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Cosworth ready for F1 return – JA on F1 behind the scenes
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Cosworth ready for F1 return  – JA on F1 behind the scenes
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Mar 2010   |  1:48 pm GMT  |  90 comments

I went up to Cosworth recently to have a look around and find out how the testing has been going. Cosworth is returning to F1 after an absence of three years and in many ways they symbolise the new post-manufacturer F1 era, as the power behind Williams and the new teams.

There was quite a bit of scepticism about Cosworth when the FIA issued its list of new teams accepted for 2010, all of whom would be using Cosworth engines. In some quarters it was suggested that having Cosworth engines was the only way to be accepted, but there were other reasons why some high profile names were rejected. There were also suggestions that the engine would be uncompetitive because technology had moved on and fuel efficiency would be a problem. Although prices are not discussed publicly, the Cosworth package is also believed to be cheaper than the others at around £5 million for the season.

New Cosworth engine in the assembly shop
As it has turned out one of the new teams, USF1, will not make it, HRT is arriving in Bahrain with an untested car, while the two other new teams are around four seconds off the pace.

The engine is based on the unit used by Williams in the 2006 season, adapted to run at 18,000 rpm. This season, Cosworth’s flagship team is again Williams and they have been performing pretty well and look like fighting for the “best of the rest” position behind the top four.

“You can’t believe the different culture across the teams we are working with, ” says Cosworth’s Mark Gallager, ” You have the vast experience of Williams, extremely professional, very demanding and with a clear objective to win Grands Prix, right through to teams who haven’t done F1 before and are on a steep learning curve and are asking Cosworth to help them in areas that Williams already knows the answers to.”

Gallagher: Cosworth are ready
Cosworth’s target for the engine was to have the power of Mercedes with the fuel efficiency of Renault and they think that these targets are close to being realised. We will only really find out in the first few races, when we can properly evaluate both in competitive conditions.

In testing the engine was run conservatively to start with, but they managed to cover more than the 2,500 kms life of the engine with the first unit in the Williams, so the whole of the Valencia test and some of the first Jerez test too. It is obvious from the speed trap data that Williams is far faster on the straights than with the Toyota unit last year. In the Barcelona test, the Williams was the third fastest car in Vmax at 308km/h, equal to Ferrari and five km/h slower than McLaren with its magic rear wing.

As the testing has gone on, they have had very impressive reliability, covering 11,336km mainly with Williams, but also with Lotus and Virgin.

Lotus will use the Cosworth
Serving four teams is a fair sized logistical exercise; Cosworth was set to produce 100 engines this season; 10 for testing and 80 for racing across the five teams it was supplying. With USF1 out and HRT not testing, that number is now slightly lower, but it’s still a lot of engines.

They are required to supply five engines per team to travel to each Grand Prix, which the teams transport themselves. Cosworth’s on site technical support team at races is 18 people.

One of the advantages Cosworth enjoys this season is that they were able to work on the engine until very recently, whereas engine makers who raced last season have frozen engines.

Gallagher explains how that works,

“We froze the engine on March 1st 2010 and you have to supply the FIA and the other engine makers with a dossier of what you have done to the engine, ” says Gallagher. “It is fixed at that point and you cannot go spending millions of dollars developing the engine for performance. The only thing you can do is ask for a concession if you suffer a reliability issue. In that instance you present your case to the FIA, they share it with the competition and anyone can object. ”

Walking around the facilities, it is just as I remember it from my last visit three years ago, apart from a smart new reception area. The engine build workshop is a buzz of activity with the engines being prepared for Bahrain. They were shipped out last Friday.

I’ve made a video about the new teams, the Resource Restriction Agreement with some behind the scenes material at Cosworth. Click on the link below to watch it.

JA on F1 Cosworth video for FT

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90 Comments
  1. TM says:

    James

    In the video, Mike Gascoyne sounds like he says the resource restriction is not audited (it’s not quite clear, maybe I misheard). Is that right? If so that’s extraordinary – usually the teams are so suspicious of each other.

    Interesting video – like the touch of Audioslave!

    1. Lee Gilbert says:

      I was saying throughout last year that it would be impossible to audit anyway

      So I am waiting for the first scandal or accusation to be thrown by a rival team at another

      1. TM says:

        Yeah I think you’re right, that there would be some accusations at some point even if it were to be audited. But I at least thought they’d try to audit it in some way. Sounds like another nail in the FOTA coffin waiting to happen to me!

  2. martin_tf says:

    I think its safe to say that Williams will be their best chance of a win this year. Good luck to them.

  3. Pierre says:

    Great video James! Great new tool! Great stuff!
    Hope you’ll produce some more during the season including some “Race review report” (race highlights review and insightfull analyses). That would be fantastic.
    If permitted, would appreciate to also have the video directly on jamesallenonF1.com instead of a link, with archives.

  4. James D says:

    Quick question on the engine regultions. Obviously displacement is fixed at 2.8l but are the teams allowed to get to this figure with any bore and stroke? or is this also (boringly) set in stone. Any idea where we can get a full set of engine regs?

    1. Drezman says:

      “the engines must be 90° V8 of 2.4 litres maximum capacity with a 98 mm maximum circular bore, which imply a 39.7 mm minimum stroke. They have two inlet and two exhaust circular valves per cylinder, are normally-aspirated and must have a 95 kg minimum weight”

    2. machista says:

      2.4l dude
      fixed bore and stroke
      hands on the bible this is the actual FIA 2010 tech regs …
      http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/4ADA53A7369DCE8EC12576C700535E67/$FILE/1-2010%20TECHNICAL%20REGULATIONS%2010-02-2010.pdf

      1. James D says:

        Wow, that is boring. Even by FIA standards.

  5. Nick says:

    After dealing with cosworth on a professional basis (our company provides the refrigeration for the extreme weather testing facillities on the same estate) I had no doubts that the engines would be ready

    however it is nice to discover that the engines are competitive with the ambitious goals being close to realisation

    p.s I never realised how much noise they actually make, we can hear it a couple of buildings away with a full refrigeration plant running

  6. Alistair Blevins says:

    It’s good to have Cosworth back.

    I think they will flourish in this new era of F1. Given the unit’s reliability and power, it’s not inconceivable that they could win a race this year with Williams.

    Admittedly it will take a fair share of luck and a following wind, but these are the two old-school (and privateer) names I would most like to see back on the top step of the rostrum.

  7. Lee R says:

    Great video James – I think you should start doing more videos, like the BBC; you don’t read their site, you watch it. You could post videos in stead of blog posts – that would be cool

    1. James Allen says:

      You will see a lot more video from me this year

      1. lip_iceman says:

        agreed, good to watch. I was going to suggest a video following the Wirth/Virgin post (would have been very interesting visually), but you seem to know what your audience wants!

      2. James Allen says:

        I hope to go back there at some point with a video camera

      3. madbaz says:

        Videos are great for viewing at home, but for sneeking a peek at work (without sound), I prefer text and stills.

        Keep up the good work James.

      4. jose arellano says:

        +1 !!

      5. James D says:

        Agreed. Sorry James, we want you to double your workload!

      6. Martin P says:

        Video is great, as a supplement, but please please remember that many people aren’t in places where video and audio can’t be played (work (who blocks it), trains, the living room with someone watching Eastenders in the background, etc.). It’s very frustrating when websites put content in video reports only, so you have to start trawling for another site with a text version of the story.

        Ironically, that’s how I found your site in the first place.

        The written word is your gift and you excel at it – I enjoy your writing style more than any other journalist. Please don’t fix what is far far from broken at the expense of that.

      7. Martin P says:

        “are in places”, not “aren’t”! Bloody typos. Not sure who puts them in there.

      8. James Allen says:

        Thanks, that’s very kind. But video is a great medium and in great demand. I will make sure that I make it accessible. This was a link to the FT, with whom I have a contract, but normally the video will be hosted here or on You Tube.

      9. monktonnik says:

        Agreed, I actually prefer the written word for many things.

    2. Jim M says:

      I find that the insights from the blogs are a great perspective and provide some excellent info. But the best thing is that they’re easy to stay on top of with a mobile where download speeds are in question. And also that they can be read silently, of course.

  8. Chris Brown says:

    James (nothing to do with engines I’m afraid) – Are you thinking of doing a podcast? Feels like a natural addition to the website and I for one would subscribe.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes it’s one of the ideas, but I’ve been working hard on some new stuff you will see shortly

      1. James D says:

        James, can’t you find a way of doing radio commentary? Then we can just turn the sound on the TV down and spare ourselves Jonathan Legard while listening to the radio.

      2. monktonnik says:

        Perhaps there is a way we can splice james in with Brundle and return to the days of having two world class commentators. I really miss James and Louise Goodman.

        Saying that I was surprised how good Ant Davidson was commentating on Hungary in 2006. Maybe they ought to provide a service via internet radio or Iphone?

  9. JohnsonsEvilTwin says:

    Very informative piece James. However, I would like to know how much “tinkering ” Cosworth were allowed to do. From a few interviews I managed to pull off the internet, it appears the engine is much changed from the previous V8.
    Is it fair that Cosworth can change so drastically and the others cannot?

    1. James Allen says:

      Very much changed. Until March 1 when they had to freeze the engine, they were busy on it.

      1. Martin P says:

        James, given that Williams was the main (if not only?) Cosworth runner at the testing, I take it part of their test programme gave Cosworth test data for final tweaks the other engine suppliers couldn’t do?

        If so, will those tweaks be unique to Williams or do all the Cosworth engines have to be identical?

      2. JohnsonsEvilTwin says:

        I dont think this is very fair on Mercedes Ferrari or Renault. At the end of the day, come Monza or Hockenheim, the Cossies will be flying past everone down the straights. Ok maybe not so drastic, but still not a level playing field.
        Is this how the FIA repays the remaining manufacturers faith?

      3. Henry says:

        Well all of the engines will be more or less producing the same power, last year yes the mercedes was the front runner but essentially aero efficiency will have a greater difference on top speed than a couple of extra bhp: i.e. McLaren’s rear wing solution. So I guess what I am trying to say is: Aero will have more of an effect on top speed, so where you will see the differences wil be the long high speed corners, where the cars need high downforce and high speed.

        Think about Force India’s straight line speed last year: it was high because they were very aero efficient in a straight line but that meant they lacked grip on the turns.

    2. Adrian says:

      I guess the obvious answer to that is that there is nothing in the rules to stop any of the existing teams bringing in a new engine supplier who would then be free to design and build the best engine they could and tinker with it right through testing up until a March 1st cut off when the design would be “frozen”…

      1. mistrx says:

        hmm. so let’s imagine Ferrari with let’s say BMW engine. perfect marketing strategy! I kinda think it is unfair advantage for Cosworth. This season is their engine going to be used just by backamrkers (except Williams). But maybe next year some established teams (except Ferrari for the obvious reason stated above) will go for Cosworth, if it proves to be good engine this year. I am in favour of independent teams and engine suppliers, but on the other hand everyone should play with the same cards.

      2. Martin says:

        Mercedes could sack the ex-Ilmor mob and make an improved engine out of Stuttgart. Not sure what excuse Ferrari could come up with. Red Bull might be able to get Mechachrome to build a better Renault engine.

        I suspect that the FIA probably controls the engines in a similar way to the teams.

  10. Dave P says:

    James these insights are great..

    As much as there is large F1 coverage on the internet, these inside views are great

    Video, podcasts, fantastic

  11. Rob Gallagher says:

    Great video james, you should also show the one you narrated about Shell and the Ferrari engine as that was good aswell.

  12. JamesF1 says:

    Good stuff James, I particularly liked the cameo by The Stig after about 50s.

  13. LMW says:

    Great video James; and nice to hear your voice again. Roll on Friday practice…

  14. James B says:

    James Allen strikes again!

  15. Rich C says:

    James, how are these guys able to protect “trade secrets” if they have to give details to fia and competitors? I assume the dossier they have to provide is quite detailed?

  16. Rich C says:

    <3 Cosworth. An 'Old Brand' back in the sport that is really the same people, not some faux outfit like "lotus".

  17. Phillip Sanders says:

    Interesting to hear Gascoyne talk about f1 becoming a spending competition, wasn’t he at the helm of Toyota when they first started pushing f1 budgets to the stratosphere? I remember he used to commute to Germany from the uk everyday. Seems a bit hypocritical to me

    1. Martin P says:

      Funnily enough I was thinking the same. I remember seeing the interview on TV where he was in the private plane flying from Oxfordshire to Cologne (?) every day and thinking “what a ****”. Maybe if he’d focused on the job instead of the trappings Toyota might have got somewhere.

      I can never work Mike Gascoyne out though… he always seems to be on the move and never quite gets there. He seems personable, accessible and knowledgeable on the surface in media interviews, but something must go wrong somewhere.

      Maybe being experienced doesn’t actually mean being very good?!

      1. phillip sanders says:

        100% agree. The fact is you cant argue with the mans cv, it tells a story – Jordan, Renault, Toyota and Spiker/Force India have all fared better after he left (was sacked by) the team. I dont think he is a Ross Braun or an Adrian Newey. I just hope he does good things for Lotus.

      2. Med says:

        I disagree; he joined Jordan mid-98 and they had their best ever season in ’99; Benetton were hanging around mid-field when he joined in 2001 and apparently it was processes he set in motion that saw them have an upturn in form, leading on to them winning the championships after being taken over by Renault – how much of that is true though can be disputed since he left in ’03.

        I think it’s been the case that he’s left teams rather than being sacked by them, though I think Toyota let him go due to “personality conflicts”

      3. IMasri says:

        I’m not defending the spending part of the argument. But if I’m not wrong, Toyota had their best season with a Gaza designed car. So I am not sure where the “Maybe if he’d focused on the job instead of the trappings Toyota might have got somewhere” statement comes from!!

        P.S: Great job JA. I read visit your website at least 2 or 3 times a day.

      4. Lee Gilbert says:

        You are correct about his CV and his apparent lack of success

        BUT… you need to appreciate the man’s personality, which to 99.9% of the world is intolerable. That is the nub of why he moves around

        He hated the corporate red tape and treacle at Toyota for example which goes against his values.

        Lotus might be the first time he is in the right “home” and if allowed to get on with it, could produced something.

        Lets be honest, apart from Newey (who has had a few duffs in his time as well) and Brawn there are few superstars at the top end of the engineering side of the sport

        One thing I like about Gaza is he tells it as it is and was excellent for a few race weekends on the BBC last year.

  18. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    Off the topic James, but I’m sure you’ll agree that these are important issues. Would be great to know you view on these;

    Firstly, I was watching Jake Humphrey’s fascinating discussions on BBC with Jonathon Legard, Eddie Jordan, Martin Brundle and David Coulthard. EJ mentioned a point about the rule changes in terms of tyre. Everyone one knows EJ has weird views on important topics. However, he mentioned that it’s incredibly unfair that the no 10 car has to start the race on Q3 tyres whereas the no 11 car will get the brand new set of tyres. Personally, if I was in Ferrari/McLaren/Mercedes/Redbull or any other top teams I’d think it’s an advantage that the lesser cars don’t deserve to have. It’s not big team’s fault that the lesser teams were unable to produce a good car because of the rule changes. Wouldn’t you be furious if you were Jenson Button sitting on no 10 on the grid & you have Kubica behind you on brand new tyres on no 11? Even with the best car on the grid anybody can be on no 10 on the grid. I think it’s a bloody madness as far as the new rule goes. Would like to know your view on this.

    Secondly, Martin Brundle mentioned about the banning of double diffuser in 2011. Everyone’s seem to be very concerned about cost cutting these days in F1. Banning double diffuser seems to be one of ways to do it in some people’s opinion. I think it’s an absolute madness as well. Teams are going to have to change the design the car in different way to increase down force or at least maintain it for the new car. They are going to spend tens of millions on redesigning the car now. So what’s the point? What’s you view on this?

    The next one is about Button and Hamilton. You’ve already given your view on this in one of the articles a while back. However, even though you believe JB will do better than most people think you still given Lewis the edge. I agree with you but also say it strongly that Lewis will most likely going to crush Jenson during the course of the year. Plus, we all gotta remember, it hasn’t been very long since Jenson was a near back marker rather than a race winner. He spent most of his career in grand prix racing out of the points.

    Another point on new teams, if you could give your opinion on. F1 is the most prestigious motor sport. Some of the teams are so much off the pace that it’s embarrassing for the sport. I really doubt FIA’s selection process. Martin Brundle seems to think he would rather see top 7 teams having 3 cars each or some customer cars on the grid rather than embarrassingly slow cars which could potentially cause havoc. For example, HRT has got more owners already the no of miles!!!!! Yes Senna has got a great surname. However, he doesn’t have any experience of open wheel racing. That’s insane too!!! So I don’t think new teams or newly born F1 drivers aren’t necessarily good for F1. It’s not like buying t-shirts on boxing day sale. It’s about getting in F1 with respect. What’s your opinion on this James?

    Second last thing is WDC and WCC. If you have to pick one driver and one team (not necessarily the same driver from the same team) who would it be?

    Last thing is about Nick Wirth’s comment about established teams wanting Virgin F1 to fail. I strongly disagree with him. Established teams will definitely adopt his way of building cars if it is successful and effective as well as time consuming. We gotta remember this process is like ‘innocent until proven guilty’. So I believe Virgin shouldn’t have been even given the opportunity to race in F1 for testing new way of racing. Even though we see this season as the most unpredictable year yet, I still believe Virgin is going to cause nothing but traffic. GP3 pace should be in GP3 according to David Coulthard and Martin Brundle. And I agree with them. What do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      Wow! Lot of questions. F1 should be all about excellence. It’s an awkward time for the sport, for sure, in between an era of manufacturers outspending everyone and risking the future of the sport and new teams trying to find their way. I’m a great believer in new blood, but there is some scope for embarrassment here. The new teams are four seconds a lap off the pace – it’s not that long ago that Minardi were that far behind and no-one was suggesting that they shouldn’t be there. Teams running three cars each has its own problems, how many points would Force India or Williams score if there were three Ferraris, McLarens, Red Bulls and Mercedes?

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Formula 1 is all about excellence – but so is every other professional racing discipline. The teams that demonstrate that excellence cause the others in a given series to raise their standards to keep up. That increases the professionalism, and the cost of competing, along with it. Look at the impact of the Penske team in the history of Indycar racing. The only difference is that F1 and MotoGP market themselves as uniquely so.

        Cosworth looks good. James, what teams can you see jumping to Cosworth power next year if Williams racks up a bunch of top five finishes, and if the new teams land a collectively decent amount of points?

        I agree with you on the Minardi comparison, and I think the whole “mobile chicane” idea gets overstated. It’s not a parade, and handling traffic is part of the racing art. If the top teams are bothered by that prospect, it says as much about them as the “lesser” teams. One thing looks sure, the engine won’t be the problem for those teams.

      2. PaulL says:

        Maybe before the race teams with 3 cars have to nominate the two cars they want to score with for the race. Real confidence boost for the guy who isn’t picked!

        One other thing, totally off-topic.. has anyone considered the importance of pitlane order this season? Surely with the “release only when safe rule” the teams up the front will have a small advantage especially if everyone’s coming in on a similar lap or during a Safety Car.
        I believe Ferrari and McLaren are right next to each other too!

      3. PaulL says:

        I should add, that I think it will be more important this season due to the pitstops being 2-3 seconds and won’t vary so much with fuel no longer a factor. It takes that time alone to let someone past if they’re coming through in the pitlane! I can forsee a situation where a Ferrari and McLaren are together on the track, one pits – the other reacts and also pits, the Ferrari leaves first.. do McLaren release into the path of Ferrari?

      4. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

        Thanks for taking time to read my long posts on various matters. I just got a bit excited about all these unanswered issues. So I guess your silence on tyre issue means that you agree about the bizarre and unfair advantages given to the cars from 11 to whatever is going to be on the grid. I was telling Stace, my fiancé that there is a reason I read your blog everyday. Even if I don’t agree with a few things your articles are based on really good research and it makes sense. By the way, I think you picked Alonso & Ferrari as champions in one of the posts.

        Anyway, this post is by far is one of my favourites in the off season. Cosworth has a glorious history in motor sport. So it is great to see them back again. I reckon the main reason for so many teams to use the Cosworth engine is the cost. However, I remember the last F1 race that Cosworth participated in it went up in smokes with Williams outfit and they were incredibly unreliable for a few years prior to that as well. This year with all the rule changes teams cannot afford to take 10 grid place penalty at any stage. I believe that for some teams scoring points will be the way to survival in F1. Therefore, it could very well be the survival issue for Cosworth as well. After coming back to sport and right away supplying 100 engines to these many teams is a bit of a gamble. We must remember, Cosworth is a great brand, but they still lack the resources compare to the big teams. So, they might not be able to maintain the high standard needed throughout the year. Brand like Renault was even struggling to give Redbull the reliability needed last year!!! All I can say, as a fan I do not want to see anymore great brand being eliminated anymore.

        Great video too James. Can’t wait to read your post on the 1st race already & maybe we will see some behind the scene videos as well, something that we get to see only during the Australian Grand Prix on this part of the world.

      5. Martin says:

        Zami, taking a bit of a guess, I think the tyre rule is similar to why we don’t have one hour-long qualifying session: if you put the fastest cars at the front the race is a case of stretching the accordion out. The tyre rule creates a way to vary the order and the FIA/Bernie want TV ratings.

        The banning of double diffusers is an interesting one. It has been done to control speeds. The interesting part is that the gearbox design has been frozen for, I think, four years. I understand that Red Bull has compromised on the gearbox for this year so that it can benefit for the three years that follow. For the betting people out there, if Red Bull are the only team running pull-rod rear suspension, then it could be a good bet for the 2011 Championship.

        On Button and Hamilton, you might find a quote in the Autocourse annual interesting. To paraphrase, Ross Brawn told Jackie Stewart that Button is the best driver that he has worked with in terms of ‘getting everything out of a car’. I think it means that when the Brawn was working, i.e. up to Turkey, Jenson would have beaten Schumi. Personally, I’d like to see Jenson have the upper hand as it would be more interesting for me to watch Lewis react to being beaten than the other way around.

        In terms of the relative speed of the cars, recently we’ve had a significant field compression. Qualifying is usually a matter of tenths at most. In 1992 Mansell was often two seconds clear of the field. At four seconds off the pace the new teams are at 105 per cent, so they are within the 107 per cent cut-off of old. A different, more extreme example of the change that I picked out at random: in the 1987 German GP, half the field were more than 4 seconds off pole. In Monaco, where the turbo effect would be minimised, the grid was covered by 8 seconds.

        Because all the teams will have about the same power levels, downforce will be similar too, so the corner speeds won’t be markedly different. Qualifying could be an issue with quick cars getting blocked, but safety shouldn’t be a big deal.

        BTW, Senna has had a two seasons in GP2, which is more wings and slicks experience than Ayrton had prior to F1.

        Cheers,

        Martin from Canberra

    2. James W says:

      Senna has raced in GP2 and F3, although he was with pretty respectable teams during that time, not a team with no road milage to its name!

      I’m with Mr Allen on this front though. New blood (that of new teams as well as drivers) is what the sport needs, particuarly after losing three big manufacturs in less than 12 months between Dec 08 and Nov 09. Gotta give the new teams a chance, everyone has to start somewhere.

    3. iceman says:

      The qualifying situation is not so different from last year, when the top 10 had to start on their qualy fuel load whilst 11 down could choose the optimal fuel strategy for the race alone.

      It raises some interesting tactical choices for the teams I think. If you’ve just scraped in to Q3, there’s always the option of setting a slow time or none at all, and saving your tyres for the race. So you’d end up 10th, but on an equal footing with P11 in terms of tyres and still one place ahead.
      Or if all the big boys are running hard tyres in Q3 to fit with their race strategy, then the guy who just scraped in could run softs and jump up towards the front of the grid.

    4. Craig D says:

      Actually I’m pretty sure said he didn’t want to see three car teams and is excited about the new blood. But yes, it’s true that there are many question marks to consider – not least the due diligence of the selection process – but it’s a very good point James makes about Minardi being seconds off the pace not so long. I for one welcome an expanded grid.

    5. Pat says:

      Re: New Teams – F1 has shot itself in the foot on this one – To even things up a little and make for a more competitive start to the season the new teams should have been allowed unlimited testing from Jan 1st 2010. The more established teams have humongous amounts of data to call on where as the new ones don’t –

      Ferrari and others cannot moan about uncompetitive new teams on the one hand whilst without doubt (if there was a vote on it) objecting to them having additional pre-season testing on the other – they have short memories too – it wasn’t too long ago – last year in fact that they produced a relative dog of a car – so much of a dog that they gave up on it to concentrate on this years car – and they’ve been building F1 cars for 60 + years. (And before any body bangs on about double diffusers last year – the Maestro Adrian Newey proved that you can still build a quick car without one as was proven in the 1st 4 races last year before they bolted one on)

  19. Eric Weinraub says:

    I don’t see the new teams really able to show off their Cosworth power. The F1 Racing interview with Patrick Head sounded a very optimistic note about Cosworth power. Racing is in their blood and I expect them to be well suited. They did a fine job for Williams and others in the past and I can’t wait for the season to start.

  20. Thalasa says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong in what I am going to say, but I have to admit I’m a complete ignorant when it comes to technicalities (and not only).
    As far as I know these days F1 engines are limited to 19,000 rpm. Let’s imagine that the maFIA favours one of the teams. Could they simply allow a team to go beyond that limit without anyone knowing?
    How does the “parc fermé” monitoring work? Who performs the checking to the cars to make sure they don’t cheat?
    I cannot avoid feeling cynical when so much money is involved.

    1. JamesF1 says:

      James may know more but I’m sure I’ve read something about the teams doing sound analysis on cars, this would presumably show up any cars that are revving higher than the limit.

    2. Drezman says:

      Actually its 18,000 rpm. And a ‘rpm trace’ is recorded, along with other data, by the standard sealed ECU supplied to the teams.

      I believe even James has covered this before ;)

    3. Med says:

      The teams would have ways of finding out – there was a bit of a fuss last year around one of the engines going above the maximum revs, which was picked up by performing acoustical analysis of the engine note, or something – I’m not too clued up on the technical side either.

      Anyway, it just turned out that the engine was revving higher when the car bounced over the kerbs and its wheels were off the ground, so it was a bit of a flap about nothing in the end, but shows that they’re all watching each other

      1. Spenny says:

        Is it a fuss about nothing in the world of F1? If a car allows its engine to rev over 18,000 some team might deem this a problem and engineer a solution – another might say “that’s just how it is” – another might come up with a devious scheme to take advantage of this loophole to gain more drive through the kerbs.

        I think there is a gentleman’s agreement between the teams that short blips don’t count, (much as there is an FIA rule that defines the amount of movement an unmoveable surface is allowed). However, the rule is absolute and letting the engine rev above 18,000 momentarily still does expose the team to a challenge or disqualification.

      2. Med says:

        I agree with what you’re saying, I probably just didn’t explain my point too well – last year, certain websites were saying there was another big scandal about to rock F1, that it was all being strategically planned to come out around the time of the FIA presedential election yadda yadda yadda, then when it all came out, it turned out they were talking about the over-revving engine, which barely caused a ripple.

  21. Robert McKay says:

    “In some quarters it was suggested that having Cosworth engines was the only way to be accepted, but there were other reasons why some high profile names were rejected.”

    I’d quite like to know whether it really was mandated that the new teams had to have a Cosworth or whether this is an aspect of the story that got ou of control somewhere along the line.

    1. JamesF1 says:

      I don’t think it was, I think the inference drawn was that the new teams entered under a cost cap initially and the Cosworth would probably have been the only engine that made economic sense given that restriction which now doesn’t apply.

  22. Thomas in Adelaide says:

    Hey all,

    Offtopic, but I know many people are interested –

    The Official Playstation and Xbox magazines will be featuring previews of the upcoming Codemasters F1 2010 game. They should be released in the next few days. Scans on the OXM preview have hit the internet (takes a bit of searching).

    The game looks *amazing*.

    1. Thomas in Adelaide says:

      Here’s a link if you’re struggling… ;)

      http://formula1racing.freehostia.com/CM_f1_10%20League_Main.htm

      1. James W says:

        My god… that looks AWESOME! I cannot wait for this game, although I’d appreciate it if the game came out after May 26th… as I have a lot of work and exams coming up…!

  23. JanK says:

    Would it be possible for you to post larger photos? The ones here (and along other stories) look tiny even on my phone’s screen, not to mention my computer… Would you be so kind and publish photographs in normal resolution? Often you post some very interesting pictures on your blog, but their thumbnail size makes me a sad panda.

  24. Cesar Jaramillo says:

    I liked the post from James. But on this subject I see thunder clouds in the horizon. Everybody agrees with the concepts of “resource restriction agreement” and “new teams”. The key will be if these two concept with a third concept that is even more important to Formula 1: “competitive” and to a lesser but lesser degree “top of the line performance.” If these concepts cannot co-exist, then this is not Formula 1.

  25. JohnBt says:

    Hi James

    Wished you had “JAMES ALLEN@podcast”. I’m very sure you’ll have even more fans. I am listening to almost all F1 podcasts site that I can locate. Look forward to your podcast one day.

  26. Pat says:

    Cosworth will surprise this year :)

  27. Craig D says:

    I somehow missed stating that I am referring to Martin Brundle in the above post!

  28. Mr G says:

    If I remember well, a couple of months ago, a lot of so called experts wrote off the Cosworth engine and they believed that it will be very slow and not up to date.
    As far as I can see from the testing, Williams has posted some good times and alot of their performance is coming from the engine.
    Cosworth has been in F1 as an engine supplier for a long time and I don’t think if you are pulling away for a couple of years you will loose all your knowledge.
    I think Williams will be able to be the fastest of the rest of the pack, in front of Renault for sure and I will be not surprised if, as the championship will unforld, they might be fighting for podiums.
    I might stick my neck out but Williams will sore more points than Force India and Renault, they will fight with Mercedes in some circuits.

    Place your bets now !!!!!

    1. Martin says:

      Considering that Cosworth has the only engine designed (apart from bore and stroke measurements) to run at 18000 rpm rather than a 19000 rpm engine retuned to run at 18000 rpm, it is not surprising to me that the engine is good on power and fuel efficiency. Reliability will be a wait and see exercise but it looks good so far. If the Williams car beats Renault and Mercedes, I’d be thanking the chassis and aero guys first.

      1. Mr G says:

        HI Martin,
        Williams has been very fast in the speed traps and to my little knowledge it is a sign of power.
        You can change a little bit aero package and stiffness of the chassis, raw speed is there if there is enough power to push the car.
        It will be interesting to see if Cosworth have achieved a lot of torque like Mercedes.

      2. Martin says:

        More power doesn’t hurt, but aerodynamics are the dominant area in Formula 1. Consider how many chief engine designers in F1 you can name?

        From the numbers I have seen the F1 engine field is probably spread by about 20 kW in maximum power, with the best around 570 kW. If the slower car can do 300 km/h at Barcelona then with the more powerful engine the car would do 304 km/h. Put the Spa aero pack on the car and the top speed goes to 315 km/h up hill. Fit the Monza kit and the speed rises to 340 km/h plus. If the aerodynamics become more efficient, e.g. through a second generation double diffuser, then it is possible the extra top speed could come from this rather than engine power. If you can recall Spa last year, Trulli had the fastest car in Q2 and was on a fuel adjusted pole. The Rosberg had to optimise the tyres and do a near perfect lap to get 10th in Q2. Both cars had Toyota engines, with key difference being high-speed aero efficiency. Roll on to Monza and yes, the Toyotas were also slow due to a lack of power, but Monza is probably the only track where power speaks that loudly.

        Basically, in my view the engine is an important part of the package, but it is the aero department that wins you races. Frank Dernie contributed to a piece in F1 racing recently, and in it he made some interesting points, including that chassis stiffness is largely irrelevant these days – the crash test limits are that stringent anyway. Suspension geometry is also largely an aerodynamic concern not a mechanical one.

    2. Robert McKay says:

      “If I remember well, a couple of months ago, a lot of so called experts wrote off the Cosworth engine and they believed that it will be very slow and not up to date.
      As far as I can see from the testing, Williams has posted some good times and alot of their performance is coming from the engine.”

      Good for the new teams – they look slow enough already without marrying it to a slow and unhelpful engine.

      1. Mr G says:

        Robert,I predict that Williams will socre more points than Renault and the blog will be my witness.
        Please James keep this prediction until the end of the season and then please email Robert McKay to remind him about it.

      2. Robert McKay says:

        I’m not quite sure if your comment is directed at me for a specific reason, Mr. G. I don’t remember particularly if I said Renault would beat Williams?

        Whomever wins, it will be hard to determine how much of a success is down to the engine alone.

        My point was merely that as you say, it was predicted that the Cossies would not be much cop, which would simply have added to the new teams already considerably difficulties. A good engine for them will be of great help for them in their quest to narrow the gap to the established field.

    3. Pat says:

      Cosworth are no mugs – I think I’m correct in saying theirs was the first engine to clock 20,000 rpm a few years back before they withdrew.

  29. monktonnik says:

    “spending like a sailor on shore leave”

    This has to be my favourite part.

  30. Rich C says:

    Totally off topic, James –
    but I am dying to know what was in those containers that “Steve GP” supposedly shipped ahead to Bahrain and other spots.

    I’m still betting it was just old rubbish, if indeed it happened at all!

  31. Ron says:

    Great to have Cosworth back. Lets hope they get back to the success levels of years gone by.

    Long time ago though, last win 2003 (Jordan), last Championship 1994 (Benetton).

    Interesting fact, the current Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines outfit has its roots in Ilmor which was founded by 2 ex-Cosworth engineers.

  32. CanadaGP says:

    After losing 20% of their clients even before the start of the season due to the USF1 failure, one wonders whether Cosworth still makes money on the project.

    1. James Allen says:

      They’ve been paid by all their partners..

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