Formula 1 has a team of specialists dedicated to shaping the future of the championship. They are said to be focusing on improving three areas of car performance – aerodynamics, engines and suspension. So the team is planning to introduce some Formula One rules to do so. The sport is eager to boost its audience and increase engagement with fans. The team consists of former Benetton/Renault/Williams technical chief Pat Symonds as well as a few other officials.
Symonds said, “We’re looking at the technical and sporting regulations. We need to use this lens [audience research] to inspect each change we want to make. Now we can say, let’s decide what our performance differentiators are. F1 technical regulations are split into 21 sections. As we go through those sections, we can see some of them aren’t very relevant to the spectacle. So we decided that what we wanted to do was technically, we wanted to have three performance differentiators.”
He spoke of the 3 main components that they were planning to concentrate on. He said, “Those would be aerodynamics – it is interesting to a lot of people and no one could write rules that didn’t make it a performance differentiator so we might as well expect it and make it one of the things that matters. Equally, the power unit. For manufacturers involved in F1, it’s important to them. It interesting to fans so let’s make it a performance differential. Finally is suspension – and by that I mean the way we treat the tyres, the way the teams use the tyres. Those are the three technical differentiators that we want to see. There will be others – drivers, pitstops, pit crew, strategy. But these are the technical things we’re really going to focus on.”
The F1 technical team is also looking at other aspects that need addressing, such as costs and predictability of races. Symonds stressed on the need to look at the costs and their impact on the grid, particularly the midfield teams. He said that the aim is to get rid of predictability. According to him, the worst times in racing have been when the result has been predictable. He spoke of the Mercedes domination that had been going on for a couple of years.
Symonds said, “We want to look at the spectacle, we want visual appeal, we want to recognise the role of the driver. We need to look at the problem of the live audience and the TV audience as they have different requirements. And we have to look at the race week experience. It’s no longer good enough to think about just what happens on Sunday.”
Symonds has admitted that to improve the sport, they need to take a good long look at the Formula One rules, so how will F1 change for the better?