Over the last one decade, Formula One has lost the thrill and this is evident in the decreased number of people attending races. That the German and British GPs are struggling to get funding shows just how low the sport has fallen. However, there is some silver lining especially with the entry of Liberty Media and expected change in leadership.
There are also some new changes that are set to revolutionise the sport. Some of these have come from fan complaints. It seems the sport is becoming more complicated every passing day and this became clear when FIA could not make up its mind on how best to handle the start. The new rules for 2016 eventually ended up being shelved.
In the 2016 Brazil GP, Fernando Alonso, one of the most respected drivers on the grid complained how boring the race was for those on the paddock and this was not the first time he was doing this. Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber among other F1 experts have also complained about the state of Formula One.
So, what has F1 decided to change for 2017 to spice things up? Take a look:
1. Wider Cars
This has always been a concern with fans especially those who were used to Senna and Alain Prost track monsters. The next season is going to witness larger cars with an increase of 20 millimeters in overall width and larger tires. This means cars will experience more drag, but this will be no problem because there is an increase in fuel allowance for the races from 100kg to 105 kg. Can larger cars race faster? This is the motivation behind this new rule, but it remains to be seen whether the 2017 cars will add to the thrill on the tracks.
2. Wider Tires
When it comes to F1, tires cause a lot of debate and in fact, Pirelli doesn’t seem to see eye to eye with the teams. The tire manufacturer has been forced to make changes over the years in order to make cars race faster, but it claims this is eating up revenues. For 2017, Pirelli has once again been forced to introduce wider tires in order to slash lap times. At the moment, front tires are 305-355mm and 365-380mm at the rear. For the new season, the rear tires will move to the front while the back tires will now be 450-465mm.
The issue of aesthetics has always been a big one and to improve the outlook of the new cars the side pods will now have an angle leading edge inclined at 15 degrees when you check it from above. FIA says this will not affect performance but cars will look more appealing to fans.
4. Larger Front Wing
FIA has gone back to the 2009-2013 seasons to borrow the front wing size. The front wing will now be 1,800mm enabling cars to produce more downforce. Drivers will manage airflow through a larger gap.
There are more technical changes proposed and it remains to be seen the impact they will have in the 2017 F1 season.