Horner urges F1 to carry on with 2017 rule changes

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has called for Formula One’s key stakeholders to push on with planned 2017 technical changes.

The Strategy Group and F1 commission are scheduled to get together next week in order to rubber-stamp a radical set of new regulations for next year. The FIA has already released a series of bodywork changes that will see the introduction of wider cars and tyres and lap times up to five seconds faster than at present.

Several drivers have expressed their concerns at the tweaks, but Horner, whose Red Bull team has slipped down the pecking order since 2014 and the introduction of the current regulations, claims that F1 can only benefit from a rulebook shake-up.

“I think the change is a positive change,” he said. “It’s going to make the cars more dramatic, more challenging for the drivers to drive. It’s not a totally clean sheet of paper but it’s a significant change so it will maybe shuffle the order up a bit. I think that while the racing has been good this yeah I think a shuffling of the pack is not a bad thing.”

After the opening three races of 2016 delivered exciting on-track action, some have questioned the relevance of changing the rules. This is for instance the case of Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, who stated that regulation stability would enable other teams to catch up the double world champions and ultimately make the racing more entertaining.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko was quick to call Wolff “paranoid” and accuse him of protecting Mercedes’ dominance. Horner thinks that, given the German manufacturer’s resources, it should get on top of any new regulations without much problem.

“Maybe they will get it better than everyone else, but when usually you get a significant rule change it does move the order around,” he added.

“Inevitably the big teams get on top of it quicker sometimes than others. It is the first significant regulation change that Mercedes will have faced in its current guise, but it is a challenge for everybody.”

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