Formula 1 meets for 2017 rules revolution talks

Formula 1 chiefs are to discuss plans to fast-track a revolutionary overhaul of grand prix cars at a Strategy Group meeting in Paris on Thursday

Formula 1 meets for 2017 rules revolution talks

The gathering of top teams with Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt will push on with talks over creating more spectacular and faster F1 machinery - potentially with 1000bhp engines - for the 2016 and '17 seasons.

AUTOSPORT experts on 1000bhp plans

EDD STRAW: 1000bhp is F1's latest cure-all imposter

JONATHAN NOBLE: F1 needs 100bhp - but not at any cost

Draft ideas for changes that can be made - both in the short and longer term - have been prepared over recent weeks, and team bosses will be asked to evaluate what direction is best for the sport.

Changes that will be considered - potentially as early as next season - include making cars wider, and adding more downforce and better performing tyres.

The plan for 2017 involves an overhaul of the engine rules to create a major step up in power. There is some disagreement, however, about how this should be achieved.

But despite an eagerness to make changes that would attract fans at a time when F1 is questioning why audience numbers are falling, there are also concerns about the cost implications.

McLaren chief Ron Dennis said at this week's first F1 pre-season test that while an overhaul of grand prix racing was welcome; it must not serve also to escalate costs.

"If we are going to change F1, we should change it dramatically," he said. "Therefore we should change it dramatically for 2017 and then it will be affordable.

"If we dramatically try to change F1 for 2016, then the cost implications will be huge - because we are also trying to save money."

GRID SIZE ALSO A PRIORITY

Tighter cost control is expected to be a major talking point at the meeting too, with the FIA having set up a research panel in recent weeks to investigate potential rule changes that could help bring budgets down.

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds is one who believes that securing the future of the grid is the most important priority.

"I like the idea of 1000bhp engines, I like the idea of spectacular cars," he said.

"But I also like the idea of having a lot more cars on the grid and that's what I think should be our prime concern at the moment: to have a good business and something that the spectators also want to watch."

There is a clear desire by the FIA to make changes, with a framework having been set up so rule tweaks can be ratified before a March 1 deadline with only majority support needed.

Technical and sporting working group meetings have been called for later this month, with a meeting of the F1 Commission that must approve rule changes tabled for February 18.

The Strategy Group meeting will also likely discuss the fate of the Marussia team, and whether it is possible for the team to get approval to start the campaign with a 2014 car.

Discussions may also happen over the future of the German Grand Prix.

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