Teams con­tinue to wres­tle with 2017 rules re­vamp

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Faster, wider cars with wider tyres have been agreed, but de­tailed changes have led to dis­pute

Teams are still try­ing to de­cide on the de­tailed con­cept for the new rules to pro­duce F1 cars in 2017.

The ba­sic con­cept re­mains the same, and should cre­ate cars that are ve sec­onds a lap faster due to be­ing made wider, with wider tyres. They will also be less sen­si­tive to tur­bu­lence in the wake of another car, so will be eas­ier to race with.

But the sport’s lead­ing engi­neers are wrestling with the de­tail, and time is run­ning out to nalise the rules be­fore the end of this sea­son. Af­ter that point, any de­ci­sions will be much harder be­cause the unan­i­mous agree­ment of all the teams will be re­quired.

Pirelli have re­sponded to a call for wider rear tyres from the Strat­egy Group of lead­ing teams, Bernie Ec­cle­stone and the FIA. This has led to the idea of putting the cur­rent 15-inch wide rear tyres on the front, and pro­duc­ing even wider rears. This would prompt another look at the car’s de­sign con­cept.

Com­pli­cat­ing the process is the as-yet-un­de­cided tyre ten­der process – Bernie Ec­cle­stone has not nalised his de­ci­sion on whether to ap­point Pirelli or Miche­lin as F1’s tyre sup­plier from 2017 on­wards.

Points now agreed in­clude widen­ing the track to two me­tres, widen­ing the front wing, re­duc­ing min­i­mum weight and low­er­ing the car by 10mm by re­mov­ing the un­deroor plank. This will boost the pro­por­tion of to­tal down­force of the car pro­vided by the un­der­body.

There are con­cerns in some quar­ters as to whether the ma­jor changes are nec­es­sary. One lead­ing engi­neer points to the grands prix in Bri­tain and Hungary this year as ev­i­dence that all that is re­quired to pro­duce an en­ter­tain­ing race is a rst-cor­ner mix-up.

There is also the is­sue that any ma­jor rule change tends to spread the eld as the big­ger teams can ap­ply more re­sources to solv­ing new prob­lems cre­ated. It is even pos­si­ble that the changes could be aban­doned al­to­gether.

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