Youth is F1’s fu­ture

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

and the key fac­tor for fu­ture suc­cess lies in the tech­nol­ogy – soft­ware and hard­ware – that con­trols these units. A lot of the difcul­ties have been caused by elec­tronic mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

You can see al­ready, from the re­sults of the early grands prix, that the en­gine man­u­fac­turer who has been fastest to adapt to these chal­lenges has so far been the most suc­cess­ful. How long will this sit­u­a­tion last? Well, it was in­ter­est­ing to talk to Se­bas­tian about this.

Red Bull have re­cov­ered very quickly from the set­backs they had in test­ing and in Mel­bourne. As I write, their ap­peal against Daniel Ric­cia­rdo’s dis­qualication from sec­ond place in Aus­tralia is yet to be heard, but from a tech­ni­cal point of view, both they and Re­nault have made great progress in solv­ing the prob­lems they’ve had.

When you think of all the top teams that are op­er­at­ing in For­mula 1, they have the ex­pe­ri­ence, the know-how, the nan­cial re­sources, and – most im­por­tantly – they have the people. It lets them re­act quickly and over­come their prob­lems, and Red Bull are prov­ing this. By the sec­ond race of the sea­son they were ght­ing at the front again, and the Sepang cir­cuit has a lot of straights – there is nowhere to hide if you are down on power. Re­nault are bounc­ing back and I have no doubt that Red Bull will be con­tenders again this year. Al­ready they are run­ning strongly.

An­other in­ter­est­ing thing about new-look F1 is that so many teams have taken on much younger talent. The young gen­er­a­tion have great elec­tronic know-how; they hone their craft in sim­u­la­tors, and process and un­der­stand the teleme­try data their cars are pro­duc­ing. They learn and adapt quickly, which is very im­por­tant in an era in which the driver has to ad­just so many con­trol set­tings on the steer­ing wheel through­out the lap, even from cor­ner to cor­ner.

Look at a steer­ing wheel and it’s amaz­ing to see how many ad­just­ments are pos­si­ble. A driver’s mind must work so fast – not just pilot­ing the car on the limit, but mak­ing de­ci­sions about chang­ing the car’s be­hav­iour on cor­ner en­try, mid-cor­ner and exit, not to men­tion fu­elmap­ping and en­ergy-re­cov­ery strate­gies. It’s a great new chal­lenge: these guys are from a dif­fer­ent world to my gen­er­a­tion.

These tech­nolo­gies will be ap­plied to the cars we’ll drive in the fu­ture. I like the idea of new rules mak­ing en­gines more efcient, be­cause it ac­cel­er­ates the ow of fresh ideas and new tech­nolo­gies that will benet us all. It ad­dresses many of the prob­lems the world faces to­day. F1 is, at a very high level, ex­press­ing the fu­ture of the mo­tor car, and this makes it more likely that more car man­u­fac­tur­ers will want to get in­volved.

That’s my view. In mo­tor rac­ing – es­pe­cially F1 – you have to learn and change very quickly in re­sponse to new chal­lenges, and that is how suc­cess­ful in­no­va­tions are born. The fastest, most re­li­able and most efcient en­gine is the win­ner, and to be as­so­ci­ated with suc­cess is a pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing mes­sage. That’s what Ford un­der­stood all those years ago when they in­vested in the DFV V8 en­gine that helped me win two world cham­pi­onships. I miss the noise of the nor­mally as­pi­rated en­gines of course, but tur­bos are al­ways qui­eter. We will get used to the new sound.

It’s still pos­si­ble that next year the FIA could bring in new ex­hausts that make a louder noise. It’s not difcult – mod­ern ex­haust spe­cial­ists can make a car pro­duce any noise you want!

Cur­rent F1 young­sters Daniil Kvyat (left) and Kevin Mag­nussen (right): ”These guys are from a dif­fer­ent world to my gen­er­a­tion”

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