F1 2017 rule changes the biggest for 'decades'

Formula 1 is set for its biggest rule change for two decades ahead of the 2017 season, according Toro Rosso technical director James Key

F1 2017 rule changes the biggest for 'decades'

Next year will feature more aggressive-looking cars with wider front and rear wings as part of revised aerodynamic regulations, and the cars will be fitted with wider tyres.

Carlos Sainz Jr is expecting the new cars to look like "another category" while Williams technical chief Pat Symonds has said development will be relentless throughout next season.

"It's a massive change," said Key. "From a bodywork and suspension and tyre point of view, this is the biggest one that I've experienced in almost 19 years in F1.

"From a chassis point of view, it's the biggest change of the past two decades, even bigger than 2009 and certainly bigger than 2014."

Key said Toro Rosso first started working on the 2017 project back in September 2015.

"Firstly, you've got the enormous amount of research you have to do to try and understand what makes a car with these new regulations tick, without any experience of them in reality, because for a long time, we can only operate in the virtual world," he said.

"That process comes to an end in January.

"Secondly, you hit the track for winter testing, after which you go and do a season with all this work that for a long time existed in your virtual world.

"We tentatively started the 2017 project in September 2015, so it's been 14 months so far."

Key added that as the regulations were only finalised around March/April time this year, it means "no one could steal a march on it".

RED BULL LINKS LIMITED FOR 2017

The regulations allow for the sharing of technology between teams, particularly in the area of power units but also areas such as gearbox and suspension.

While Key says Toro Rosso intends to work closely with Red Bull next year, there will be more opportunities in 2018 as the regulations are so immature.

"We can pool our resources and have better synergies in those areas and certainly, both teams are looking to see what opportunities there are," he said.

"The problem with new regulations of course is you've got nothing to discuss because you've got to go through the whole design process.

"In 2017 therefore, there will not be that many opportunities for synergies.

"In the second year of these regs, once you've got bits that work within that set of regulations, then it opens up many more, so 2018 will be a better opportunity.

"Having said that, having the same engine helps.

"It draws together a huge amount of commonality in certain areas on the powertrain side."

shares
comments
Gary Anderson's verdict on F1 2016
Previous article

Gary Anderson's verdict on F1 2016

Next article

F1 tests in 2015 shaped Force India's decision to overlook Wehrlein

F1 tests in 2015 shaped Force India's decision to overlook Wehrlein
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022