OCTOBER 27, 2016
Team predicts nine second boost in 2017?
One team thinks lap times could be boosted by as much as an astonishing 9 seconds in 2017.
That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, as teams frantically prepare for the big rule change for next year whilst completing the current season.
The report reveals that to help Pirelli develop the bigger and grippier 2017 slicks, the FIA asked teams to share their data simulations so far.
"But how much is fact and how much is fiction?" correspondent Michael Schmidt wondered.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted: "I don't think everyone is giving everything away".
His McLaren counterpart Eric Boullier said the numbers include "some fancy values", while Williams' Pat Symonds added: "Some of the figures are so far out of the ordinary that they can't be taken seriously."
Indeed, the variations between unnamed teams is vast. One team said the downforce increase next year will be 5 per cent, while another is predicting 130pc.
One engine manufacturer is reportedly predicting a 22 per cent power boost next year, which must be Honda -- and an astonishing potential 200hp step.
However, more downforce next year will mean more drag and lower top speeds, but one team is actually declaring that it will be 13pc faster on the straight in 2017.
"If that's true, we've all missed something," said Symonds.
The predicted lap times are also vastly different up and down the pitlane, with one team expecting a 4 second boost, while another thinks it will go around Barcelona in 1m16s.
"That would be an increase of 9 seconds. If they do that, they'll certainly win the world championship," one voice said.