F1 FOTA Fan Forum – Cost vs Innovation

This is live blogged at the Santander F1 FOTA Fan Forum. It will possibly contain errors and missed sentences. For the full story, make sure you catch the videos later.

Update 2/7: Video added

Luca Coliani
Tony Fernandes
James Allen
Martin Whitmarsh
Jock Clear
Paul Di Resta

Joe Cardoza: So McLaren with Fduct, then copied, then FIA ban it..does this make sense.
MW: not a good example, there’s a broader story. I fought for tech, without regard for cost when starting as engineer. F1 has to be at forefront of technology, but we have to keep and sustain all the teams and it should not just be pure spending fest, there are examples where team spent and did not get results, so not just money. As an engineer, then developing things got bands, then angry. We need to keep innovative..we’ll never get it right, but we need to keep innovating, balancing cost. we need to make sure new teams, they are important to the sport, it is tough coming into sport. FOTA has achieved a few things and there is more to achieve but there are teams here that would not be there if not for cost saving drive of FOTA.
TF: down to the people who drive it, being clever and not too expensive. the sport needs new teams and innovations. FOTA is good at the balance…there is a lot of give and take and F1 is going through aperiodic of discovering of how we can work together and win together…we are finding a way of where the balance.
LC: for us, it is fundamental to keep F1 at pinnacle of technology, and transfer from track to road cars, it is important that the transfer is constant. at the moment, we have more tech on road cars than on f1. eg electronics. For Ferrari and possibility of third car..we want an option to have more teams in f1 is to have a third car for a new team, they could have a competitive car without doing an investment in tech and resources to do competitive car. this is something that should be put on the table and discussed..

James Walton: is it right that the people who design cars also design rules?
JA: info about crash tests?
JC: the rules took a step change in 1994, that brought safety to front of mind. it is impressive how much development has taken place. it never ceases to amaze people, even in industry, what the cars go through…the rules are pretty hard to meet within remit of making a lightweight car that races…a serious amount of development time is taken up with optimising the structure, you have to test and test. there is a lot of investment into this area and what you saw on Sunday is a direct testament to that work. the next level is to control speed and weight..it is impossible to make it completely safe..we are getting to point where the crash structures keep the forces down and car says safe..but forces on body still there…need to reduce weight, keep less energy..it is the big picture we need to keep control of.
MW: I think it is right, as there is not a viable alternative, F1 designers are motivated, clever and it would be impossible to find a body that would outthink their ingenuity, their design to find loopholes and boundaries. The double diffuser was not an intended piece of design, it was a loophole and that is what f1 is about to some extent. the teams do a responsible job with FIA to work in regulations. they are the only body who can sensible work out ergs
LC: the whole F1 community should thank FIA about safety job

James Bernado: the role of test driver is restricted, is this frustrating, or will it develop?
PDR: the teams are as frustrated as the drivers, they want to bring young guys though, bump older guys out (laughter). there’s not a lot of testing involved, the system i have, (Friday) is the best one there. We need more time in seat during winter; for dev it is a harder process, not knowing what the component will do, eg from safety.
JC: lack of testing is same for everyone…the reliability over the last few years is remarkable.. Putting emphasis back in design office, at thinking. but lack of pop for young drivers is terrible. it is refreezing to see guys coming through and see them test. that is the talent of future and the driver pool we have at the moment is in danger. the talent is there, button time in the car is lacking, you will not be in the pace. It has taken Michael time to get up to speed, how difficult for the guys next year. the guys making diver decision are not very patient with young talent, they get 6 months, not enough….when Alonso arrived he had had a few years in a F1 car.
MW: cutting testing was right at time, we need to ease back now. teams don’t what others to get more time then. we need to change approach and find ways to test more…
LC: It’s like a football team, frustrating if told you cannot train more than once a week, everyone wants to train as much. we were too emotional cutting the testing, (personal view) we need to rethink the situation, an opportunity to make F1 closer to you…as only opportunity is race weekend, then problems with ticket prices, so an option is testing sessions eg in Silverstone, Monza. JOck would love to have testing, Michael himself..

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