The 2017 Formula 1 season is slowly but surely getting up to speed, with most cars having been presented last week and the first of two four-day training sessions starting today, before the season then kicks off at the end of March in Melbourne.
The biggest change to the cars is a very visible one, namely the sheer size. The front aisle is now around 2 meters wide, and cars have also grown around 20 cm in length, in both cases contributing to giving them a more muscular look. The rear aisle has grown as well, and all these factors taken together should contribute to better downforce and hereby also higher speeds, estimated to as much as 40 km/h higher cornering speed.
This obviously puts increased pressure on tires and the (only) supplier Pirelli, and the solution is not only larger but also more durable tires that will make one-stop races possible again.
On the engine front the talk is about more than 900 hp and also the decision to continue to work on engine development during the season, something that could clearly benefit the smaller teams.
Taking all this together, larger cars with more downforce, larger tires and stronger engines will surely be capable of faster lap times. To what extent they also contribute to more exciting races and less Mercedes dominance remains to be seen once the season starts in a month’s time.