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Patrick Head: Idea that new F1 regulations will close up field ‘nonsense’


Former Williams technical chief Patrick Head says that the suggestion Formula 1’s new regulations for the 2017 season will cause the field to close up is “nonsense”.

Head, 71, was instrumental in Williams’ success in F1 and oversaw the design of its cars for over 25 years before ultimately leaving the team at the end of 2012.

F1’s technical rulebook has been overhauled for 2017 in a bid to create more exciting racing on-track and make the cars faster by increasing downforce and tire size.

A change in the technical regulations ordinarily results in some kind of change to the pecking order, with many hoping that 2017 will see Mercedes’ dominance of the sport come to an end.

However, Head is skeptical that this will be the case, instead believing that it could cause the bigger teams in F1 to pull further away from the smaller privateer operations.

“If anybody was thinking of these rules with the aim of closing the field up then they’ve got rocks in their head,” Head told The Guardian.

“Any time you make significant changes the advantage will always go to the bigger teams, because they have more resources, they have more capability to parallel develop their existing car and work on design of their new car.

“When you have 750 employees or more against, say, Force India’s 300, of course the bigger teams can do more.

“Any idea it will close the field up is nonsense. I don’t think anyone ever said that was the target, I think the target was to make it more attractive to create a bit more excitement.”

Head feels that F1 is moving in the wrong direction if it wants to increase overtaking and on-track action by increasing downforce.

“If they wanted a formula that allowed for more overtaking without using artificial aids like DRS then they needed to go for a formula that reduced downforce levels,” Head said.

“But they have gone in the opposite direction.”

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally: