Apr.7 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Speculation the touted rules revolution for 2017 could be called off at the eleventh hour are being played down on all sides.
Amid suggestions in Bahrain that eight of the eleven teams are in fact now opposed, FIA president Jean Todt insisted that the April 30 decision deadline will be met.
Two of the three teams still in favour are Red Bull-owned Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, with the latter’s boss Franz Tost saying deferring is no longer an option.
“To come now and say ‘This is not good’ is too late — because this (the 2017 car blueprint) has been defined.”
The other team still in favour is McLaren, who came up with the basic blueprint of the ‘compromise’ rules — halfway between the original ultra-fast concept and what will now form the basis of the cars for 2017.
“It is not carried as far as we would have liked – it’s a compromise solution – so let’s see,” Red Bull’s Christian Horner told the official F1 website. “It is better than standing still.”
Still, with the strategy group split into three voting blocks – the teams, FOM and the FIA – there remains some lingering uncertainty.
“I think I should have applied ‘hopefully’ to both,” said Williams deputy Claire Williams, when speaking about not only the 2017 chassis rules but also changes to the power unit regulations.
“We have a strategy group meeting that’s just been scheduled coming up, and as we all know in formula one, things are fluid. I said ‘hopefully’ just to temper it. I don’t think you should put too much emphasis on that word,” she said.
Asked if there is a chance the strategy group will shoot down the 2017 plans altogether, Williams answered: “I doubt it. I think it’s becoming far too late in the day.
“I think we pushed the date anyway and we need to get these signed off if we’re all to be ready for 2017.”