MARCH 24, 2005
Mosley talks about lap times and cost saving
FIA President Max Mosley has issued a statement illustrating how the changes in Formula 1 regulations that he demanded last year have produced the desired effect in the first two Grands Prix of the year. Mosley argues that if the rules not been changed "it is reasonable to assume that the reduction in lap times from 2004 to 2005 would have been about the same as it was from 2003 to 2004."
Based on this assumption, the FIA has calculated that lap times were 5.2secs and 3.5s a lap slower in Australia and Malaysia than they would have been if no action had been taken. The actual difference in lap times between 2004 and 2005 has been 1.6s a lap in Australia and 1.3s in Malaysia, which was not as much as had been hoped, given that the FIA did ask the Technical Working Group to cut three seconds a lap from the 2004 lap times.
On the question of cost-saving Mosley makes the valid point that teams now use fewer tyres and fewer engines and so are saving money.
"Cost savings are significant," he says. "We understand that the tyre suppliers are now taking 4 sets per car to a grand prix compared to 19 sets per car in 2004. Also, each team is now using two engines for two events. Had the rules remained the same as in 2002, top teams would now almost certainly be using 12 engines for two events (one practice engine, one qualifying engine and one race engine per car per event). Bearing in mind that an engine rebuild costs about $200,000 and remembering that these engines now last upwards of four times as long during private testing, the savings are enormous. There is also a significant saving on capital expenditure because each team's stock of engines and wheels is smaller. With fewer engines and wheels to move around the world transport costs are also lower."
Some of the engine men in F1 have a rather different view because they say that Mosley's figures do not take into account the money which they have had to invest to design and build engines to comply with the two-race regulation. Establishing how much this amounted to is not an easy task, but the minimum cost to each individual manufacturer was in the region of several million dollars. Some spent a lot more.
"In summary," Mosley concludes. "Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, the season has got off to an excellent start."
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