Formula 1 2019 Preview
February 28, 2019
The Formula 1 2019 season begins next month, and no doubt fans all around the world are getting excited to see their favourite drivers and cars return to the track. Developments happen slowly in F1, yet it is constant, so making huge changes is a challenge. As such, we are not likely to see a big difference between the 2019 and 2018 seasons, but there are still plenty of things to get excited about in the upcoming year.
The 1,000th World Championship Race
This year we will see the 1,000th World Championship Race at the Chinese Grand Prix. The first event was the 1950 British Grand Prix, won in an Alfa Romeo 150 putting out 200bhp. This year the winning car will be packing near 1000bhp!
Changing Driver and Car Pairings
Mercedes and Haas are the only teams keeping the same pairing from last year, with a lot of drivers changing paddocks. It will be interesting to see how the top drivers perform in their new cars, such as Kimi Raikkonen with Sauber, Daniel Ricciardo with Renault and Pierre Gasly with Red Bull. The starting grid will look very different in Australia compared to 2018.
Teams are expected to adhere to some new rules on the circuit this year, among them being changes to the front wings. The front wing of an F1 car is one of the most critical aerodynamic parts to the car, producing front downforce and determining the flow to the rear of the car. This change will potentially give drivers 20% improvement on following the car in front, in turn helping with overtaking, and make the front wing nearly the same width as the car. There will also be taller and simpler rear wings with bigger DRS (drag reduction system) gaps, smaller front brake ducts and less aerodynamically powerful barge boards.
The changes to the aerodynamics of the Formula 1 cars have meant the fuel allowance has also been tweaked for the coming season. Though the powerful new generation of F1 cars are fantastic to watch, this has lead to heavier cars and more downforce. The result has been more time on the gas and more fuel burned, forcing drivers to lift and coast to save fuel to finish the race. Fuel has been increased 5kg to 110kg for the coming season, which aims to allow drivers to use the engine at full power throughout the race.
Other rules include the drivers’ weight will being considered separately to the car, with smaller, lighter drivers needing to use a ballast to bring them to a minimum weight. The separate weight also reduces the need for drivers to cut their calorie intake.
Red Bull’s Honda Engine
Red Bull has decided to depart from Renault and has opted for the Japanese Honda as their engine for the 2019 season. Red Bull bosses have called the Honda engine “a thing of beauty” commenting on the integration of the engine into the chassis. Pre-season testing in Barcelona has shown a lot of promise with the possibility of the team winning some races.
It is not just changes to the cars we will see on the circuit, but changes to driver’s clothing. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has mandated that F1 drivers wear biometric gloves which will transmit what could be life-saving data from the driver to the medical teams. The gloves have been developed by the FIA Safety Department, and feature a sensor stitched into the fabric which will monitor the pulse rate and oxygen in the blood during, before and after a crash.
What are you most looking forward to from the Formula 1 2019 season? For more information about adding additional technologies to your vehicles such as heat exhaust wrap, take a look at our extensive range of high-quality heat resistant textiles which are designed with the motorsport industry in mind.