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Future technical changes to focus on three specific areas

NEWS STORY
23/01/2018

As Liberty Media seeks to improve the show, the man charged with spearheading the technical revolution is Ross Brawn, and since being appointed Formula One Management's technical boss he has been assembling a team of engineers whose aim is to produce the regulations that will provide the best racing... at the right price, thereby not only winning over the fans but hopefully attracting new teams and engine manufacturers.

One of the former colleagues recruited to Brawn's team is former Williams technical boss Pat Symonds who reveals that going forward there are three areas of the car of particular interest.

"F1 technical regulations are split into 21 sections," he told the MIA's Entertainment and Energy-Efficient Motorsport Conference. "As we go through those sections, we can see some of them aren't very relevant to the spectacle. So we decided that what we wanted to do was technically, we wanted to have three performance differentiators.

"Those would be aerodynamics," he continued, "it is interesting to a lot of people and no one could write rules that didn't make it a performance differentiator so we might as well expect it and make it one of the things that matters.

"Equally, the power unit. For manufacturers involved in F1, it's important to them. It interesting to fans so let's make it a performance differential.

"Finally, suspension, and by that I mean the way we treat the tyres, the way the teams use the tyres. Those are the three technical differentiators that we want to see."

However, at a time Liberty is also looking to improve competition by levelling the playing field in terms of prize money and also what teams are allowed to spend, Symonds admitted: "Costs are making it difficult for those further down the field to make an impression on the leaders.

"We want to get rid of predictability," he added. "Over the last couple of decades, the worst times in racing have been when the result has been predictable. We had a little bit of it with the Mercedes domination. At least for a couple of years we didn't know which driver might have won.

"We want to look at the spectacle, we want visual appeal, we want to recognise the role of the driver. We need to look at the problem of the live audience and the TV audience as they have different requirements.

"And we have to look at the race week experience. It's no longer good enough to think about just what happens on Sunday."

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1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 25/01/2018 23:46

"I agree with Simon in Australia. the ridiculous "push to pass" boost in Indy Car Racing and the "aero package" in F1 adds nothing to the excitement of two closely matched machines approaching a corner or set of corners with neither a horsepower boost to the trailing car, nor an "aero" fancy design that DISadvantages the trailing car by washing out his front end. What happens, then, is the best driver wins the corner ... and isn't that what we call racing? I also find it insane that we can't get tyres that will last an entire race without failing to maintain adhesion and grip. Would any sane person buy a personal motor car that had tyres good only for 500 miles? And on the subject of tyres; why must we have only one manufacturer? Allow the teams to purchase and use any tyres that meet the specs. What this means is that all that nonsense about strategy in the pits could be replaced by actual racing drivers in actual racing cars. Of course this would increase the cost of racing because poorer teams would have fewer choices. Until they managed to land the next Senna or Schumacher. Then you'd see some racing. But teams and manufacturers are perfectly happy with the way things are now and unlikely to change even slightly. I say, let them go. F1 without Ferrari? you say, could it survive? F1 without Renault or Mercedes? Would anyone watch the races? Of course they would --if racing was what they got!"

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2. Posted by Joop deBruin, 23/01/2018 4:40

"Get rid of aero. No wings. Ground effects ok, but that's it.
CanAm set the stage for aero back in the 60's and it was a backyard mechanics's advantage (or not) back then. F1 whined to the FIA as CanAm surpassed F1 in a better show and higher technical advancements. The FIA stepped in and killed several CanAm drivers with their idiotic "European Snowflake" rulings.

Now aero is nothing more than running millions of Euros through a high speed fan and spitting out garbage on the other side. Hell, F1 aero trails road cars' active article.

Get rid of the wings and doodads that look like a 7 yr old designed then for a Transformer car."

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3. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 23/01/2018 3:04

"I would contest whether aero is "interesting to a lot of people", engineers and tech-heads maybe but I would suggest most of the spectating public cringe at the sight of the current front compound wings and all the other paraphernalia that prevents a car following closely through a corner.

As for power units, if you want electric go and watch Formula E. For me the engine regulation would simply say "you need to cover the 300 km race distance using no more than 80 kg of regular unleaded fuel." and let the engineers work out whether to use V6 / flat 4 / H 16 or a W 12 all with or without turbos and set the minimum weight of the car low enough so that if anyone wants to use energy recovery/storage then there is an associated weight penalty.

Finally tyres, I do not want all the colours of the rainbow just a hard, medium and soft option at each circuit; the compounds can differ from circuit to circuit. I would not enforce using more than one compound during a race, if someone wants to bolt on a set of hard compound tyres and go non-stop then 'go for it'.

Without providing a better level of unpredictability and hence entertainment through more open and less prescriptive regulation then F1 is doomed to remain a technical bore-fest of limited general interest."

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4. Posted by mickl, 22/01/2018 19:25

"oh, I thought the 3 areas would be 1. Money 2. Money 3. Money........."

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