Former F1 driver and Sky Sports consultant Anthony Davidson believes next season’s technical regulation changes may well put an end to Mercedes dominance and reshuffle the order at the front.
With more engine development permitted and aerodynamic changes featuring wider wings and tyres destined to make the cars faster by at least five seconds , teams and even drivers will have a lot to contend with in 2017.
Davidson is particularly interested in how the changes – centered around mechanical grip – may well impact the qualities of several drivers on the grid.
“I think you’re going to see a shake-up in the drivers that perform now or don’t perform now,” explained Davidson on the Sky Sports website.
“They’re going to be so different to drive that it will take different qualities from a driver.”
“Let’s take Sergio Perez; known for his qualities of looking after tyres with the car slip-sliding around, and he’s great at keeping them alive during a long slippery stint.
“But that might be eradicated next year. You might be able to lean on your tyres as much as you want through the whole race and you don’t have to consider the tyre wear or the car moving around at all.
“You’re going to be power limited rather than grip limited. The whole thing could be turned on its head.”
But inversely, Davidson also believes the changes in 2017 may just reinforce the qualities of others.
“Then you might see someone like Sebastian Vettel, who thrived in 2011, putting his foot down even before he’s got to the apex of the corner.
“You’re going to now have wider tyres at the back and loads more downforce giving you that extra grip. A driver like him might find even more time than what he currently can.”
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