Formula no fun

The way things are going, only engineers will soon be able to understand how a Formula 1 race was won.

Engineers have always been Formula 1 fans.

It’s no surprise really as engineers have that technical insight that makes the layman sound like a backseat driver. But nobody would have guessed that Formula 1 would be reserved exclusively for engineers’ enjoyment.

The way things are going, only engineers will understand how a race was won. It’s been a long time since F1 was about driver skill over and above engineering skill and this is going to continue.

According to the designers of the McLaren and Renault F1 teams, next year’s rule changes will increase the reliance on engineering to win – and therefore cost to compete.

Under the new rules, there is only one qualifying flying lap which, say Newey and Gascoyne of McLaren and Renault, may lead the top teams to build a special, single purpose qualifying car. A single qualifying lap requires only a low mileage engine that can sustain very high revs for longer with less reliance on cooling.

A qualifying engine is not new but such an extreme engine that requires only a small lifespan only demands a small radiator (or no radiator!) which, in turn, alters the body design.

So if you can afford it, which the top teams can (and the bottom teams cannot), you might as well build a specialised qualifying car. A very formulaic approach to Formula 1!