Adrian Newey doubts 2017 changes will go far enough

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Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey says the proposed changes to the 2017 regulations "are not that different to what we have now".

Newey has been a vocal critic of the current V6 turbo era, arguing it has become dominated by engines at the expense of aerodynamics. Red Bull consistently referenced its strong chassis last year despite struggling for competitiveness with its Renault power unit.

The dominance of Mercedes since 2014 and the complaints F1 is no longer as extreme or fast as it once was led to proposals to make cars up to five seconds per lap faster next year. This will be achieved through wider tyres, bigger diffusers and with more substantial front wings, though F1 engineers have warned the current proposals could make overtaking more difficult.

Newey, one of F1's most lauded aerodynamicists, do not think the current plans go far enough to tackle F1's biggest problems.

"I have always enjoyed rule changes because it gives fresh opportunities," he told UAE publication The National. "The regulations have become increasingly restrictive. If you go back to, let's say the 1970s and the 1980s, you saw this huge variety of shapes of cars because the regulations were relatively free.

"Now, if you painted all the cars white in the pit lane, you have to be quite knowledgeable to know which car is from which team. Regulation changes give that opportunity to do something different. However, with the regulation changes that are being talked about for 2017, they are actually not that different to what we have now. Slightly wider tyres. Slightly revised aerodynamic regulations. No really fundamental differences."

Despite his reservations about the aerodynamic changes for 2017, Newey is intrigued by the FIA's push for an independent budget engine to control costs for smaller teams. That proposal has currently been put on hold while Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda try to find an alternative solution to present to the FIA on January 15, but Newey thinks the governing body's idea is the best one for F1.

"It's not just the physical hardware [supplying an engine], it's also the petrol and the software. So the first thing you can do is to change the regulations so that customer teams have the same software and the same fuel, if they wish to, as the works team.

"The second problem -- how do you then maybe get new people in, Audi perhaps, is a more complicated one. The cost now to compete for the manufacturers in F1 now is huge, well over €200 million a year. Probably nearer €300m. So it's huge.

"An alternative which is being proposed by the FIA is that there should be a different engine, an FIA engine, that the small teams can use, an engine that will be competitive. I think that will be a very good solution. But the manufacturers don't want it, so it's a battle."