JANUARY 30, 2017
Too soon to say less overtaking in 2017 says Sainz
Carlos Sainz says F1 commentators should wait for the season to begin before declaring that overtaking is more difficult in 2017.
Because cornering speeds will be higher, top speeds lower and braking distances shorter, many are worried that although the cars will be faster this year, there may be much less overtaking.
"How do they know?" Sainz is quoted by Spain's El Confidencial.
"For me, hearing so many negative people these past months, I honestly don't like it," he said. "And I don't know how they can say it before we've tested the cars. It's too early.
"We have this opportunity of a new F1 now, so let's see how it goes," Sainz added.
"Maybe DRS will have more effect. Maybe the better tyres allow us to attack more, overtake more. It could be very positive," the Toro Rosso driver said.
Indeed, Sainz said he thinks the 2017 formula is actually likely to be positive.
"The engines already have 1000hp," he said. "We have more aerodynamics than in a long time, and similar to the magical years that everyone talks about.
"We have not seen such wide tyres for a long time, and Pirelli says that they will not degrade and we will be able to attack.
"Overtaking? In 2004 and 2005 there were millions of people watching on television, and there was not much overtaking," Sainz insisted.
Also positive, he said, is news that the rules have been relaxed so that drivers are less often punished for incidents.
"There will be more tension, more overtaking, because we have been very limited in what the stewards would allow, and it was inconsistent. Now it looks like they are going to open it up and let us fight, which is what everybody wants," he added.