Haas question FIA restriction ahead of ban

Formula 1 is currently debating whether to introduce a ban on wind tunnel testing by 2030.

Wind tunnels are key to creating a competitive Formula 1 car, with every hour allocated to the teams being used to the final second in order to get the maximum amount of data possible.

In recent years however, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become more and more advanced and has therefore taken over some of the responsibilities that wind tunnel testing used to hold.

CFD testing can now help teams gather a large amount of data without ever needing to step foot in a wind tunnel, leading Formula 1 to debate whether to place a ban on these tunnels all together.

While stopping the use of wind tunnels would certainly help the sport in its mission to become carbon neutral, Haas’ head of aerodynamics Arron Melvin has questioned whether the use of wind tunnels should be completely banned or just reduced.

READ: ‘Not insulting me’: James Vowles reveals secret Lewis Hamilton phone call

“I don’t believe it’s intelligent in terms of cost effectiveness,” he told RacingNews365.com.

“It’s good to have regulation and encourage us to push the limit of CFD capability, so I’d be very receptive to regulations that change the balance.

“It is certainly possible to make a safe, fast car without a wind tunnel, but the industry is so good at wind tunnel testing.

“It’s not something that we need to ban, you certainly can phase it down to a much lower investment level. The most effective discussions on environmental responsibility are those that are complete and inclusive so we shouldn’t just pick on the wind tunnel.

Article continues below

“It’s quite achievable to have very decarbonised power and be sustainable. We should talk about our all of our activity as an industry and our source of power,” concluded Melvin.

When the idea of banning wind tunnel testing was initially put to all of the teams, it has been rumoured that eight out of the ten teams agreed with the idea.

READ: George Russell admits jealousy of Lando Norris and Alex Albon

Understandably it was Aston Martin and McLaren who were not as keen on the idea, as both teams have recently invested heavily in new state-of-the-art wind tunnel facilities.

McLaren’s new facility is set to be operational at some point this year and the team have suggested that it could be exactly what they need to be able to match the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.

Lando Norris will be hoping that his team’s technological advancements allow him to challenge for race wins in the near future, with Red Bull sniffing around the young Brit should McLaren fall short.