FRIDAY FOCUS - F1 SAFETY CHANGES FOR 2005 The FIA World Motorsport Council has formally required the F1 Technical Working Group to devise measures to reduce speeds in Formula 1. What is the reaction of the drivers and engineers? "Although recent...
FRIDAY FOCUS - F1 SAFETY CHANGES FOR 2005
The FIA World Motorsport Council has formally required the F1 Technical Working Group to devise measures to reduce speeds in Formula 1. What is the reaction of the drivers and engineers? "Although recent performance increases have been matched by safety improvements," commented Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds, "we cannot afford to be complacent. The rate of development must be arrested before the level of performance becomes unacceptable."
Jarno Trulli, a director of the GPDA, concurs. "As racing drivers, we naturally want to make our cars quicker. But as a GPDA director, I also have an obligation to take care of safety. We need to slow the cars down to make them as safe as possible, but also maintain the level of competition and improve the show."
How big a step would this reduction represent? Trulli continues: "Right now, we are gaining one and a half, maybe two seconds each winter. For next year, I think we should be slowing lap times by four seconds."
Symonds elaborates: "Tyres and chassis are the areas to look at for 2005 and engines after that. In the medium term, the 2.4 litre V8 would reduce spending once initial development costs have been absorbed, and represents a backward step in power. The only practical thing to do to the engines for 2005 would be to extend their life, but this it not an effective brake on performance. For periods such as qualifying, we would still see the same power outputs as we have this year, and that does not help safety."
What about the other current objectives of cost-cutting and improving the show? Symonds concludes: "We need careful thought to ensure that the next moves do not conflict with our objective of improving the show. We are at a watershed in Formula 1, and while the emphasis is always on safety, we must also focus on improving show. With all the talk of cost savings, it must be remembered that generating income, by providing the public with spectacular racing, is just as important."
FRIDAY FOCUS - RENAULT DRIVERS UNANIMOUS FOR EURO 2004 FINAL
Although Spain and Italy were eliminated in the group stages of Europe's premier football competition, Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli have been following the latter rounds of Euro 2004 with keen interest. After last night's victory for Greece over the Czech Republic confirmed a Portugal-Greece final, both drivers gave their opinions on the likely victory.
"I think Portugal," was Jarno's immediate response; "Portugal," agreed Fernando. "I think they will win 2-0 - they are definitely the better of the two teams, and they have the home support as well."