PROGRESS AT THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP Wednesday saw the Technical Working Group (TWG) meet at Silverstone to discuss proposals for speed reductions in 2005. Proposals are on the table both for chassis and engine developments, and the Renault...
PROGRESS AT THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP
Wednesday saw the Technical Working Group (TWG) meet at Silverstone to discuss proposals for speed reductions in 2005. Proposals are on the table both for chassis and engine developments, and the Renault F1 Team Technical Directors Bob Bell (Chassis) and Rob White (Engine) explained the current state of play.
"A path of 1 engine for 2 week-ends from 2005, followed by a change to 2.4L V-8s from 2006 is feasible and is widely supported," explained White. "At the beginning, there will be a performance loss associated with the longer life 2-race engines. Of course we will all work hard to recover the deficit, but the rate of engine performance development will be reduced relative to the current engines, which is consistent with the FIA objectives"
Looking to 2006, Rob reiterates the belief that a V8 engine is the most effective solution. "For the future, to achieve a step decrease in power, of the order of 200hp, a capacity reduction is needed. 2.4L V-8s will remain unique and spectacular engines. They will not be like F1 V-8s of the past or like other racing V-8s based on road car engines. F1 engines to this spec will still be high revving, ultra-high output, with no equal in other series."
On the chassis side, Bob Bell believes the proposals thus far are positive. "A package aiming to reduce chassis performance was agreed on Wednesday, with changes to the diffuser geometry, in terms of its height and the trim in front of the rear wheels. This should reduce overall downforce by 20% to 25%. We are under an obligation to cut performance, there is a genuine need to do so, and I think this represents a sensible step. Furthermore, a corollary benefit will be that with less downforce, it should improve the possibility of overtaking."
What, though, is the impact of these changes? "The primary effects will be to how we balance the car aerodynamically, but also the mechanical design in terms of the rear suspension. This is basically designed to fit around the diffuser, and any change in rear suspension design also has an impact on the gearbox as well. Next year's car has been underway since late last year, and gearbox design should realistically be finalised by the end of this month. Formula 1 is conscious of the imperative to reduce costs, but also to make the show possible on a smaller budget."
"However, it is to the advantage of the teams with the biggest budgets for these changes to be made as late as possible in order to minimise their rivals' capacity to respond effectively; in a period where cost reduction is a key issue, it would make little sense for development work and investment thus far to be compromised by unnecessarily late changes to the regulations. What we have discussed is still feasible now, but we are approaching the deadline by which proposals must become concrete reality."