Fry supports technology development

The debate about technological advancements versus safety is a long-running one in F1. Some believe the technology that helps the cars go faster undermines the safety aspect while others argue the opposite, that technology makes the sport even safer.

Gil de Ferran and Nick Fry.
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Speed-reducing measures such as next year's 2.4 litre V8 engine are being introduced but while he advocates a balance between speed and safety, BAR chief executive Nick Fry thinks restricting technology too much would be detrimental the sport.

"Clearly, we have to respect safety," Fry said at the Global Motorsports Congress near Frankfurt. "It's very difficult to understand sitting outside just how brutal the cars are. On the other hand, the important point is the application of technology. Companies like Michelin, Honda, BMW, Mercedes are in this for development of technology."

"If technology was taken away, if it was a much lower tech formula, I think the interest of F1 to Honda, BMW, Mercedes and companies, technological partners and indeed many of the sponsors would be reduced significantly."

Fry stressed that F1 should maintain its status. "Formula One must remain at the pinnacle of motor sports," he remarked. "We do have a concern that the front-running GP2 cars could probably be as quick if not quicker than rear-of-the-grid F1. We need to make sure F1 is a formula for heroes. These cars should not be too easy to drive."

"The concern will be at the beginning of next year when we're learning. I think most manufacturers have a target of 750 horsepower and that will be difficult from a 2.4 litre engine with even further restrictions on the use of materials. But I have 100 percent confidence that we'll get the performance back very quickly."

The BAR chief also possibly let slip the new name of the Brackley outfit now that Honda has taken over. It's not yet been revealed what the team will run as next year but 'Honda Racing F1 Team' was spotted on the screen during Fry's presentation. "Maybe," he hedged when asked if he had given the game away.