Thursday, 3 December 2009

Thursday Thoughts – Is engine parity necessary for 2010?

Over at Sidepodcast, they have started an initiative called Thursday Thoughts, where someone poses a topic or a question for people to comment and blog about. This time the question is as it states in the title: is it necessary to have engine parity for the 2010 F1 season. Or for those who want it in simple terms – should all engines be equalised?

Personally, my response is a combination of yes and no. Yes, everyone wants close racing and yes, no-one wants to see one team or one car driving off into the distance and dominating all the time. But at the same time, no-one wants F1 to become just another spec series like GP2, A1GP or IndyCar. Therefore, I propose a solution that keeps all the engines relative of each other while still allowing the teams some freedom in development.

What I think could work is this – the FIA gives every team a base unit. Very basic, very simple but with plenty of customisation available. The teams are then given a set budget which can be spent on developing this engine. They are free to spend as much of this as they want and develop it how they wish, but still keeping within the regulations laid out by the FIA.

That way, these engines are still related to each other in their basic components but at the same time are independent of each other as the teams have done their own work with them. Whether it could work we don’t know since nothing like this has been suggested. The only thing that comes close is the Cosworth unit which has gone to the new teams and Williams.

It’s nice to see competition and competitiveness in F1, but as mentioned no-one wants to see a runaway domination of the championship. Equality in F1 is good to a certain extent. Sure, series like GP2 can provide good close racing at times but this sport is all about the pinnacle of engineering and technology and innovation. Without any of that, it’s just another form of motorsport.


RubberGoat said...

Very good post Scott. This idea could work, but the problem with it could be mistrust within the teams and some very creative accounting to get some extra development in.

Having said that, it must be a better idea than the engine freeze, which nobody seems to like or want!