Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What I'd like to see

I keep banging on about what I want the FIA to do, and that usually includes some kind of desire for a mission statement. Where they state what the reason behind F1 is. And while this is not a mission statement, here's where I'd see it going.

1. Unlimited engine development. No limit on number of cylinders, and no V-angle definition.

2. Cheap engine supply. By cheap I mean about $10 million dollars per year. And a manufacturer has to be prepared to sell engines to at least two teams that it does not have a financial interest in. So if Toyota want to invest $200 million building the best F1 engines, fine. It's a free market. But they could only charge a fixed amount for them. And manufacturers would have to deliver the engines to the FIA, and the FIA would deliver the engines to the teams at the track, to ensure that all teams get the same spec engines.

3. Manual gearboxes. CVT and smooth shift is fine. But I want to see the drivers work. It's important to understand that in the 50s, 60s and 70s a lot of passing was done when drivers missed a gear change, often as a result of being hassled by a following driver. I want a gearbox with no electronic or hydraulic input, just a shaft with a gear lever in the cockpit.

4. Limited aerodynamic effectiveness. Look at those pointless winglets and twiddly front wing end plates. Solution? Ban barge boards. Allow only flat end plates. Allow designers to choose from (say) six different aerofoil sections for the front and rear wings. Rear wings can remain in two sections (but still using the standard sections). Each team votes at the beginning of a year (eg (2006) for two sections, and the winning six sections (the FIA chooses in the event of a tie or not enough wings) can be used for the year following (2007 in this case).

5. Sensible wheel diameters. Nobody has a road car with 13 inch wheels these days. Increase it to 17 or 18 inches. The tyre manufacturers are spending a fortune on producing tyres that have nothing to do with road tyres because the major proble is in the compliance (flexibility) of the sidewalls.

6. Increased braking distances. When braking distances are so short, a driver has virtually no possibility to outbrake. limit the total contact area of the pads to increase braking distances by 50%.

There are more ideas, but this is a blog, so that's it for starters...


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