Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff doesn't think 2019's regulation changes will have much of an impact on racing, as front wings will change in the coming season in order to improve overtaking.
Front wing designs will have to be simpler. The current wings disrupt the airflow behind the car massively, erasing the advantage for a chasing car to be in someone's slipstream. Being in someone's slipstream now means heavy tyre degradation and a loss of downforce, meaning cars will often pull out of a slipstream when they want to overtake.
“At the moment it is very difficult for the cars to follow because you lose downforce, the tyre loses grip and therefore the overtaking is really bad,” Wolff is quoted by Crash.net.
“When you look at some of the junior classes, like F2 for example, there’s some great racing there actually. They are able to come close.”
The board of the F1, including Ross Brawn, think the new, wider wings will have a positive effect on the problem and should improve overtaking, but Wolff will have to see that before he believes it.
“The aim was to take away some of the aero and direct the airflow over the top of the car but they fight 2000 aerodynamicists in all the teams and I think we have found solutions to get the air around the car, so it’s not going to change an awful lot,” he argued.
We'll have to wait until March 17th until we see the new wings in action at the Australian Grand Prix, a notoriously difficult race in terms of overtaking.