BAR gearbox gets green light

BAR's controversial new gearbox system has been approved for use in this year's Formula 1 series, it was revealed yesterday. The system allows the drivers to change gears with virtually no break in power, giving them a vital advantage against the competition.

BAR gearbox gets green light

When questioned about the system Shuhei Nakamoto, engineering director for Honda Racing Development, told Autosport.com "We have been told by the FIA that everything is legal, and there is nothing wrong with the gearbox."

Continuously variable transmission - CVT - is banned under the current regulations, and there had been suggestions that FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting may see the new system as a form of CVT. Honda have strenuously denied this, with Honda Racing's vice-president Otmar Szafnauer previously telling Autosport "in our system there is a break in power so it does not breach the FIA regulations. The system is a lot quicker than before, but it is not a CVT."

It is strongly rumoured that Ferrari asked for a clarification from the FIA on BAR's gearbox, as the new system is a step ahead of the Italian team's efforts. "I think we have made good progress on the gearbox," Nakamoto noted. "Of course the gearbox of Ferrari is superb, upshift and downshift, but I think we have got better then them on the upshift."

"It is difficult to get the downshift right as it involves brake systems, and therefore the movement of the car. Last year our gearbox was good, and the shift was not affected by unexpected vibration of the car, but we have made further progress on it."

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