STRAP yourselves in boys, it’s going to be a wild ride.
That’s the message from former F1 driver and respected pundit Martin Brundle ahead of the 2017 season.
Cars will undergo a huge evolution this year as new rules combined with the end of the V6 hybrid era give drivers a new challenge. Hybrid-turbo power units will make cars more powerful while changes to the exterior — such as fatter tyres and wider front and rear wings — are going to produce extra downforce and grip levels.
Brundle believes these changes will make the four wheelers “monsters”.
“It’s certainly going to be different, the cars are going to be brutal,” Brundle said at the Autopsort International’s Racing Car Show.
“With the amount of power and torque the (current) cars have got … they are amazing engines to drive, endless amounts of power — even though they sound rubbish.
“Put that into a car with a lot more downforce and 25 per cent bigger tyres — the whole thing is 11 per cent wider — it is going to be a monster to drive. Whether it makes better racing or not, we’ll find out.
“The braking distances will be shorter too. More grip means they might be braking four or five metres later. That means you have less opportunity to overtake.”
Talk before recent F1 seasons has often focused on the sport being too boring. The cars not producing the same distinctive roar of yesteryear and the expected dominance of Mercedes were just a couple of factors fans and drivers took issue with.
However, Brundle isn’t so sure the new-look vehicles are the solution.
“In theory, I think we’ve gone the wrong way in terms of making the racing better. You hear some stories that some corners will be reclassified as straights.
“The key this is — can they follow each other? That will be the absolute litmus test of how it works this year.”
FERRARI EYES SCHUMACHER’S SON
Mick Schumacher certainly takes after his father.
The 17-year-old son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher will this season race with Prema in the European Formula 3 Championship, and could soon find himself progressing even further in his racing career.
Ferrari has indicated it would relish the opportunity to sign the talented youngster to its driver academy (FDA).
“Obviously we follow him,” FDA manager Massimo Rivola told Gazzetta dello Sport. “This year we will have the opportunity to stay very close to Mick, because he will be a teammate of our FDA driver (Guan Yu) Zhou in the Prema team.
“About his future, I don’t know what Mick will decide to do. But if he would like to enter the FDA program, he will find a red carpet.”
The German’s famous father won five of his world titles with Ferrari.