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F1 primed to 'smash' records in 2017 - Allison

23 Jun 2016

Formula One will reach record-breaking speeds and lap times under the new 2017 regulations, according to Ferrari's F1 technical director James Allison.

The Briton believes the impending changes will also produce better racing, and will help ensure races become a 'proper fist fight' on a routine basis.

Asked at the annual FIA Sport Conference what he expects to come from the 2017 changes - and whether he would prioritise outright speed or racing on track - Allison said: "The historic best lap time were set a while back, but we're starting to approach those now. I'm looking forward to next year, because next year we're going to start smashing those records.

"Some people think that lap times aren't so important, that the closeness of the racing is the only thing that matter. I think both matter. 

"We would like every race to be a proper fist fight and it's getting more and more that way. There is some very good racing happening in the field this year and it's only going to improve."

Allison said the successes of the current era, particularly the astonishing efficiencies of modern power units, should be duly celebrated - but admitted the new rules represent an exhilarating opportunity for teams to transform their performance relative to their rivals.

"They are exotic and remarkable beasts indeed," Allison said of the modern power units. "The only other things on the planet that approach the sort of thermal efficiency we are seeing with our Formula One power units are either very academic things in universities, which are nowhere near being usable as devices or they are enormous ships, diesels that go at about 90 rpm and that have one operating condition they work at day after day. 

"We can do it with a little flexible racing engine that a driver can use around a track and control exquisitely through corners and yet it can deliver this sort of fuel consumption that nothing else is capable of.

"[As for 2017] it's a mixture of the enjoyable and the frightening in equal measure. 

"It's enjoyable because all the things you have been working on get put aside and you get to put aside and you try to think completely fresh about how to attack a problem and that's always stimulating. It's frightening because every Formula One team faces - you have the car you are racing and the car that you are birthing - and that challenge when the rules are very stable is more easy to handle, because much of what you are doing on the racing car now will also work next. 

"When there is a fresh sheet of paper it's very challenging to judge exactly how much of your resource you put on one project against the other."