Symonds calls for 2017 rule changes adjournment

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Williams chief technical director Pat Symonds has called for F1’s planned 2017 rule changes to be adjourned until the following year, but fears this is “probably a cry in the wilderness”.

The FIA announced in early 2015 that new regulations would be introduced in 2017 as a way to solve the sport’s current crisis amid dwindling TV viewing figures, complaints about the latest turbo engines and growing fan frustration.

F1’s Strategy Group issued a brief with the intended goal of producing faster and more aggressive-looking cars. However, the teams recently voted in favour of less severe changes to aerodynamic regulations, while power unit proposals are set to be agreed only next week following another round of meetings.

Given the tight timeframe to find a clear course of action, Symonds feels it would wiser to postpone the sport’s next major technical overhaul to 2018.

“Will we produce a good car? I don't know,” he mused while speaking at the Autosport International show. “I think we've still got work to do on it. I do feel a little bit rushed, a little bit pressured.

“I think that personally we're trying to move a little bit too quickly without establishing the basic principles to work from.

“I'd be much happier if things moved on to 2018 rather than '17 for new rules, and we spent a year really researching what's needed. But that's probably a cry in the wilderness.”

Symonds previously said that 2017-spec cars would be “a little bit retro”, while Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery still expects an improvement in lap time of up to five seconds despite less dramatic aero changes.

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