F1 Strategy Group meeting results

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The F1 Strategy Group met yesterday at Biggin Hill and discussed the current issues facing Formula 1 at the moment. Perhaps more importantly, they discussed changes that were to come not only in 2017 but this year and next.

The FIA statement via the distinguished F1 journalist Adam Cooper:

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“Increased restrictions on driver aids and coaching received unanimous support and will be rapidly implemented, starting from this year’s Belgian Grand Prix – with a particular emphasis on race starts – and in 2016. These measures will bring back the driver in full control of the car, enhancing races excitement and unpredictability.

Following the Austrian GP, an overhaul of the power unit penalties has been unanimously agreed and will be submitted to the F1 Commission via an express fax vote for an adoption at the World Motor Sport Council in Mexico City next week, together with changes to the exhaust system that will improve engine noise for 2016.

Furthermore, it was agreed to allow an extra power unit per driver in the first year to any new manufacturer entering the championship and, for the sake of fairness, the measure will apply retroactively to Honda for the 2015 season.

Mandate has been given to the FIA and FOM to propose a comprehensive set of measures for power unit development and cost of supply, including full review of the token system, increase in race fuel allowance, limits on the usage of engine dynamometers etc.

Increased freedom of choice for tyre compounds has been confirmed and the modalities are being finalised with Pirelli for 2016.

A new set of regulations aimed at achieving faster and more aggressive looking cars for 2017, to include wider cars and wheels, new wings and floor shape and significantly increased aerodynamic downforce has been outlined and is currently being assessed by the teams.

Several exciting and innovative changes to the qualifying and race weekend formats have also been discussed and are being evaluated by FIA and FOM for a 2016 introduction.”

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So there you have it. As Adam himself pointed out on Twitter, we’ll have to hold our expectations and possible anxiety over just what they mean by “Exciting and innovative changes to qualifying and race weekend formats” might actually mean but given the spate of constructs this series has thrown at fans, this could end in tears. The recent fan survey show they are fed up with trinkets, bobbles, constructs and gimmicks.

Hat Tip: Adam Cooper

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Jason Smith

“A new set of regulations… to include wider cars and wheels, new wings and floor shape and significantly increased aerodynamic downforce has been outlined and is currently being assessed by the teams.” No! Which part of “make the cars less aero sensitive and increase mechanical grip” do they not understand? Do I need to translate it into French? F1 is losing viewers because cars who are actually competitive with each other cannot pass without the aid of DRS because the cars are too aero dependent as is. It sounds like the Strategy Group wants to make it worse with races… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

….and what if we disagree re: aero?

Jason Smith

Well then, I think it’s safe to just assume you’re wrong…

Just kidding! In all seriousness, I’m genuinely curious as to how you’d suggest rectifying the cars’ inability to run close enough to other competitive cars to allow non-DRS passing. I’m not calling for Indy or NASCAR packs or comparable passing frenzies, I’d just like to see the actual racing be more interesting than P2 with more passing opportunities than the first lap and pit stops…

Andreas Möller

Sometimes, people do the right things for the wrong reasons… It’s visible as early as in the first paragraph: Right thing: “Increased restrictions on driver aids and coaching received unanimous support and will be rapidly implemented, starting from this year’s Belgian Grand Prix – with a particular emphasis on race starts – and in 2016. These measures will bring back the driver in full control of the car…” Wrong reason: “…enhancing races excitement and unpredictability.” Having “the driver in full control of the car” should be reason enough. Now, it just sounds like they want to create unpredictability (i.e. people… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Hi Andreas, great first point. The words do make me doubt the intent of the changes. Second point, funny ;-) Even if the Mclarens did get a 25 place promotion, they probably still couldn’t get to the front row of the grid. Changing the token system might allow the power unit suppliers to get onto a more even basis a bit sooner – but Merc and Ferrari will surely fight that. Third point, I’m undecided. If they want to make the cars ‘6sec a lap quicker’ then wider tyres (and different compounds) will help a bit but extra downforce will… Read more »

Richard Bunce

… or at least less topside aero that goes away when close to the car in front and more ground effect downforce. Perhaps limit total downforce to 100% of car weight

吳澤銘

Rosberg might lose all the races for the rest of the season, and Ferrari will win the Constructors’ championship – with this sort of ruling.

Paul KieferJr

So, how much of this was on their own and how much of this was them looking at Bernie and Todt and thingk “we’d better do something”?

jakobusvdl

And again they missed the ‘marbles’ problem. Is there no way to change the tyre compounds so that the track doesn’t narrow to a single lane after the first 5 laps?
That would allow closer following, alternative lines around the track, less cleaning after the sessions and race, all upside really.

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