Following yesterday’s F1 strategy group meeting, the FIA have issued a carefully worded statement that a “comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged”.
This is notably not a ringing endorsement of the ideas contained within the proposal, some of which are becoming clearer this afternoon.
The statement however does conclude, “All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation.”
Now there’s a challenge.
There is to be an exclusive commission comprised only of the big rich teams to further the cause of customer cars. Also, engines will sound louder and rev higher, which means the fuel flow limit has to be scrapped or raised because the FIA say the “maximum fuel race allowance is to remain”.
Fortunately the retention of the 100kg race limit on fuel has prevented a renewed focus on big developments within the combustion engine aspect of the F1 power units. Had this limit been raised, another several container ships of cash would have been sunk into old fashioned ICE R&D.
Pirelli have lost their battle to retain control of the tyre selections at races. From NEXT YEAR, the teams are set to be able to choose from each of the four dry compounds on offer. It is unclear whether the teams will be required to still pick two from four – and how far in advance of a race weekend this would need to be.
The cars will become lighter and the aerodynamic regulations will be subject to a rule of thumb which will be to increase speed. Disappointingly, there appears to be no efforts planned to reducing aerodynamics that deliver turbulent air which halts the progress of quicker cars attempting to overtake.
Wider and taller tyres are also on the agenda as TJ13 reported yesterday.
Well blow me down with the hair off a fleas back – in race refuelling is set to return to F1 in 2017.
We’re on the magic roundabout again. Where’s my mate Dylan?
So what happened to cutting costs? And isn’t re-fuelling dangerous.
Refuelling rigs are expensive pieces of kit. They have to be transported around the world which costs lots more money.
Granted seeing Felipe Massa hurtling down the pit-lane with a torn 30 metre long re-fuelling hose attached to his car, was a spectacle to behold – great for the show – but clearly Mr. Todt and his personally approved global safety campaigners will not be advocating this event is seen again.
The F1 strategy group feels that bringing back re-fuelling in Formula One will add to the viewer’s experience and improve the show.
Well. The critics of degrading F1 tyres argue – the more pit stops you get, the more confusing it is for the viewer. Add into the mix that nobody has a clue how much fuel the car is carrying, and suddenly a sluggish looking Hamilton may have just lost the plot – whilst a flying Romain Grosjean will bring back memories for Lotus fans of Kimi’s performances for their team.
Yet would these temporary differing performances have any actual meaning?
Yes they will – as the race unwinds we can all sit back and reflect AFTER THE CHEQUERED FLAG – who had the best strategy.
To argue for the return of Re-fuelling – a highly dangerous activity – seems absurd in light of the FIA’s obsession with tarmacking every corner in F1 on the grounds of safety.
Williams had a devastating fire in their garage in Barcelona following the Spanish GP in 2013 – and that was caused without the frenzy and confusion which can take place during a pit stop.
The FIA indicates, the goal for 2017 is to make the cars 5-6 seconds a lap quicker. If this is the case, then re-fuelling should just be part of the plan to lighten the cars.
To avoid the unknown factors described above, the cars must start on the same fuel level, and at each stop the fuel replenishment levels need to be the same up and down the pit lane.
Now the cars go quicker, but hidden strategies are avoided.
As the details of these proposals unravel in the inevitable horse trading over the coming weeks, it will be fascinating to see what is left of this blue print for F1’s bright new dawn – by the time it comes out from the F1 commission.
Oh and one more thing…. Research into genetically modifying pig embryos is to be supported together with feasibility studies on cross breeding them with newly discovered pterodactyl DNA on an archaeological dig in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – where co-incidentally Mr. E was spotted recently eying up a new F1 venue to replace Monza.