D he Formula 1 is to abolish itself. There are only ten teams left. The performance gap is too great. More and more money is being spent at the top. And current cars prevent good racing on the racetrack, for several reasons.
For example, because the aerodynamics have become too extreme, so that overtaking is a feat. Because cars that are far too heavy strain the tires and brakes so much that they overheat after several laps of attack. Because the current generation of engines forces engineers to remotely control the pilots. Because the drivers in the race are constantly busy managing the tires, the brakes, the fuel consumption and the energy balance.
Red Bull Technical Director Adrian Newey describes the current Formula 1 as the 'engine formula'. The balance between the importance of the engine and the car for the lap time is no longer correct: “Mercedes is superior in all disciplines. Engine power, fuel consumption, drivability, MGU-H recuperation. You can't make up for that with a better car. ”
Of course, a vehicle engineer has to think that way. Newey sees the sport through his personal glasses. But other engineers agree: “Mercedes invests its horsepower advantage in more downforce. You just have to look at the rear wing, ”a Renault man tells us.
Socialism only works in theory
Actually, Newey shouldn't complain. Red Bull plays with Mercedes and Ferrari in the 300 million euro plus league and is one of the privileged teams.Nevertheless, there are also differences in the premium class of Formula 1. Around 1,000 people work in the chassis area at Mercedes and Ferrari. At Red Bull there are almost 800.
Newey: “We have 125 people in the aerodynamics office. Mercedes almost double. The output is automatically higher. ”Red Bull is slowly beginning to realize that this arms race can only lead to misery. Because from 4th place even the principle of hope doesn't help anymore.
Liberty Media wants to solve the problem with a budget cap and a fairer distribution of income. Newey doesn't think so: “This is socialism. It only worked in theory in real life. ”
The super brain makes another suggestion on how to save money and shrink the staff for all teams on a reasonable basis without setting a specific number. His approach: “Restrict the tools. Then we don't need that many people. ”
Newey would be the first to ban the wind tunnels. “From a technical point of view, they're dinosaurs that will soon die out anyway. We are designing more and more with the help of CFD simulation. ”So that as a consequence not all the money is invested in CFD development and there is an arms race in the software industry, the 59-year-old Englishman proposes a standard software with a limited one Number of calculations. Then the ingenuity and experience of individual engineers would count again.
The man, who as a designer has collected more world championship titles than anyone else, also considers the abolition of telemetry and a limitation of data collection to be a good idea . Because then people would again be in the foreground. And because that limits the importance of test benches and simulators. Without real data, the correlation between the virtual world and reality is difficult.
Series relevance contradicts basic motorsport idea
Newey continues to advocate a limit to a certain number of aerodynamic specifications per year. Only what the FIA has previously homologated is allowed on the car. 'If you are inIf you are only allowed to build five different rear wings every year, you think about whether a special wing makes sense for Monza or Monte Carlo. You then limit yourself to the essentials. ”
According to Newey, the engines should also be an issue. “The number of test bench runs should be limited. That would save costs. ”In addition, Formula 1 would finally have to say goodbye to the current technology monsters and the helpless attempt to show that the engines are close to series production. “By definition, that doesn't work. In racing, we try to go full throttle as much as possible. In normal life, we either get stuck in traffic jams or roll down the highway at a steady pace. What should car races contribute to this task? ”
Newey considers the hype about fuel-saving technologies such as pre-chamber ignition or energy generation with the MGU-H to be typical drum rolls in the marketing departments of the car companies. “The prechamber ignition was invented much earlier. Formula 1 only took up the idea. The MGU-H will never exist in a normal car. It would only be of benefit if you drive at full throttle for a long time. Most countries have a speed limit. You're moving at 130 km /h in the partial load range. ”
Red Bull's technical director believes that the future of motorsport lies in driving engines that have died out on the road. Loud, strong, brutal. Because then they are something special that can only be seen on the racetrack. Because they would be much cheaper than the hybrid drives. And because they would save more than 50 kilograms in weight compared to today's engine generation.
“In 1998 our McLaren weighed 580 kilograms. We still had 45 kilos of ballast on board. Today we are at 733 kilograms with practically zero ballast. You could save quite a bit of gasoline if you drove with significantly less weight. But that is only possible with other motors. “