BMW set to adopt seamless shift

BMW-Sauber are set to follow the example of McLaren, Honda and Williams and adopt a seamless shift gearbox for the start of next season, autosport.com has learned

BMW set to adopt seamless shift

The seamless shift system allows drivers to change gear without any break in the delivery of power. This can be worth up to a few tenths of a second per lap - which adds up to several seconds over the course of an entire Grand Prix distance.

McLaren and Honda were believed to be the first teams to adopt the system, despite some suggestions that the technology could be clamped down on because it was viewed by some as a form of illegal Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

However, with the FIA happy with the systems, Williams followed suit at the start of this season and have put their seamless shift technology into action.

Now, BMW-Sauber are likely to be next to adopt the system. BMW technicians in Munich are already working hard at developing a seamless shift gearbox as part of their work to create the full powertrain on the 2007 car.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has confirmed that the work on the seamless gearbox is underway but has made it clear that even if the company get the system working well this year it will not be run before the start of the 2007 season.

"It would have been too much investment to introduce it for 2006 already," he said.

Theissen has also confirmed that BMW will stick with a titanium gearbox casing for the foreseeable future, despite the obvious benefits of a carbon fibre unit.

"The difference in weight with carbon fibre is minimal," he explained. "We are talking about one kilogramme here, but it is much more complex and costly to build a carbon fibre gearbox."

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