During today’s FIA press conference several of the teams’ technical representatives expressed a view that the standard of competition in F1 and the performance of the cars would improve if the technical rules were left alone.
“I think people forget at the moment the racing’s actually quite good,” said Nick Chester of Lotus. “There’s good battles up and down the whole grid.”
“And the car’s performance is improving a lot, we’re seeing two seconds improvement from last year, do we really need a huge change of regulation?
“A huge change of regulation is going to open up the grid again, there will be bigger differences between teams, and obviously its going to add a lot of cost. So I think we shouldn’t forget the show’s actually not bad at the moment.”
Mercedes has won 19 out of the last 23 races, and its executive director for technical Paddy Lowe acknowledged fans would like to see more unpredictability. He suggested this could be done by making changes to the sporting rules – such as how tyres are allocated – rather than the design of the cars.
“Changes to sporting regulations generally don’t attach cost and can change the sport in subtle ways that improve the spectacle, improve the interest, improve the uncertainty,” he said. “That is what you really want from race to race: that it’s not clear who’s going to win.”
However McLaren’s Jonathan Neale said there was one area of car development which should be reconsidered.
“Personally I think we would be foolish to mess around with the immense amount of good work that has been done on the power unit,” he said. “Maybe some minor adjustments, but it’s a much more efficient package, it’s got some great technology, it’s still maturing in the sport and the price can come down if it’s left to mature because we’re not putting in the same R&D cost.”
“So I would leave that alone but I would look for, we’ve spoken about a stepchange in aerodynamics to make sure that these cars are difficult to drive and maintain that performance gap to the other junior series and Formula One remains an out-and-out race.
“We can still have the efficiency, we can still have many other attributes of the sport, but it just think it should be a flat-out race.”
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