Formula Fun: Musings about the new rules.

We come to the beginning of another week. But this is the week before the crown of the F1 calendar, the one European race that I can never see leaving the schedule. It’s the week before Monaco, and the news cycle is going crazy. Not for the race, but for a rash of new rules that the F1 Strategy Group decided on this past week. Now, it has taken me way too long to get my thoughts together on this.
Being at a loss of words for a writer is a really odd feeling. But that is exactly what has happened with all these new rules. I was going to ignore most of this, and just try to focus on Monaco, but this is too important to not talk about and share my thoughts. I’m gonna do a list and opinion thing from here on out.
Next week will be all about Monaco, but his is new rules time.

1. Bringing back Refueling for 2017. This is the rule that I am probably the most conflicted on, as it sort of makes the move to the Hybrid V6 Turbo engines moot. That and refueling was originally banned for safety reasons and cost of shipping the fuel rigs everywhere. I honestly worry that refueling will turn races back into all the passing being in the pits. I believe this is just something that will come back and then be scrapped again.
2. Free tire choice from 2016 on. This is probably the most interesting change in my mind. Teams that are easier on tires can take softer choices and use the speed. I could also see teams gambling on trying to get pole and then falling way back during the race thanks to degradation. The one niggle with all this is that Pirelli said that this rule would never happen under their supervision. This makes me wonder if the tire wars will be coming back. Is it the early 2000’s all over again?
3. New aero and gearing. This is all good in my book. More freedom in design leading to faster cars should make designers and drivers happy. And as long as the passing on track still happens, it should be a very exciting time. That is, if it works as intended.
4. Rumors of customer cars. The one thing F1 had very long ago that they haven’t done in forever. Ferrari started racing with Alfa Romeos, and McLaren started with Coopers. I do still think that F1 should shy away from this sort of thing, but if it bolsters the grid again, and lets the smaller teams develop more, then I don’t know if it’s so bad after all.
I’m sure as we get closer to 2017 and the rules become more fleshed out that things will become more clear. I don’t know if it will work or not, but let’s just hope F1 continues to grow the audience here in the US and holds strong around the world.

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  1. mve Avatar

    I have a feeling almost all of this will fizzle out, like most ideas from F1.

  2. Troggy Avatar

    Formula 1: An ongoing political debate where some cars are sometimes raced.
    Control engines, aero and tyres turn the whole thing into a bobsled race. Very fast and exciting, but no overtaking or tactics. Strategy relies on the pit crew ability with a calculator, not their guts. I’d like to see more choice to give the cars more distinctive characteristics of handling and power delivery so that we get more passing, and to put the tactics into the hands of the drivers on the track, not some guy on a laptop in the pits.