F1 could be about to hit reverse on its move to speed up the cars for 2017.
According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, April 30 is the date on which the sport is tipped to approve technical changes including the widening of the cars for next season.
However, there is now some doubt that F1 is making the right move, particularly after the performance seen by the current generation of ‘power unit’ cars in Australia.
Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap was just three tenths off Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying record of 2011, set in his V8-screaming Red Bull.
And both times are faster than Michael Schumacher managed in 2004, during the so-called ‘glory years’ of cornering speed and V10 power.
World champion Hamilton insisted on Tuesday that simply speeding up F1 is not the way to improve the sport.
“Personally, I think we need more mechanical grip and less aero wake coming off the back of the cars so we can get close and overtake,” he said.
“Give us five seconds worth of laptime from aero and nothing will change — we’ll just be driving faster.
“I don’t have all the answers, but I know that the changes we’re making won’t deliver better racing,” the Mercedes driver added.
Auto Motor und Sport said Hamilton’s views are backed not only by his technical boss Paddy Lowe, but also Williams’ Pat Symonds and Andy Green of Force India.
One of them warned: “If we commit ourselves to wider cars, there is no turning back like with the qualifying format.”