2017 ‘launch season’ set to begin

Mon, 20 February 2017, 08:35

Feb.20 (GMM) Less than three months after the chequered flag in 2016, F1 is set to burst back into life.

Images of the new Williams have already been revealed, and ‘launch season’ will begin in earnest on Monday, beginning with Sauber and then continuing right up until the start of winter testing in Barcelona in one week.

“They look pretty cool,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said, referring to the new generation, much faster breed of 2017 cars.

“The cars look spectacular from the front and the rear, and with the fat tyres it’s a bit retro, a bit 80s,” he is quoted by the German news agency DPA.

Looks aside, strong advocates for the switch in emphasis from power to aerodynamics, like Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, think the change will be good for F1.

“I think we will see spectacular overtaking,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“But to say that it is exactly what we are wanting is difficult. Judging by the simulations, different scenarios are possible so we’ll see.

“In any case, the value of the driver skill will increase,” Marko added.

He thinks a lot will depend on Pirelli, the official supplier of F1’s new, bigger and grippier tyres.

“If the tyres are really high quality, it will allow one driver to chase another finally. Previously this was not possible because it immediately begin to wear the front tyres, breaking the balance of the car,” said Marko.

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