Whispers from Munich

Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher. German GP 2002

Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher. German GP 2002 

 © The Cahier Archive

BMW has had the most powerful engine in Formula 1 this year but problems with electronic systems and tires have meant that the Williams-BMW team has won only one race so far this year. Everyone involved is keen to do better next year and Dr. Werner Laurenz's engine design team in Munich is said to have recently built the first engine to generate more than 19,000 rpm - at least on the BMW dynos in Germany. If this figure is correct it would equate to just under 900 horsepower, around 30 horsepower more than the current engines are believed to be producing.

The engines produced in Munich under BMW Motorsport's Director of F1 Development Dr. Werner Laurenz - although the design team is headed by Heinz Paschen, who joined BMW from Toyota Racing Development in Costa Mesa, California at the start of 2000. Paschen produced the all-new P80 engine for 2001, a 90-degree, four-valve V10, cast and machined from aluminum. The team has taken more and more of the manufacturing work in-house to ensure the best possible quality and the team now working on the engines numbers more than 200. The program has benefited from input from BMW's Research and Development Center (known as FIZ) but the company remains highly secretive about how it has managed to find more power than other manufacturers.

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