The future of Formula 1 could become a little clearer this week with confirmation that F1 chiefs will meet on Wednesday to try to firm up planned rules changes for the 2017 season.
A Strategy Group meeting held in May decided that 2017 would be the year of change. Refuelling, faster cars, wider rear tyres, greater aerodynamic freedom, higher revving engines and a reduction in weight were all agreed upon.
However during various follow-up meetings, it became clear that support for some of the proposals wasn’t as strong as initially thought, particularly that of refuelling.
Therefore team bosses will meet again this week in an attempt to agree upon exact changes to move forward with the sports overhaul.
Refuelling is expected to be dropped completely, whilst a reduction in driver aids is to be debated. Both FIA president Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone are in favour of reducing aids which make the drivers’ life a little easier.
“All driver aids we can ban, we should do it,” said Todt. “If you take the start of the race, when you speak to the drivers it is just a question of regulating [the revs and clutch], which I don’t think is good.
“Once we had launch control which was banned, so now the drivers must be the one to lead his start; but all of it is regulated. So probably we need to get to less sophisticated technology to make sure that we have the means for less predictable starts.
“So if we make a kind of list of specific parameters: to reduce driver aids, we can apply that immediately.”
Ecclestone meanwhile is keen to see drivers showing their “true colours” by reducing the information they receive, so they’re forced to make their own decisions.
“All this chatter with the pit wall and the instructions from the engineers for the drivers – all that has to stop!
“The drivers have to be in the centre again – they have to do their race and show their true colours. I promise you that it will come!”
It’s worth noting that Todt and Ecclestone have the power to out-vote the teams and are therefore in a strong position to decide what path F1’s future will take.