The 2017 Formula One season pre-season was exciting because of a rule change that meant we would see completely different designs to previous years. Stable regulations are meant to change the status quo, sending the winner back and propelling new teams to the front. Sadly, Mercedes continued to dominate the sport, easily winning both titles. For the 2018 season, there are no headline changes, but enough to see some interesting concepts when the teams launch the new cars. Here are some of the changes that will affect the teams the most:
The Halo cockpit protection is the most controversial of the changes. Drivers and team principals are not happy with the addition, especially with limited testing. Also, the Halo crash tests require that the protection can handle the load of a bus. Every team talks about the challenge of incorporating the Halo and the aerodynamic changes that result.
Mercedes (and to a lesser extent Ferrari) developed systems that would burn oil for more engine power. However, once other teams and the FIA got wind of the method, measures were put in place to limit the oil burn. The limits are now even more stringent this year and will ensure that oil burn is no longer a performance advantage.
There are also limits on the effect suspension can have on the rake and aerodynamic performance of the car. Both Mercedes and Red Bull want the FIA to allow active suspension again, thereby eliminating any complex systems teams will develop to get around the new rules.