Formula 1 teams are set to rubber-stamp a move to abandon the return of full-spec ground effect on grand prix cars in 2013 at a meeting later this week.
As part of a major overhaul of regulations that are planned in two years' time, F1 teams had been considering a return to ground-effect floor aerodynamics, which would, in theory, have helped improve the ability of cars to race closer to each other on track. However, following more detailed analysis of the implementation of the ground-effect design, teams now feel that the move is too radical if they are going to achieve targets for downforce and drag that have been laid down by the FIA.
Meetings of FOTA's Technical Regulations Working Group (TRWG) over the Turkish Grand Prix weekend reached agreement that the ground-effect plans should be abandoned for 2013, and the move is expected to be signed off at a get-together of the FIA's Technical Working Group on Wednesday.
Williams technical director Sam Michael told AUTOSPORT: "That is the proposal. But it all has to be signed off on Wednesday. TWRG representatives had a meeting with FOTA and FIA last week, the day after a TRWG meeting and we met again on Sunday morning here to recap what happened, because three people went from TRWG: Paddy Lowe, James Key and Aldo Costa.
"The main thing was that the FIA had targets for downforce and drag, and it would have been very difficult to control to those targets [with a ground-effect car]. That is such a different design, whereas the current floor we have got, everyone has got a lot of experience with it. It means if you say that I want to target this drag and downforce, we can much more easily say that if you strip off this barge board or do this with the rear wing you can do it.
"With a shaped underbody, it is something that has not been in F1 for a long time, so a majority of teams felt that if you developed that you would end up significantly away from target."
The idea for a return to ground effect had come from Patrick Head and Rory Byrne, who had been put in charge of formulating new concept chassis rules for 2013.