Ex­tra power and big­ger tyres are on their way

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

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

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