F1 back on course for five-second speed leap in 2017

Formula 1 cars will still be up to five seconds per lap faster in 2017, the FIA believes, despite the original aerodynamic proposal having been watered down.

While F1 seemed set last winter for a more extreme overhaul, teams backed away from the plan after concerns that ramped up tyre pressures required to cope with the downforce loads would negate any speed hike.

In the end, a compromise solution – which has become known as the 'McLaren' proposal – was agreed by teams. This features around a 25 percent increase in downforce, half of that originally planned.

Although it was suggested that this may have delivered a jump of two or three seconds, the FIA said in a statement on Friday night that the gains should be more.

In a statement issued after approving the bodywork plan for 2017, the FIA said it "noted that early simulations have indicated an improvement in lap times by approximately 4-5 seconds on most circuits."

Teams have until April 30 to complete the 2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations.

Relating to this deadline, the FIA said: "This will allow all stakeholders the best opportunity to finalise all relevant work – especially with regard to Power Unit regulations focusing on the four key areas of supply cost, obligation to supply, performance convergence, and further improvement of noise."

Qualifying 'should' change

As previously reported, the FIA backed the switch to an elimination style qualifying format for F1.

However, intriguingly, a statement from the governing body said that it only 'should' be in place for the Australian Grand Prix.

This comes after Bernie Ecclestone suggested that his FOM company could not get timing systems ready in time for Melbourne and would have to delay matters until the Spanish GP.

Ecclestone said on Friday, however, that the system will be ready.

"It is going to be is exactly what we voted for the other day and we agreed," Bernie Ecclestone told Forbes tonight.

"We thought we wouldn't be able to write the software in time but I think we are going to be able to do that so we are OK. We have been cracking away so it is from Australia for sure. We are going to get the software done in time.

"I don't like it but it's good that we are going to do something even if we don't like it. It might work if we knock out a few people. Having two cars at the end might work."

The FIA has left the door open for more work on framing specific rules to govern this matter, however, by saying that they will go back to the teams.

"The wording of the Sporting Regulations relating to this new qualifying format will be submitted to the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission," it said.

Due to the timeframe, unanimous support will be needed for changes to the rules to be adopted.


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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news