Jolyon Palmer reckons Formula 1’s new regulations could hurt the less fit drivers in the field as they deal with faster cars and increased cornering speeds.
This season Formula 1 is introducing a host of new regulations, including wider tyres and wings, with the aim of increasing speeds by up to five seconds per lap.
However, faster cars means cornering speeds will also be on the up and Palmer reckons drivers who don’t hit the gym in the pre-season could be “found out.”
“I can see it making a difference,” the Renault driver told Autosport.
“We don’t really know exactly the performance: we know the numbers, but we don’t know what the tyres are going to do.
“If it is what we think, then I think it will show early on who has been in the gym over the winter and who hasn’t.
“If drivers aren’t in the gym this winter they will be found out.
“It is clearly much quicker than we are racing now, it will be a challenge to drive, physical as well.
“I think it will be really exciting.”
The Brit, though, concedes Formula 1 won’t know the full impact of the new regulations until the action gets underway with the season-opening grand prix in Australia.
Asked whether he thought the sport would see an increase in overtaking, he replied: “We don’t know until we hit the track.
“You can look back and see when cars had a lot of aero it was quite difficult to follow, thinking 2007/2008, they didn’t have DRS and they were still overtaking.
“Some of the slipstreams were massive and at the moment we are not getting much, so there will be a double effect.
“We will only properly know in Melbourne I think.
“I think the cars going quicker will generally be a bigger challenge, but there will be some corners that will be less of a challenge because they will be flat.”