The FIA conducted a thorough review of the existing regulations with a view to significantly increase the speed of the cars. In 2017 will enter in force of such regulatory change and it is expected that the lap times improve an average of five seconds.
But Pat Symonds believes that it would be reasonable to expect an improvement of four seconds, similar to the performance given by the Formula 1 of the mid of the last decade. “The performance is being more like the cars of the mid-2000s, but not really to that level. The objective was to be five seconds per lap faster, well, I’m not sure that you are going to meet”.
Symonds is based on the simulations of Williams but, as Pirelli recently recognized, the estimates vary depending of each computer. And it is precisely the tire manufacturer who has the key, according to the Technical Director of the Grove. “We have the big unknown of the tires, of course, don’t really know where we are. But by making some reasonable assumptions with the tyres, I think we’ll be on the mark of four seconds”.
Symonds believes that in the circuits in which the load aerodynamics plays an important role, as in Barcelona, Silverstone or Suzuka, the times will come down, something that others like Monza will not be much less obvious. “In a place like Barcelona, where this type of car will yield very well, I think that will be a bit more, but in places like Monza for example, where it is currently take away a lot of downforce because you already have much more drag for the wider tires, I don’t think we see much difference in the lap time”.