Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that Formula One drivers are “having to adjust their training programmes” to prepare for faster, 2017-spec cars.
Next year’s regulations will lead to the introduction of wider, more aggressive-looking machines, with lap times expected to be up to five seconds quicker than at present. The radical aero and tyre changes partly came after criticisms about current F1 cars being allegedly too easy to drive.
Talking to Sky Sports F1 after FP1 for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Horner hints that the next generation of F1 machinery will be more physically demanding.
“It looks like the cars will be a lot quicker and already the drivers are having to adjust their training programmes to accommodate that because this is not something you can build up overnight,” he said.
Asked for an update on how Red Bull was getting on so far in its preparations, the team principal added: “It’s always difficult to tell. We’re focussed on our own performance and of course there is no reference at this point in time.
“It’s only when we turn up for the first session in February [that we’ll see] - has someone found something in the regs like the double diffuser [in 2009]?
“We’re working through our programme, we’re doing the best we can and we’ll get a good glimpse in February.”
Brawn GP, Toyota, and Williams got a jump start on the competition in 2009 by introducing a double-decker diffuser on their cars. Rival teams immediately challenged the legality of the design, but the FIA ultimately ruled in favour of it, thus forcing the other outfits to play catch up.