Smedley predicts change in ‘pecking order’

Date published: February 13 2017

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley believes the new regulations will bring some change to the grid over the course of the 2017 season.

An aerodynamic overhaul to the rules has been ushered in with the hope that lap times will be reduced by over three seconds.

And as teams continue to get to grips with the new era, Smedley reckons that the car which is quickest in the season opener in Australia will not be the quickest in Abu Dhabi come the end of the season.

"We've developed our car, we've done reasonable amount of development in the windtunnel," Smedley told Autosport.

"Over and above that, the key thing for 2017 is that we've got a good base in which to develop.

"I don't expect the fastest car in Australia to be the fastest car in Abu Dhabi.

"What that allows is some change in the pecking order through the season.

"If that happens, the rules have ultimately been successful."

While Smedley hopes that the new rules will inspire change, he also stated that the budgets and resources available to each team will still play a major factor.

"I hope it's going to shake things up a bit but I don't think we'll have a complete change in pecking order," he added.

"In F1, no one ever won a world championship without a substantial budget.

"Money does count, at least in this era of F1.

"But that is not to say the intra groups – the front, midfield and back – are not going to get shaken up a bit and you're not going to have more people in that top group.

"It's really important you get more people up in that top group and we're starting weekend with it not being entirely clear who is going to win the race – that is what turns the fans off.

"If you go into it thinking four or five drivers can win here, that's really exciting and I hope that's what the new regulations do for us."