Vettel defends 2017 move to faster, wider cars

Date published: November 8 2019

Sebastian Vettel has defended the decision to introduce faster, wider cars to Formula 1 by saying the increase in car weight was ultimately the wrong direction.

Formula 1 and the FIA are hoping that the new regulations in 2021 will help undo the decisions of the past and create a more competitive, exciting sport for all.

However,  Vettel, a director of the GPDA who pushed for the move to higher downforce cars, has said there was a definite need for Formula 1 cars to be faster.

“Not at all.” Vettel said when asked by Motorsport.com whether he thought the change in the aerodynamic regulations in 2017 were a mistake.

“I think the cars are a lot more spectacular since 2017. Now we know what the cars can do, it was quite slow before that.

“Obviously we had very little drag, and it was great in a straight line, but that’s not the exciting bit for us.

“And it felt a bit slower than some years earlier. So I don’t think that was the wrong direction.

“The wrong direction from my point of view was that the cars are so heavy, which is obviously related to in a way some of the safety measures, but I think everybody accepts that, and the power unit.

“I think that really is the biggest difference if you really make a big compare between now and where F1 has been 10 or 20 years ago, or even further.”

Vettel was asked for his comments after Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn criticised the change in direction as part of the problem as to why they are not more overtakes in the sport.

“These cars from 2016 to 2017 had a huge increase in downforce, and it is worth thinking back on that experience because it was done for reasons I don’t understand,” Brawn said.

“The huge increase in downforce was ‘let’s make the cars go faster, let’s make F1 better.’ But what we have actually done is made it worse because the cars can’t race each other.

“It’s an example of an unthought-through programme. So the cars are very quick now, but they’re not raceable.”

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