Mosley wants standardised F1 cars

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Max Mosley’s words highlighted in bold in the FIA president’s latest letter to the teams spells out his position on green technologies, entertainment and costs as plainly as possible:

All items on the cars which are not known, visible and understood by the public should be standardised and manufactured at minimal cost.

The technical contest should be limited to items which are visible, understood and potentially useful – e.g. the Kinetic Energy Recovery System

He wants to massively reduce the technical freedom of car designers, focus public attention on green technologies such as KERS, and improve racing in F1.

Mosley’s words are likely to anger purists who don’t want to see F1 become yet another racing series where all the cars are the same, like A1 Grand Prix, Champ Car and the like.

But he raises an interesting point. It is not currently the case that every car on the grid is 100% manufactured by their respective teams. Brakes, for example, are manufactured by specialist companies such as Carbone Industries and Hitco.

Would F1’s unique appeal really be diluted if the same principle were extended to other components on the cars?

I’m playing devil’s advocate here a little. I don’t want to see F1 become a series where every team collects a pair of identical chassis from the FIA, paints it in their colours and go racing.

And I find Mosley’s approach to the green issue baffling. I agree that it’s in the long-term interests of F1 to incorporate greener technologies (and there are plenty of people who won’t even concede that point).

But I fail to see why they much be forced into a single specified route, Mosley’s solution of smaller engines twinned with KERS. Why not let them also develop hydrogen engines, electric engines and other alternatives?

Mosley, meanwhile, is clearly frustrated at the teams fighting for a bigger slice of F1’s revenues and arguing over the monies given to teams that do not build their own cars (legal in F1 from 2008) while trying to push back the introduction of KERS as late as possible:

Until the basic problem of costs has been resolved, time should not be wasted discussing how the FOM money is to be distributed. It is a secondary matter. The same applies to debating the level of technical co-operation allowed between teams.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Mosley wants standardised F1 cars”

  1. Cost savings and “green technologies” ……. make me vommit! That idiot, MadMax by name, has been spewing this rhetoric for years and it hasn’t saved any team a dollar, a pound, a euro, a yen, etc. “Green” technologies have no place in F1,
    this is supposed to be the “pinnacle of motorsport” the idea is to make a lot of noise and go really fast. We don’t need another 1000 pages of ‘environmental regs’ added to the already over-bloated rules.
    F1 rules should be and could be written on a Postal card:
    600 Kilos at the finish, 2.5 litres maximun displacement,
    200 MILES race duration, points awarded 1st through 8th. I would be open to allowances for turbines and turbo or super charged engines, but V-16 might make a comeback, or maybe someone could figure how to make a turbocharged 4 cylinder raceworthy, slick tyres, SIX tyres, constantly variable or automatic gearboxes……this is F1. Standardized cars are for the lesser classes.

  2. Ha, great comment #38! I couldn’t agree more with the “make a lot of noise and go really fast”. This should be indeed about that, and I’m too sick of Max and his nonsense. He should be running NASCRAP.

    What’s that all about homologated chasis? Bollocks that’s what is.

    We all want those cars to go as fast as possible and in the way make the loudest noise attainable. Indeed.

  3. What will the name of this new series be? “Formula One” will no longer be applicable for this garbage.

  4. Maybe drivers should be required to carry a passenger, to help promote carpooling. I’d volunteer for that. :)

  5. they have already taken freedom away from designers!
    all the cars HAVE TO BE within the same dimensions as it is!

  6. No matter what Mad Max does, there will never be any cost cutting by the teams. Even if FIA imposes some sort of spending cap, they will always find some ways around. Lots of things can be financed by third parties and the expenses will never show up in the teams books … The biggest expenses are Max made anyway – constant rule changes… The switch from V10 to V8 was not free of charge… The switch from V8 to some green V4 would cost even more …

    The green ideas are fine, but they should not be ridiculous … So far I can’t recall any Mosley’s green idea that can be considered fine. And anything that makes the F1 cars silent is definitelly NOT FINE…

    Teams spend most of the money on the wind tunnels and all the ridiculous winglets and fins and horns etc etc … They gain few tenths at the cost of millions and kill the racing in the process… This is what Mad Max should be thinking about – stop wasting money on more and more ridiculous aero and improve the racing. Stop wasting time on all kinds of “overtaking workgroups” and go back to basics – get rid of the winglets and stuff, let the cars use slick tyres, make the wings that are left behind smaller… why this guy can’t think simple any longer … If he only read what us fans keep shouting about all the time …

  7. Why does Max think that having everyone in the same car is likely to promote overtaking?

    The real solution is for people to have cars with different characteristics.
    The FIA almost had the solution last year, when there was a mixture of V8 engines and rev-limited V10 (albeit with the V10s only in the Torro Rossos). When you have some cars that have a higher top speed against others with a lower top speed but more torque, you’re going to get a hell of a lot more overtaking than if everyone has exactly the same car.

  8. This is just more proof that Max has never actually liked F1. F1 fans don’t want to see identical cars, if they did then things like A1GP would be more successful. F1 doesn’t need a new audience, it needs to focus on making the millions of existing fans happy first, and keeping the sport on the back pages and off the front pages.

    What Max fails to realise is that so many of F1’s existing fans do care what is under the bonnet, it’s one of the things that adds to the spice of the sport (there’s that word again). As an F1 fan I love the excitement of knowing that my team has got a better system or a new trick under the hood which is getting them results, just as I get frustrated when my team gets it wrong and slip back down the field.

    Furthermore, F1’s carbon footprint is drop in the ocean. If Max really cared about green issues he would go back to fast, low fuel qualifying – and get rid of the ridiculous fuel burn phase of qualy3.

    Furthermore he would put more GP’s in Europe and less in faraway countries that require 12 teams to fly there and back (not to mention special or replacement parts being flown over).

    Perhaps the FIA could simply donate all the extra money that they dish out to Ferrari to green charities and let everyone else get back to making F1 the fastest, most high tech, and most exciting formula in the World…

    I firmly believe that it is Max’s dream to destroy F1 before he retires.

  9. Everytime I see Mosley now, I want to get the garlic and a cross out!

  10. Overtaking is generated by differences between cars. If Max Mosely is advocating standardised cars, then he is advocating non-overtaking, since standardised cars will by definition not be different enough to pass each other.

    Public attention will only be focused on KERS if they are sufficiently interested in F1 racing to care about KERS. And that means better racing. Typical Max Mosely for putting the cart before the horse…

  11. It really is time he went. The man is going senile. His plans for the future are unworkable and destructive of the sport (as pointed out by earlier commenters), he makes pronouncements as if a dictator and counters reasoned argument with threats and insults. He has to go.

  12. I think the comments posted above are almost as nonsensical as Max Moronsly as a whole.

    1. There is nothing wrong with “green technologies.”
    2. The KERS is simply an example.
    3. Previous FIA regulations have prevented the development of alternatives or innovations.

    Now consider this.
    1. Racing is at an all-time low. I.e. more and more processions.
    2. Manufacturers are paying a lot of money for “advertising”.
    3. F1 cars have no resemblance to road-going cars. (Not even the fuel is the same.)

    The question is “to what end?” Max is correct in that the current exercise is nearly foolish. What he should not do is offer up a solution. Instead, he and the FIA should open the rules to allow if not encourage innovation.

  13. For a man who has raced himself, run his own racing team, and headed the FIA for fifteen years, Max Mosley shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the nature of the sport he runs.

    You can’t cut costs per se. Costs are dictated principally by the amount the top teams have to spend. Even in spec formulae, the best funded teams are able to run better cars. In fact, the narrowing down of the tech regs has probably made success more money-intensive. As there’s little scope for a genuine innovation, the only way to succeed is incremental improvement – optimisation through research – and that costs money. Whereas in the 70s or 80s, you didn’t necessarily need the biggest budget to come up with an idea like carbon fibre chassis, ground effect aerodynamics, or traction control (though money always helps….)

    Has any top level series that became a spec-formula ever survived with any real credibility? Look at Champ Car. Look at IRL…

  14. Hi everyone! I’ve been following this site a while ago, but i couldn’t resist to do my first comment after reading Mosley comments…

    First of all i believe that F1 is not only about racing in the track but also racing off the track. Yes, we need to improve the first but also to keep the second, and with standardised cars we may lost the latter. Max Mosley turned the sport safe, that is true, but in this matter of reducing costs he is just destroying the spirit of the sport with all the decisions he took. We have Champ Cars, IRL, GP2, A1GP, Asian GP2 now, so why another standard cars championship if we already have the whole lot? If the manufacturers wanted to reduce costs, why did they bought team after team in the first place? I know that in the middle of this costs escalade we lost a few historic teams such as Lotus and Tyrrell, but it was him and Bernie who wanted to make this a manufacturer championship! And what’s the problem if the F1 doesnt look like a road car? Doesn’t that job belong to WTCC? I believe that F1 is a different business and making it look like another existent championship is madness. I do agree with Clive: He got to go.

  15. Clive, I have a friend who knows someone who knows someone that can make something happen to Max.

    I take it by all this ‘green talk’ that Max must drive a Prius (Toyota Hybrid, not sure what name is used in Europe)to work and heats his house using is own arrogance. If he wants to reduce the carbon footprint, why not just have a qually and no race, we already know the outcome.

    I first started to watch F1 because technical side of it (I’m a geek) and I love to read about the history and the drastic designs that have been attempted. I love to dig for every little bit of technical info about these cars. F1 seems to have taken a nose dive this year, and there is one man responsible.

    F1 is on life support, and Max is doing his best to pull the plug.

    Being such a long comment section:
    (Sean)-3. F1 cars have no resemblance to road-going cars. (Not even the fuel is the same.)
    Hence open wheel racing. Your obviously missing the point of F1, go watch ETCC if that is what you want.

    (Haplo)This should be indeed about that, and I’m too sick of Max and his nonsense. He should be running NASCRAP.
    Nascar wouldn’t have him. Although you may not like that type of racing, it regulations are clear and consise. Not to mention that the general fan base is happy with its current direction. But in essence, Max wants F1 to be an open wheel NASCAR.

  16. Dan: By resemblance I don’t mean a physical one. What I mean is (a) something that the manufacturers can point to and say is a tangible benefit and (b) something an average person can relate to. If you sincerely believe F1 is doing well in terms of attendance and viewership, you are mistaken. If/when the manufacters start to balk at the costs… then the feces hits the impeller.

    The races are boring. F1 is boring if one is not a tech-head/geek. The costs are high.
    Whomever does not realize that this is a dangerous situation is does not live in the real world.

    Max is a moron. However, the team bosses aren’t acting.

  17. Conspiricy theory alert.

    But in the last few years Max has had trouble convincing the teams to cut costs. The main team which has been against him is McLaren who have often stated that they should be free to spend more money than others (including them refusing to put money into Paul Stoddard’s fighting fund for small teams). Ferrari have been bad too, but McLaren have been a key thorn in Max’s side over cost reduction.

    Perhaps Max felt that it would be a good idea to make McLaren a hell of a lot poorer somehow and then push for his cost reductions?

  18. Maybe all the cars in the parade can be RED and Schumacher can come back and lead them around the track-that should put a smile on Max AND Bernie’s faces.

  19. If the RED team think it’s agood idea then so wil Max. I imagine he has asked for their opinion already. Bernie probably does want it to be a bit more interesting so that his bank balance can continue to grow, through more & more TV sales.

  20. Max’s problem is that he has to have both a driver’s championship and a manufacturer’s championship in the same series. It can’t be done for one without being unfair to the other. If you want to find the best driver, you have to have the cars be all identical. If you want to find the best manufacturer, you have to make the driver irrelevant.

    As a techno-geek, I don’t really care about drivers. We have pilotless airplanes killing terrorists in arabia, why not have driverless cars? F1 manufacturing rules should be like FIA land speed rules, i.e. none! Just go as fast as possible around the course for 90 minutes. With the driver out of the car, there would be no need for all those cumbersome safety regulations, either. To make things a little more competitive, I would require the telemetry to be open, with published protocols and error protection but no encryption allowed.

  21. > That is perhaps the most childish thing I’ve ever read on an F1 forum, and that’s saying something.

    F1 is going to need to be green of die – simple.

    To make F1 green simply limit the BHP of petrol combustion engines and delimit the BHP of alternative energy systems. A re-chargable F1 car with zero emissions and unlimited BHP up against a severly limited petrol engine and Ron Dennis will be wearing tie dye and sandals in a flash.

  22. Re: Eric M.

    The new name will be “Formula Universe” or FU.

  23. Taking into consideration all the comments above relating to Mad Max Mosley and the FIA, then turning to the FIA Presidents outragious personal attack on Jackie Stewart,which smacked of a typical fascist response, (probably inherited) it indicates that the man is not fit for purpose and in relation to the presidents eagernes to supply a minder for Alonso, in response to a request by yet another FIA closet, it suggests the whole FIA board should resign and seek re election, as not content with a personal attack on Stewart, they seem to be quiet happy to besmirch the good name of Mclaren with their actions, which clearly indicates and can have no other meaning than, Mclaren are not to be trusted. Why not retire the whole bunch of vindictive clowns and leave the rules and requirerments of racing to more enlightened and less politicaly motivated individuals. Whatever, “il Ducky Mosley” should resign, he has brought the FIA into disrepute.

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