JUNE 20, 2007
FIA looks to other plans as teams baulk at engine rules
The Formula 1 manufacturers do not seem to be very impressed with the suggestion that F1 should use 2.2-litre turbo-diesels from 2011 and beyond. According to the manufacturers we have spoken to, there is no interest at all in such engines in F1. The manufacturers argue that such a radical change would end up being hugely expensive, because of the investment needed in research and development; some also argue that turbo-diesels are not in line with their product ranges. There is also a feeling that the low-revving engines would not produce a sound that would be right for F1.
Their argument is that F1 should maintain the current engines and make them more and more efficient and thus help the development of production cars in this way. This would still meet Max Mosley's desire for fuel-efficient drivetrains but would be much more realistic in terms of the costs involved.
The FIA is also now moving forward with new ideas about chassis and as there seems to be no interest at all in standard chassis, one option that is being discussed is to allow active aerodynamic devices. This would allow the wings to be moved to the best positions at all points on the circuit. This would probably not meet the various goals which the FIA had defined: safety, road-relevance, improving the show and reducing costs.
It is not clear how this would improve the show as within a year or two teams would have found optimum settings with faster speeds on the straights and better downforce in the corners. It would increase laps speeds significantly, which is not necessarily a good thing for safety. In terms of cost it would probably not be any more expensive than the current development going on into flexible wings. There may be an element of road relevance but the idea of active aerodynamics seems to be more like a negotiating tool, which can be dropped if teams are willing to accept something less radical.
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