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Formula One 2007

The 2007 Formula One season could prove to be one of the closest for some years with more race winners than we have become accustomed to seeing in the dominant era of Micheal Schumacher.

As he leaves the fray with more world championships than any other driver in history the vacuum will certainly be filled by many more drivers.

The season is just a few weeks away starting as usual down under in Melbourne on March 18th.   Most of the cars have been launched as I write and winter testing is well advanced in Valencia and Jerez and Barcelona so now we can start to see the trends emerging in the cars due to the regulation changes.

How much we can judge the relative speed of the 2007 cars from their testing times is a rather more difficult guessing game with the teams running different testing programmes, different drivers, different aero bits on the cars and in some cases different amounts of weight in the sandbagging which appears to a tactic being practised by one of two teams who want to spring a surprise come the Friday in Melbourne.

With engines “frozen” at the last race in 2006, permitted developments of the 2.4 litre V8s will be few but that won’t stop the engineers trying to find an edge. The most noticeable changes are in the aerodynamics – limited by the FIA to improve overtaking opportunities - with lower and simpler front and rear wings but more sculpted side pods and more add on devices to improve airflows. The other major change is that only 1 tyre maker supplies all in 2007, so the same spec dry and wet tyres from Bridgestone for everyone and this is where much of the testing effort has been directed as cars are “dialled into“ the new rubber.

Article © 2007 Graham Benge

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