Two-tier championships never worked in any series The Executive Director of Engineering of the Renault Formula One Team, Pat Symonds, reflects on the team’s start to the season. He also discusses the regulations of the sport and the already controversial new budget cap in 2010 which will possibly lead to a two-tier F1.
Pat, the new regulations were designed to encourage overtaking – have they had the desired effect? "To be honest I don’t really know. We’ve only had four races and a couple of those were wet races. Also, Melbourne is always a unique track where it’s difficult to draw conclusions. I have been quite impressed by the way the Brawns have overtaken us on a couple of occasions, so maybe it has worked or maybe they are just quicker than us. What is clear is that it is now easier to follow another car closely."
How big an effort was it for Renault to introduce the new diffuser in Shanghai? "An enormous effort. All the guys at the factory in every department from aerodynamics through to design and manufacturing really pulled the stops out to get that done. But you can’t just put a diffuser on the car and have it work immediately. It takes a while to understand how they work and to get to a stage where it’s worth investing the money and putting them on the cars. Therefore having a diffuser on the car in China was a great performance by the team."
What do you think about the possibility of two-tier F1 with the introduction of a budget cap for certain teams in 2010? "I don’t think two-tier championships have ever worked in any series, whether its saloon cars and sports cars, where they are trying to equalize diesels and spark ignition engines, whether it’s Formula 1 with turbos and normally aspirated engines. I think it’s important to say that we are not necessarily at conflict with the new regulations. I think that we all have the same intentions: we all want to spend less money. Where there are some differences of opinion is perhaps the monetary scale and time scale, but it’s important that the transition towards a more cost-effective formula should be as smooth as possible." Source Renault
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