Extra power and bigger tyres are on their way
F1 strategy group propose new ways to improve the sport's spectacle – but not everyone agrees on the best way forward
Formula 1 bosses are pushing ahead with plans to change the rules to make cars more dramatic in the near future.
A series of proposals have been submitted by the rule-making Strategy Group for technical chiefs to consider and then report back on. These focus on making the cars and rear tyres wider, and making the engines more powerful.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner are pushing for a return to the V8 naturally aspirated engines last used in 2013. All other teams are opposed to this, and want to stick with the new turbo hybrid engines, technology similar to that being pursued by road-car manufacturers.
F1 chiefs have set a target of 1,000bhp for the engines. The current engines already produce in the region of 840-880bhp, so the extra power could be achieved relatively easily and cheaply by increasing the revs used and adjusting the fuel-ow rate. This would also go New rules could lead to the return of bigger rear wings, as seen on F1 cars from the mid-1980s Huge rear tyres added flair to seventies racers, and could reappear in the not too distant future some way to satisfying Ecclestone’s desire for louder, more dramatic-sounding engines.
The date for the introduction of these rules has not yet been set. Some are pushing for 2016, but others feel that this could increase costs and risk damaging the 2015 season, since teams would freeze development to focus on their new designs. A more likely solution is that the changes will be introduced for 2017.
Cars will increase their width from 1,800mm to 2,000mm, the size they were in 1997. At the same time, front wings will be widened and rear wings made bigger. Rear tyres will be widened to increase mechanical grip, and the new tyre supplier for 2017 – when Pirelli’s contract ends – will be decided by a tender process, with all interested manufacturers invited to apply and present ideas.
Teams have discussed increasing the size of wheels from 13 inches to 18 or even 20 inches. But there has been no agreement on this so far. Power could be increased to 1,000bhp in a nod to the eye-wateringly powerful but popular turbos of the ’80s New tyre rules could lead to F1 adopting lowprofile tyres more in line with modern road cars Bigger front wings would add downforce (and would also be easier to knock off when cars are racing) Wide-track Formula 1 cars last ran in 1997, but could be set to make a return from 2017 onwards