BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One does not need to rip up the rule book and try to fix something that is not broken, team technical heads warned on Friday as the sport discusses possible changes for 2017.
“I think we should leave it alone, in the main,” Williams’s head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley told a news conference at the Spanish Grand Prix when asked what might top his wish list.
”We should perhaps think about stopping tampering with it rather than thinking we are going to create a new set of rules and that is going to fix everything.
“We do have to seriously think about not changing anything... the racing is very good,” he added.
Smedley, whose former Ferrari team have called for a revolution in the sport, said every rule change ultimately favored those with the biggest resources and led to big gaps in performance.
Formula One’s strategy group is due to meet next Thursday at Biggin Hill, south of London, to discuss proposals for 2017.
Mercedes technical head Paddy Lowe, whose title-winning team have enjoyed the dominant engine since the introduction of the new V6 turbo hybrid last year, agreed the sport should tread carefully.
“In terms of rules changes, it’s not absolutely clear we need to change the cars radically,” said the Briton. “Performance will increase anyway through normal development.”
Formula One is mulling an engine overhaul, with an increase in output to 1,000 brake horsepower to make cars harder to drive and more impressive.
McLaren’s acting chief executive Jonathan Neale said it would be “foolish to mess around with the immense amount of good work that has been done on the power units” even if some adjustments were needed.
“It’s a much more efficient package, it’s got some great technology, it’s still maturing in the sport and the price can come down if it’s left to mature,” he added.
Neale suggested a “step-change” in the aerodynamics regulations might help.
Lotus technical director Nick Chester said the cars’ performance had already improved significantly on 2014 -- perhaps by as much as two seconds.
”Do we really need a huge change of regulation?“ he asked. ”A huge change of regulation is going to open up the grid again, there’ll be bigger differences between teams and obviously it’s going to add a lot of cost.
“I think we shouldn’t forget that show’s actually not bad at the moment.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ian Chadband