The 2017 F1 Changes Help the Richest Teams

Former Williams technical director Patrick Head has offered insight into how the 2017 F1 rule changes will affect the sport.

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 31:  during the Formula One Grand Prix of GermanyFelipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW38 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – JULY 31: during the Formula One Grand Prix of GermanyFelipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW38 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

In other news, water is wet. We’ve all got the highest of hopes for the upcoming 2017 F1 season, but it doesn’t look like we’re in for any sort of grand upheaval. William’s former technical director Patrick Head had a bit of insight to share:

“If anybody was thinking of these rules with the aim of closing the field up then they’ve got rocks in their head. Any time you make significant changes the advantage will always go to the bigger teams – because they have more resources, they have more capability to parallel develop their existing car and work on design of their new car.” – Patrick Head

Well, there’s not much to argue against that. I wish there was something I could point to in the regulations for 2017, but since the budget cap was scrapped from regulations, we’re still more or less where we were before.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27: Felipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW38 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track  during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 27: Felipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW38 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

There is a  belief in some quarters that the implementation of a budget cap would be “unfair” to the teams that have the funds – forcefully bringing them down to the levels of the lesser-funded plebs. But here’s the thing, F1 might be all about the sexy technology, but the gap in funding does more damage than benefit.

It’s true what they say about limitation – it does breed creativity. Who knows what sort of advancements top-tier teams like Mercedes could come up with when they’re forced to pinch every penny? Looking over the final Constructor’s standings, and you’d have to say that per dollar, Force India did a better job than any team on the grid.

Force India's Xmas list

At this point, the only event that could force the administration’s hand in the matter would be several more years of Mercedes-led dominance with a near-static grid composition for the duration of the season.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.