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FIA abandons plan for standard gearboxes

NEWS STORY
24/05/2019

The FIA has announced that it has scrapped its plan to introduce standard gearboxes from 2021

In a brief statement issued tonight, and at a time the FIA is seeking tenders for a number of other standard parts it hopes to introduce in 2021, the sport's governing body said that following detailed analysis by its Technical Department of submissions to the tender process launched on 18 February for the single supply of the gearbox cassette, the World Motor Sport Council has accepted, by majority the recommendation, not to appoint a single supplier for this component.

"The Council's decision was based on consideration of both technical and financial information made available by teams and suppliers," said the FIA. "The technical data provided revealed that gearbox technology in F1 has largely converged and that, as a result, there is little performance differentiation at present."

It was also noted that, due to the complexity of the components, gearboxes remain a sensitive matter in terms of reliability, and this was factored into the evaluations of the FIA Technical Department.

"Regarding the financial implications of the tender process, detailed financial data was requested from F1 competitors and a number of teams operating different business models supplied the FIA with relevant information," read the FIA's statement. "Analysis of this revealed that similar financial savings could be made by means other than the specification of a single supplier. These methods are being discussed with the Formula 1 teams and will be included in the regulatory package to be presented by the end of June."

Only two weeks ago in Spain it was clear that opinion on standardised parts remains very much divided as far as the teams are concerned.

"Sometimes you get some parts which work, and sometimes you get parts that everybody's got the same and some people get them to work with their car," said Guenther Steiner. "The worst bit for me, we need to make sure that Formula One keeps its DNA. And the DNA of F1 for me, it's developing... it's the only motorsport that is free for technology. Once you start standardisation, it can be a slippery slope in my opinion. We need to be careful not going down that slope and all of a sudden ending up with all the same cars.

"A lot of people are interested in our technology and that is why they're watching F1. I don't know. First of all, we need to see what is happening with standardisation before I make a final comment how I think about it."

"(We are) very much aligned with Guenther," said Mattia Binotto. "As Ferrari, we always relay that we are against the standardisation principle - but we know as well that we need to control the costs and expenses - and obviously there is a budget cap so we need to find the right balance.

"Standardisation only makes sense if you may save money, which has to be proved first," he added. "And as well we need to take care of the DNA of F1. For example, if we take the rims, all the cars with exactly the same rims - I think that, in terms of aesthetics, is not good for F1 from the outside, because you're not differentiating any more the cars from one car to the other, maybe just the paint. But it's not something we should look at.

"Standardisation of parts, there are two reasons," said Franz Tost, "first to come down with the costs; the second also to bring the performance together of the different teams.

"I don't agree to say the DNA of Formula One is just to develop, we have to find a way to come down with the costs and no-one takes care which brakes we have in the car, or which rims they have.

"The people want to see some interesting races, some overtaking manoeuvres. They don't care about the form of the rims or about the brakes. They just want to see interesting races. And we have to come down with the costs. Therefore I am in agreement with as many standardised parts as possible."

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1. Posted by koko, 25/05/2019 16:06

"To be honest, I think this is disappointing. There are few comments here saying F1 is the "ultimate in technology". Maybe ...

Please raise your hand if you guys know what type of sparks are they using ... right, thought so!
Please raise your hand if you know the details of the aero components they are using ... ok ...
Please raise your hand if you know the gear ratio in the gear box for each race ... even better!

I am watching each race because I want Hamilton to work for his money. I don't care if his engine works with whatever-gas or with leprechauns piss. I want him to be challenged. I want him to prove he is the best, not the army of engineers babysitting the car from UK. I want the drivers to be error prone (yes, those missed gear shifts) to prove their capacity to focus and fight.

I - and as a matter of fact, you as well - rot for the driver. I never bought a hat with Ross Brown, Adrian Newey or Bernie Ecclestone! I never woke up in the middle of the night to see if the engineers got the settings of the car right.

Drivers are the modern gladiators. Give them similar tools and let them fight. Give them bricks to drive and let them show their magic! I would like to live the day when one drive says again about the other: "X is the only driver who, when he attacks, you see on both rear-view mirrors”. When was the last time you saw this into a race?

Vettel might be one of the greatest. However, his name will be always associated with Adrian Newey. Same for Schumacher with Ross Brown. In fact, remember when Ross Brown won by himself a championship even it was clear Button was not worthy of it?

Stop being brain-washed by the f1-marketing ... of course they want the manufacturers to pour money into the sport!

My 2c."

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2. Posted by imejl99, 25/05/2019 9:29

"DNA of F1 was pushing the limits- driving limits, engineering limits, innovation limits. It was not that easy to put winning car together in any era, it isn`t today. We witnessed more failed teams than winning ones. There is assumption that winning car from the first race would be out of points in the last race of the season if not constantly improved. There is a race within the race.

And it was thrilling and exciting, but somehow, instead of admiring and respecting Mercedes now, or Red Bull before, Ferrari, McLaren when they are on the top, we are crying for overtaking. So we regulate, and now it is overregulated, overmanaged, and not exciting at all. But, it is still admirable what Mercedes does, and for how long. Only, it is somewhat lost in pursue of "overtaking spectacle".... (that never was)"

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3. Posted by Max Noble, 25/05/2019 7:34

"Excellent! Get those digital TV subscriptions signed and you can pass $500M to each team Liberty, and end the “fake news” of needing a budget cap... :-). Now to get the power plant rules changed..."

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4. Posted by Ro, 24/05/2019 23:04

"The DNA of F1 is supposed to be the ultimate in technology. To have a standardized part just kicks that thought into touch. Make everything the same? It will become a bore-fest"

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