Sims on F1 – Increased relevance for the auto industry


We’re quite lucky on this blog to be able to draw contributions from some people who actually know what they are talking about, rather than my musings.

Today it’s the turn of Alexander Sims – proving to combine speed and adaptability in equal measure with his driving exploits. He is our resident professional racing driver, and he has finally dusted off his typewriter to contribute a cracking post on F1.

And it gives me an opportunity to use his selfie pic he sent when I first featured his views on the blog. It’s a beaut.

We were talking recently about the increased attraction of F1 for road car manufacturers with the road relevant turbo and hybrid power systems ( or whatever you call a bloody engine these days).

Here are his views.

“There has been quite a lot of talk recently regarding the spectacle of F1 racing, whether it be the noise the cars make or the amount of artificial overtaking that has been happening thanks to the DRS system.

Personally I find it bizarre when I read things in the press where those inside F1 circles are slating the situation, especially when it is the top brass of Ferarri – it seems like a bit of an own goal to me.

I understand that with change comes new opinions and reactions but to slate it immediately isn’t exactly clever or fair is it. I always try and flip the situation around and think how we would respond.

Imagine we have just had 40 years of racing cars that were quiet, efficient and small (partly the same thing I know!), we would be used to this and the spectacle would still be the racing and the technology advances with possibly different energy sources to petrol.

Say the regulations then changed to allow roaring naturally aspirated V8s or V12s. We would probably have a massive rant about how we now all get hearing damage, that they are massively inefficient and don’t add to the racing.

The new technology in F1 certainly has changed it radically in some ways over the winter, but in other ways its still exactly the same.

We still have rivalry’s up and down the pit lane, we still have crashes and car failures and in short, we still have bloody good racing.

The end result is that the sporting side of F1 stays the same, now though the technical side has been brought up to date with what interests car manufacturers and dare I say, much of the general public nowadays.

Times have changed and up until 2009, I feel F1 was getting left behind in the dark ages in terms of relevant road car technology. Please do not get me wrong on what I am saying though, they were incredibly impressive machines that pushed the performance envelope a huge amount and quite honestly, I liked them a lot.

This however does not get around the fact that with such huge budgets involved and tobacco advertising banned, the automotive industry tends to be quite a good link for F1!

Therefore if there is more energy recovery technology in a Toyota Prius than an F1 car, then the two areas are probably forking away in different directions.

Nowadays electric cars, hybrid systems and fuel efficiency are what many/pretty much all manufacturers are investing heavily in.

That’s not to say cars are going to become boring, people still like to drive fast cars and there will always be a strong market for that so I don’t see any reason why that will change but as the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, BMW i8 and others have shown, it can be done in a slightly more environmentally responsible way.

Now F1 ties into that philosophy and the technological breakthroughs in the coming years from F1 will now have a relevant place to filter down to, your future road car.

This will hopefully be attractive to car manufacturers so they consider entering into F1 in some capacity or at least those who are involved will want to remain, therefore helping to get the sport into a healthy position again with a strong future.”

Thanks Simsy. I owe you lunch!