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Analysis – F1 car 2017

Snapshot: Has the F1 really plateaued? The 2017 car is set to carry a host of welcome changes, what are they, how will they most likely affect the performance? We find out.

With an intent to improve the lap times by four to five seconds over the last generation car, F1 car of the upcoming year, 2017 would be in for an overhaul. The major focus is upon improving the overall aesthetics, along with an effort to make the cars look more aggressive. So what are the changes that we might see?   

Engine

Cost cutting measures would likely continue and you would see smaller V6 motors that would continue to employ hybrid turbos. Complaints from sport enthusiasts over quieter cars may get addressed to some extent and you might see higher revving engines that are comparatively noisier. The number of power units that would be available during the season would also be reduced from 5 to 4 regardless of the races in the season.    

Dynamics

The front and rear track would increase from 1800mm to 2000mm, enabling drivers to carry more speed into corners and increasing the effect of G forces on drivers, making it comparatively difficult to drive. The dynamics would improve significantly also due to introduction of wider tyres at the front and rear.

Weight

Overall, the weight of the car is expected to increase by 20kg and go from 702kg to 722kg. This should not affect the overall range of the car since they would also be allowed to carry 5kg more fuel i.e. 105kg.

Aerodynamics

Major changes would be made to the front and rear wings spans, which would be wider. The rear wing would be lowered and along with modified diffusers it’s expected that it would make greater down force. Barge boards that effectively reduce air speed around sidepods would be reprofiled too.

What about the Halo?

The odd looking Halo head protection device would not make it to the cars in 2017. It remains a strong option nevertheless. Despite claims, that it affects visibility and is not aesthetically pleasing, it’s expected that it would be put on hold until 2018.

Will the cars be any faster?

With the changes to the aerodynamics, it’s expected that aero grip would improve. It’s also expected that wider tyres would also improve mechanical grip improving overall chances of overtaking around corners, but it would not be much. In comparison, due to the increased aero drag, the cars would have comparatively lower straight line speeds. Overall, it’s expected that it would make the car four to five second faster.

What can you expect overall?

How much fast the cars would turn out to be and how will everything shape up, cannot be said until the winter testing begins, however,  it’s expected that F1 stars would not have fewer reasons to complain as the cars would be quite challenging to drive. Driving new cars would be a test of the driving abilities and fitness as they would be more exhausting to drive. F1 fans can look forward to comparatively louder and more aggressive cars that do not look retro.

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