Is it Cosworth it?

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Currently there are four teams on the grid using the Cosworth engine. One by choice and three who were "encouraged" to sign a contract with the engine maker so that their application for the 2010 Entry list would be viewed in a more favourable light. Anyway, since the collapse of the "Budget Cap" plan and the departure from office of Max Mosley I would guess that this bit of ahem....erm.... shall we say, advice, will no longer be required for a new team wishing to take the last franchise slot.

This then begs the question will the four current users of the Cossy seek to end their deals early or will they remain with the company for next season at least. According to what I've read, Cosworth have a three year deal with Williams, Lotus, Virgin and Manor however their are suggestions on at least one website that Williams are looking to change engine supplier for 11 and at least one rumour that Lotus are looking to do a deal with Renault. This hasn't been reported yet by any of the bigger and more reputable motorsport sites however.

The advantages of leaving Cosworth would be three fold, firstly you are going to get a more powerful engine which has seen a lot more money thrown at it and had a lot better development and secondly if KERs really does return next year then you are going to join a manufacturer that already has some experience installing devices on to their F1 engines. Finally, if a new team does join the grid, imagine if they walk in and sign a deal with Merc which could put them ahead of the Cosworth users from the word go.

The disadvantages of leaving Cosworth are that its going to cost any team that moves a fortune to buy there way out of the contract. I can't see it being an easy thing to break away from especially given how keen Mosley was to tie them to it in the first place. Secondly, teams can already start design work on their 2011 car now knowing the dimensions of the engine and gearbox combination which should allow optimal work on the back end of the car.

So, is it worth teams breaking their Cosworth contracts and moving to another supplier?
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
One of the key phrases is "has seen better development". The non-Cosworth engines may be much closer to maxing out their development, so the Cosworth could make much greater gains in a very short period. Unfortunately, I think that that would merely result in them being a stronger-running tail-ender.

Of course, any development at all would require an official okay to make "enhancements". The powers that be have had no reservation in granting permission to Renault and Ferrari to make such improvements. It will be intersting to see if they feel the same way regarding Cosworth.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Knowing how tight the budgets are for the new teams, I expect they will have no choice but to remain with Cosworth.

As you have stated, this will penalise them in 2 ways; one, the unit is down on power compared to the other engines on the grid and two, the lack of a known KERS system which the other manufacturers successfully developed and/or used last year.

Then there's the issue of fuel consumption; the Cosworth is by all accounts quite thirsty which means the teams using it require more fuel and hence have a heavier car for most of the race.

I made my feelings regarding the new teams being "encouraged" to use the Cosworth well known at the time.
In a just world those contracts would be declared null and void and the teams would be free to renegotiate contracts with whomever they wish.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Brogan said:
As you have stated, this will penalise them in 2 ways; one, the unit is down on power compared to the other engines on the grid and two, the lack of a known KERS system which the other manufacturers successfully developed and/or used last year.

I'm not sure that the Renault KERS was anything to write home about; it is certain that the return of KERS will advantage the team that had it nailed in 2009 - McLaren.

All bar McLaren will have to find the performance trade off that is well known and better understood at Woking!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
teabagyokel said:
All bar McLaren will have to find the performance trade off that is well known and better understood at Woking!
I think you'll find Ferrari have resolved the problem with their KERS system.

Hence why it is coming back next year...
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Of course Ferrari have solved their problem, but they've thought they've done a lot of things, such as the 'miracle update' that was coming for Valencia.

I still would wager McLaren understand the trade-off better because they unarguably solved it. Ferrari's new KERS will still be 'untested' going into 2011, so they should still be at a marginal disadvantage.

However, Renault could live to regret binning it!
 
To what extent is the Kers device McLarens? I mean, do Mercedes and Force India have any access to the device supplied by McLaren or is it owned by Mercedes to develop and supply to all their teams with the engine?
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
BlackCountryBob said:
To what extent is the Kers device McLarens? I mean, do Mercedes and Force India have any access to the device supplied by McLaren or is it owned by Mercedes to develop and supply to all their teams with the engine?

It's actually Zytek Engineering who helped supply McLaren the KERS unit in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz HPE, certainly in 2009. So it's not really "McLaren's".
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
As far as I know, the McLaren KERS system is manufactured by Zytek.

I don't know what the commercial agreements between the 2 companies are though and whether the system can be licensed for use by other teams.

Edit: Beaten to it by Enja.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Aren't the teams still negotiating whether it is one standardised KERs unit for the whole grid? :dunno:

The cost of each team developing their own will be astronomical and will totally kill any sensible budget cuts the teams were planning for 2011. :crazy:
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
snowy said:
Aren't the teams still negotiating whether it is one standardised KERs unit for the whole grid?

The plan is for teams to be able to buy a KERS system from a rival team for the set price of €1 million, on condition that the amount of money spent developing such a system is not more than €5 million. Teams are not, however, obliged to supply their systems to another team if they choose not to do so. The idea of a standardized KERS system has been quietly forgotten.

http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/06/ ... n-of-kers/
 

snowy

Champion Elect
I see... so they have conveniently shrouded a budgetary blackhole in a flakey fondu of euros plucked from thin air... :bored:
 
Top Bottom