One week after the announcement of proposed changes to the cars for 2005, what are the reactions of the men who will actually be driving them? "As drivers, we have raised the problem that the cars will soon become too fast, and the FIA and the...
One week after the announcement of proposed changes to the cars for 2005, what are the reactions of the men who will actually be driving them? "As drivers, we have raised the problem that the cars will soon become too fast, and the FIA and the teams have responded," commented Jarno Trulli.
"But this is not the time to be complaining about changes: we have to wait and see until we drive them, and then we can see if we have gone in the right direction. As racing drivers, though, we will deal with the car we have."
It has also been suggested that a move to smaller capacity engines, and reducing speeds, will damage the 'essence' of Formula 1. Fernando Alonso does not agree: "I don't think it will change anything for the drivers. We will still be on the limit, driving to the maximum of the car. But even so, speeds must not come down too far. We want a safe Formula 1, but also an exciting show."
The proposed changes are intended to reduce downforce by around 25%. What consequences will that have for driving the cars? "Lower levels of downforce will make the car more difficult to drive, because there will be less grip. That means the chances of making a mistake, or going off the circuit are higher," explains Fernando.
His team-mate concurs: "We will be going slower, but I don't think the car will feel much different," explains Trulli. "However, we expect to be carrying heavier fuel loads, which will mean longer braking distances: that may help overtaking."
Finally, the nature of a Grand Prix is likely to undergo some changes as well - rather than the series of short sprints we have seen in the past two years, it is expected that the races will feature fewer pit-stops, owing to the new tyre regulations.
To an aggressive driver like Alonso, this prospect holds less appeal: "For me personally, it is better to always push - I prefer an attacking style of racing to something more conservative. I think the fans watching on TV enjoy pit-stops, and like seeing the whole team working to change tyres and fuel the car in just 4 or 5 seconds."
"We cannot lose all of that, because it would lose what the fans find exciting. But as I said earlier, we will be pushing hard whatever the situation: our job will still be to find the limit and stay there."