2017 F1 to be 6 seconds per lap quicker
Thanks to Pirelli’s new mandate to deliver F1 from the brink of racing oblivion, the much maligned F1 tyre supplier has been given a new three year contract and tasked with delivering significant lap time improvements for 2017.
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery confirmed in Sochi;
“….we will go with wider tires, 30 cm’s front and 40 rear. All this on 13-inch wheels. We are already working on simulations to give the teams an idea of what to expect in terms of tire grip”
So the dream of low profile wheels will remain just a dream for now. However, Pirelli are responsible for delivering around half the target 6 seconds a lap time improvements, the rest is to be found from aerodynamic gains along with revised engine regulations – which of course will place more stress on tyre compounds.
It seems Mr E has insisted Pirelli continue to deliver tyres that are not fit for the purpose of completing a race.
“For us, it will not be difficult to make the tyre stronger. Especially since it is always easier with wider tires to achieve more grip [with] tyres that force to a two or three-stop strategy….
This year we have come too close to the boundary that the teams get away with just one stop for my taste. That should change. And if we are faster, then lap records will tumble again.“
So, F1 fans should forget the concept of flat out racing, because Pirelli are again being tasked with producing degrading tyres that will of course improve the show.
Bob Fernley say enough is enough, whatever the personal cost
The cost of defying Bernie Ecclestone is well documented in Formula One history. Adam Parr was the most recent casualty. He produced a new business model for Formula One and criticised Ecclestone’s dinosaur approach to maximising the sport’s commercial rights at a fans forum.
Just months later, Williams received an ex-gratia payment of £25m from FOM and Parr was excused of his responsibilities within the Grove team.
Bold Bob Fernley has for some time championed the challenge opposing Bernie Ecclesone’s dealings with the smaller F1 teams. Given the failure of CVC and Ecclestone to deliver on promises made in 2014 when three teams threatened to boycott 3 races, Force India and Sauber have asked the EU to investigate the propriety of F1.
The complaints to the EU claim Formula One is in breach of articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty, which prohibit anti-competitive agreements, and the abuse of dominant market positions.
Given that Ecclestone has on more than one occasion, directed FOM TV to refuse coverage to teams in ‘rebellion’, Bob Fernley is expecting a backlash for the complaint they have raised.
“We’re big boys, we know what the risks are,” Fernley stated. “Will there be repercussions? Probably, in due course. But if you feel strongly about something and you’re not prepared to take care of your own convictions then you shouldn’t be doing it.
“I’ve enjoyed a very privileged career in Formula 1, or motor racing as a whole, doing I something I love for over 30 years.
“I would dearly like to think if I leave Formula 1 then somebody else could have 30 years as well.
“If that means there has to be a penalty for me personally in the short term then it is not the end of the world. It is one of those things. You have to accept it.
“But you have to have the strength of your convictions.”
Bob Fernley has in days gone by been wheeled out by his team principal Vijay Mallya to defend the indefensible, but it now appears he has finished with paying lip service to the powers that be in Formula One.
“Sometimes when somebody has very strong opinions and takes on something that is not in the interests of some very powerful people, there can often be a casualty and you have to recognise that”, explains the outspoken Yorkshire man..
“If you didn’t go in with your eyes open then you’d be very foolish. It was a very, very hard decision to have to take. But I feel it was a decision on which we gave every opportunity for mediation over a significant period of time, certainly at least 12 months, to try and get a conciliatory agreement in place.
“Clearly there is no interest in [addressing the issue from FOM] whatsoever, so we have had to look at bringing in a body that is independent and has the power to bring us all to account, and the only one that can do that is the EU.”
In Formula One we regularly are surprised by stuff that happens and then often rendered incredulous by stuff that doesn’t get done.
The fact the Bob Fernley has put his head above the parapet in such a manner, is as remarkable as anything else F1 has thrown up in the recent past.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone under fire for ‘clear attack’ on Le Mans 24h
The head of the World Endurance Championship, Gerard Neveu, is accusing Bernie Ecclestone of mounting “a clear attack” on sports car racing by scheduling the inaugural Azerbaijan GP on same day as their blue ribbon event – Le Mans. This of course deprives the Le Mans event of F1 star drivers.
“It’s a clear attack on us and on this race,” Neveu tells Autosprint magazine. “Ecclestone never does anything by accident. It is a shame because by doing this you take away the possibility of having F1 stars entering what still is the most important race in the world. We could have had Hulkenberg and also other F1 drivers – motorsport fans are losing out.”
In reality, the big question is why the FIA relaxed their regular ruling that Formula One could not hold a race on the Le Mans weekend. Then again, given the accidental omission by FIA delegates of vital items from regulations – such as dates for engine homologation – the failure to protect the Le Mans weekend could well be an oversight from those red wine quaffers and snail munchers in residence at the Place de Concorde.
21 races on 2016 F1 calendar, but regulations only allow for 20
‘The maximum number of Events in the Championship is 20, the minimum is 8″, states article 5.4 of the newly published 2016 FIA Sporting Regulations.
This is rather problematic as the calendar produced by Bernie Ecclestone is for 21 races. The additions to this years schedule are Germany and Azerbaijan.
If one of these has to be culled, which event could that possibly be?
Pirelli testing demands close to being met
“There’s no precise plans but we are going through the process to ensure that there are suitable testing days to develop tyres for 2017,” says Paul Hembery. “For 2016, we are finalising a plan to do some testing for a new supersoft and also we want to make some slight structural changes to the tyre, and that’s something that’s being finalised at the moment.”
The word in the paddock is that Pirelli have secured 13 days of tyre testing in 2016, in preparation for the change in tyre dimensions for 2017.
First picture of Alaïa Rosberg