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How will new rule changes help young F1 Drivers in 2017?

September 14, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While eight races still remain in this season’s F1 calendar, attention is already turning to next year and a slew of proposed rules changes. Some of this may have much to do with the fact that Lewis Hamilton has a nine-point lead and is the overwhelming favourite to win after a disappointing start to the season, but it can also be attributed to the sheer volume of changes that are being made and their potential impact on the sport.

How Some Of The New Rule Changes Will Benefit Younger Drivers

Now, while those of you who are hoping that the latest rule changes will lead to a greater emphasis on overtaking are likely to be disappointed, fans in search of a more competitive field have much to look forward to. Firstly, the sport’s governing bodies have pledged to scrap the engine token system from next season onwards, while they will also introduce a boost pressure constraint to level the playing field between manufacturers. This will also impact on drivers, as younger participants from up-and-coming teams will have a far greater opportunity to compete in individual races.

This is part of a wider set of changes, however, which will impact on everything from tyre performance and downforce to the unique aesthetics of each vehicle. Sky’s Formula One expert Anthony Davidson believes that these will have a cumulative impact on the sport, turning it on its head and creating vehicles that more akin to oversized, F3 cars than anything else. This will place different demands on drivers and require an alternative set of skills, which in turn will empower novices while forcing experienced racers to make rapid adjustments.

Is F1 Becoming A Younger Man’s Game?

The aforementioned increase in downforce, coupled with increased corner speeds and lap times, could also place a greater strain on the human body. This is often seen as a limitation in F1 driving, so younger drivers may benefit thanks to their greater fitness levels, hunger and willingness to push the boundaries to reach peak, physical condition. While this is something of a generalisation, there is no doubt that F1 is following the example of many other sports and increasingly become a younger, fitter mans’ game.

From snooker to golf, this is a trend that we are all too familiar with. If it does take hold in F1, we can expect a far more open field and greater levels of competition over the course of the next decade.

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