What would it take to bring back the DFV ? Since we are currently under an engine development freeze for F1 and all parties concerned have agreed in principle that there must be a down trend in cost to save the sport why not bring back the DFV Cosworth?
At the engine's pinnacle of development it reached around 500HP at 9000 RPM with the 90° V8 configuration with a 3000CC displacement. The current Corvette is putting out more granted with a super charger but that is off the point.
Everyone in F1 thinks that the engine needs to last two races currently and the idea I believe is for that to increase to four races by 2010. What is the point of having a V8 running at 19000 RPM's? Currently F1 engines are putting out 720HP at 19000 RPMs and have been sustainable for two races. What common good does this technology transfer to road cars?
So what would happen if the Cosworth was brought back? Lower overall operating cost for starters. Modern materials and electronic engine management could bring up the overall cost, but if you put am RPM cap on the DFV—which was prone to shake itself to death—it could easily be made to last four races.
Coupled to most of the transmissions currently available that already last four races you are looking at a huge cost savings that would vastly offset the current cost for existing teams and it would make a more tempting carrot for prospective teams to enter F1.
So what about Ferrari or Mercedes and Renault? OK you don't want to run the DFV ? Design your engine with these set parameters and lets race. All of these manufactures have a considerable wealth of technology on the V8.
I think they would stand to save some money as well if we could get all of the manufactures and teams to agree that the modern F1 engine has no applicable common good in the foreseeable future for any company to continue to develop and maintain them.
If manufacturers want to play with a silly design of a road going car engine that needs 19000 RPM's to operate efficiently then let them waste their money to develop it. It will not happen and will most certainly fade into the history books.
I looked up what a DFV Cosworth is going for these days and for engine with three hours on it the cost was a whopping $80,000. Max wants to cut the current cost of engines/trans down to $800,000 per unit! This is going against the current trend of $1.6 million per unit today.
How many more teams even in the shadows of the financial tsunami of Wall St. would be enticed to come back in to F1 ? The effects would be staggeringly positive. The upside of all of this would be a chance for engineers to work on a engine that had potential benefits for current road cars as well as leaving a ton of money that could be put into safety development, fuel management, tyre technology and weight saving materials.
It might make F1 a little more accessible to the fan as well because the cost of racing would drop so dramatically that a ticket might actually cost less; unless a greedy individual was to conspire to keep the savings to line a trust fund account I bet that person would quickly be gone. I am sure the sponsors and fans would truly see the advantages to bringing back this infamous brand name to the F1 scene.
Current cost for a Sprint Cup motor are in the $75,000 range and that is for a carb fed two valve per cylinder motor. A vastly inefficient motor compared to even the first generation Cosworth DFV. So even the cost of a Hendrick Motor Sport's top of the line V8 at possibly $90,000 you could still save a huge sum of money even if you doubled this figure.
Your also bringing into play is a major brand name, Ford, back into an international sport. I think almost anyone knows of the name Ford. The name is synonymous with bringing the common man in touch with a affordable automobile. It would again pit the common man; the egalitarian versus the elite name of Ferrari and everything this infamous rivalry brought with it.
This move might also appease the corporate sponsors that are uneasy at spending the huge sums of money currently being asked for. I read this morning that the Canadian GP's fate rest with finding a corporate sponsor or the less than favourable option is to let the taxpayers foot the bill.
This was met with quite a bit of hostility in a Quebec newspapers readers comment section because they realize that ,unnecessarily, they are left to foot the bill for the latest Prada accessory for Bernie's daughter or wife.
So I leave this on the foot wells of the Bleachers, pick it up and make something of it or if you like scrape it off the bottom of your shoe as make your way out of the facility.