F1 Set For Standard Gearbox Post 2020

F1 Gearbox Tender.jpg

The FIA has issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for a standard gearbox for the 2021 Formula One season.

With news that an ITT for what the FIA have described as an opportunity for manufacturers to build and supply all teams with a common gearbox from the 2021 - 2024 racing seasons, we get our first real look at the future cost reduction measures set to be enforced in Grand Prix racing in coming years.

Although the gearbox internals will be created as a spec item, the FIA have confirmed that teams will still be able to design their own housing solutions, which will vary significantly from team to team in line with each outfits own aerodynamic and packaging design direction within their own cars.

“The aim of single source supply is to retain current levels of F1 gear change performance for all cars at a much reduced cost to the competitors while also removing the requirement for teams to design or source their own gearboxes" said the FIA as part of the tender documentation.

“The unit can be carried over between seasons so removing the need for costly continual performance development.

“In order to retain competitor’s own freedoms for suspension and for the gearbox aero surfaces, the outer housing will remain team specific (designed and produced by the competitor) with the common, self-contained gearbox cassette mounted inside.”
The move to standardise parts that have no significant impact on the racing spectacle and fan enjoyment is a positive and long overdue measure, hopefully starting a chain of events that lead to a more cost effective and ultimately more competitive Formula One in future years.

Anyone interested in the tender is required to submit their proposals before March 15, with a decision expected between April 15-30.


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Reactions: Raffi_M
Dec 21, 2016
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Any cost reductions would be better for the teams in general. The removal of the MGU-H has made it a lot cheaper for the teams to compete this season. Let's just hope that this generic gearbox won't lead to something like what happened to Riccardo last season.
 

Will Mazeo

2000RPM
May 25, 2015
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How this will actually work
"The aim of single source supply is to reduce cost to the competitors while also removing the requirement for teams to design or source their own gearboxes so now they'll spend that money in the outer housing since it will remain team specific (designed and produced by the competitor) with the common, self-contained gearbox cassette mounted inside.”

No kidding. In an interview long ago they said they restricted one area of the engine development the teams then started spending to develop better air intakes.. literally 20+ milion in that area to gain 5hp...
The only way to cut costs in F1 will be an actual budget cap. Forcing teams to develop parts to interact with other spec parts can have the contrary effect.
 

Terry Rock

2000RPM
Oct 24, 2009
2,750
1,627
The whole thing is idiotic.
A 'spec-ed' gearbox..where you can change ratios and need to design the exterior carrier for chassis fitment...really?
So basically, teams are paying for a gearbox casing for which they'll develop a carrier. Got it!
 

Richard Wilks

100RPM
Jun 28, 2017
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The only way to cut costs is actually allow costumer cars, something that the elitist idiots running the sport refuse. Spec parts will only serve the friends that produce said parts. What's the problem with alfa buying a ferrari chassis, they can get costumer engines, why not costumer cars? IT served motoGP very well to have these sort of rules, F1 could learn a lot from there.
 

Scottt

75RPM
May 29, 2016
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No kidding. In an interview long ago they said they restricted one area of the engine development the teams then started spending to develop better air intakes.. literally 20+ milion in that area to gain 5hp...
The only way to cut costs in F1 will be an actual budget cap. Forcing teams to develop parts to interact with other spec parts can have the contrary effect.
Sure, teams will spend start to spend more in areas that aren't standardized; but they're diminishing returns. Ferrari may be will spend to an extra $20M for an expected 1% improvement in performance (whatever that means) but may balk at spending $20M if they only expect a 0.2% improvement. When you standardize parts, the teams willing to spend the most still have an advantaged, but it's typically a lesser advantage than with more open development.

The problem with budget caps is that its so easy to game the system, although I thought that was coming in 2020 or 2021 anyway.
 

Ho3n3r

5000RPM
Oct 20, 2010
5,592
1,859
Any cost reductions would be better for the teams in general. The removal of the MGU-H has made it a lot cheaper for the teams to compete this season. Let's just hope that this generic gearbox won't lead to something like what happened to Riccardo last season.
How is it cheaper this season? It is only being removed in 2021.
 

AlexBfromG

250RPM
Oct 29, 2018
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there are championships that do very well with regulations and one-size fits all solutions, and then there is F1.

F1 should always be about development and engineering and wanting to be the best.

The championship needs changes the drivers and fans want, like refueling, more technology like traction control etc.
 
Dec 21, 2016
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How is it cheaper this season? It is only being removed in 2021.
If that's the case I apologize for not knowing so. I thought that change was for this season. Either way they should drop it, being one of the biggest reasons why the hyrbid era has become so expensive.