Wind tunnel clampdown will curb F1 dominance - Symonds

Formula 1's move to limit teams' use of wind tunnels will prevent bigger outfits getting a 'runaway' advantage for 2017, reckons Williams technical chief Pat Symonds.

Wind tunnel clampdown will curb F1 dominance - Symonds
Sauber aerodynamicists will work mainly on 60% models
Pat Symonds, Williams Chief Technical Officer
Wind tunnel
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Listen to this article

As the current season approaches its halfway stage, a number of teams are making decisions about when to switch over all their efforts to the 2017 project.

While an early focus on new rules paid huge dividends for Brawn in 2009 and Mercedes in 2014, Symonds suspects that the advantages for those committing first to 2017 will not be as great.

"What you've got to remember is what's changed in the last few years in the aerodynamics is that every single team can now only do 65 runs a week in the wind tunnel," said Symonds.

"Now, if you go back to the last big change in 2009, they could run as much time as they wanted in the wind tunnel. Some teams used two wind tunnels - like Toyota: two wind tunnels, 24/7. That's quite something and that's quite a differentiator.

"When we've moved on to 2014, we could at that time do 80 runs a week in the wind tunnel. Now we can only do 65 runs – so there's an awful lot of equalisation going on.

"Yeah, you've still got to choose your 65 runs well, you've got to do the right things, but I think it doesn't quite allow the sort of runaway development that we'd had seven years ago."

Good-looking cars

Although Symonds is sceptical about whether the new generation of faster cars will be any better for overtaking, he does think they will offer a visual appeal.

"I like it, I like what the cars are going to look like and all that sort of stuff," he said. "I think technically it's going to be quite interesting. I like change.

"Whether it's what the sport needs or not - I don't think it's going to do much for the racing."

shares
comments

Raikkonen could stay at Ferrari in 2018, claims manager

Early engine deal a "massive" boost for Toro Rosso

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Williams launch
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Throwback: The 1987 Lotus 99T The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate