I was reading Katayama´s 1994 "could be" extraordinary season in F1 Rejects webpage when something called strongly my attention.
Perhaps the brand new regulations for 1994 had a part to play. While other teams found it hard to pen a car without traction control, active suspension, and all the other gizmos, a back-to-basics approach was exactly what Tyrrell and Yamaha needed, and Harvey Postlethwaite and Jean-Claude Migeot obliged. By practice in Brazil, Katayama was well aware that he had an effective car at his disposal, and by the end of Saturday he was 10th on the grid, his best-ever grid position...
Designing a F1 car for 1994 was probably difficult due to the lots of changes involved and we know that there were stability issues and lots of accidents that year.
* What is exactly a a back-to-basics approach? (regarding chassis design)
* What should/could teams did for 2008 season taking into acount that it is may be similar to what happened in 1994 regarding TC ban (include rear ABS if you want, too)
My understanding of that quote is that, when electronic systems are dumbed down, the basic chassis design is relatively more important for the overall performance of the vehicle.
Nowadays, things are different and even Spyker managed to have efficient TC systems, whose difference in performance in comparison with the top teams was probably not relevant. But in the early 90's, there were very important technological differences through the field, with some teams having fully functional semi-auto gearboxes, active suspensions and traction control systems and others struggling to make any of these systems functional, let alone reliable. The dumbing down in 1994 clearly allowed for small teams with good engineers, that previously were trailing behind by the lack of technology (and active suspension alone provided a substantial performance gap) to rely for the first time in 2 or 3 years solely in a sound chassis conception and to be competitive with it.
Mind you, this doesn't imply that there is any substantial difference in chassis conception because of these technologies. The only technology that really meant differences in conception was active suspension, since the aero package could be optimized for a stable ride height and didn't have to cope with variations. In a way, active suspension was a good thing to prevent the need for the construction of ever bigger and more precise windtunnels and to save costs in windtunnel time, because technology limited the variation in inputs teams must study their vehicles for. The other requirements to achieve a good chassis are fundamentally the same, with or without performance-enhancing technologies.
After all this dissertation (I can't ever again write about chequered's posts
) here is what I really wanted to say: the "back-to-basics approach" probably refers to the rules and not to chassis conception
On the topic of the raised nose, the Tyrrell was the first car where it was so evident, but the 1986 Benetton (the 186) already had a stepped nose (a raised nose therefore), to allow bigger air volume below the car, to avoid choking in the flat bottom and to accelerate the air going under it, reducing pressure.