The 2020 season marks the end of an era for Formula 1, thanks to the sizeable 2021 regulation changes, but teams will not be easing off this year. Preparations for 2020 began well before last season had concluded, and the cars rolling out at Barcelona in February will be the culmination of 12 months of development, representing a carefully choreographed dance between teams’ various departments.
Even as the 2019 cars were lapping the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time, some teams had already started work on concepts for their 2020 machines. A few may have begun in 2018.
Most teams will have what is known as a concept group – a small cluster of engineers dedicated to looking beyond the current season and forming a blueprint for next year’s cars. The group will be tasked with picking through upcoming regulation changes, as well as any problematic areas with a team’s current car. They keep in close touch with the technical director, responsible for an outfit’s overall engineering strategy.