FIA has just announced that every racing circuit included in the 2017 Formula 1 calendar needs to upgrade their tracks to make way for faster cars. The motorsports governing body is implementing several changes this season including revised aerodynamics and bigger tires. These new regulations are aimed at reducing lap times and increasing corner speeds.
Simulation data from FIA reveal that F1 2017 cars can race 40 kilometers per hour faster through some corners. FIA revamped a rule to accommodate wider cars and bigger wings. This move can result in speedier lap time compared to 2015.
According to F1 deputy race director Laurent Mekies, all tracks must comply with the revamped rule. Australian Grand Prix is the first to respond to the rule change since it is hosting the F1 2017 season's race opener at the Albert Park in Melbourne on March 24.
Mekies was interviewed at the Autosport International Show where he talked about the simulations used by FIA. "Every single team has been asked to provide simulations for their 2017 cars," he said. He added that "every single track is receiving from the FIA a request to upgrade based on that".
The Australian Grand Prix has already implemented a number of safety-related track revisions ahead of the 2017 Formula One's first race. Some of them include tire re-profiling at Turns 1,6, and 14 and the adoption of Tecpro high-speed barriers at Turn 12.
The revisions were based on the simulations given by FIA which provided instructions on additional tire buffers and inclusion of a high-speed barrier. The Melbourne circuit manufactured the tire buffers and acquired the Tec Pro barriers which cost them $100,000.
The track upgrade will see lap times lowered to three to four seconds and later breaking points of between 20 and 30 meters. The circuit will also see an increase of mid-corner speeds between 20 and 50 kilometers per hour.