DECEMBER 10, 2008
Mosley gives his vision
FIA President Max Mosley set out his vision for Formula 1 and its sustainable financial future in his keynote address to the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco.
"What is wrong with Formula One today was wrong before any of the present economic problems cropped up. Essentially it's the rules, which have become ever more restrictive compressing the work of the engineers into an ever smaller area. As such, success in F1 today consists of optimizing every single part of the chassis to the ultimate degree and that is both extremely expensive and utterly pointless."
Mosley said that the continual search for lighter, exotic materials "has created a mentality in F1 where the engineers are only comfortable in refinement, they don't do innovation. That is slowly destroying F1. It is enormously expensive and is not really what an engineer should be doing."
Mosley said that the Kinetic Energy Recovery System which will be part of the sport next season was a good example.
"We've finally found a serious engineering challenge for the teams in KERS. Some manufacturers have risen to this challenge, one manufacturer has produced electric systems which will astonish people when they appear, another team is working on a completely new technology which will also astonish people. But some leading teams, such as Ferrari, have said that they don't like KERS because it is 'too complicated'. Could you imagine the great F1 engineers like Chapman or Duckworth saying "I can't do that because it is too complicated"? It is a symptom of a disease in F1 where incremental change becomes the whole object of the exercise and real serious innovation plays no part."
Mosley added that the aim now is to stabilize the sport by making a low-cost engine available to all teams. In the longer term this will allow the development of ultra efficient down-sized engines, combined with advanced energy recovery systems, which will maintain the relevance of the sport in an ecological age.
"We need dramatically to cut costs and get innovation back into Formula 1," he said. "We must stabilize the system with a base engine which anyone can have and which is inexpensive, as well as a standard gearbox. That will stabilize Formula 1 until we can bring in new energy-efficient engines which undoubtedly will be the future. But I would hate anyone to think that we want Formula One to lose sight of one of its main objectives, which is to remain the pinnacle of motor racing technology. If properly managed the regulations will ensure that this continues to be the case."