F1 Lifts Development Regulations Out of the Mire

Regulation reform promises to usher in a new, but old, era of F1 racing.

It’s official. We’re draining the swamp folks. We’re getting a brand-spankin’-new set of development regulations for the 2017 F1 season. A “new” method that harkens back to how things used to – and aught – to be.

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The new change will see incredibly tight regulations loosened and lifted so that teams will gain the ability to perform mid-season tuning. This will finally (thank you God), bring back the progression and advancement that was seen in previous incarnations of F1. The change should, in theory, allow for a more dynamic, robust, and ultimately entertaining motorsport to watch.
Jenson Button spoke on the change, saying:

“If you start with a car that is quick you win races through the year, but if you start with a car that is not quick then it is not quick by the end of the year too! The development curve is very difficult with how restricted the regulations are. I think in terms of development we have done the best over the last two years, but we have also come from a low position.

While the current front-loaded regulation layout forces teams to tweak and perfect the living hell out of their engines pre-season, it certainly harshly penalizes those that didn’t quite get it right the first time.”

– Jenson Button

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While the full details of the regulation overhaul remain to be seen, it’s a step in the right direction for the sport. While one can’t expect a complete drop of regulation and oversight, having the limits peeled back slightly might prove to be enough to breathe new life into the 2017 season.

“I think the big change next year is positive – that is great for the sport and you will see big progress through the year, which is also what people like seeing. Back in the day you could start with a car that wasn’t so competitive and you could develop it and be winning races mid-season or towards the end of the year, like McLaren did in 2009. Whereas now you can’t do that.

– Jenson Button

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The sport requires an injection of excitement without a doubt. To no fault of Mercedes, their dominance has denied others from challenging for wins for large chunks of the season. A contest for both the Driver’s and the Constructors will surely go a long way to breathing life back into Formula One.