The 2009 F1 season will no doubt be considered to have been the best for a number of years, no thanks to the ‘overtaking committee’ whose rule changes certainly stirred the pot to advantage, but conspicuously failed to achieve their aim.
It seems to me that a simple bold step could go far to curing the processional nature of most races: ban rear wings! Limit downforce to that generated by underbody aerodynamics, with smaller front wings for balance. Downstream turbulence would be much reduced (I suspect that underbody downforce is much less affected by it anyway). Limit front wing width to something like the front track dimension, and as well as limiting downforce we won’t see so many being damaged in close racing.
Aside from the lessened susceptibility to upstream turbulence, braking distances would be increased and cornering speeds lowered; maximum speeds might be increased on faster circuits. Finally, drivers would simply have more time to complete a passing manoeuvre.
Arguably, racing-inspired developments in underbody airflow management have rubbed off to advantage in road car design, whereas all that the rear wing did was to spawn a generation of silly ‘go faster’ excrescences on otherwise sensible production cars.
James White, Vancouver, Canada