Amid the ongoing debate regarding changes to F1 rules team Williams’ Pat Symonds has said that the introduction of a mixed-up grid format would force the teams to develop cars that are better at overtaking.
This week the F1 stakeholders will meet to try and sign off on an overhaul of technical regulations for next year. The proposed changes aim to make the cars faster and more dynamic looking but Symonds is concerned that the changes will do nothing to improve overtaking. The changes include making the cards wider, heavier and run on fatter tires. Wings will also be wider with the rear wing lower than it is currently.
Symonds believes that implementing a kind of reverse grid race, where they faster drivers automatically started further down the field, would force teams to address the long standing problem of overtaking.
At present the main aim of designers is to get the car on pole and stay there for the entire race. As a result there isn’t too much concern about running in turbulent air. Symonds point is that if this situation was changed, so that even the fastest cars would still have to run in turbulent air, then teams will be forced to make cars that are both fast in clean air and works well in turbulent air.
Unfortunately Symonds believes that it is too late to make any useful changes for next season and that the issue of overtaking will remain unchanged. However, he hopes that it will be possible to start seriously considering this as an option in the future. Furthermore, he thinks that as soon as the issue is addressed then racing will become more exciting to watch and its appeal will immediately increase unlike this year’s proposed changes to regulations which are likely to leave the sport fairly unchanged and with little overtaking.