F1 rule changes should be postponed to 2018, says Symonds

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds has suggested that the Formula 1 rule changes currently intended for 2017 should be postponed for a year.

F1 rule changes should be postponed to 2018, says Symonds
Pat Symonds, Williams Chief Technical Officer in the FIA Press Conference
Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1 Team
Pat Symonds, Williams Chief Technical Officer
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
Pat Symonds, Williams Chief Technical Officer
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37

The significance is that Symonds is one of the main architects of the new rules package, and has been at the heart of the discussions since the F1 Strategy Group asked for faster and more spectacular cars.

The 2017 rules are supposed to be fully defined by 1 March, but there remains a chance that next week's F1 Strategy Group and Commission meetings could agree that more time is needed.

“There are two technical regulation meetings yet to take place,” Symonds said at the Autosport International show on Saturday.

“One at the end of this month, one in February, before the 2017 rules are established by the beginning of March. So yes, we are getting into some of the details rather than the fundamentals.

“Are they right, are they wrong? I think that's not what the Strategy Group are talking about right now. The Strategy Group gave a mandate as to what the cars should be like for 2017, and we've been working on it.

"I think now the Strategy Group are moving on, and they are looking at the sporting aspects rather than the technical aspects."

"Feeling pressured"

Symonds said his desire for the new rules to be delayed until 2018 reflects the fact that there is still debate about exactly what direction the sport should take, and that time is running out.

“Will we produce a good car? I don't know. I think we've still got work to do on it. I do feel a little bit rushed, a little bit pressured," admitted Symonds.

"I think that personally we're trying to move a little bit too quickly without establishing the basic principles to work from.

"I'd be much happier if things moved on to 2018 rather than '17 for new rules, and we spent a year really researching what's needed. But that's probably a cry in the wilderness.”

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