Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says it will be a development race in 2017 and that the “relentless pursuit of chasing upgrades will be a key part of the year”.
Under the changes for next season, aerodynamics will again become more important, although Horner concedes this might not work in their favour and that it is possible to miss things as happened in 2009 when Brawn GP got the jump on the pack with the double diffuser.
“It's going to be a development race next year for sure. There will be easy gains at the beginning of any development cycle. [But] that relentless pursuit of chasing upgrades will be a key part of next year,” he predicted.
“[Also] you [have to] hope that you haven't missed something like the double diffuser where there is an interpretation of the regulations that someone has spotted that generates an advantage.
“The regulations aren't quite as dramatic as they were from '08 to '09. But they still represent a great opportunity to make the cars significantly quicker. With the tyre profile and size that they are moving to, it's a different challenge.”
Meanwhile, Horner also said while it will be difficult to beat the dominant Mercedes team, despite the regulation overhaul, he is hopeful they can continue to close up.
“I think it's going to be tough to overcome Mercedes, they will go into next year as the clear favourites. They have won three consecutive world championships, they've won 50-odd grands prix in the last three years.
“We're hopeful with the new regulations though, it should balance out the emphasis between chassis and engine. We're confident we should make a bit of progress over the winter with the engine [as well]. The regulations are a clean sheet of paper for everybody. You don't know where you sit at the moment compared to your opposition. It's an opportunity or it's a challenge we're looking forward to.
“It's only really when we get to Melbourne that we'll get a glimpse of where the competitive ranking is. But for sure, Mercedes will be going in as the firm favourites.
"We're just hopeful we can close that gap so we don't have predictable results every grand prix weekend,” he concluded.