Red Bull is the 2nd team of 3 to conduct a 2017 tire test for Pirelli. Earlier this week Ferrari tested the new for 2017 wider rubber. The FIA took enormous steps to ensure the teams testing would not receive an advantage heading into next season. There is the obvious, full disclosure of data to all teams from the tests. To the not so obvious, simulating 2017 downforce levels without using 2017 regulations. Basically getting the cars to perform like a 2017 car without it giving those who test an advantage. It is all very complicated. Let’s face it though the 3 teams participating (Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes) were going to be the class of the field next season anyway. So any insight they might gleam from these tests isn’t going to change next season’s outcome that much. Thing of it is, take all the performance gains next seasons regulations should bring, the cars look awesome.
Yes the nose regulations still lend it’s self to some fairly ugly designs. It does bring me a great deal of satisfaction that Mercedes is the best looking car and the best performing car. At least on the 2015 cars the wider rubber and body work makes the rest of the car look meaner. There is a hint of old school when you look at the wider tires. Reminds me of the late 80’s early 90’s cars, and THAT might be the best thing to come out of F1 in a very long time.
I am not sure what the new regs will do in terms of improving the racing. Obviously wider rubber and more surface area for downforce will increase performance. I do have concerns that you are still going to get the front end wash that hurts F1 racing right now. Using the tried and true more is better methodology, more rubber, more downforce, the racing should improve. In any case I feel this is a positive move for F1, only time will tell though.