I saw the post below about the Third Pedal. I heard something about F1 wanted to attract manufacturers back into the sport and I got thinking about innovation. Thinking back haven’t the major innovations in F1 come from privateers (or small manufacturers). I was thinking about:
* The Lotus 49
* The Cosworth DFV
* Ground effect
* Double diffuser
The only radical manufacturer innovation I can think of is the hydraulic valve springs which I think were invented by a Renault guy – actually didn’t they invent the tuned mass damper too. I guess I’d also have to add the Alpha 158.
Anyway, don’t we need the small teams? Isn’t it the lack of budget that leads the smaller teams to innovate?
You’re probably going to pile in with loads of manufacturer examples but I’m not scared – bring it on :-)
Renault introduced/pioneered Turbos, diffusers, exhaust powered diffusers, tuned mass dampers, an the early versions of the distinct front beamwing/cascade thingy made more famous on the MP4 23. Thats all I can think of off the top of my head.
However I take the point, smaller teams are forced to innovate because they don’t have the money for the brute force approach of manufacturors like Honda and Toyota. Try something different occasionaly hit gold, wina load a races, the really good ones, Brabham, Lotus, etc jumped foward every few years, but it’s why they faded so quickly when the geniuses left, without whatever it was that was driving the innovation, the speed goes.
The powerhouses of the modern sport combine comparitvley modest (still massive) budgets with innovative design, a la the f-duct, tuned mass dampers, any number of Rory Byrne, Adrian Newey pirouettes. An this kept them ahead of the super budget teams througout the 00′s.
For me the main obstacle faced by any team is the closing down of rules and flexibility. The space for interpretation has all but gone. I did like F1 when cars arrived on the grid with very obvious differences in front and rear wings. I also liked cars with V8′s, V10′s and V12′s and the advantages or not they gave at different circuits. Can you imagine the uproar now if a team turned up with the Brabham hovercraft? Granted it was banned after it’s one on only race(it did win)but at least it got to race. I can’ see it getting better in the future. Cars now appear on the grid and the others want to know if the new sticker on the side is a new aero package.