Formula 1 is set to undergo a radical revolution in 2017 with the arrival or more powerful engines and relaxed aero rules in a bid to “spice things up”.
The changes come amid calls from Bernie Ecclestone to revert back to the V8 engines and boost their power output to 1000bhp. However the 84-year-old often says things at one end of the scale in order to reach a compromise somewhere in the middle.
It seems his latest comments conform to that rule. Ecclestone met with team bosses in Bahrain to discuss the matter, where it seems a compromise has been found which will see the sport continue with the current hybrid-V6 power units, but they will be tuned to meet the 1000bhp goal by increasing the fuel flow limit.
These will be introduced in 2017 alongside sweeping aero rules which will be aimed at making the cars harder to drive, better looking and more innovative.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been the biggest barrier to change, but following the latest meeting, admits change is coming.
“The rules are going to get changed for 2017,” he told the official F1 website. “The teams sat down with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone to discuss possible avenues in order to make the cars more spectacular and quicker. That is happening…
“I think that the changes on the power train will be smaller than changes on the chassis side,” he added, referring to the decision to stay with the current formula. “As it is right now the architecture of the power train including the hybrid system and energy recovery system should not change a lot.
“But we can do a lot on the chassis side. And maybe in the end also on the power unit – we shouldn’t be shy to see where we can improve the show.”
Ecclestone’s main concern is getting the V6 engine down to an affordable price and believes that’s the only problem standing in the way of change.
“The two things that have to happen; whoever supplies these teams have to supply the same engine they currently use upgraded to 1000bhp, then they need to supply it to the teams at a price the teams can afford.”
Research into what changes should be made on the chassis side, such as wider cars, less aero restrictions and wider tyres, is currently underway.