One of the thrills of watching Formula One is the sight of a driver trying to tame a wild powerful machine while driving on the edge for 90 minutes. However, in recent times there has been a feeling that the cars have become easy to drive and the sport was no longer the pinnacle of motor racing.
But according to the technical boss of Red Bull Racing and legendary F1 designer, Adrian Newey, the new season promises to make Formula One cars the monsters they used to be. The 2017 season will see new set of rules kick designed to make cars faster and harder for drivers.
Newey is in the city with his son Harrison, who is taking part in the MRF Challenge and won the first race on Saturday.
“I think the cars will certainly be a lot faster. The idea of the new regulations was to make the cars more physical to drive. We’re all used to now, over the last two or three years, watching television and when the drivers come on the radio, it doesn’t sound as if their heartbeat is raised at all,” said the 58-year old who has designed title-winning cars for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.
More difficult cars
He added, “I think a fan seeing on TV should be in awe and must be thinking ‘I can’t do that.’ At the moment F1 is in bit of danger of not having that physicality. When you watch you might think ‘yup, with a bit of practice I think I can do it.’ You’d be wrong of course but that’s not the point. So cars need to be more difficult.”
One of the main reason for the debate on cars being easy was due to the success of his team’s young star Max Verstappen and his meteoric rise which saw the Belgian-Dutch driver become the youngest debutant (in 2015) and a race winner (in 2016). Newey concurred saying, it was indeed easy for someone like Verstappen to get up to speed quickly, unlike with the more physical cars of the 1980s.
For the last three years, the interesting storyline in F1 has been the rivalry between team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Going into 2017, with Red Bull having closed the gap on Mercedes last year, the rivalry between Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo could be the one to watch out for and Newey is hoping things won’t go south like it did when Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were racing for Red Bull.
“In Daniel and Max we have a very good pairing. Daniel is very calm, a very quick driver but smooth and has a very good feel for the car. Max is obviously very exciting exciting to watch.
“In terms of them being team-mates, it’s good for us because they bring slightly different things to the team from an engineering standpoint and from an overall perspective the excitement.
“They’re both very good lads and I think hopefully we won’t get into the kind of difficulties the team faced when Sebastian and Mark started falling out.”