Guanyu Zhou’s accident could lead to changes in the roll cage structure: Nikolas Tombazis

Guanyu Zhou's terrible accident in Silverstone prompted concerns about the integrity of the roll cage structure. According to Nikolas Tombazis, changes may be coming.

Nikolas Tombazis
Nikolas Tombazis
FirstSportz News

Nikolas Tombazis, technical director of FIA’s single-seater division, recently appeared for an interview by formulapassion.it, in which he talked about the current regulations and the plans for the future. They touched on a variety of topics, including the ‘Flexi-floor’ controversies between teams.

Tombazis said that preparations for the current regulations began as early as 2017 when Liberty Media had just come into the picture in Formula 1. They focused on the two key problematic aspects of the car – following closely, as the cars produced a lot of dirty air, and the other problem was with the tires.

Other topics they discussed included the potential speed of the cars: Tombazis expects the cars to gain around 5 seconds in lap time in three years, but reiterated that speed isn’t the greatest focus, instead, it is obviously to produce quality and entertaining racing, among other things.

Part 1 of the article: FIA technical director Nikolas Tombazis takes a deep dive into Formula 1’s 2022 changes and future

Also Read: FIA drop hints on tweaks in the engine regulations for Formula 1 2026

Nikolas Tombazis: There will be much more ‘carry-over of resources’ into the next season

Nikolas Tombazis
Nikolas Tombazis

Nikolas Tombazis stated that one of the intentions of the new regulations is for teams to be able to ‘carry over more resources’ from season to season i.e to be able to re-use the same parts and that the car would not be ‘very’ different from year to year. He said: “The intention is this. We expect there to be much more carry-over, with a smarter use of these resources.” 

Tombazis had been in Formula 1 as a chief aerodynamicist for Marussia and a chief designer for Ferrari before and had been on the side of last-minute technical overhauls, which involved a ‘monstrous’ amount of work. As such, he feels: “If we could make it a little more realistic and logical, it would be to everyone’s advantage. In my opinion, some will do it as early as next year.”

Guanyu Zhou had a horrible accident in Silverstone when his car flipped following an incident at the start, and he skidded across the runoff area into the fences. According to Zhou, the car’s roll structure gave way in the accident because the initial impact exceeded the level it is required to withstand:

When asked about any future changes to the roll cage structure in reference to the incident, Tombazis said: “Yes, they could. Whenever an accident occurs we analyze it with great attention, studying all the dynamics from start to finish, including all aspects such as on-site rescue.” 

He further added: “We do a very detailed analysis. We usually learn something that we then, depending on the priority and the situation, evaluate when to introduce. The Silverstone analysis is not yet complete. Some things are evident, even for those who have seen it on television, while others need further study ”

In 2026, there will be major changes to the power unit in accordance with Formula 1, when the cars are supposed to use 100% sustainable fuel, but there will also be aerodynamic changes to the car. According to the Greek, the initial simulations of how the car will behave have already been done.

Also Read: ‘Rules to be voted on August 16’: FIA preparing to take a major decision on technical regulations of the engines proposed to be used in 2026

Also Read: “We rely on their decision,” FIA President makes bold statement regarding drivers’ contract chaos

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