Nick recently wrote a post Ferrari are a nose in front of McLaren and I started writing a reply but it ended up being a bit longer so here it is…
It looks to me like next years developments will be really something special. A huge reduction in downforce which makes the cars slower matched by a return to slick tyres which will make up the difference (3 seconds a lap from the looks of testing).
Once you combine the two of these with a lack of traction control and no tyre blankets you’ve got a quite a bit more pure racing experience. This puts the onus back onto the drivers and that is something that really has to be good.
I do fear all of the cars looking the same like they do in GP2, or even worse them looking like they do in GP2. But also remember there is wheel to wheel racing there.
Passing for the sake of passing is not the point of Formula 1 of course. And I do worry about Push to Pass creating a mockery of genuine overtaking manouvers.
Probably the most important change with the lack of traction control was the removal of segregation. Now different drivers are faster on different parts of the track and can’t easily get around this (they used to be able to match the gear ratio to every corner as they went around). We are seeing a lot of close following this year because of this, there is a yo-yo-ing effect creating a natural opertunity for more overtaking. The problem is that right now when they get close they can’t do anything about it.
My guess is that next year the cars will look as different to each other as they do now. All these random flip ups will be gone and the cars might look a little bit less space age and we might be sad about that for a moment. But when we see the racing all will be forgiven.