Automotive

F1 changes to bring the noise and cut driver aids

F1 changes to bring the noise ...
The Formula One Strategy Group has tabled a number of changes to the F1 formula in 2016
The Formula One Strategy Group has tabled a number of changes to the F1 formula in 2016
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Honda-powered McLarens have battled with reliabilty issues this year
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Honda-powered McLarens have battled with reliabilty issues this year
The Formula One Strategy Group has tabled a number of changes to the F1 formula in 2016
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The Formula One Strategy Group has tabled a number of changes to the F1 formula in 2016

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."

Honda-powered McLarens have battled with reliabilty issues this year
Honda-powered McLarens have battled with reliabilty issues this year

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

7 comments
Jugen
It's really good that they are changing the rules around what info the pit wall can give the drivers during the race. Racing is about the driver making his or her own decisions in the heat of the race. This years season is like watching MPs from the Green party driving to a environmental convention.
Kuberkoos
I can live with the exhaust noise as is, but not with the announcement that " Peter So-and-so driving a Pepsicola Orange won" I need to know what make of car/engine won the race!
vblancer
The "no driver coaching" thing is idiotic. Impossible to enforce. "Your Mom is not doing well" means "Your using too much fuel". "Mom is doing very well" means "Go for it you have all the fuel you need". The truck driver burned the bacon for lunch" means "Your brakes are not going to last the race if you keep using them at the current rate!" and "We will have a great lunch after the race" means the "Brakes are fine use them up" The rule is not enforceable and an unenforceable rules are far worst than no rules at all. They are already doing just this to get around the current no driver coaching rules. Driver coaching has been around since the first guy used a pit board. It got better (or worse depending on point of view) when radios were put into the cars. It is a stupid rule and can not be enforced. The cars now sound down right flatulent. One big fart. I want to hear real racing engines with all the snap crackle pop of a turbo engine or the refined scream of the naturally aspirated engines. The area under the nose should be lowered as right now the drivers feet are higher than his face!!. Doing this will take away aero dependency and widening the tires and track width (of the car) will give back mechanical grip. Do this and the cars will not "stall out" in the wake of another care as they get near to pass. This year's nose is slightly better but last year were the ugliest, nastiest sounding F1 cars since the 4 cylinder front engine days and at least then the driver mattered much more. Build REAL engines not "power units". There is absolutely no reason for "green" F1 cars. This is supposed to be the epitome of race car design not a glorified Prius. If you REALLY have to have green racing do it through the fuels allowed. Methanol is green for instance and they could go to a mix of that and racing gas but with a lower octane rating something like pump gas. The current cars are an abomination to true F1 fans. Build a SAFE version of the cars Senna and Prost battled in. THOSE were race cars as were the cars Keke Rosberg, Lauda, Hunt, Burger and a very young Schmacher raced. Simple wings, mostly flat bottoms, wide track and fat tires with enough power to scare the driver (at minimum 900 HP). Now all the races are fuel mileage events by cars that sound like they had a bad burrito last night. It is stupid.
MikeW
Be it government, a large organization, the central planner types will always take the fun out of life. They just are the kind of people who feel the need to regulate every aspect of life. [usually they exempt themselves of course] In F1, if it really wanted to be the premier racing league would be in the business of eliminating rules and let the creativity of the designers and the skill of the drivers determine their success or failure. There should only be a few and easy to enforce rules to limit top end speed like much smaller width tires. If you want 2,000 HP fine but try going through a corner at top speed with tires 1/2 the width of current tires. This would breed another round of engineering achievements in engine design, transmissions, suspensions, aerodynamics, tire compounds and allow F1 to legitimately claim to be the premier league. And as a side benefit just maybe the person on the poll will not win most of the races and fans might actually witness something called passing which in spite of their claims to the contrary, are almost technically outlawed.
DFrancis
There is a simple way to inject excitement into F1 - make the racing fairer. Its current unfairness is caused by the blue flag, the rule whereby a slower driver must move aside when approached by a faster one, being penalised if they fail to do so. In what way is that racing, proper racing? Why doesn't anyone in the FIA recognise that it favours the front runners, that it's a biased system? All drivers are there for the same reason: to win. Even if the less eperienced or talented can't win, they can at least try to win points, but they are less likely to do so within such a predujiced system. So many times we have seen incidents that cause the front runners to exit the race, whether it be due to driver error, mechanical failure, or even a pit crew error. It is possible for one of the lesser drivers to do well. Mistakes are part of racing. So is danger. Dump the blue flag. Let's have a level playing field.
flibb
Remove the baffles, give them back a gear stick and get rid of ridiculous penalties for replacing broken bits that the drivers are not responsible for. Let the drivers win the races not the computers.
Bruce H. Anderson
Are the "fans" there for the race, or for the party? A party is easier to control, to replicate, and to profit from.