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Toro Rosso's Franz Tost has simple cure for F1's lack of overtaking

Written by  Jan 10, 2019

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has identified a simple solution for Formula 1's current lack of on-track action, a big reduction in downforce.

In 2017, the sport moved away from the cleaner aerodynamic designs first introduced in 2009 and returned to big tyres and big aero with the aim of reducing lap times by around five seconds per lap.

While that worked, with last year's cars the fastest F1 has ever seen, it had a detrimental impact on overtaking around most circuits and particularly those where DRS isn't as effective.

"We have so much downforce," Tost bemoaned to Autosport. "This means high corner speeds, no one can follow because of the dirty air behind and we have hardly braking zones. How should you overtake?

"That means the FIA, FOM – and there are the experienced people over there, like [F1 motorsport director] Ross Brawn, like Pat Symonds – they know exactly what you should do: to come down with aero side, with the downforce.

"I would cut minimum 40-50% of the current downforce, to make the car much more unstable in the corners, then people see that drivers have to fight with the car," the Austrian recommended.

"Cars will be much faster on the straight, you have chances to overtake someone because of [increased] braking zones and you can follow in the corners.

"This regulation could be easy to be realised. They just have to want it."

IndyCar made a similar move with their new chassis' for 2018 cutting downforce to increase the challenge for drivers.

However, after complaints that the previous generation of F1 cars were too slow, Brawn is attempting to cure the problem with smaller changes such as the simpler wings coming for 2019 ahead of another overhaul in design expected for 2021.

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Development of those cars is continuing with the help of the teams, but in Tost's opinion, that is a bad idea given the nature of the sport's politics.

"The teams! Never ask the teams," he proclaimed. "[The rule makers need to] come with the regulations, [say] 'accept or go', but instead they ask the teams.

"They come to the Technical Working Group. Who is in the Technical Working Group? Engineers. Never ask the engineers!"

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