Wind Tunnel Penalties Are Already Happening


The Cars are built on a 60% scale as 1/1 is too costly. The wind tunnel uses 180 mph maximum wind speeds. Mercedes having the biggest and baddest wind tunnel as this is custom made will mean penalising them won't have a massive impact this year and only next year possibly.

This season in Formula One we are going to see teams work differently due to certain changes. The budgetary cap plus certain forced design changes were the given but teams were also given two tokens that could be used up on two changes on the car.

The wind tunnel restrictions are now in place so if we see 40 runs per week as 100 percent a team like Mercedes is only allowed 90% of that now as they won the Championship. Red Bull came second so they get 92.5% which is one more than Mercedes who have 36 so Red Bull has 37. This is down on what teams would have expected normally as the average for a top team would be double these allocations. Williams who came lost are allowed 45 runs per week which is calculated at 112.5%.

This is going to have some impact somewhere as this time also includes the 2022 development for the new car. This 2021 model is still very similar to the 2020 car so I cannot see development time being used on something they can't really change and testing will be all on next years car.

The restrictions for 2022 are more severe for whoever wins the Championship this year. 70% so that means the team loses in Mercedes case another 8 weekly runs if they win again this season giving them only 28 weekly tests.

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This is why the FIA is making these changes as this is not helping to market the sport. I do think if this was Ferrari there would be no changes as there is a huge bias towards the Italian team.

The FIA reasoning is to cut costs and level the playing field but that is not true. Budgets are capped already so it is up to each team how thy spend their money. This is all about restricting the top teams limiting their development hoping smaller teams will close the gap. I believe this is to try and get Ferrari back to the top and just smoke screens and mirrors to convince everyone else.

I have my doubts as believe that if this was the case top teams should lose more than 50% to feel the impact. These teams are so organised and professional they will not be hampered by a certain limit of wind tunnel tests. Mercedes have simulators and will come up with a new system to get the data they need as they lead this field in technology.

Just think teams used to doing 65 wind tunnel tests per week are now going to drop down to virtually half that and will then have to decide what is more important the 2021 car or 2022. This is why this season is a joke in some ways as the cars won't be upgraded and change at all as everyones focus will be on next season where there are massive changes. I just can't see this changing a Williams team car who will have an extra 18 runs per week if they come last again this season.


Wow! It seems you know quite much about this sort, but then, what's the genuine price of an average car qualified for the formula 1 race?

I don't think you could put a price on a Formula One car as there is years of work gone into each model and they just do upgrades. Hate to even guess but must be somewhere around $30-$50 million each at least if not more. Each team builds their own cars and unlike other sports where you can buy the package you cant in this sport.

I'm a little confused here. Does this mean that teams that "overuse" wind-tunnels are penalized financially if they win?

Not financially but are restricted by the number of uses per week. They have reduced the amount to 40 as the 100 percent weekly mark which was normally 65-70 per week and then in Mercedes case this season 90 percent of 40 so only 36 times per week. If they win again this season which is likely that figure drops to 28 for next season. The bottom team will be allowed 45 uses per week which is quite a big difference. This all depends on how you use the time though so I expect Mercedes to still develop more even though they are allowed less time.

I think the regulation of the wind tunnel is great. in as much as all teams adhere to it, it makes the playing ground level and more fun. I know nothing about the cost implication as all I do is watch fast cars race.