McLaren s Pat Fry believes that Formula One will continue to be as unpredictable next season with the teams continuing to have plenty of opportunities to develop the current technical regulations.
This season has seen a shake-up in the grid s running order as the likes of Brawn GP and Red Bull racing have seized the opportunity and mounted a championship challenge whilst the likes of McLaren and Ferrari have struggled.
Despite this the field has remained remarkably close throughout the year, with the performance of many teams fluctuating from race to race. And according to McLaren s Chief Engineer, such variations will continue well into next season with the teams still learning about the new rules.
“The level of performance gained in the season, historically a couple of years into a new set of rule changes, the development rate seems to level out,â€ Forumula1.com heard Fry say during the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in .
“Obviously (with) the double diffusersâ€¦ a lot of people were adapting those onto their car rather than having to design them for them. So I’m sure there will be some variations, that might take a year or two to settle out.
“I think there will be a reasonable steep learning curve, at least through into the middle of next year really, in terms of what you will seeâ€¦ A car can be good at one track and then the order can swap for the next.â€
Fry also admitted that this year s tyre regulations have also played a significant role behind the variable race results, with track temperatures and tyre wear often making the difference.
“We’re relatively light on tyres so running a soft tyre in Hungary and Valencia, we could manage a long stint on that when other people couldn’t,â€ he said when specifically commenting on McLaren s own experience with the various 2009 tyre compounds.
“For instanceâ€¦ If you get a bad day at Silverstone in the cold with the hard tyre, no one would be able to get the tyres up (to temperature), so that would swing in favour of the cars that are harsher on their tyres. So I think that as well as just aero development through the season, in terms of tyre choice, I think that is also to some degree swinging the order around.â€
“I suppose you ve seen various people commenting on that in the pressâ€¦ drivers after their qualifying or races. I think that it is a reasonable player in swapping the order round from track to track.â€