MPH: Mark Hughes on...

Ringing in the changes

A perfect recipe is now in place for a very unusual competitive F1 picture in 2009. The recently announced in-season testing ban is the final flourish to a set of rule changes that could make for a very topsy-turvy grid.

A totally new aerodynamic package that fundamentally alters the way the cars work, means the aggregated knowledge and data of the top teams are wiped clean. Last year, for example, Renault developed their car faster than either Ferrari or McLaren – but started the season over a second off the pace. Imagine those three respective development curves applied to a level playing field, such as the new aero regs provide. That's not to say Renault will be able to repeat such a performance gain; maybe their superior curve was only possible by starting so far behind. But it makes for an intriguing possibility.

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