Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech Analysis: First look at F1's 'fastest ever' 2017 cars

Formula 1's 2017 cars are set to deliver more downforce than any other time in the sport's history, according to early data produced by the teams.

Tech Analysis: First look at F1's 'fastest ever' 2017 cars

Motorsport.com's technical editor Giorgio Piola has drawn the above impression of what the new cars will look like – featuring the wider wings and tyres that have been a hallmark of the concept.

Early indications suggest that the cars will produce around 30 percent more downforce than the current 2015 challengers – which are already close to delivering at historic peaks.

It is estimated that drag levels will only increase by 10 percent too – contributing to the step forward in speed that was the key motive for the new design.

Wider machines

Although some details of the cars may yet be changed, the basic dimensions have been agreed by teams following months of discussions.

The tyres will be wider, going up to 300mm at the front (from 245mm) to 400mm at the rear (from 325mm).

The overall width of the car will increase from 1.8 metres to 2m, with the nose of the car being 20 centimetres longer.

The front wing will be 180cm and more rounded, with the rear wing widening from 80cm to 95cm – and being lowered to just 80cm from the ground.

Downforce will also be boosted by a much larger diffuser, which goes back to the kind of performance that was delivered prior to the 2014 regulations.

The flat bottom will end 33cm in front of the rear axle – rather than in line with it as happens now. It will also be deeper – 22 centimetres high rather than the 12.5cm we have now.

There will also be more scope for design innovation around the sidepods, with strict rules on the floor dimensions.

Harder to drive

The ultimate aim of the design is not only to make the cars faster, but also much more difficult to drive.

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley said recently that he was in no doubts the current cars were not challenging enough for drivers.

“They are a lot easier to drive, without a doubt. They are significantly easier to drive,” he said.

When asked if the challenge of harder cars was vital, he said: “I think it is important probably from a sport entertainment point of view.

“If the cars are too easy to drive, then perhaps we don't see the difference between the naturally talented driver and a mediocre driver.

“They are not as physically demanding, the braking points are a lot earlier, corner speeds and techniques are slower and easier respectively. 

"So I think whether or not it is a good thing or a bad thing, you have to answer from that point of view. Are we seeing the difference between the drivers we should be seeing?”

shares
comments
Bernie Ecclestone turns up the heat on F1 engine manufacturers

Previous article

Bernie Ecclestone turns up the heat on F1 engine manufacturers

Next article

Mercedes in "data theft" legal action against Ferrari-bound engineer

Mercedes in "data theft" legal action against Ferrari-bound engineer
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021