FORMULA 1

Haas Aero chief doesn’t believe the wind tunnels ban to be ‘intelligent’

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Haas’ head of aerodynamics Arron Melvin has raised questions about banning the use of wind tunnels.

The banning of the use of wind tunnels is a hot topic of debate at the moment among the teams. The teams are currently arguing about whether to remove the use of wind tunnels completely from the sport. A wind tunnel is a huge developmental investment for a team and is essential for future projects of the team.

However, recent developments in computer modeling software (CFD – Computational Fluid Dynamics) have hugely taken over the role of wind tunnels. This has led to talks about banning the tunnels completely from 2030.

It’s a part of F1’s effort to become Carbon neutral by 2030. Currently, it is believed that eight of ten teams are in the favour of such a scenario. However, McLaren and Aston Martin seem to be against this as the teams have recently invested in new wind tunnels.

‘I don’t believe it’s intelligent’ – Haas Aero head

Further, now Haas’ head of the Aerodynamics department Arron Melvin has also questioned the banning of wind tunnels. Melvin has questioned whether the ban would really be “intelligent” and save team costs or be helpful:

“I don’t believe it’s intelligent in terms of cost-effectiveness,”

Melvin told in a recent interview last week, referring to the operating cost of £1 million per year for every team to operate wind tunnel.

“It’s good to have regulation and encourage us to push the limit of CFD capability,”

he agreed.

“So I’d be very receptive to regulations that change the balance.”

“It is certainly possible to make a safe, fast car without a wind tunnel,”

he said.

“But the industry is so good at wind tunnel testing.

“It’s not something that we need to ban, you certainly can phase it down to a much lower investment level.”

Melvin also argued that banning wind tunnels for the sake of the environment was not completely valid:

“The most effective discussions on environmental responsibility are those that are complete and inclusive, so we shouldn’t just pick on the wind tunnel.

It’s quite achievable to have very decarbonised power and be sustainable,”

he said.

“We should talk about our all of our activity as an industry and our source of power.”

Haas head Melvin also argued that the wind tunnels ban could potentially kill the fundamental nature of Formula 1 and its cars:

“There are fast race cars that have very little wind tunnel testing, but that’s not F1,”

he insisted.

“We have to keep in mind what the series wants to be.

“These cars are very refined, and we get a substantial lap time from this refinement,”

he noted.

“The regulations will have to change to allow us to be as thorough as we are now.”

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