F1 future rules under discussion at key meetings in Geneva
Manufacturers' cost-cutting engine proposals and ideas aimed at increasing F1's 'unpredictability' to be discussed at meetings of Strategy Group and F1 Commision
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/01/16 10:30am
F1 will discuss ways of making the sport more 'unpredictable' at Monday's Strategy Group meeting, as the sport faces a key week in shaping its future.
Two of the sport's main bodies, the Strategy Group and wider F1 Commission, are meeting across two days in Geneva at the start of this week to discuss a host of measures from engine costs to future rules.
Power unit regulations are at the centre of Monday's meeting when the manufacturers present proposals which are believed to include the cutting of customer fees and the standardisation of some parts.
But after two seasons of Mercedes domination, moves to spice up the sport's spectacle in the years ahead will also be discussed according to Williams' chief technical officer Pat Symonds.
Put to him by Sky Sports F1 that fans want to see more unpredictability, Symonds replied: "I don't disagree with that.
"Some of the things being talked about in the Strategy Group will in fact look at those sorts of things. We've had plenty of suggestions."
It has emerged that the idea of reintroducing mid-race refuelling in 2017 will again be debated. Refuelling was dropped after 2009 for cost and safety reasons but its return was first floated by the Strategy Group last June, although the idea was soon abandoned again after further deliberation.
But despite the recent opposition, FIA president Jean Todt has confirmed the plan is back on the table.
"We are talking about 50,000 euros [£38,113] a year," he told Reuters when asked about the freight costs for refuelling equipment.
"If it is good for the show, I'm in favour of reducing the cost, but that is not a key point in the global costs of Formula 1. At least we should discuss it."
However, Sky Sports News HQ understands refuelling is still unlikely to be re-adopted for 2017.
Symonds says he would "be very sorry to see it come back", although the experienced technical chief is open to the introduction of other measures to spice up the show.
"I actually used to like it when we had the single-lap qualifying [in 2003-05]," he said. "One reason is it allowed the TV guys to concentrate on each car at a time - now, in that top 10 [of Q3], you don't know which one is going to be on pole.
"But, more than anything, you get races like that fabulous Suzuka race [in 2005] when it rained halfway through qualifying, all of the quick guys who were qualifying later were at the back and then we had that storming race on Sunday.
"Things like that, that produce that little bit of chaos again, are a good thing."
As the two legislative bodies directly below the World Motor Sport Council, which rubber-stamps F1's rules, the Strategy Group comprises the six leading teams, Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, with all the other teams and certain sponsors and circuits included at F1 Commission level.
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