Tech Chiefs Unsure about New Rules

Formula One's leading technical chiefs have insisted that the new regulations in the sport are a success but warned that it could only be a matter of time before speeds increase again

Tech Chiefs Unsure about New Rules

This year saw the introduction of new rules that looked to improve safety in Formula One by reducing speeds, and after one race of the season the rules have been hailed a success.

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "I think the rules have been successful in slowing the cars down despite some scepticism. They have genuinely slowed them down so have been successful in that.

"You must remember that without the changes we would be one or two seconds faster than last year so the progress of the tyre companies has been slowed down and on the car and I think it was necessary."

Critics, though, are pessimistic and Williams technical chief Sam Michael feels that the changes, brought in at the tail-end of last season, have not been severe enough in preventing speeds from rising in the long term.

"They (the changes) are not as bad as we thought they were going to be in terms of management," he said. "On the aerodynamics side the downforce levels have changed, but everyone is working very hard to get them back to where they were.

"That's why I think you will see a lot of developments in the first three or four races. And also on the tyre front, I think both tyre companies were quite conservative in Melbourne.

"The wear rates were pretty low compared to what we may see later on in the year and that is understandable given all the concern pre-season and it won't take long for them to get to the wear rates they intend to reach."

Rules changes also saw engine and tyre manufacturers forced to make their products last longer which has led to teams turning in fewer laps in practice sessions, modifications to the rules that Brawn is still unsure over.

The new format of qualifying, where the final grid-deciding session takes place on a Sunday morning, is also a matter for debate and with teams being forced to conserve their engines for two races, Brawn admits that he needs more time to judge the effectiveness of the changes.

"As to the format of the racing, it is too early to tell," he said. "I think we'll have to see how it goes for a while.

"It is tough, the two-race engine, and not everyone is doing the mileage they might have done. But I think as the season goes on the mileage will build up and there will more mileage on Friday and Saturday than we have at the moment."

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