Starts will become ‘a lot harder’ after rule changes

Date published: March 8 2017

Kevin Magnussen believes we will witness "massive" changes of position at the start of races now that the onus has been put back on the drivers.

As part of the rule changes for 2017, engineers are no longer permitted from mapping out the clutch settings which would essentially launch the car once the drivers had found a certain biting point.

Now all launches are controlled by the drivers in the cockpit with no aid from their garage, and Magnussen reckons that will result in some dramatic starts on the grid now that driver error is completely factored in.

"You just had to release [the paddle] between 10 percent and 80 percent," the Dane said when comparing the old regulations to the new 2017 set-up.

"Somewhere in there was a flat map that would be set to the grip, the tyres and fuel loads.

"So the start was 100 percent up to the engineers before. But now it is completely down to us.

"Last year you could have a bad start but that was down to the engineer not having the torque right in the clutch and not calculating the grip and whatever right.

"You could react quickly to the lights last year as well, that made a difference, but except for that there's not much that was down to you really.

"Now it's all down to you to find the right amount of clutch torque for the grip so you are on the limit of the wheelspin from the beginning as early as possible. That will be the ideal start, but it's very difficult."

He added:" Last year wasn't hard. The challenge is getting the right amount of clutch torque so you are on the limit of the wheelspin, that's the challenge.

"I think we'll see some guys getting a massive one and gaining loads of positions and other ones losing out massively. I think there will be some spread."