Formula 1 will round another corner today (Tuesday) as the powers that be plot the future of the sport with a focus on regulations.
Writing for Brazil’s Globo, respected correspondent Livio Oricchio reports that the topic of a dramatic change of regulations will be debated during the F1 Commission meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.
On the table is a 1,000 horse power engine formula and significantly different cars, with bigger tyres and 1997-style wider chassis, with Oricchio saying the changes could even be introduced as early as 2016.
He said the proposals are to address waning TV and spectator audiences, giving fans “what they most like to see: really fast and powerful cars making a lot of noise and presenting the drivers as true heroes”.
Oricchio said the deadline to introduce the measures in time for 2016 is March 1. However, it appears more likely that the sport will agree to postpone the rules revolution until 2017.
“If we’re going to change formula one,” McLaren supremo Ron Dennis told Britain’s Sky, “we should change it dramatically and therefore we should change it dramatically for 2017.
“If we dramatically try and change formula one for 2016 the cost implications will be huge.”
But Michael Schmidt, the authoritative correspondent for Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, has no faith that F1 can collectively make a worthwhile change even for 2017.
He said recent meetings have passed without any financial or cost-cutting help having been directed to the struggling Force India, Sauber and Lotus. And he argues that F1’s problems run deeper than engine noise.
“The PR teams are largely to blame,” said Schmidt.”Look at these pre-season tests. Drivers and engineers are literally hidden from the media. The press releases and statements issued to journalists do not make for interesting stories.
“And most teams probably do not realise that internet traffic is already significantly higher than those of the TV networks.
“As long as the decisions in formula one are decentralised and democratic,” Schmidt warned, “the alarms will never be heard because self-interest is too strong.”