In an interesting commentary on the current state of Formula 1, former head of Cosworth F1, Mark Gallagher, says that the FIA, F! and the manufacturers got it wrong…period:
“I have to say that, having run Cosworth for a couple of years and sat in a lot of the meetings at which the FIA, along with the engine manufacturers, were discussing these new regulations, everyone in that room got it wrong,” he said.
“We specifically got it wrong in relation to the forecast of how reliable these highly complex hybrid engines would be.
“I think there really needs to be an understanding that there’s nothing wrong if the FIA admit that they got it wrong with the engine manufacturers and now change their approach to these rules, because it’s a nonsense. It’s a nonsense for fans, it’s a nonsense for the teams.”
As a man who sat in the meetings, he knows what the intent was and he has seen the result. The simple fact is that F1, in his estimation, should just admit that they got it wrong and change the formula.
The rumors of a potential sell of CVC Capital’s stake in F1 is circling the globe and perhaps there are myriad of permutations on this story but the simple fact is that CVC may be looking for an exit after 10 years of skimming windfall profits from the series. Given the current, waning state of F1, the investment group may feel it is time to move on have plundered the series for a decade.
The engines (power units) are the issue. They always have been and will be until such time as the FIA and F1 make an executive decision about the future of F1’s power.
Cosworth departed the series when the hybrid systems were brought in and Gallagher feels that Honda and Renault should be given a chance to catch up such is the lopsided disparity between engines. The delta’s between the different V8’s was never this great and it was the aerodynamics that determined much of the difference. Today, the engine (power unit) rules the series and in particular, one certain power unit to which Mark revealed:
“In 2010, a year before these regulations were signed off, I remember sitting in a meeting in Paris, at the FIA, and we all discussed what would happen if one manufacturer got it so right that they ran away with the ball,” he said.
“Everyone said: ‘Well we’ll just have to make sure that doesn’t happen.’ Well that’s precisely what’s happened and the reality is that Mercedes deserve every pat on the back; they deserve these world championships that they’re winning last year and this year. But we now have to say we got that wrong.
“Renault need to be allowed to develop a competitive engine for Red Bull and their other teams. The same applies to Honda; it’s utterly ridiculous that McLaren-Honda have both hands tied behind their back and, as Alex said, a driver of Fernando Alonso’s capability, and Jenson Button’s capability, arrive at a grand prix weekend with enough grid penalties to put them in a different country.”
Those are keen insights to a series that is having difficulty admitting they got it wrong but then who wants egg on their face? Martin Brundle has accused folks of piling on and kicking the sport when its down but many believe they are simply tired of complimenting the emperor’s new clothes.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1