FIA: Standard Engine by 2010!

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FIA
It was considered a ruse of sorts. Max’s hint of requiring a standard engine for 2010 was thought to be a heavy handed threat to soften teams to other, more pliable regulation changes but apparently, it is not.The FIA have announced that they will open the tender process for a supplier of the standard engine. They will also develop the specifications and diagrams that current teams must follow if they choose to build their own engine.

The art of making an engine is a crucial key to performance in F1. There can be no question that it is expensive and the FIA took the unprecedented step of freezing engine development for the original 10-years. Max said at the time:

“There is no need to develop an F1 engine any further. The engine runs at 19,000 rpm which is far faster than any comparable engine. It sounds good, it’s reliable and amazingly the six partially frozen engines of the current manufacturers are really evenly matched,” the Briton said in his keynote speech.

The FIA on Friday also announced that teams may only use one wind tunnel in 2008 and beyond, and banned 24 hour use of such facilities. The number of team personnel at races is also to be capped.

Now he SAYS:

“The FIA intends to amend the regulations to require all F1 competitors to use a standardised engine.

“The provider will set out a detailed design and will either provide engines in full working order or the detailed designs to allow competitors to build their own standardised engine.

“Where competitors choose to build all or part of their standardized engine, the appointed provider will assist the FIA in ensuring all engines and parts have been built in accordance with the appropriate design and conforms to a performance output in a prescribed range.”

So what happened? I grow weary of the pragmatic, seemingly knee-jerk reactions by the FIA to reduce costs in F1. Certainly current global financial market positions are weighing heavy on everyone but why the heck can’t the FIA make a rule and stick with it. Demanding standard engines seems nonsensical from a manufacturer’s position. Yes, they save money but it is not really a BMW if it was designed by someone else and the blueprint for their lump. BMW was against the 10-year engine freeze to begin with, I can’t see them happy with this idea.

Ther eis no doubt that costs need to be reduced but it is also becoming evidently clear that Max and the FIA are grasping at straws, lobbing long-shots and using pragmatism as a guide when prudence would be a much better co-pilot.

Mr. E says he can’t see teams leaving F1 over this Standard Engine issue. That’s a nice placation Bernie but let me share a serious comment between you and I. I have been a big supporter of yours for a long time. You didn’t ask for that or need my endorsement but you have had it nonetheless. It is my opinion that you are making a very large mistake with this move. Your continued support of Max is charming to say the least but he and the FIA are out of touch with the fans, teams, sponsors and F1 in general. You need a new regulatory organization with real ideas on saving money and not these knee-jerk pragmatists pipe dreams concocted in the basement of a Chelsea flat. Who the hell is still a professional over there at the FIA or FOM?

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