– INSIGHT –
Cosworth’s successful return to Formula 1 has prompted it to consider how further racIng success could be achieved
Cosworth made an impressive return to Formula 1 in 2010 and hopes to continue in Grand Prix racing for many years to come. “We’ve been fortunate that the engine’s reliability has been fantastic,” says technical director Bruce Wood. “That was our biggest fear going into 2010. We did 10 3000-kilometre endurance tests over the winter on the dyno. It was a real slog, but it paid dividends because finishing the races is so much more important than whether you’ve got five bhp more or less than the next guy.
“Other than Williams, all our teams were new teams, and the task of starting a Formula 1 team from scratch is a major undertaking. So the whole thing couldn’t have gone much beffer.”
CEO Tim Routsis believes Cosworth must provide complete powertrain packages if it is to continue in F1. “We take a certain calorific value of fuel and we use a small amount of it to do useful work in propelling the vehicle,” he explains. “But we actually use a much larger amount to warm up the environment around the car and engine, either through the exhaust, brakes or waste. To provide a powertrain which is going to be more efficient in the future, those waste energy sources are going to have to be tracked and reclaimed. A powertrain that does not include those technologies won’t be competitive or viable.
“If we want to continue in F1 we have to expand our offering to deal with that, including energy stores and most importantly understanding the energy flows around the vehicle. That’s going to become an area which will differentiate people who do well and get the most out of their gallon of gas and people who don’t do as well.”
Cosworth’s F1 general manager Mark Gallagher (below) echoes Routsis’s belief in providing a total powertrain solution. “Our provision for pure engine supply for F1 is no longer a sufficient offering,” he says. “We have to get into the business of developing entire powertrain solutions, particularly with KERS coming back to F1 in 2011. We’ve developed a KERS engine for Williams. Developing the engine, the KERS electric motors, the transmission and the electronics, and puffing together an entire solution for the teams is where we need to go.
“Simply developing an engine that people drop into their car is something from the ’70s and ’80s. These days you need a fully integrated solution.”
Gallagher wants Cosworth to become a winner once again, not only in Formula 1 but beyond. “The holy grail for Cosworth in Fl over the next two years is to continue to develop the existing relationships with Williams, Virgin and HRT, and also find new relationships that give us the chance to not only sell products in F1 but also win. Cosworth should be producing engines for teams competing in the ALMS, Le Mans Series, IndyCar, WRC and MotoGP. I’d love to see us producing an LMP engine. We have the technology and we have two potential manufacturer Le Mans projects under discussion at the moment.”