New start procedure to complicate drivers' task in 2017

ยฉ XPB 

New rules related to F1's start procedure are set to thoroughly complicate the driver's job this season.

In a bid to grant more autonomy to the driver, thus enhancing his skills, Formula 1 has changed permitted procedures since 2015, like pre-race pit-to-car communication during which engineers are no longer allowed to help drivers define clutch bite points once they left the pit lane.

Rules introduced last year further limited outside intervention with drivers forced to use a single clutch paddle on the steering wheel.

Another restriction on mapping clutch settings will be enforced at the Australian GP, putting the bulk of the responsibility of a good start even more on the driver.

"You just had to release [the paddle] between 10 percent and 80 percent," explained Haas' Kevin Magnussen.

"Somewhere in there was a flat map that would be set to the grip, the tyres and fuel loads. So the start was 100 percent up to the engineers before. But now it is completely down to us.

"Last year you could have a bad start but that was down to the engineer not having the torque right in the clutch and not calculating the grip and whatever right.

"You could react quickly to the lights last year as well, that made a difference, but except for that there's not much that was down to you really.

"Now it's all down to you to find the right amount of clutch torque for the grip so you are on the limit of the wheelspin from the beginning as early as possible.

"That will be the ideal start, but it's very difficult."

A scheme which empowers the driver even more should lead to lightning starts as well as to the inevitable botched launches.

"I think we'll see some guys getting a massive one and gaining loads of positions and other ones losing out massively. I think there will be some spread."

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