F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Among his other ideas are re­vers­ing the grids and giv­ing points for qual­i­fy­ing and the set­ting up of a “ladies’ cham­pi­onship” with a race for fe­male driv­ers on Sun­day morn­ings be­fore the main event.

Wil­liams test driver Susie Wolff has de­scribed that idea as a ‘back­ward step’, and oth­ers have re­marked that it smacks of sex­ism.

“With a wet T-shirt com­pe­ti­tion and cham­pagne show in fire­proof panties,” one se­nior fig­ure re­marked sar­don­ically, “I’m sure it would at­tract a lot of view­ers.”

Team bosses want to make the cars look more dra­matic for 2017, with wider track, wider rear tyres and lower-pro­file wheels – the ideal model be­ing some­thing like the cars from 1992.

An­other aim is to in­tro­duce 1,000bhp en­gines by 2017. There is an agree­ment that the cur­rent turbo hy­brid en­gines will re­main, but that there may be a re­lax­ation of re­stric­tions on fuel flow.

Toto Wolff, how­ever, points out that the man­u­fac­tur­ers are likely to have reached that fig­ure any­way by then in the course of nor­mal devel­op­ment, with­out the need to change the en­gine rules at all.

There are a cou­ple of span­ners in the works, though. For the rules to be changed for 2017 and new-look cars to be in­tro­duced, a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion would be re­quired by the end of June – and an agree­ment looks a long way off.

The other is­sue is that TV view­ing fig­ures have bounced back af­ter the first two races of 2015, es­pe­cially in Ger­many, one of the ma­jor mar­kets of con­cern. Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s victory for Fer­rari in Malaysia should help that fig­ure rise fur­ther, and will likely lead to a sim­i­lar bounce in Italy. • Mercedes boss Toto Wolff an­swers your ques­tions on page 48

Com­ing to a grid near you soon? Con­tin­gency plans are be­ing ex­am­ined to stop the grid drop­ping be­low 20 cars

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