Formula One, Letters, April 1982
With reference to David Rocker’s forthright condemnation of restrictions on technical development in F1, and his criticism of “fuel efficiency” proposals, I am not a little surprised at his apparent satisfaction with the present capacity-limit type formula. Consider:—
It effectively restricts power units to spark-ignition piston engines, thereby ruling out rotaries, diesels, gas turbines and many other fascinating and potentially important prime movers. Its emphasis is on the purely arbitrary attribute of specific power output (i.e. h.p. per litre), which is of negligible practical significance per se.
It signally fails to “put all competitors on the same footing”, currently giving them instead the option of two distinct — albeit supposedly equal — footings. (Rather as if cricketers could choose either a long, thin or a short, wide bat!) Since I agree with Mr. Rocker in most essentials, I feel that if only he would consider impartially the merits of a sensibly devised fuel — or rather energy — consumption type formula (not necessarily a fuel-flow one), he would see that not only would the results bear no noticeable resemblance to economy runs, but also it could satisfy his demand for regulations that are minimally restrictive and technically stimulating, not to mention genuinely relevant. Which is why I for one have been advocating such a formula since well before the Cosworth DFV engine was even thought of!
I. J. G. Berry