AUGUST 10, 2001
One more year for the screamers?
IT seems likely that the current showdown on the engine regulations for Formula 1 will see the current generation of 3.0-liter, 18,000 rpm 'screamers' killed off by the start of 2003 as concerns mount over the prodigious power available to the top F1 teams.
Currently BMW, Ferrari and Ford's Cosworth are all edging up on the 850bhp barrier with their powerplants, and the prospect of a return to the 1,000bhp days of the turbo era could occur sooner rather than later as competition between the motor manufacturers hots up.
This is something that the FIA is keen to mitigate against, yet the manufacturers are attempting to insist that the engine formula remains unchanged until 2008.
Efforts to curb the speed of the cars by the FIA have seen the implementation of grooved tires and drastic cuts in the levels of downforce permissible, but if the engine power race goes on unchecked the governing body believes that there will be a potentially dangerous imbalance in the handling of Formula 1 cars.
Some, however, believe that the spectacle can only be improved if the amount of power available is in excess of the grip levels generated by the cars, rendering the lack of overtaking due to over-reliance on aerodynamics a thing of the past.
The debate will continue to rage on for some time as the teams, manufacturers, promoters and the FIA continue to thrash out the sporting, technical and commercial future of the sport.
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