2017 CIRCUIT GUIDE
All the stats from F1’s 2017 calendar
It’s all change for 2017, with Formula 1 set to get signicantly 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 efciency 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 congurations 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…