Cutting costs




I have read your articles on ways to reduce the cost of Formula One racing cars, and I wonder if you have missed a point? You ask that certain items, such as suspensions (active), and transmissions (semi-automatic) be banned on cost grounds. First, I do not know how much these items cost in comparison to the “normal” items. But, second, whether you realise it or not you are making the Formula One chassis the same as the CART car in the USA. If you continue along this path, we would have a situation whereby Formula One will be using a CART monocoque, and CART will be using Formula One engines. And when that happens the two formulae will merge, which is just what Balestre demanded over the public address at Le Mans in 1988. “It is the desire of my heart to see that on all continents, the three formulas run to three thousand five hundred centimeters.” That is o say F1, CART, Group C, or C1 as it was. So I ask you, is that what you want? This idea was put forward without any qualification as to why this was going to be done. Can you see any advantage? The old duffer managed to kill off Group C in one fell swoop. On a realistic level we cannot just have formulae created, and killed off overnight. Motor racing is expensive enough without making it more so.

What you are saying in your article is that Mercedes-Benz and Connaught should have been banned from the 1955 British Grand Prix because they were the only two cars running with fuel injection. We really should see Formula One kept as open as possible, because that is where the breakthroughs are going to come and reduce the crazy costs of F2, F3, and Sports/ Prototype racing. If CART is forced to use the 3500cc engine, costs will go through the roof.

M Potter,
Aylesbury, Bucks.