F1 changes to bring the noise and cut driver aids
The Formula One Strategy Group has released details about changes to the sport, which are aimed at injecting some extra excitement into the racing from 2016 onwards. Changes to the cars' exhaust systems and tires have been tabled, while electronic aids will be cut back in an attempt to make the racing more challenging for drivers and more unpredictable for fans.
Chief among the complaints leveled at the modern V6 turbo powerplants is the noise – or lack thereof. Whereas Formula 1's old V8 engines screamed and howled all the way to their 18,000 rpm redlines, the current generation of power units are far more muted, and fans have complained about the dull sound they produce. To deal with this, the Strategy Group plans on revising the exhaust systems to create a more evocative, exciting sound.
Exhaust sound has been the least of McLaren and Honda's problems this season. Honda, which returned to F1 in 2015, has battled reliability issues all season, and was penalized for using an extra engine beyond the four allowed by current regulations. The new F1 regulations will allow new engine manufacturers an extra engine, and apply retroactively to Honda this season "for the sake of fairness."
Teams will also have extra freedom in terms of tire compounds, with details for next season being worked out with official supplier Pirelli.
In the shorter term, the range of driver aids available to drivers will be restricted from the Belgian Grand Prix on, with an emphasis on race starts. The amount of in-race coaching will also be restricted.
Although details are scarce, the Strategy Group has even been discussing a number of changes to the qualifying and race weekend format that are now being assessed by the FIA and F1 Management for introduction in 2016.
Looking further down the track, the Formula One Strategy Group plans to make cars look faster and more aggressive, with proposals for new wings and a new floor shape for 2017 already being assessed by teams. These changes would also make the cars wider and create significantly more aerodynamic downforce than the current aero kits produce.
Source: Formula 1