Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2015

Do you support F1’s new aerodynamic rules for 2017?

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Formula One is planning a major overhaul of its aerodynamic rules for 2017 which will reverse some of the changes made in recent seasons.

Wider cars with larger aerodynamic surfaces at the front and rear are in the pipeline. The aim is to increase performance with a target of reducing lap times by around five seconds.

But is that a goal worth achieving and could it have undesirable side-effects?

For

Smaller engines, restrictions on aerodynamics and the introduction of single-specification tyres have curbed F1 car performance in recent years. The gap between F1 and other high-performance single-seater cars such as Super Formula and IndyCar has reduced.

Reversing some of the reductions in downforce, such as those introduced in 2009 at the recommendation of the FIA’s Overtaking Working Group, will address that. It should also make the cars more challenging to drive.

The faster cars will look more dramatic when they are in action and the planned alterations to the wings should also make for more aesthetically pleasing designs. Increased downforce could make overtaking more difficult but more powerful DRS may solve that.

Against

Quicker cars does not necessarily mean better racing. For example Formula E’s racing was been widely praised despite the fact the cars are far slower than F1 cars – they would probably be outpaced by F3 machines.

More downforce will mean greater turbulence which will make it more difficult for cars to follow each other and overtake. The difficulty of overtaking remains a complaint for drivers even in the DRS era – these proposals will make it yet more difficult.

Drastically overhauling the rules just three years after the last significant change will increase costs for teams and make life even more difficult for all but the very richest competitors. This is also likely to have a negative effect on the racing.

I say

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Williams, Buenos Aires, 1997
Pre-1998 F1 cars: low and wide
I was a huge fan of the look of the pre-1998 cars: low, wide and mean is to me exactly how a single-seater should be. I’d be glad to see the back of the narrow track (introduced in 1998) and high rear wing look (2009).

I also think F1 has something to gain in the speed stakes. Today’s cars hit awesomely impressive high top speeds, yet over a lap they are not sufficiently quicker than the top single-spec series to justify the gigantic extra cost of designing the cars. In race trim they can look almost ponderous, but that’s more to do with the tyres than the aerodynamics.

Will bigger wings make overtaking more difficult? I don’t think it’s as simple as that. It’s not just a question of how much downforce a car has to begin with, but how much it loses when running behind another car. Perhaps the 2017 cars will perform better in turbulence than the current ones do – until they’re on the track it’s hard to say.

But while the idea looks pretty good to me on paper, I have reservations. Not least because no one appears to be making the case for why the reduction in downforce six years ago with the goal of improving overtaking should now be reversed. This seems like another example of the hasty, knee-jerk rule making which has damaged F1 in the past.

Though I’m sure the wider cars would look and perform better, it’s the quality of racing which is F1’s bigger problem at the moment. And I believe the best way to promote close racing is to stop fiddling with the rules all the time: instead, keep the regulations stable and allow the cars to converge in terms of performance.

So for once, I’m sitting on the fence. Unless you can persuade me otherwise…



You say

Do you want to see cars with bigger wings and tyres in 2017? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Are you for or against F1's new aerodynamic rules for 2017?

  • Strongly for (15%)
  • Slightly for (26%)
  • Neither for nor against (8%)
  • Slightly against (21%)
  • Strongly against (29%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 345

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 95 comments on “Do you support F1’s new aerodynamic rules for 2017?”

    1. For Formula 1 at least, I prefer speed and the challenge of driving the cars over racing quality, there are other series for that. So I strongly agree.

      1. I agree but i also feel there are other options that improves the speed and challenge but doesnt impede racingquality as much. “Slightly for”

      2. @mickey18 I agree. And that is why is miss the awe I had when watching 2008-2013 cars through the corners. The current cars have straight line speed, but seem too lethargic in the bends (this is all relative of course, it is still very impressive by “normal” standards). And it is why I miss the full DRS qualifying, that was epic to witness! The skill, the danger, the speed!

        The public seems quite equally split on this topic at this time, though.

        But there definitely is more to F1 than just racing, otherwise sessions like the qualifying would not be so anticipated (maybe I am projecting here a bit). And racing wheel to wheel is not 100% about how easy it is to follow or overtake, some of the best fights in my memory are fights were the move did not happen in the end. And ease of following is not all about absolute levels of downforce.

        There are things to nit pick in the new rules, and I would do things just a little differently, but as long as the speed will increase by a good chunk, I strongly support the change. I’ve been craving more (overall) speed in the past two years.

      3. Against.
        Summarizing some F1 rules (sorry about my english)
        Principles F1 should follow: 1. safety 2. close racing 3. world’s fastest cars 4. efficiency 5. optimizing 1-4 points and as a result -> 6. more fans and more profits.
        The most fans want to see close racing among best drivers in the fastest cars. How can we solve it? This is, decision makers and engineers should work for. I think it isn’t impossible.
        Some possibilities we have to consider:
        1. Less differences between cars in total. Some teams are better in PU and others in aero but we need less differences in total. (I think we should introduce +weight/point system because it is cheap, fast, effective and against development control.) Smaller teams get the same PU as manufacturers. Decrease money/revenue allocation differences.
        2. Less dirty air in corners but fast cars: more mechanical grip, less or same aero downforce-> more mechanical/aero rate
        a, simpler front wing b, more effective diffuser c, better tyres d, more powerful and effective PUs (natural development) without token system e, slight changes in regulation year by year (differences will naturally decrease) and more freedom in development until regulations allow f, DRS (need or don’t?) g, refuelling? (Cars can be faster and drivers could push harder during races but there would be less safety and more ’overtaking in the box’) h, narrow cars i, drivers manage ERS instead of a program j, and what else…?

      4. “I prefer speed and the challenge of driving the cars over racing quality”
        That’s what qualifying is for. There’s a reason it’s called “racing” so I couldn’t disagree with you more.

        I’m almost through with F1. I hate to say that, but it’s to the point where you can look at whoever wins poll and know they’ve won the race because their team mate is not going to be able to get close enough to pass them with all the reliance on front wings for downforce. You make it to the first corner in P1…and then just ride around until you finish the race. Next.

      5. I’m with the Strongly Against crowd. Wider tyres of poor quality and inconsistency that don’t inspire maximum driving are just as useless as the previous Pirelli offerings.

        And even a child can see the 2017 aero regs are only going to reduce overtaking and handling in dirty air. That’s not pushing to the maximum either. I’m all for downforce, high rev’ing engines that scream, 1000+ hp engines, and sticky tyres. I just don’t see why there can’t be a reduction on wings and an increase on ground effects that would allow cars to follow closely without the front end washing out which would allow for maximum pushing of proper F1 cars (not these glorified hybrid GP3 cars) and which promotes proper overtaking, not the DRS gimmicky nonsense.

        And a word on DRS. When it was first introduce, in all practice sessions it was used wherever the drivers felt comfortable using it. Then instead of letting Quali and Race conditions have that freedom and spectacle, we got further restrictions and these bogus zones and activation points. I say if the DRS stays then lose the zones. And before we have a chorus of Whiting muppets saying it’s unsafe, let’s ask the drivers who are in no rush to get killed or injured. I think their answers would surprise.

        Finally F1 needs to lose the dafter than daft engine regulations and penalties and tokens. It’s pointless and does nothing to improve the show. If anything they are insulting, confusing, and a detraction. And now the tyre regs are just as ludicrous. Way to go F1.

    2. Slightly for. The R&D capacity of the larger teams should be used to validate the changes in terms of performance and sensitivity though, which is my main reservation. And I would like to see the designers granted greater freedoms, if anything for the sake of aesthetic variety.

      1. @vettel1 agree, slightly for as F1 should be about innovation and there was too much restriction lately. This is probably not how I would like downforce to be produced but if they can get further by reintroduction of ground effect, we could have very nice performing cars in some years.

        In addition I believe allowing teams to develop aero on their cars will make them more suitable on some parts of the track and less on other parts, which could help overtaking (even with more turbulent air) as cars delta will (should) increase.

      2. That is fine, as long as you accept it may be even more one sided than it is now.

        More freedom = more potential disparity.

        However, over time, the cars will end up looking similar anyway as teams copy the most successful innovations from the cars ahead of them.

        1. More freedom does allow for more potential disparity but at the same time, it also allows teams with smaller budgets a chance to be competitive.

          With 99% of the overall package dictated by the regulations, the difference has to be found in the 1%. This means that most teams are working on the same ideas so the ones with the bigger budgets will always come out on top.

          If only 40% is dictated by the regulations, teams are free to chase different ideas. Of course it means the bigger teams could pull ahead but whilst it would be difficult for the midfield and backmarker teams, at least it would be possible!

          Is there enough room in the rules to allow for some sort of innovation like an F-Duct, blown diffuser, double diffuser etc? It seems like the regs are so tight now that all cars look almost identical!

    3. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      13th December 2015, 12:43

      It just seems insane that in none of the proposed regulations it hasnt one been mentioned that reducing the number of elements in the front wings is even being considered.

      This despite even someone with a rudimentary understanding of aerodynamics all the way to aero gods stating that this is the single factor that most strongly affects the wake of the car in addition to being one of the most expensive if not THE most expensive area to develop the car.

      If you want a third reason, they look awful with these massive structures dominating the front of the car. A simple 2 element front wing with a maximum mandated weight, height and width and designer freedom as to the actual elements within those rules would be the dream.

      1. I completely agree. The current front wings are ugly and unnecessary.

      2. @offdutyrockstar
        If you ever run for President/Prime Minister/whatever, please let me know because you have my vote. Best comment on this forum in months.

        1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          14th December 2015, 10:00

          Too kind sir. Consultant: FIA – Stop Making Stupid Decisions Dept. Will do me just fine! ;)

      3. @offdutyrockstar – Totally agree. F1 cars are beginning to look like merely a support system for a monster front wing. A monster front wing wing with massive ongoing cost to develop, engineer, design, test, refine, redesign, build and then keep developing ad infinitum.

        So, huge wing with too many elements, makes it harder to follow closely and therefore harder to overtake, extremely expensive to continuously develop and is aesthetically displeasing as well. And this is not a problem for the F1 regulation deciders? I feel no confidence that they will get the 2017 regs done well or in a timely fashion.

    4. On one side the cars of today are actually really look slow and the best drivers have more difficulties to distinguish themselves as they use to have (they also can make cars with which even very average drivers look good nowadays). But on the other side, even less overtaking isn’t going to help the show either.

      I am personally all for F1 cars with which the top drivers can show themselves more off, but not at the cost of less overtaking (that should be even more as it is now), so it will depend on how the new rules in reality are going to effect the racing…the way I see it, standardised ground effect F1 bottom’s and limited wing aero should be considered to get some more speed and still solve the dirty air conundrum to a degree.

    5. I agree with the concept of changing the aero rules, but I don’t think the changes they’ve made are right. Still too much focus on complex front wings, which doesn’t really help following other cars. Hopefully I’ll be wrong and it will work out fine, and at least the cars will hopefully look better than they have over the last 6 years, which frankly make me miss the 2008 cars with bits coming off every surface…

      1. @pwaa
        “Hopefully I’ll be wrong and it will work out fine”
        Nope, you’ve nailed it. The front wings are even more important in these new rules and we’re going to be in for even worse “racing”. I’m almost ready to give up.

        1. @daved – I have no hope they will get the regs right. Seems like they’re hellbent on waiting beyond the last minute and rushing through regs that don’t make any sense and will pretty much displease everyone. A disaster, and yet like a train wreck in slow motion I find it hard to look away.

          1. @bullmello
            That is a perfect description: like watching a train wreck in motion and I just can’t look away despite the horror I know is being unleashed.

    6. Is there a finalised version of the 2017 technical regulations yet? Because there is no download at the FIA-site…

        1. @keithcollantine

          Thanks for the answer.

          But doesn´t that mean we are having a poll about something we don´t have enough data about to give a good judgement? I mean, we have seen a relatively minor change from 2014 to 2015 (having the noses lower) having a big effect on how well cars can follow each other. And while we have broad general ideas for what may happen for 2017, there´s a lot of details in the open, that can effect the amount of turbulence, how broad or narrow the area is where the air is put into turbulence behind a car, where that turbulence goes (inside/outside, high/low), and where the following car will try to generate its downforce. There´s still a lot that can be done (good or bad) within of what the general idea for 2017 is.

    7. The topic of major rule changes in F1 is one that always fills my head with cynicism.

      Looking back at the rule changes I’ve witnessed as a fan, there aren’t a whole lot that I feel positively impacted the sport or were well executed. Things like the ban on tyre stops during the race, the awful qualifying system in 2003 and many others that lasted only one season or slightly more have done little but waste millions of dollars and confuse audiences. Mid-season bans on technology/aerodynamics are annoying, but the other day I had to explain to someone how Alonso won the 2011 British GP. By the time I explained the banning and re-legalizing of off-throttle blown diffuser, they literally said ‘how do you even keep up with nonsense like that?’

      With relatively new engine rules that still aren’t fully accepted by all hardcore F1 fans, and new tyre rules that prompted drivers to tweet about their lack of understanding, my fear is that completely changing the cars and rules for 2017 will end up as another deception. As Keith pointed out, there has been no argument as to the reversal of the 2009 aero rules from any party. There are even drivers (Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg) who have already questioned this move. We’ve got Pat Symonds and Aldo Costa questioning if this is the way to go for F1 increasing overtaking.

      I’m not against the idea of better looking, wider cars that go faster. I do fear that the current proposals will be, as most (non-safety inspired) rule changes since 1997, ineffective, inefficient and will only frustrate fans more. I know there’s plenty of people commenting on F1 videos from the early 2000’s on YouTube who will defend the idea ‘I don’t care if there’s overtaking, I want to see cars go full out’, but it’s not for me. I think I’ve enjoyed the racing in F1 more from 2009 to 2013 than I ever did from 2001 to 2005, so my personal preference would be not to go back to that.

      1. @npf1
        You are so right. ‘I don’t care if there’s overtaking, I want to see cars go full out’…hey folks, then just watch qualifying.

        The rest of us tune in to see a Formula 1 “race”!

    8. I would very much like to see a large reduction in turbulence, so that the drivers can get close enough to overtake. That means get rid of a lot of aero, not increase it. It would also increase top speeds without any other changes, if that is what is wanted.

      I do have to ask though, if Ferrari (probably) can improve their car and we get good fights at the front in 2016, will these changes be necessary?

    9. I like the idea of going back to wider cars, I’ve always felt the cars have looked a bit wrong since they were narrowed in 1998. Likewise I also think going back to wider tyres is the right thing to do.

      The problem for me with the 2017 regulations isn’t so much the push for more power or more downforce, Its the way there going after that downforce because i’ve not seen/heard anything that suggests the 2017 regulations as currently been proposed will result in anything more than worse racing with a greater reliance on gimmicks like a much more powerful DRS.

      The biggest problem with 2017 is that the front wings will be as complex, if not more complex than what we have currently & the complexity of the front wings & how sensitive that makes them to the turbulent airflow off other cars is the single biggest problem with F1 today & the single biggest reason you don’t get the sort of really close racing you see in other categories.

      It breaks my heart that in every discussion from the F1 side you heard regarding 2017 involves the phrase ‘more powerful DRS’ (Which tells me there going in the wrong direction) because the 2017 regulation changes were the best opportunity to put together a formula that didn’t need DRS or High-deg tyres to create ‘a show’ but imo they have well & truly blown it.

      1. Well said there.

        This rule does probably make the cars look nicer, that is good. But ofr the rest it fails to even adress issues with how the cars behave on track and in traffic and instead risks to even deepen the issues.

        1. @gt-racer @bascb

          I am so frustrated that the people who are in charge of the rules keep failing to recognize the simple fact: too much reliance on big, complex front wings is ruining the racing.

          I’ve never said this before, but I’m getting to the point where I’m overly frustrated as it seems almost willful stupidity.

      2. Good points. It is strange that the people that have proposed this rule change have been so quiet, one would have thought they would have made some statements supporting this rule change.

    10. Of course we can’t be certain until we see the results on track, but I believe these rules will damage F1 overall.

      IMHO over-complicated aerodynamics are (and have been) the main problem with F1 for quite some time. They are the reason they have had to bring in the most derided rules: DRS and made-to-degrade tyres. I, for one, don’t think the FIA have any idea what they are trying to do, and have lost faith in them to make any good call on rule changes.

      For me, these changes can only work if they tighten up the specs after careful consideration of the effects on the car following. My belief is that forcing a massive simplification on the front wing would be the best way to improve the ability for a driver to follow closely, possibly coupled with a shaped floor for ground effect. I believe these 2 would promote closer racing on track, as well as faster lap times and reduced costs, although I can’t be certain as I don’t have the data.

      So, my vote was strongly against. Much of this may come from my lack of confidence in the rule makers’ abilities, and a general feeling of dread I get every time they change the rules. However, a couple of tweaks to them could make me support them.

      I do find it telling, aswell, that these were pretty much RBRs proposals. At a time when RBR are struggling, the FIA announce that they are moving the rules towards RBRs strengths… could this be more of a political move than anything else?

    11. What do you call the situation where you keep doing the same thing over and over again and thinking you will get a different result? Answers to F1 management…

      The answer to the problems the new regulations will bring seems simple enough to outside observers with real knowledge about F1 (such as Gary Anderson) as well as drivers. More downforce = less overtaking. Like the Trulli Train? Then increase downforce. Want more overtaking? Reduce it. Sounds simplistic however as a car following another has, for as long as I’ve been an F1 fan, always lost downforce on the front wing when getting close to a car in front then how will increasing downforce solve this fundamental problem?

      So to me, unless the front wings are either removed completely (like the early 80’s ground effect cars) or somehow made turbulence-proof, nothing will change. Increase mechanical grip, then we might have a different solution to an old problem. Or at least it will have been tried.

      1. Exactly, and get rid of high-degredation tyres that melt away when front grip is compromised.

    12. Hard to tell really. Definitely current cars are not challenging enough and look much less spectacular than in previous generations. I have no doubt proposed rules will help solve this problem and make the cars go faster, possibly the fastest in the history of the sport. I am a big fan of wider tyres and like the idea of widening the car to 2 metres.

      Yet I am sceptical about the aerodynamic changes. The last thing we want is to make the cars more difficult to follow and introduce more powerful DRS. Wouldn’t it be better to simply widen the tyres even more (as was initially proposed), make the cars 2m wide but making only small aero changes? The aim should be to make cars much more challenging to drive (currently they are far too easy) yet not compromising racing.

    13. So I voted neither for nor against, because I think we will just have to wait and see what the overall package, which hasn’t been finalized, will do for the racing.

      Seems like the vast majority are sick of the tires and DRS gimmicks, and get that dirty air only prevents closer racing. But unfortunately, that kind of common sense doesn’t seem all too common within F1.

      I’m trying not to assume that ‘bigger wings’ necessarily means a worsening of the situation because I thought I read at one point a number of weeks ago that the front wing would have a mandated neutral zone to it, so bigger does not have to mean more susceptible to dirty air. I’m hopeful the floor and rear diffuser rules have more to do with downforce from ground effects and that a neutral zone in the front wing and a lower rear wing mean more emphasis on GE, combined with wider tires for more mechanical grip. And then with said wider tires what will be the compounds and how will they behave compared to today’s?

      I am trying not to jump to the conclusion that all of these new regs necessarily mean bad decisions, and that they may add up to something good, but it does worry me when not just us armchair enthusiasts but some within F1 are already expressing concern. But maybe it’s good if those within F1 start to express or keep expressing their concerns now so that perhaps by the time the regs need to be formally finalized they will have something that will work, or at least be an improvement.

      I like that Mercedes particularly is concerned. You would think they would have the most to gain from retaining cars that are difficult to get past since lately they are the ones in front. Yet they are bothered by hints of more downforce through aero only making the situation worse. That tells me they get it…they are racers who get that the show needs to be improved even of it means their own cars are easier to get close to when all is said and done. They want to be challenged. They want to win when winning is a harder task because the rewards feel so much greater when one feels like they had to climb a mountain and overcome it to succeed vs a relative cakewalk. And we need to start seeing again the men separated from the boys. If the current style of ‘racing’ or non-racing continues we can forget about categorizing any of today’s drivers amongst the Greats. They are just not able to perform great feats while in dirty air, conserving everything, slowly, and on tracks that have never been more forgiving of errors. And just making them 5 seconds faster, with no attention to the closeness of the racing, isn’t going to cut it either. Closer racing is far easier to pick up on for the vast majority that are watching on TV, than are faster cars made so just for the sake of saying they’re faster.

    14. The ability to follow a car up close it is not solely dependent on aerodynamics. Mechanical grip plays a big role as well. I like the new rules if they work how I expect them to. More downforce will definitely improve the cars performance over a lap and challenge the drivers, while wider tyres and cars create more mechanical grip that will decrease the instability of driving in turbulent air, this enable drivers to follow their rivals during corners.

      For the smaller teams more liberty in the rules also allows them to implement solutions that can give them the odd result and improve the surprise effect for us fans

      1. Mechanical grip plays a role. However, I see it this way: Grip comes from mechanical and aero. A car in clean air has the full effect of both, while the following car has reduced aero downforce. Therefore the car behind has less grip, so can’t take corners as quickly, or brake as late.

        What is needed is balance. The loss of grip due to turbulence must be minimised in relation to overall grip. If these regulation changes make mechanical grip a much greater part of overall grip, and/or makes the cars lose less downforce while following, then they will be good. Somehow I do not see it, though, and suspect that the overall effect will be to keep ratios around the same as they currently are or worse.

        1. That equilibrium is what I am hoping, otherwise whats the point of the new rules?

          However I tend to see the positive out of things and specially in F1 my expectations are never met.

          Also you have different ways to create downforce, some create more disturbences in the air than others. Hopefully they go for something reasonable

          1. @johnmilk
            You are going to be very disappointed. The aero is a much larger proportion of the grip right now and they’re only increasing that, especially through the larger, more complex front wing which washes out even worse in dirty air. So you’re going to see an even worse imbalance for the trailing cars. Sorry, just simple physics and math.

            1. @daved those two disciplines also tell us that wider cars and tyres increase mechanical grip. Wider cars are more stable and less dependent on aerodynamics through corners and that stability it is not influenced by dirty air.

              I believe it can be the key to find the balance.

              Also it is important to remember that faster cars are more demanding on drivers, so even if the rules don’t promote closer races I’m expecting more errors.

            2. @johnmilk

              But the problem is they’re skewing the balance even more in favor of aero and in particular the front wings. They are trying to increase down force by over 50% yet the contact patch for the wheels is only increasing 27%. As for the width, that “would have helped” had they not also increased the width of the front wings and their complexity, size and importance in overall downforce which makes them even more susceptible to “washing out” in dirty air as they trail a car.

              I’d like to be hopeful to, but seriously, the physics don’t support it.

              They know this and their solution? More extreme DRS for passing. Very frustrating and very sad.

            3. @daved

              I do agree with you regarding the front wings, and the size doesn’t bother me too much, it is the complexity that annoys me, they are expensive and very delicate. They are the reason and voted slightly agree…

              What I don’t agree is the ratio between downforce and contact area, if you increase the first doesn’t mean you have to increase by the same amount the latter. These is the only expect of the new regulations that gives something to look forward to.

              The 50% of extra downforce also comes from different design solutions, and some don’t generate as much turbulent air nor are as susceptible to it as the wings.

              Finally a wider car will definitely help, as it can easily cope with the momentum created trough corners (thanks to this they also will be harder to flip), if it will be enough, I don’t know, but to some extent I’m sure it will help.

              Sorry if I haven’t said the scientific terms correctly, English is not my native language

            4. @johnmilk

              No need to apologize for your English as you do better than I do with it. Of course, I’m American so that’s to be expected :)

              From your name and your writing, I’m guessing you’re Brazilian Portuguese?

              Perhaps you’re right and I’m jumping to conclusions. If they provide the downforce through underbody tunnels or other ground effects then it will not be so sensitive. I’m reacting because they keep making the front wing more complex and larger. Can you imagine the money teams could save if the front wings were smaller and less complex with only a couple of elements. Currently it costs them $250,000 for each front wing they break and those things are fragile!
              Think of all the money the teams could save while they struggle for money. Think of how much better the racing would be if they could pass each other.

              If the only changes for 2017 were for the wider cars, wider tyres and some underbody tunnels, then I would have great hope for better racing.

          2. Definitely @daved, I have a comment somewhere debating exactly that, and making them simple would improve the show and reduce the expenses of the smaller teams, they could be back into contention and apply the money elsewhere instead of wings, winglets and appendices, just for the front wings. But at the moment I can only hope that at least the other changes will help override the problems of the front wings.

            And yes I’m Portuguese ;)

    15. As with most ideas in F1 there’s another split opinion. Personally I’m slightly in favour of changes to widths and the wings although I wish they had been brave enough to stick to the idea of bringing back refuelling as an obvious way to increase speeds and add variations to strategy.

      If nothing else it will make the first few races of the season unpredictable.

    16. This will be the worst move for fans of competitive racing and the best move for ‘purists’. At least F1 is taking a stand.

    17. TheF1Engineer (@)
      13th December 2015, 14:39

      Strongly against.

      Pat Symonds (whose been instrumental in these regs) is extremely reticent about the overtaking merits of the proposed changes. Aldo Costa the same. I think it’s safe to say these guys know their stuff.

      The solution from 2017 is standard floors and standard diffusers for the first year, then gradually open it up year-on-year. It’s really not that hard to specify a maximum surface area for venturi’s in the floor in mm. squared then leave the teams to come up with that they like.

      They should use the same approach for the top surfaces also. Limit the overall surface area, teams can do what they want within that limit.

      Such an approach also makes Pirelli’s job of manufacturing the tyres much easier. At present they face a near impossible job judging the aero proposed in the 2017 rules.

      If you have more mechanical grip dominant regulations, last years cars can always be used as a representative test-bed as next years cars will be an evolution, not a revolution.

    18. I am with the drivers. I know both Hamilton and Vettel have been quite vocal on this point and they are pretty much on the same wavelength as each other, which I think says a lot here.

      The drivers want more mechanical grip, not necessarily more aerodynamic grip. I would like to see cars more dependent on mechanical grip as opposed to aerodynamic grip.

      If the new aero regs do make it more difficult to follow cars, the absolute last thing I would want to see done is make a gimmick which should not even be in F1 in the first place in the manner in which it is implemented being made even more powerful and thus making the racing even more unnatural than what it already is.

      This is a step forward in only making cars more expensive and quicker. I watch a lot of motor racing, and whilst I do find watching cars fly through corners at 300+kph in qualifying trim whilst absolutely planted to the ground fascinating and incredible to watch, if it results racing which is worse than the dire display we saw for much of the 2015 season, I am absolutely against it.

      1. I missed a point regarding my final paragraph: more expensive and faster cars absolutely does not imply better racing.

        Some of the best racing I have seen this year has been in catgeories where the cars are drastically slower than F1 cars.

        1. For sure faster cars doesn’t guarantee better racing, but we should at least reasonably expect F1 cars to be the fastest by far nonetheless. But I agree faster is only better if the racing is also good and close.

          Seems like a pretty simply concept that most seem to be echoing, and that is what worries me the most. The powers in charge have to make it more complicated yet ineffectual than it needs be.

      2. @craig-0,”absolutely planted”, sure it’s incredible, if you know how fast it’s going but it really looks less dramatic, slower even, than a car struggling with over/under steer at a lesser absolute speed.

        1. @hohum

          Great point and I think many miss how that works, visually, when you’re trying to judge speed and excitement. It may actually look SLOWER because the car is planted.

    19. The whole idea is misconceived, so Strongly Disagree. The cars will get faster anyway, and a new concept will spread the field again just as the gaps caused by the last change were closing up.

      On top of that, as pretty much everyone has said, the changes won’t address the actual problems which are following, pay tv and poor coverage.

    20. I’m tired of (dis)agreeing with something in F1 on which I have no influence whatsoever, and maybe that’s the problem. I’m pretty sure I could find 15 F1 drivers with the same opinion.

      1. You are one voice, and I’m one voice, and all the people here are one voice, and maybe our voices don’t sound a lot, but other people read our comments, and if they make sense then they will agree with them, and then they will think like us, and other websites pick up our opinions, and repeat them, and soon everyone bar the people that proposed this rule change are thinking it is a bad idea. Then the people who proposed the rule change start to wonder if what they proposed is actually a good idea, and hopefully they see the merits of not going down the path they have proposed.
        If no one says anything, then the proposal will become the rule.

        1. Unfortunately I don’t think they even care what the drivers think, let alone the viewers. This will probably come down to what F1 thinks is the way to go, which unfortunately doesn’t always work or make sense, but I do have some hope that since they seem to have blown it recently, not to mention viewership is suffering, perhaps this time common sense will prevail, and hopefully Ferrari’s veto power doesn’t get in the way either. They have time and there seems to be a universal feeling that we need closer racing, so F1 has a great chance here to right the ship. This time they really need to use the opportunity and not squander it. I’ll not hold my breath but I’m hopeful.

    21. Little wonder that as speeds and grip rise, that overtaking becomes more & more difficult.
      I mean the corners at the end of 300kph straights are still braked at the 50m mark, leaving the tiniest opportunities for passing.
      Put this down to carbon brakes.
      Here’s a crazy idea – mandate steel rotors and watch the braking distances increase, giving greater opportunity to pass. Pre carbon braking from 300 took place between 100 & 150 metres.
      That way passing can take place on corners as well as DRS-assisted passing on straights.
      Yes, it’s turning your back on the best tech in brakes, but the FIA may not then have to mess with PUs, wings, track width and so on.

    22. Voted “slightly for” . Because the current situation is rubbish anyway. It won’t be worse. But it could have been much better if the stated and effective goal of the change was to increase mechanical grip and clean aero only. To move the balance back towards the time when F1 cars could follow each other instead of relying on artificial gimmicks for overtaking

    23. The tyres are the biggest problem in F1 IMHO, so why don’t fix that before fiddling with the rules?

      1. Because with one tire maker only, the only way Pirelli will be happy is if they get to make tires that are the story of F1 so we talk about tires so they get marketing impact from being in F1. We would need another maker to enter F1 to get better tires, and with said better tires we would really need to see a reduction in aero downforce to avoid processions. I hope the 2017 tires will be an improvement for the overall package, but I still expect them to cause the teams some grief or else they won’t be influential enough on the races for us to talk about them nor give Pirelli impact for being there.

        1. @robbie, true but it’s depressing that F1 is being destroyed for the sake of some trackside advertising revenue.

    24. One way to help the cars keep up with the car ahead is by addressing the front downforce of the car, namely the front wing and nose height. It’s the only point i don’t agree with as the wider wings will mean that the drivers will lose a lot more front end downforce while following an other car and while that would be good in straights, in corners it would be an absolute nightmare. I think smaller front wings and more mechanical grip from the tires would be ideal. Nose height is fine as a higher nose means more airflow under the car and towards the rear of it so while following an other car a driver would lose both front and rear end downforce which is definitely a lot worse than losing just front downforce. Otherwise i’m absolutely for the change for as long as the engines stay the same.

      Tl;dr Noses are fine, smaller front wings, more mechanical grip from the front tires, engine should stay the same, more rear downforce for better stability around corners, for the change.

    25. An F1 car’s inability to follow the car in front closely whilst navigating corners points more towards the question of “How?” it produces it downforce rather than “How much?”. I feel a change in design philosophy in the aero-department is what’s needed instead of adding more and more downforce for the sake trying to be massively faster than any other racing car; that can come later.

    26. I’m of the opinion that the whole brief of “5 second faster cars” and “more aggressive looks” are generally poor.

      The 2009 regs were designed by a team of current engineers who planned several things all with rational, engineered reasons.

      2008 cars couldn’t follow each other closely, so they widened the front wing to maintain more downforce when following. They also wanted the overall wake less turbulent, so higher and smaller rear wings were specified to keep the turbulence away from the following car. Drivers were able to control the front wing angle to help too.

      Keith’s stats proved that the number of overtakes per race increased.

      This time around, there’s no technical working group, just “the red bull proposal” and a loose brief that will increase both mechanical and aerodynamic grip, certainly make the cars faster but largely undoes the work done for 2009 when they actually worked!

      I personally am not looking forward to staying up late watching races with 0 overtakes or even 0 possibility of challenges. I’ve enjoyed post 2008 f1 immensely.

      Disagree.

    27. What they should’ve done I think, is yes make the cars faster but only by increasing the mechanical grip of the cars, wider cars and better tyres help but why not other things like active suspension? add everything up and the cars are seconds faster, yet are much less affected by dirty air and cheaper to redesign than making brand new wings and diffuser.

    28. FOR: I never really got the chance to see F1 like it was in the 90’s. It isn’t going to be the same, I know that. However, what will be the same is that it would make F1 back challenging again. F1 nowadays isn’t testing the drivers at all. It’s testing their minds rather then their physical beings… I would like to see F1 getting back to the days where the drivers with the most control over the car is 1st…

    29. I voted strongly disagree, because they had a chance to address a real problem… but have instead just come up with a backwards step, playing (as always) into the hands of the big teams. It’s still going to be near-impossible to follow closely, they’re still going to need DRS and it’s still going to be the wealthiest teams at the front, well clear of the rest.

      Making the cars more difficult to drive (if they are) is good, but they’re ignoring far, far more problems than they’re even trying to solve.

    30. I did read that although the increase in downforce is around 40% but with only 10% more drag being produced (drag=turbulence) If this is the case, then there is a chance that loss of performance when following closely will be less relatively speaking than it is now, hopefully allowing drivers to get even closer than in the current formula and with a bit of luck execute more non-DRS overtakes than we currently have.

      That said, I still, like many others feel that the underfloor aero is where the decision makers need to concentrate. The more downforce created under the car, the less turbulence behind the car. I’m not say it completely eliminates turbulence as some would argue, but it certainly reduces the wake considerably and therefore disrupts the aero performance of the car following far less. If this could be incorporated with the wider tyres and the wider track of the chassis, there is still a chance that the drag can be reduced further before the regs are fully set in stone.

      I’d like to see the return of the adjustable from wing (as 2009, but the double defuser was so effective that the adjustable wing made little or no difference and was dropped for 2010) allowing a driver to crank on some extra downforce when following within 2 seconds of the car in front, if he drops back further then the car automatically returns back to ‘standard’ setting. I really feel this would help stop the following driver from scrubbing out his tyres so quickly, even if it allowed 6 laps of attack instead of the 2 hot laps the drivers currently get before needing to drop back and wait for pit stops would be an improvement. Of course this would have to be a standardised system so that no teams developed a more effective adjustable wing giving them an extra advantage. But that is just swings and roundabouts, there must be other ideas to combat the following closely problem, but this is my 2 pennys worth.

      1. Adjustable *front wing, not from wing

    31. Strongly for : I don’t want GP2 being able to get into 107% time limit, I also don’t want teenagers to be able to race an F1 car like a go kart, my only fear are overtakes, let’s hope that following will be better with 2017, but I am quiet sceptical.

    32. slightly for.
      ++ There is a lot to be said for the changes: wider wheel basis, lower rear wing, more ground effect, faster cars.
      But am a bit worried about the wider complex front wings. I’ve never been a fan of those huge front wings with all the small pieces. But most importantly there is huge risk that dirty will continue to play a big role: which is likely to result in less close racing (it’ll ruin tyres) and more difficult to overtake.

    33. I’m strongly against! Tweaking contemporary rules by reverting to beam wing and softer tyre compounds would do the trick. In my opinion the beam wing is indispensable to make the diffuser really effective hence getting the good connection between the floor and rear wing. New set of rules is to expensive and not necessary if you ask me.

    34. Strongly for. Quality of overtaking is poor as it is so atleast faster cara and fatter tires would ne good.

      Also never been a fan of high rear wing. Looks ugly..

      So faster prettier cars please.. Then tailor aero rules to provide less sensitive front wings.

      Idealy cars would be rear wing limited, so teams can optimise front wing for following a car infront without time loss.

    35. The main thing that bothers me is that F1 cannot decide what it wants.

      Two years ago they made the front wing more narrow in order to reduce tire cutting. Now they do an 180-degree and ignore why they made them more narrow in the first place. What’s the logic in that?

      They reduced downforce for 2014 and got all excited when Eau Rouge wasn’t supposed to be taken flat-out anymore. We apparently all wanted sliding cars. Now that concept is thrown overboard all it has to be on rails again.

      I’d say instead of fiddling with the aero rules, just increase fuel flow rate from 100 kg/h to 120 kg/h and put wider tires on. Teams already have downforce in hand to put on when needed for any given track. At the moment it isn’t worth the trade-off on drag, but with more power that should be less of a problem.

    36. So let me get this straight. For 2014 the FIA decide to make the front wings smaller and ban the blown diffuser because the cars were becoming too quick, so they slowed them down for safety reasons. Then for some reason everybody acts surprised that the cars are slower compared to the previous (2009/2013) generation cars. After the 2015 Spanish Gran Prix Coulthard writes a piece about how the 2004 cars were a lot faster as far as race pace concerned. From then on it is decided that something must be done and the FIA try to investigate how they can make the cars faster, to the point were it is claimed that the 2017 cars will be even faster than the 2004 cars. All the while not a single major breakthrough has happened in terms of safety from ~2010 to today. So we would have cars that are that much faster with the safety standards remaining for all intents and purposes constant. Which finally leads to my question, if safety was such a concern that the cars had to be slowed down, what has changed that will allow the 2017 cars to be that much faster while bot lowering the safety standards, or to put it in another way, if for 2017 the current safety standards are good enough why did we need to slow the cars down in the first place.

      1. @papalotis to be fair steps have been made: virtual safety car, lower noses, wheel retaining strings inside the suspension, wheel nut safety systems, and if i understood correctly super strong standardized side impact structures supplied by Red Bull. I do agree with your point though. Sometimes safety is invalidly used for making a strong argument, to reach whatever decision that suits best at that point in time.

    37. Slightly against, because it should be a good concept, but they never can use up their opportunities. For example take a look at DRS. It is a good idea with a very wrong implementation.

      Currently the DRS is very unfair. These overtakes aren’t real.
      Solution: We don’t allow the using of DRS in all laps. Every driver has about 20-30 DRS option and ranks these ones for the entire race.

      So my opinion that the FIA can’t or don’t want control rules well.

    38. Gary Anderson Has made some propsals which include smaller wings and ground effect to reduce dirty air. Just like the good old ‘overtaking workgroup’ did.
      Then McLaren introduced their stalling system (FRIC? No, but what was it again?) and suddenly that came into fashion and brought us DRS.

      That should be fixed.
      As I wrote earlier: another number fir laptime won’t excite me, overtakes, real ones do!

    39. More dramatic cars is always going to be nice, but F1 has bigger problems to sort at the moment.

      Oh, and one word – 2004.

    40. I’d just like to make a point to those who are suggesting the 2017 rules will make the cars harder/more physical to drive, Throwing more downforce on the cars to make them theoretically 4-5+ seconds faster will not automatically mean they will be harder, more physical to drive over a race distance.

      Reason been that you can make the cars as fast as you want but as long as they stick with the current philosophy of high-deg (Especially thermal degredation) tyres that the drivers have to manage your not going to be stressing the drivers any more physically because there still going to be well below the limit of what the car could do.

      One of the biggest reasons the current cars are less physical to drive than what we had in the past is the tyres, If Pirelli were allowed to go after pure performance the cars would be 2+ seconds a lap faster & if you remove the thermal degredation & allowed drivers to drive at the limit all race the cars would be just as physical to drive as they were 4-5 years ago.

    41. The more I think about these possible 2017 regs, the more convinced I am that ultimate lap times are not what is required. The stats obsessed might not like the fact cars in the past where quicker but that was in the days when there was so much grip even the most mediocre could go round the interesting corners flat out.

      This is not what I want to see, I want to see the most skilled drivers being rewarded for their ability to go round Blanchimont and Eau Rouge flat whilst the rest flounder in their dust.

      Let us enable “the cream to rise to the top”.

    42. “The aim is to increase performance with a target of reducing lap times by around five seconds.” Sorry but Does this really matter? How would you know unless you were looking at the stop watch. This is not the issue.
      Having larger wings? So they look like the 2009 cars with huge front wings, which you could argue were the worst looking F1 cars to date.
      So who makes the final decisions for this? I fear for the future of F1.

    43. Maybe one day people will realize that rules don’t make competition great. The biggest problem F1 faces is it’s philosophy and appreciation of authority.

      Until that changes, until the people engaged in the spectacle realize that it’s not the rules that matter, nothing will really change. And really, the only thing people who believe in rules can look forward to is a further emphasis on ‘drama’ and contrived commentary.

    44. I voted for it.

      – Formula 1 shouldn’t all about be the on-track actions or displaying driver skills as some may suggest. Technical excellence is a big priority, many of us turn on the TV & pay for the subscriptions for that. No amount of extra social media interactions, sensitive ticket pricing or clever advertisements will bring that. Technologies aren’t just worth their perceived value, unlike driver popularity.
      – It needs to maintain a healthy gap from the other Motorsport categories like WEC, Super Formula or Indycar etc. Can’t be called the “Pinnacle of Motorsports” if the gap’s too narrow, can it?
      – This sports need to be awe-inspiring. It is incredibly well-engineered & complex, but not awe-inspiring anymore. Those V10/12 times were exactly that, even without the very few overtakes.
      – Not like current regulations allow overtaking through driver skills any-more than before, much of it is due to degradable tyres & DRS.

    45. This really does show those in charge either have no idea what they are doing or they are trying to please everyone which is impossible.

      If the current world champion and one of the best overtakers ever, Lewis Hamiltion, says that the current cars are too difficult to overtake with then we should listen. Why would you do the opposite of what he says. It’s just stupidity, nothing less.

      The aero should be reduced slightly by only allowing single solid surface wings. The front narrowed and rear lowered and widened. The tyre should be massively increased to gain that 4-5 sec a lap that is required.

      Simple, it solves the need to go faster and make more overtaking. DRS would not be needed.

      Any other course is a guaranteed mistake.

    46. What really annoys me is some of the rules are specifically designed to make the cars look “swoopy.” I’m specifically talking about the rules that dictate that sidepod strakes and the vertical planes of the rear wing have a tilted back look enshrined in the rulebook, so as to give the cars a particular look.

      Despite the many billions of dollars in aerodynamic development over the past 40 years in motorsport, engineers haven’t sought to bend the rules regarding the shape of the leading edge of the vertical planes of wing structures. They still run a plain rectangle. They don’t tilt the leading edge back because the cars aren’t supersonic.

      The entire reason for that rule change is purely cosmetic, to appease the theoretical adolescent that the FIA seems to think is their audience. I find it insulting as a long term fan that they would change a rule specifically to impress ignorant people.

    47. Whatever they do looking at the poll half will like it half will not so no matter what many people will complain either way. If the front wing is the major issue why do they not allow the 2009 rule back that the drivers can alter the wing whilst driving? If they made this effect more powerful it might help some what should the down force increase so much.

    48. Slightly for.
      First of all it’s difficult to evaluate the new rules until we actually have a definitive version, so I could change my mind.
      But in theory I like the new rules, because I really want faster cars. It’s a bit sad that these cars are several seconds slower than 10 years ago, a few seconds slower than a few years ago and just slightly faster than other single seater series. I expected a big evolution in 2015, but to be honest I didn’t see it. Reliability has improved a lot, but the performance is not completely different compared to last year and I remember that many people expected to improve three seconds in just one year.

      The problem of overtaking is not as easy as some people say, in my opinion. It’s true that more downforce doesn’t help racing, but it’s only one of many factors. This year’s cars have less downforce than cars in 2012, is the racing much better? I don’t think so. So I think that things could change for the better even in this aspect, but it’s impossible to tell without seeing the new cars race.

      My only problem with these rules is the possible increase in costs and the possibility of one team dominating. After all it happened in the last two big rule change (2009 and 2014). But honestly Mercedes has dominated 2014 and 2015 and I don’t see them being outpaced by anyone in 2016 either, so a change is more than welcome.

    49. on how the cars could look; yes , wider cars are much better looking. F1 cars have looked bad since 1998
      on racing: please get rid of DRS!!!!!!!
      on engines: why not let the smaller teams use v8’s or v10’s , and give some sort of financial incentive to make them upgrade to a hybrid (if F1 is hellbent on being seen as ‘green’)

    50. I’m against the higher downforce in the rear of the car. What will help racing, but make the cars look better, is to widen the cars back to pre 98 levels, put the 09 wings on the car, and keep the current rear wings and rear diffusers. The racing was much better in 09 than 08, when we had high downforce, mainly because of the neutered diffusers (until they really exploited double diffusers later that year and into 2010) and the huge front wings.

      We don’t need super high downforce cars to make the racing great, and unless they figure out a way to have high downforce while not disturbing the car behind (ground effects comes to mind) we will be back to where we were in the late 2000’s, when you had to be hugely faster than the car ahead to pass.

      1. Have you seen the 09 front wings? They were the size of a 10 seater dining table and looked real poxy. I hope they never look like that again

    51. I voted for. Mainly because the last two seasons have been pretty predictable result wise, but unpredictable when it comes to smaller teams being able to compete, let alone having enough money to partake at all! That says to me that what we have is not right.

      I don’t have the answers, but more mechanical grip can’t hurt overtaking options.

      In this instance, change is needed.

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