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The Technical Future of Formula 1

In the last decade Formula 1 has lost its technical appeal to car manufacturers all over the World. While FIA did a really good job in providing safety and security t, firstly, the drivers and secondly, the people of the world. They made the sport slower and decelerated the need for development of new safety techniques. Basically they destroyed the need to innovate for the outside world completely. Resulting in the domino effect we see today with, the large car companies turning their back to F1.

The following is pure speculation:

At the start of the season 2009 the skirmishing between FIA and FOTA was well underway. Even before that the same thing was happening at the main headquarters of Honda. Honda had put a lot of effort in developing a race winning car for the 2009 season (which as events turned out, they did). But while Honda was developing the current Brawn GP car. They saw the same thing they saw the previous years. Virtually none of the used techniques were useful in the real world. The racing grade KERS system was hardly an upgrade from their own road version. It was only lighter and more heavy duty. The aerodynamic results were great but are only applicable to the Formula 1 car but not to anything in their core business, road cars. The used engine was the same one as last year so no improvement there either. Next to that engines are being developed and sold to IRL teams which was much more profitable.
Basicly the only profit to Formula 1 was the promotional value…. so was is really value for money?
The big boys at Honda in Japan didn’t think so. At the end of the season, Toyota and BMW decided to pull the plug for probably the same reasons. This, officially, all due to the economical recession. But in the end it just didn’t deliver the expected technical progress and thus value.

Meanwhile Formula 1 is transitioning to a lesser form.

The start of the 2010 season will see a large amount of new teams on the starting grid. The main reason for this being the fact that Formula 1 has lost its entertainment appeal. Because of the increased safety in the sport races have become bleak, stale and just boring. Overtaking is hardly done the last few years and without F1’s ultimate champion, Micheal Schumacher, less and less people watch the races.

To counter this FIA and FOM decided to allow more teams to enter the 2010 championship, with FOTA agreeing eventually. Making the grid fuller and more crowed and the possibility accidents larger, thus bringing more suspense to the race. At least that’s what FIA, FOM and FOTA hope.

Basically because of this F1 is degraded to a, next to useless, entertainment sport. Personally I think it’s really a degradation because Formula 1 was so much more, worth a lot more. It should be more if it ever wants to be the highest form of motorsport.

Formula 1 should be the pinnacle of speed en safety technology.

Because Formula 1 has stayed roughly the same speed over the years and has been shielded from major technical innovation in the area of propulsion. Which basically is still the same thing driven your, 50 years old lawnmower, an internal combustion engine. They shameful thing is a lot of today’s lawnmowers are in basics technically more advanced than Formula 1 cars.

I asked myself, why don’t Formula 1 cars have lightweight fuel cells yet? Or hasn’t KERS been developed to be drive the F1 car after 10 laps of recharging. Why can’t Formula One cars get their fuel from water, everyone knows it’s possible.

Of course there are a lot of reason for this but the biggest ones are, protection. Protection of oil companies, protection of old techniques. But in the meanwhile, car companies do develop this stuff. They just don’t want it to be out in the open yet. Although we all know that BMW has a car this has H² for fuel. Why don’t they race it in Formula 1? And of course the answer is, they aren’t allowed to and if they were it isn’t remotely close to the power of petrol. Here is where FIA comes in, why hasn’t it put a part of entry fees in a fund which helps every participating engine manufacturer to develop these techniques and give a major financial advantage to the teams which dare to test and use the techniques?

I understand it isn’t all that simple because of various interest groups etc. But if for example Shell is being funded to find a safer way to make H² fuel usable. Isn’t that in their own interest? Oil based fuel are going to replaced.

Dyson developed a bladeless electrical fan, why the reverse version of that fan (turning it into a windmill) be used to convert the cooling air needed for the engine, to electrical energy which will be fed to the KERS system?

In my honest opinion this will be the only way for Formula 1 to ever become what it was a few years ago!

(ps. this version is uneditted, I just wanted to get it out first!)

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