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Williams

F1 rivals combine in defence over 'unfair' failure swipe

The current regulations have come under heavy fire due to the on-track offering in recent weeks.

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Williams team principal James Vowles has insisted F1's current regulation set has not "failed" despite increasing concerns over the amount of dirty air generated by cars.

Ground effect aerodynamic regulations were introduced at the start of the 2022 season in order to generate closer, more exciting racing action with cars able to drive nearer to each other through corners as a result of a reduction in turbulent air.

But as teams have developed their cars, the dirty air has increased and following the early stages of the new campaign, drivers have complained about the difficulty in following rivals.

Asked if the return of increased aero wake rendered the regulations set a failure, Vowles told media including RacingNews365: "I don't think the regulations have failed, I think that would be wholeheartedly unfair.

"I think the competition is pretty tight in the midfield. There is overtaking that takes place. I think even on the data that we can see now, it's still better than the ‘21, ‘20 generations of cars.

"But undoubtedly... and especially the leading pack have developed the car in an extraordinary way that as you develop downforce, is making it harder to follow.

"I still think on all the metrics and all the data we can see, you're now getting closer than you were before as a result of things, which was an intention behind it.

"Whether they will improve in ‘25, no, I don't think so. There's no reason to think it will improve next year and in ‘26, again, the rules are still being ratified as we speak, so it's hard to evaluate that."

'A dominance none of us want'

With Red Bull and Max Verstappen dominating F1 under the current regulations, there has been a suggestion the sport has become 'boring', though backers have pointed to the midfield battle behind the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Echoing Vowles, Aston Martin counterpart Mike Krack added: "I don't think the regulations are a failure at all.

"I think it has allowed various designs from the beginning, then obviously a dominance that none of us want, but that's a fact.

"But all in all, we have one more year to go, and then we welcome the new ones. As James said, they're not 100 per cent fixed yet, and we look forward to them. But honestly, I think the current regulations are well done and well made, and we have had great racing behind one team."

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