For 2017, Formula cars’ bodyworks and tyres are the center of attention, with both getting wider in order to boost downforce and grip. With improved aerodynamics and grip, the cars are meant to go faster and become more challenging to drive; as if F1 cars are ever easy to drive… These improvements are expected to cut a lap time by 3 to 5 seconds, depending on track, of course.
(Illustrations credit Formula1.com)
Pirelli, prior to the end of the year, announced wider tyres for F1 cars for 2017. The tyres with three available options (slicks, intermediates and wets) are supposedly wider, with rear width up to 405mm (from 325mm) and front width up to 305 mm (from 245mm). Obviously, you won’t see the rim sizes increase from the standard 13-inches.
As for F1 cars’ bodywork, changes are imminent for the front wing, rear wind, sidepods and rear diffuser. Overall weight has also increased slightly, from 702 kilograms to 722 kg.
2017 Formula 1 car’s front wing gets extended from 1650 to 1800 mm, which probably makes the car a little more low-slung and meaner. Overall width has extended by 200 mm; from 1800 to 2000 mm. Meanwhile, the rear wing has been reduced by 150 mm; down to 800mm. The positioning of the diffuser has been jacked up and enlarged to fit the larger rear wheel axles. From the side, the sidepod’s width has gone up by 200mm, up to 1600mm.
The hybrid turbo engines remain similar to last season, but the organizers will further penalized teams if there’s an engine change during a race weekend. The regulation is enforced to reduce costs and make the competition a little more evenly spread. The organizers have reduced costs for non-factory teams by a million pounds and there’s a homologation procedure to supply to non-factory teams. Finally, constraints on power unit part weights, dimensions and materials, and on boost pressure, are being introduced in 2017 and the following season.
Sporting regulations change for the new season include wet-weather standing starts behind the safety car and mandatory drivers’ helmet liveries at different tracks or home races.