Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 4th June 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day 13:06 14:50 GMT

Whitmarsh calls for unity

Martin Whitmarsh joins the criticism alluded to by Paul Hembery over the ‘own goal’ F1 has scored over the introduction of the 2014 V6 Turbo engines. In tough economic times the sport decided to proceed down an path which doubles the cost of powertrains to teams already struggling for sponsors and money. Whitmarsh questions the worth of this to potential manufacturers when he tells Autosport,

“The overall thrust [of the regulations], downsizing, direct injection, turbocharging, those are road relevant technologies and are good. Energy recovery is good. Whether the high-speed motors that are necessary to be driven by exhaust turbines in excess of 100,000rpm are road relevant, I suspect not. They are pretty exotic.

Conceptually, it was good but we perhaps didn’t control some of the exotic aspects of it which ultimately are going to be less relevant.”

Over half of the competing teams in F1 have huge financial challenges ahead of them over the next 12 months and Whitmarsh acknowledges, “There isn’t a silver bullet here. We have got to be a bit more diligent in how we pull things together, recognise the implications and work harder at cost saving in F1.

McLaren, in recent years, has shown it’s less critical [financially] but we need to make sure that the sport is healthier than we have made it at the moment. We need to have 10 or 11 teams that can survive and have sustainable business models”.

“People have got to be more proactive, earlier on rule changes and how we develop cost-cutting in F1.”

Horner bangs drum… still…

Christian Horner is quoted by Autosprint as supporting Ferrari around the latter’s tyre test. Horner says, “Ferrari’s position is different because even thought they used an official driver (Pedro de la Rosa), they did not use a 2013 car. The two situations are not comparable,”.

One has to wonder what the purpose of the visit to Maranello was earlier this year or if it a case of ‘My enemies’ enemy is my friend’. While the rest of the world now wait for the FIA (patiently) to decide Horner is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that Mercedes have been asked to test and not them.

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11 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 4th June 2013

  1. “Whether the high-speed motors that are necessary to be driven by exhaust turbines in excess of 100,000rpm are road relevant, I suspect not.”

    So what was the alternative in order to reach the same speeds as now. 1.6L + turbo + x rpm = Es (equilavent speed as today’s)

    Solve for x

    • Not sure absolute speed up to present levels is necessary for good racing. I am presuming he meant the relevance of the high speed electric motors harvesting heat energy from the turbos to road use, which is one for the engineers and designers and I’m not sure why this approach was put in to the regs – maybe more automobile industry interest than we know about?

      • Perhaps Ted, the big car manufacturers were involved in the regulations so I doubt it would be there for looks. Also, when KERS started there was not much use for it in road cars. I saw today that Volvo is looking to run a flywheel system (al la Williams) as a KERS system in one of their cars.

        Remember, F1 is about innovation and some times you just have to plug away at something and it becomes clear later down the line.

        Absolute speeds… they have to be careful, GP2 will overtake them soon 😀

        • Agree – however absolute speed is not necessary for good competition, look at MotoGP. At the last race the MotoGP bikes were hitting a frightening 213 mph on the main straight, but for fantastic racing the lesser Moto3 and 2 races were more exciting.

  2. Well, if this one aspect of the new engine formula isn’t road-relevant, thank goodness that all the wings and aero stuff that the teams spend 100’s of millions on year after year are road-relevant then…..oh, wait…..

    Seriously – why is it that high costs for engines are seen as “bad” and even higher costs for aero are seen as “good”?

  3. Re Horner it might be a case of him hoping to move Ferrari along with Vettel from 2015/2016 onwards. Newey will probably retire, Renault engines might not be as good as those of Ferrari or Merc, so the guy tries to make friends and prepare the ground for the future.

    • I bet Horners visit to Maranello was to discuss the strategy of how to tackle the test ban with Di Montezemolo and Domenicali.

    • My thoughts as well M78.. my thoughts as well. But what will he do there though? Perhaps Ferrari is catching on to Mercedes’ strategy, buy up all the technical gurus and take them to Ferrari, the new spending war begins!

      Not sure what they want to do with Horner though.. Tea anyone? 😛

      • You could always cast him as the lead in the next Nightmare On Elm Street. Robert Englund looks like the lovechild of Horner and Eddie Jordan – sorry for the mental image – so there’d obviously have to be an extremely convoluted storyline.

  4. I enjoy your analysis of Horner’s Autosprint comments. 🙂

    Ironically, Red Bull is most likely first in line for Pirelli’s forthcoming 1000km tire test. Pirelli would benefit from using a chassis that works the tires very hard. From what we’ve seen that list would properly start with Mercedes (which I believe is a reason why they were called), followed by Red Bull.

    I expect the FIA will soon tell us whether or not Pirelli was required to have the FIA present at these 1000km tire tests. If the answer is yes, then Pirelli will be slapped on the wrist. If the answer is no, then the FIA will declare that Pirelli is required to have the FIA at future team tests.

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