Newey sceptical over F1's 2017 regulation changes


Red Bull's chief technical officer Adrian Newey does not feel that regulation changes planned for 2017 will go far enough to shake up an "engine dominated" Formula One.

Newey has openly criticised F1's engine regulation changes in 2014 that have allowed Mercedes and Ferrari to open up a huge advantage over Red Bull supplier Renault and Honda.

The FIA is set to bring in regulation changes for the 2017 season in a bid to make cars more aggressive and chop around five seconds off lap times.

However, Newey remains sceptical as to whether the changes will actually level the playing field.

"For me, what's unhealthy about F1 at the moment is that it is engine dominated. The chassis regulations are very tight, the engine regulations are very free," he told The National. 

"On top of that, if you take the engines built by Mercedes or Ferrari, when they supply those engines to their customer teams, the customers don't get the same engine - not in the software anyway. The software becomes very important now.

"So we are in this position where Mercedes have a very good, very powerful engine. Their customer teams don't get the same specifications. So it is difficult for their customer teams to beat the Mercedes team.

"Ferrari have an engine not quite as good as the Mercedes, but still a good engine. But the same problem with their customer teams. Honda and Renault, so far, have been quite a long way behind.

"So we are in the position where, at the moment, only a works Mercedes, and possibly a works Ferrari, win championships and races because it is so dominated by the engine.

"I have always enjoyed rule changes because it gives fresh opportunities. The regulations have become increasingly restrictive. If you go back to, let's say the 1970s and the 1980s, you saw this huge variety of shapes of cars because the regulations were relatively free. 

"Now, if you painted all the cars white in the pit lane, you have to be quite knowledgeable to know which car is from which team. Regulation changes give that opportunity to do something different.

"However, with the regulation changes that are being talked about for 2017, they are actually not that different to what we have now. Slightly wider tyres. Slightly revised aerodynamics regulations. No really fundamental differences."