I can see why you think the proposed rule changes for 2017 won't have the desired effect, but I thought a chunk of the 5-6s improvement was supposed to come from the reintroduction of ground effect. You would also get greater traction in corners, meaning faster exits onto straights, and as ground effect is a more efficient way of obtaining downforce, it would result in a lower drag coefficient of the car, meaning the top speed of the cars on straights will be faster still. This, combined with stickier tyres and a wider track, would surely result in a formula that rewards balls and does not inhibit close racing? Or am I misled?
James Tregellis, via email
James, you are right - the majority of this laptime would have to come from the extra downforce and extra top speed. What I was saying was that it needs a lot to achieve that five- or six-second improvement.
The ground effect will not be as critical to turbulence as the current cars' downforce-producing devices are, but as with anything that is optimised around clean airflow, there will still be losses when following another car with the 2017 plans.