Formula 1 on brink of 'last chance' cut-off for 2017 rules revamp

Formula 1 heads into its last-chance saloon on Tuesday when it comes to formulating the regulations for 2017

Formula 1 on brink of 'last chance' cut-off for 2017 rules revamp

Following months of deliberations, meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission are to take place in Geneva at which it is hoped a way forward can finally be found regarding next year's rules.

Attempting to put flesh on the bones of last May's boldly-stated aims of making the cars five to six seconds per lap quicker has proven more problematic than at first anticipated.

IAN PARKES: F1's approach to 2017 is crazy

Self-interest has blocked views of the bigger picture to such an extent Autosport understands there is every possibility the changes may be put on hold until 2018.

As one source remarked: "We will have reached the point of no return by next Tuesday.

"It's OK to have self interest, but we need to do what makes sense for what we want the cars to do.

"If we build cars that are great on downforce, but you can't overtake anymore, and Pirelli has to put 35psi into the tyres to make them last, then the sport is not being helped in any way, so we need to find a reasonable approach."

Recent meetings of the technical heads of the F1 teams and FIA technical director Charlie Whiting have yielded some answers, but also thrown up more issues.

Following a meeting at Pirelli's headquarters in Milan earlier this month, attended by FIA president Jean Todt, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, team principals and a number of drivers, promises were made that matters would be finalised by the end of this month.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the opportunity cannot be passed up to resolve the situation for next season, rather than waiting until 2018.

He backed Sebastian Vettel's recent assertion that F1 is currently "too complex" and masks driver skill.

Horner said: "I thought he was absolutely right.

"F1 needs to be more about the drivers. The driver needs to be a bigger differential within the whole package, and we have a great opportunity to address that for 2017.

"The mandate was clear to make cars five or six seconds a lap quicker, much harder to drive, more spectacular and sort the men from the boys.

"I sincerely hope by the end of this month we manage to agree upon regulations that achieve that."

Suggested to Horner by Autosport it was likely the rules may not come into play until 2018, he replied: "There is a determination within the FIA to see change.

"What you don't want to see is consensus and compromise which was what happened with the engines.

"This is where we need strong governance and clarity from the commercial rights holder and the governing body to say 'these are the regulations'."

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Series Formula 1
Author Ian Parkes
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