The FIA’s Jean Todt is adamant that the 2017 regulation changes will be solidified in April and while that may be welcome news to teams who are looking for direction on their 2017 chassis design process, it also may give fans something to be excited or outraged about for 10 months.
As it is, we know there has been a lot of talk about the increased speeds and Pirelli were concerned about the tire specs being able to handle such loads. There is also some concern that it will merely turn into more aero to achieve these speeds and that will ultimately make for worse racing and more dirty air.
The FIA’s Charlie Whiting says that shouldn’t be the case:
“We’ve had countless meetings with the technical directors of every team, and we have had a whole range of proposals from what appears to be a huge amount of downforce to a very low level of downforce,” explained Whiting, about the process that the FIA has gone through.
“But it is all based on the premise that we will have a significant increase in mechanical grip. So what we have ended up, inevitably, is somewhere in the middle.
“It is incorrect to say that the anticipated lap time improvement will all come from downforce, because it simply shouldn’t be.”
“The whole idea is that half of that will come from mechanical grip, and the other half will come from aerodynamic downforce.
“One of the things that we have been talking all along is the fact that we must not make it more difficult to follow another car, and that has been one of the underlying principles. So, we’ve done I believe the best we can, given we have to take everyone’s views in to account.”
I hope he’s right because once again, everyone and their dog know that increasing aero downforce only creates more inability to trail a leading car and reduces passing. Charlie feels that the mechanical grip will be seriously increased and providing half of that speed.
I wonder if that’s enough? Is there not a way to reduce aero even more? That may change the style of racing too much but it seems it might be worth a try? What do you think? Should F1 start looking elsewhere and move away from its aero dependency? If so, can mechanical grip deliver the type of racing we want?
Hat Tip: Motorsport