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Horner calls for "root and branch" review of the regulations

NEWS STORY
20/09/2017

While Force India has made no secret of its desire to see a cap on spending, the Silverstone-based outfit fielding a competitive car and driver pairing for an outlay as much as a third or more of some of its rivals, said rivals are unhappy at the prospect of being told what they can spend and how they can spend it.

Speaking at the weekend, Christian Horner insisted that while he agrees spending does need to be reduced, he lay the blame at the door of the FIA, claiming that it is the regulations that drive up costs... and not to the betterment of the sport.

"We're fully in favour of reducing costs," he said. "I think the problem if you just introduce a budget cap with current regulations is that we'll end up employing teams of accountants to find smart ways of circumventing the current set of rules.

"I think the biggest cost drivers are the technical regulations," he continued, "and I think FIA, FOM need to get those under control: to get the chassis-side under control, to clean up the cars - they're starting to look far too messy in terms of all the appendages that are growing on them.

"Of course, a key part of that also is the engine," he admitted. "We're sitting here today with enormous engine bills because of the technology that are involved in these power units. The manufacturer obviously is bearing the brunt of the research and development costs of those engines that one has to question, what is the actual road relevance of?

"So I think there needs to be an absolute root and branch review of the regulations. I think once that is done, then you can potentially look at a budget cap - because it becomes a far softer mechanism than if you introduce the budget cap tomorrow, then with race teams incorporated as part of larger OEMs it would be almost impossible to effectively police the allocation of resource and spend and facilities, etcetera."

While both Red Bull and Renault did their level best - but with little conviction - to play down reports that the French supplier is to drop the Austrian team at the end of next season, following Horner's dismissal of the Porsche buy-out speculation, attention switched to Aston Martin.

The British manufacturer's CEO, Andy Palmer, attended the Singapore Grand Prix and while admitting that his company wants to be involved in the sport - having attended the various meetings of the Power Unit Working Group, as have Cosworth and Volkswagen - it cannot do so until the new (for 2021) engine formula has been agreed.

Even then, he admits, the new formula, though still hybrid, must be less complex and far less expensive than at present.

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 25/09/2017 8:27

"There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding about what constitutes "Relevance".
A top-class athlete like Mo Farah has a dietary and exercise regime which would not only seriously challenge most people mentally & physically, but make it hard for them to do a 'normal' job. His 'day job' is quite different too.
Nothing is immediately "relevant" to our daily lives sitting behind screens, driving cabs, or whatever. Doing a quick 20-mile run isn't going to pep-up our Stock Trading, Nursing or Truck driving skills.
BUT probing the limits of what humans can achieve, and manipulating diets and physical regimes to achieve it has considerable relevance to the Health & Welfare of us all. Similarly wearing the same footwear as Mo Farah won't turn us all into ace runners, but the R&D might make for better understanding of how we all walk & run.
This is analogous to the distinction between Theoretical Science & making Widgets.
The Hadron Collider isn't immediately "Relevant", but by exploring the outer limits discovers things which might one day be of direct practical use.

In the F1 context, no intelligent person expects that we're going to remove a part from Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes and bolt it onto a Road Car (nor indeed that all motorists will follow his Training regime), but by pushing the limits maybe some detail will emerge that will filter down to our daily lives.

None of this makes the Racing (remember that) any better, but it doesn't make it any worse, either. Forget "Relevance" focus on the challenge of achieving Excellence instead.
"

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2. Posted by Uffen, 21/09/2017 16:11

"Yes, it can be done quite quickly. The road blocks are those that cry out for "relevance" (yes, road relevance is a joke) and those who scream "you can't go back" or "you can't unlearn XYZ." These are relevance's evil twin cousins. Yes, you can go back, the FIA does it all the time (think of all the banned tech over the years). Sure you can't unlearn it, but if it is banned what's the point? "

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3. Posted by Jezzer, 21/09/2017 9:26

"There they go with that road relevance bulls&€t again. When will they get it it into their stupid heads that there is NO ROAD RELEVANCE. In case they are not aware let’s have a brief recap....one is a racing car that goes very fast and can go round corners so fast that the drivers can’t keep there heads upright, the other is restricted to 70 mph maximum. One has tyres that last 50ish miles, is that the sort of tyre we want on the road....a drive from London to Glasgow and you have stop for new tyres more times than you would stop to empty your bladder! How about suspension so hard that driving on the UK’s pot holed roads would shake your teeth loose. What about the new for 2018 halo, your little daily run around will be greatly improved with one of those. Then we have things like all of the appendages, can you imagine knocking the front of your runaround in Tesco’s car park and wiping off a dozen flimsy elements.
Come on you dozy morons running (ruining) F1, drop the road relevance crap and get on with giving proper racing cars and decent races to watch.
That’s got me all wound up and stressed out again. Bloody people!!!!
"

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4. Posted by bfairey, 21/09/2017 3:10

"2.4L V6 and no gimmicks."

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5. Posted by RDFox, 20/09/2017 16:40

"I've felt for a long time that the solution to the aero issues is something that would make every engineer at the teams salivate, even as management screamed in horror.

Simplify the aerodynamic rules to dictate maximum dimensions of the car, then dictate that every car must be shown, in a FIA-approved wind tunnel test, to generate no more than "X" kilonewtons of total downforce at a speed of "Y" kilometers per hour, with all parts of the car in their highest-downforce configurations--and then eliminate all restrictions on HOW the teams can generate that downforce.

In a single stroke, you restrict aerodynamic grip by limiting downforce--and thus make mechanical grip more important again--and will likely solve the wake-related issues of following closely, as the teams will certainly make use of underbody tunnels to generate much (if not all!) of their downforce, which are much less reliant on "clean air" to function. (Witness Indycar, where there is much less trouble when following closely, as the cars do use underbody tunnel downforce. You still get some washout from the wings when on someone's rear bumper, but not nearly as severely as in F1 today.)

And, as I said, it'd make the engineers and aerodynamicists deliriously happy, as they'd be freed of restrictions on coming up with new and better ways to do their jobs; working to find the minimum drag for a set downforce level would be a different challenge for them, and their ability to come up with entirely new innovations would be unrestricted.

Oh, and it would also almost certainly result in the cars actually looking DIFFERENT from each other again, as each team tries its own set of solutions rather than being constrained by the rules to a single design concept..."

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6. Posted by GrahamG, 20/09/2017 16:11

"Totally agree that it's nonsense to have regulations which increase costs every time a new one is introduced . (which seems to be every week). The cars look daft with all their multi thousand pound millimeter sized appendages which mean nothing to anyone and the engines are a disaster. Is a slot in a barge board really "road relevant?"
Interesting that restricting the number of engines, gearboxes etc. has been one of the drivers of increased cost because of the testing needed to ensure their life.
Perhaps the only way is to have a standard dimension for a single plane front and rear wing and find some way of controlling body appendages (yes a minimum thickness isn't a bad idea)
Also alter the tyre regs so a single tyre is used all year, unlimited numbers, an operating window of at least 20 degrees C and make all pitstops a minimum of 30 seconds stationary.

"

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7. Posted by Lapps, 20/09/2017 15:39

"I agree with CH that the cars are growing far too many fins, lumps and bumps. It could all be cleaned up with one simple Rule. That is:

“All aerodynamic components must be at least 250mm thick”

This would greatly increase the drag penalty for small fins and wings, but not affect larger ones. Vola! Sleeker Cars in one easy move. "

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8. Posted by Max Noble, 20/09/2017 14:49

"Neymar, Mayweather, and Ferderer are all highly concerned about their road relevance. As are the EPL, World Series Baseball, and Donald Trump."

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