The F1 Cars of 2017 – Are They Too Powerful?

There’s no doubt that the revamps in regulations to the 2017 F1 cars are going to have significant effects on the racing, but could it be regressive?

Wider and longer cars, more powerful engines, combined with an unrestricted approach to mid-season tweaking, the F1 cars of 2017 are going to be absolutely monsters out on the track. This sounds like an incredible step forward for the sport – but there’s just one problem: what do faster cars and more downforce equate to? Well, for Force India driver Esteban Ocon, it’s going to mean less interesting races for one.

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Esteban Ocon of France and Manor Racing gets ready in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 3, 2016 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Esteban Ocon of France and Manor Racing gets ready in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 3, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“…or the races it’s not going to be interesting, it’s going to be harder to overtake, and there’s going to be less opportunities.”

– Esteban Ocon

Perhaps this is why F1 stewards have been given the green to be more lenient with races in 2017; they’re expecting a more aggressive style to the type of racing the drivers will have to adopt.

Who knows what the end result will be, but this could be an excellent step in the right direction. We need more battles out on the track. Watching the same positions remain unchanged for twenty laps isn’t exciting – no matter how incredible the driving happens to be.

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 31: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – JULY 31: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Then again, the incoming additional speed from the re-touched engines might be enough to placate the excitement-starved masses. Or at least Ocon thinks so:

“…it’s going to be mega impressive now in corners, it’s going to be so quick. The camera will see a speed that we saw only in qualifying, now we will see it all the time.” – Esteban Ocon

Hopefully the recently opened up regulations will allow the sport to backpedal swiftly if this move backfires, otherwise all of this effort will be for naught and we’ll be stuck with a predictable running order. There were plenty of close battles in the midfield last season, but these gaps could increase again with the reset button.