but from what we have seen, the slipstream effect is definitely less effective,” said the Briton.

“I got right up behind Lando, I was a car’s length or two behind him and didn’t catch the straight, so that was slightly concerning. Let’s see.”

Norris agrees that the new aerodynamics have both a “positive and a negative” effect.

“We don’t know which is the bigger effect at the minute, so we will have to see until the first race,” said the McLaren driver.


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