APRIL 7, 2009
A one-engined world?
FIA President Max Mosley says that the federation is considering another radical cost-cutting idea for the long term: using the same basic engine in all the FIA's main categories: Formula 1, Formula 2, the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship. The thought process is to have normally-aspirated versions of the engine for F2 and the touring car series and a turbocharged engine for F1. There would be areas open for development in F1, particularly involving KERS and other energy recovery systems.
The concept of using the same basic equipment for different championships might also one day be applied in chassis technology. The idea was proposed by N Technology when it created Formula Master in 2007. The idea of that championship was to use engines developed for the FIA's Super 2000 rules in touring cars and rallying and create a single-seater championship. The idea was to use the same basic chassis in a junior category called Formula School. There would no wings and no diffusers and narrow tyres. Drivers would then take the same basic chassis and upgrade it to Formula Academy specification, with more horsepower and more grip. Formula Master would then take the drivers up a further step, but still using the same chassis and same engine. This would greatly reduce the costs of competition.
The automobile manufacturers are not likely to be very keen on the idea, although there is no reason why they cannot all have competing engines, as happens with the current Super 2000 rules.