The F1 Strategy Group is due to meet next week to discuss how to increase overtaking opportunities as part of the body’s review to improve the show from 2017.
The technical regulations currently under discussion for the 2017 season are designed to make cars around five seconds per lap faster, with a more aggressive look and the potential to boost powertrain output to 1000bhp.
These regulations are yet to be set in stone by the FIA, but must have recived approval from all parties by next March, at which point they will not be subject to further change. The Strategy Group is eager to use the next seven months to refine the implementation on new rules to create more overtaking opportunities alongside the latest regulation changes.
Andrew Green, Force India technical director, spoke with Autosport ahead of the Strategy Group meeting on 18th August: “Recently we’ve had a directive from the Strategy Group that they want to improve the overtaking. It’s something we’ve not yet discussed. There was supposed to have been a meeting before the summer break, but that was postponed, and it’s now the Tuesday before Spa.”
“All I can say is the design we have on the table [for 2017] is not necessarily something that would cover that. At the moment we’re still very dependent on the front of the car generating downforce for the whole car. The effect of that is as a car approaches the one in front it doesn’t just lose downforce from the front of the car, but the whole of the car, so maybe that’s something we will be looking at in the next meeting.”
The Strategy Group has a long history of investigating approaches to aid easier overtaking, including the development of DRS and even the concept of a split rear wing to minimise aerodynamic disruption from the back of a car, allowing chasing drivers to follow more closely (as below).