Red Bull Racing technical chief Adrian Newey expects the Formula 1 field to be more spread out in early 2017 following an overhaul of the regulations for the new season.
In a bid to make the cars quicker and more radical, significant changes have been made to the technical regulations ahead of the 2017 season.
While power units are set to remain an important area of development for teams, aerodynamics are set to become the biggest battleground, with tire management also likely to be key.
The last significant rule changes in 2014 and 2009 both resulted in the grid being shaken up, and Newey – the mastermind behind Red Bull’s capitalization of the shift in regulations in 2009 that ultimately yielded four straight world titles – expects the same to occur in 2017.
“It will almost certainly mean the grid will be a bit more spread out to start with. Whenever there is a regulation change, some teams read the regulations better than others,” Newey told Sky Sports.
“Typically the big teams, who have the bigger resource, read them better, but when we had the last big regulation change in 2009 that wasn’t the case, it was Brawn and ourselves who read them correctly, and the grandees, then Ferrari and McLaren, who struggled a bit.
“Whenever you have regulation change, you have lots of ideas which you have to channel down to a direction and a philosophy for the car.
“Although we are one of the bigger teams we don’t have the resources to look at them all avenues simultaneously. It’s ‘this is the avenue we believe is the correct one’ and we hope we are right.
“There is always the chance that there is an avenue or direction which someone else has taken which is superior.”
A recent report from Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport showed what the 2017 cars are expected to look like, donning a render in the Ferrari 2016 livery.