2017 CIR­CUIT GUIDE

All the stats from F1’s 2017 cal­en­dar

F1 Racing - - CONTENTS -

It’s all change for 2017, with For­mula 1 set to get signicantly faster. Thanks to the new reg­u­la­tions, en­gi­neers es­ti­mate av­er­age lap times at most tracks will drop by around ve sec­onds per lap, and an in­crease in down­force means that the ma­jor­ity of the gains will be found in the cor­ners. As an ex­am­ple, it’s ex­pected that Turn 9 at Barcelona will now be taken at 155mph, where last year it was 133mph. That change will rep­re­sent an in­crease in G-force on a driver from around 3.25-4.25G. Con­se­quently the FIA has asked ev­ery cir­cuit to up­grade bar­rier pro­tec­tion and run-off at a num­ber of crit­i­cal cor­ners.

The new changes will also af­fect how teams set up their cars from track to track. Since 2009, the re­stric­tive reg­u­la­tions have meant the efciency for most cir­cuits has favoured max­i­mum down­force for op­ti­mum lap time. The 2017 ma­chines, how­ever, will in­her­ently have a lot more drag, much of this com­ing from the in­creased tyre di­men­sions. As a re­sult there should be more var­ied wing congu­ra­tions across the venues. For ex­am­ple, at Barcelona teams will still favour high down­force at the ex­pense of lower straight­line speed, but at Sil­ver­stone there will be lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the end-of-straight speeds, com­pared with last year, since teams will re­duce ul­ti­mate wing level to de­crease drag.

In re­al­ity, the no­tional ve-sec­ond de­crease in lap time is not much more than the switch typ­i­cally found on Fri­day af­ter­noons when teams eval­u­ate new-tyre, low-fuel per­for­mance against used-tyre, high-fuel per­for­mance. But the driv­ers should en­joy the new chal­lenge across 20 dif­fer­ent tracks – the view­ers and spec­ta­tors cer­tainly will. The 2017 sea­son can’t start soon enough…

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