Formula 1 2017. features one of the biggest regulation changes in last two decades and this time bigger tyres and new bodywork are the main areas of changes.
Changes should make the cars faster, visually more attractive and physically harder to drive.
F1 cars was already very fast in 2016. breaking circuit records in Bahrain and Austria, but changes in 2017. should make them around four seconds per lap faster.
Darjan Petric present his vision of 2017. Formula 1 car according to FIA F1 2017. technical regulations.
Tyres and wheels
New tyres will be 25% wider than in 2016. – the front tyres will be 305 mm wide (previously 245 mm), a rear 405 mm (previously 325 mm). Diameter of the tyre is increased for 10 mm (670 mm for dry-weather tyres and 680 mm for wet-weather tyres) and the wheel size remains 13 inches.
Minimum wheel thickness is reduced from 3.0 mm to 2.5 mm.
Maximum disc thickness is increased from 28 mm to 32 mm. Maximum outside diameter remains 278 mm.
a) front wing
Front wing width is increased to 1800 mm (2014. – 2016. was 1650 mm wide).
b) rear wing
Rear wing will be wider (950 mm instead 750 mm) i lower (800 mm instead 950 mm). Endplates are swept in side view and tucked in front view.
One of the most significant aerodynamic changes is larger diffuser which is 50 mm taller (175 mm instead of 125 mm), 50 mm wider (1050 mm instead of 1000 mm) and starts 175 mm in front of the rear axle (before started on rear axle).
Maximum width is increased from 1400 mm to 1600 mm, and minimum width is increased from 1300 mm to 1400 mm. Exclusion zones around front wheels are reduced allowing larger bargeboard to control turbulent airflow from rotating front wheels more efficiently. Overall width of the car is increased from 1800 mm to 2000 mm.
Bigger tyres and wider bodywork led to minimum weight increase from 702 kg to 728 kg.
The weight applied on the front and rear wheels must not be less than 331kg and 390kg respectively at all times during the GP weekend, measured during qualifying practice session.
If, when required for checking, a car is not already fitted with dry-weather tyres, it will be weighed on a set of dry-weather tyres selected by the FIA technical delegate.
To prevent drivers stockpiling spare power unit elements, FIA introduced new rule – during any GP weekend, if a driver introduces more than one power unit element that leads to grid penalty, only the last element fitted may be used at next races without further penalty.
There are also numerous changes regarding power unit costs, power convergence and obligation of supply.
Power unit price for customer teams is reduced by 1 million euros per season compared to 2016.
To ensure the supply to customer teams, homologation now includes an ‘obligation to supply’ which means if any team doesn’t have an engine for next season, manufacturer with least customers has the obligation to supply that team.
‘Token system’ is removed for 2017. which enable manufactures to develop their engines in-season.
For 2017. only, a competitor may re-nominate gear ratios, which must be declared as a set, once within the Championship season. In such cases the original nomination will become immediately void, however, gearboxes currently in use and part way through their six race cycle, may continue to be used with the originally nominated gears until the end of that cycle.
Wider cars and tyres will lead to increased aerodynamic drag which slows the car down and increase fuel consumption. FIA increased maximum amount of fuel for the race from 100 kg to 105 kg, but maximum fuel flow rate remains 100 kg/h.
No competitor may have more than five fuel formulations approved for use during a Championship season and have more than two approved fuels available during an Event
If the race has to start behind safety car due to bad weather, normal standing start will occur once the track is deemed safe to race and safety car returns to the pit lane.
Drivers must use the same helmet design at all races for easy recognition in the car. But in 2017. every driver can use a special livery at one event of his choosing. Also, drivers can change their helmet design if changing teams during the season.