F1 chiefs looking to make cars more challenging to drive

Formula 1 chiefs have begun a study to look at ways of making grand prix cars more challenging to drive in the future

F1 chiefs looking to make cars more challenging to drive

As part of ongoing discussions about making F1 more popular, teams believe that one element that has turned off spectators is the perception that modern grand prix cars are too easy to race.

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This has been fuelled by driver complaints that they are no longer as hard to take to the limit - plus the implication that Toro Rosso's decision to promote 16-year-old Max Verstappen to F1 showed how easy the category now was.

Following discussions in recent Strategy Group meetings, the FIA will evaluate potential rule changes that could make the cars tougher to drive.

The investigation, which will include input from teams, will be completed over the next few months and it is possible changes could be implemented as early as 2016.

It is understood that the main areas that will be investigated are tyre grip, car dimension, and aerodynamic performance.

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Daniel Ricciardo admitted recently that although the current generation of cars were technically complex, they were not as hard to drive as in previous years.

"Physically, it's not a walk in the park, but it's easier than it was a couple of years ago at least," he said.

"If the cars are quicker they'll be physically harder to drive. But what we don't want is to make the cars fast like it was 10 years ago so that you can't even follow another car because of the dirty air.

"I think right now is not a bad compromise but it's probably a few tweaks that could be made."

Former world champion Alain Prost reckons that the time had come for cars to become harder to drive - so that a 'proper' F1 returned.

"I don't know what's going to happen with Max Verstappen, but it's true that he's going to be able to drive the car no problem," he told AUTOSPORT.

"This was absolutely not possible in our time - the cars were so difficult to drive.

"Every year we were testing in Portugal, we were stopping sometimes for a month testing.

"But the first time we went to Portugal it was not possible to make a complete day of testing at all, no way!

"It was physically really difficult, which is not the case today.

"That doesn't mean you absolutely want to go back to the way it was, but I think the speed of the cars during the races and the grip is not very good. It's quite slow, so you need to have a proper Formula 1."

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