Analysis: D-Day for F1’s 2017 rules revolution

Formula 1 teams may be far from unified about planned rule changes coming for 2017, but one way or the other the sport will finalise its revamp at a meeting later on Tuesday.

Analysis: D-Day for F1’s 2017 rules revolution
Press conference: Frederic Vasseur, Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director, Yusuke Hasegawa, Head of Honda F1 Programme, Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director, Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director, Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari Team Principal, Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director and Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 with broken front wings at the start of the race
Start action
Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director
Start action
Overview of the starting grid
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16 at the start of the race as Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H race with broken front wings
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Gerhard Berger and Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Consultant
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H make contact at the start of the race
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 lead at the start of the race
Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari Team Principal with Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director and Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director and Frederic Vasseur, Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal

Bernie Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and F1 team chiefs will get together at Biggin Hill in London later today to sign off a raft of changes for next year aimed at reinvigorating the sport and making it more competitive.

But while the main focus has been on an aerodynamic and tyre overhaul for next year – aimed at making cars up to five seconds per lap quicker – they are not the only significant items due to be discussed by the Strategy Group and F1 Commission.

Motorsport.com has learned that there are a whole host of items that have been tabled for discussion which will all have a significant impact on the future of F1.

The key issues being talked about are:

  • Power unit global draft agreement 2017 and 2018
  • Fuel specifications
  • 2017 bodywork regulations
  • Increase in race fuel consumption for 2017
  • Tyre testing
  • Limiting the number of measurements on the cars
  • Driver head protection

With an end of April deadline for majority support to be enough to make changes for 2017, Tuesday's meetings will effectively be the last chance saloon for all these to get sorted.

Difference of opinion

While few would argue against the need to lift F1's attraction levels, opinions are very divided about how great is the need to change the cars so dramatically.

At one end of the spectrum is Mercedes, which believes that the exciting start to this season and the increase in car speeds means there is no need to revise anything for next year.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "After three grand prix weekends so far in 2016, we have seen that performance between the teams is converging to create great racing.

"Whether we have the reactivity as a group to recognise that and consider retaining a regulatory framework that is working well remains to be seen."

But not all teams agree with Mercedes' position. And despite fears that the new cars will mean less overtaking and less drama, Red Bull is wholeheartedly in favour of the shake-up.

"I don't think it will make any difference to overtaking, to be honest," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Motorsport.com. "The DRS will still be strong. There will be more drag on the cars, so, arguably it could be stronger.

"The cars are going to be more physical, they are going to be faster, more dramatic. They are going to sort the men out of the boys. It's what the drivers have been asking for. I think it puts Formula 1 back in a great position."

Rules already set

What is most significant about the car rules situation is that the meeting is taking place against the backdrop of the bodywork changes having already been set.

It is not that majority support is needed to push rules through, it is that it will now take a big groundswell of support to get the regulations changed, something that does not appear to be in place.

For Red Bull in particular, what happens with the engines – and especially with bringing the performance of the various power units closer together – is more important right now than the aerodynamics.

Horner added: "What is vital is that we will hopefully get convergence of the power unit – so you've got two, three or four teams that are in the mix."

F1 may well know better what direction it is heading in by the end of play today, but do not expect everyone to signing off the same hymn sheet.

shares
comments
Sirotkin lands Renault F1 test driver role

Previous article

Sirotkin lands Renault F1 test driver role

Next article

New Russian driver moves one step closer to Formula 1 dream

New Russian driver moves one step closer to Formula 1 dream
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021