What a pity that FISA is legislating against innovation. The ruling that many developments which help a Formula 1 driver electronically are to be banned is surely a step backwards for all? Over the years, motor racing has contributed greatly to engineering research and still does so today.
Here at JCB we are working with Williams Grand Prix Engineering on a derivation from their electronically-controlled push-button gear shift, which has not only delivered success for them but also has hi-tech applications for us. The outcome of this liaison is a classic example of how the white heat of Formula 1 technology is helping transmission evolution even in the down-to-earth world of diggers. Together, industry and motorsport have learned much about engine control systems, tyre technology, suspension systems, enhanced engine powers, metallurgy and aerodynamics areas of knowledge which have made their own impact in production car design to the benefit of all.
There are not many areas today where Britain leads the world, but Formula 1 racing is one. It is unfortunate that the ruling body’s well intentioned efforts to create a more competitive field are seemingly holding back Britain’s expertise.
Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman & Managing Director, JC Bamford Excavators, Rochester, Staffs.