Williams Martini Racing technical director Pat Symonds has revealed the first steps towards an overhaul of the technical regulations for the 2017 season are well underway, teasing the design of the revised cars will potentially be 'retro'
The governing body has been forging ahead with radical plans to introduce wholesale changes to the regulations from the 2017 F1 season, primarily intended to make the cars faster by upwards of five seconds per lap and more aggressive looking.
With this improvement set to come from a combination of aerodynamic tweaks and from changes to the Pirelli tyres, teams have been working to 'fully define aerodynamic regulations' and lay the foundation for what F1's new era.
As it stands, Symonds says a draft of Article 3 – which sets out bodywork and dimensions – is set to be formally agreed within the next week, even if says tyre dimensions are yet to be agreed.
“There is a draft of article 3, largely Williams is putting all the wording together, although of course the discussion has been very wide,” he said. “That draft is going to the teams within the next week, but it is essentially everything that has already been agreed, it is just putting it all down into one document.
“It does fully define the aerodynamic regulations. In itself, it doesn't define the tyre size, but we have agreed on the tyre size and the regulations are built around those tyre sizes because although article 3 doesn't refer to any tyre sizes, obviously various widths of wings and bodywork and things are all linked to that. I believe that we have now a fully defined set of rules that relate to all of the bodywork. I believe we have an agreement with Pirelli as to what the tyre sizes should be.
“There are some differing opinions as to what the performance of the package will be, as indeed there was in 2008. There were differing views on performance then. But we are in the position to go ahead. As far as I know the Strategy Group, everyone is happy, the Formula 1 Commission is happy I believe.
“The rules need to be ratified before March and there is time for that. There is another meeting of the TRM, the week after next hopefully. So, we are pretty well there. We have done what we were asked to do.”
Symonds says the proposed bodywork changes mean the cars could take on a 'retro' look for the 2017 season with its bigger diffuser and front-wing.
“It has ended up with a bigger diffuser and a substantial front wing and some quite attractive styling. It is a little bit retro, but the brief from the Strategy Group was to make the cars quicker and to make the styling a bit better.
“I think we have done those two. It is not for me to say whether it is the right thing or not. I think the TRM members have done what was asked of them.”