F1's radical rules changes for 2017 may stumble at the last hurdle, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports. Earlier, it emerged that eight of the 11 active teams actually now oppose the rules for much faster cars next year, fearing they will only increase costs and actually exacerbate the sport's overtaking problem.
Explaining how hard it is for one car to follow another due to the aerodynamic 'wake', Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says: "The same will happen next year, but much more. I think for F1 in general and for overtaking, adding downforce was the wrong decision." FIA official Charlie Whiting, however, has played down those fears by saying at least half of the slashed laptime next year will actually be due to "wider tyres" supplied by Pirelli.
But that is precisely the problem. Although Pirelli has signed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone for 2017 and beyond, the contract with the governing FIA is yet to be finalised. One of the reasons for the delay is that Pirelli's demands not only for more testing but an adequate test car to trial the bigger tyres for 2017 have not yet been met. "If we are going to set them targets, they want the tools with which to achieve those targets," Whiting admitted.
But he said that teams have vowed to supply Pirelli with a 2015 car modified to simulate 2017 levels of downforce. Where this car will actually come from, however, is still unknown. "It would cost 10 million euros," a source is quoted as saying.
The source explained that championship-contending teams will not want to waste that expense on a tyre testing car, while those further back on the grid simply don't have the money. "Who will pay for it?" Auto Motor und Sport quotes Force India's Bob Fernley as wondering. "Will the wind tunnel testing count towards the 25 hour (per week) allowance?" (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing