April 24, 2015
Alternate engines and secret tires for F1.
You certainly cannot accuse Force India of not being persistent with their ideas for regulation changes that would help the slower teams compete.
Auto Sport und Motor reports Force India's Sporting Director Otmar Szafnauer proposed teams make their own choice of tire compounds, not be limited by Pirelli's choice of two per race and that this choice be kept secret until the week end of the race.
The thought is to introduce more uncertainty in strategies and give midfield teams the opportunity for more aggressive approaches to the race, but the idea is likely to go as far as when Szafnauer floated it a year ago. Teams have enough tire data to know precisely which compound would be optimal negating the very purpose of the proposal and Pirelli would certainly not be too keen to have to deal with more than the two dry plus two wet compounds it has to bring to the track as is.
On the engine front, Bob Fernley proposed that the old normally aspirated V8 plus KERS engines be run side by side with the current V6 Turbo Hybrids, a modification of Ecclestone's 1000HP proposal (as opposed to the current 950hp ones...).
Fernley claims engine costs would be halved from the current 20 million Euro and responds to those noting an equivalency formula would be impossible to find with the argument engines are not all the same now anyway. Fernley suggests Cosworth and Renault could dust off their old designs and offer them for sale.
Setting aside what a colossal admission of failure a return to an older engine design would represent for a company like Renault, it's hard to imagine a small company like Cosworth could produce engines for a couple of midfield teams... unless one of those teams is Red Bull. Christian Horner is said to be open to the idea.
In other news Helmut Marko has been telling anyone who would listen that Mercedes and Ferrari have been in cahoots to safeguard their interests, which is SO different when Mercedes and Red Bull were in cahoots to have Pirellis tire compounds changed a few years ago..... ah, F1, don't ever change!