As the cost cap versus open spending battle continues to rage, it has become increasingly apparent that the two issues which most divide those teams seemingly bent on winning at (virtually) any cost from the independent outfits battling against the odds are in-season research and development, and the sport's inequitable payout structure, with these two factors both impacting heavily on relative performance.
Over recent years Formula 1 has developed into a homogenous formula, with essentially every parameter and/or variable being tightly controlled. Windtunnel speeds and size of scale models are regulated, manpower levels at races restricted and curfews imposed. Regulations specify car dimensions and mass, including front:rear weight distribution, while engine centre-of-gravity and V-angles are specified.
Not only are power units homologated and their sub-assemblies policed, but are supplied to customers at broadly identical cost regardless of badging.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken