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2009 regulation changes - overview, 2009 versus 2008 21 January 2009

The regulation changes for 2009 are some of the most extensive ever introduced to Formula One racing and fall into three main areas - aerodynamics, KERS and tyres. Formulated with help from the Overtaking Working Group's (OWG) engineers, the new rules aim to (1) reduce the aerodynamic sensitivity of the cars to turbulence; (2) increase overtaking opportunities; and (3) slow the cars in the very quick corners. To compensate for the loss of downforce from the aerodynamic changes, slick tyres have been brought back for the first time since 1997 to boost mechanical grip. As a result of the changes the 2009 cars appear quite different to their predecessors, with the removal of the vast majority of bargeboards (now only allowed in a very small area - see red arrow), winglets, chimneys and cooling gills leading to much cleaner looking designs. Forthcoming Technical news articles will examine each of the key areas of change in detail.