Costa: Teams forced to start 2017 car without design remit

Formula 1 teams are being forced to work towards a 2017 car despite not agreeing that the changes will boost entertainment, according to Mercedes engineering director Aldo Costa.

F1 chiefs are embroiled in discussions to enhance the show from 2017, with wider tyres and greater aerodynamics being put forward to make the cars five seconds faster.

However, with just over a year before the beginning of 2017 season, no regulations have been released and the teams, FIA and commercial rights holder are still not in agreement as to what is required to increase the sport’s popularity.

Despite having no official remit to work with, Costa revealed that F1 engineers have been forced to commence work on their 2017 contenders and believes it will test the resources of the entire grid.

"Combining the 2016 and 2017 programmes is going to be very difficult, and difficult for Formula 1 in general," Costa told Autosport.

"We have these new rules, but there are a lot of things in them that are wrong for the show in our opinion, and we need to say that.

"As engineers we feel we have done quite a lot for the car being able to overtake, with the previous rules and the current rules.

"By going to a car that has an enormous amount of downforce and a very complex aerodynamic shape, in our opinion it will make overtaking more difficult. That's our fear at this moment.

"We cannot demonstrate it, but [we] are expressing that in the technical meetings with the FIA and the engineers in the other teams.

"So that's the discussion. What's the best rule change for improving the overtaking, but meeting the target of having these faster cars?"

Mechanical Grip

World Champion Lewis Hamilton has also spoken out against the rule changes, stating that more mechanical grip was required from the cars rather than aerodynamic, enabling drivers to overcome the issue of turbulent air.

"Ultimately something does need to change because Formula 1, it has been the same for a long time," Hamilton said.

"But I know they're talking about giving us more aerodynamics which for me is like the worst idea. And it just shows for me that they don't really know what they're trying to solve.

"From a driver's point of view we want more grip from our tyres. We want less wake coming from the car in front so therefore we can get closer."

Former Ferrari engineer Costa agrees with Hamilton that mechanical grip is required to help drivers overtake, however stressed that discussions with the sport's hierarchy are on-going.

"We believe we should go towards improving mechanical grip, more than a pure aerodynamic exercise," Costa added.

"The discussion is still open with the FIA, still ongoing. There are possibilities to express opinions and discuss them."