Martin Brundle reckons the new formula this season will mean the 2017 F1 cars will be “brutal” and “monsters” to drive, although he isn't convinced it will necessarily lead to better racing.
Under the revised regulations, described recently by McLaren technical director Tim Goss as some of “the most significant we've ever had in the sport”, speeds are predicted to be three to five seconds per lap faster, thanks to changes which see the cars and tyres widened and the levels of downforce increased.
Speaking at Autosport International this week, the ex-F1 driver and Sky Sports F1
commentator and pundit emphasised that the “litmus test” will be if the cars can follow each other and ultimately if it improves or detracts from the show.
“It is certainly going to be different, the cars are going to be brutal,” Brundle said. “They are going to look more elegant, but I think for the drivers they are going to be much tougher to drive, which is a good thing.
“In theory I think we have gone the wrong way though in terms of making the racing better, and when you hear stories like some corners will be reclassified as straights [it is not good]... But then I remember driving the Red Bull when it had the blown diffuser and that thing didn't move in a lot of corners either; it was easy full throttle.”
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“With the amount of power and torque the current  cars have got - they don't sound very good – but I've driven the Mercedes, Force India and Ferrari now. They are amazing engines to drive; seamless, unbelievable, endless amounts of power - even though they sound rubbish. But put that into a car with a lot more downforce and much bigger tyres, 25 percent bigger tyres - the whole thing is 11 percent wider [too] - it is going to be a monster to drive. Whether it makes better racing or not, we will find out,” he continued.
“The braking distances will be shorter [as well]. More grip means less mistakes by the drivers and they might be braking four or five metres later. That means you have less opportunity to overtake.
“The key is: Can they follow each other? That will be the absolute litmus test of how it works this year.”
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