Cosworth eyes ambitious F1 future

Cosworth believes that the 'ambitious' plans it has in place for the future can help it re-establish itself as a world championship-winning engine maker

Cosworth eyes ambitious F1 future

The Northampton-based engine manufacturer returned to F1 at the start of this season with customer deals with Williams, Lotus, HRT, and Virgin Racing.

Although the partnerships have not yet produced a podium finish, and Lotus has opted for a switch to Renault, Cosworth has made big strides in understanding exactly what is needed to be successful in contemporary F1.

And as well as believing it can make good progress - especially with Williams - in the short-term, the company thinks the all-new engine regulations coming for 2013 provide a perfect opportunity for it to return to ultimate glory.

Cosworth's F1 general manager Mark Gallagher said: "We've been approached by potential new teams, and we've had discussions with existing teams, about the next two years, but we're looking forward to 2013, because the world's our oyster.

"We have very ambitious plans for developing the Cosworth offering for 2013, and we certainly want to be with teams throughout the grid. We want to be winning again.

"The fact that Cosworth got to a point previously where it got associated with the smaller teams, what we called the customer teams, during the manufacturer era, we certainly have huge ambition that we change that.

"We want to be with teams capable of winning the world championship. That's why the relationship with Williams, and other relationships, will be very important to us."

Cosworth's return to F1 this season has not been without its troubles. Its planned deal with Team US F1 fell through when the outfit folded pre-season, and it had some early troubles bedding down its relationship with Williams.

But Cosworth group chief executive Tim Routsis says the situation is now much improved - especially on the Williams front as both parties have made big steps forward.

"I'm quietly proud of the job that everybody's done, but we're now working into the phase where we're really learning how to use the engine," explained Routsis, referring to the techniques engine makers have to look at to help teams exploit blown diffusers.

"I think both Williams and ourselves would say that there were times at the beginning of the season when we were howling at each other, but that was driven more by frustration," he said. "Neither of us are here to make up the numbers, and I think it's now a relationship that's maturing nicely.

"It always takes time for people to settle down and learn how to work together, learn where the sensitivities are, and learn where things are well received. I think we're now in that phase. You know, no doubt at all, that improving results on track always does wonders for a relationship."

Despite losing Lotus at the end of this year, Routsis says that Cosworth's commercial situation remains strong - and thinks there are plenty of opportunities for it to expand its deals in the future.

"There's a recognition throughout the grid that there isn't a significant performance advantage to be had, but reliability varies tremendously across the engine providers, and we've got the most reliable engine, and that's very attractive," he said.

"We not only provide an engine that's competitive and reliable, but actually is produced very economically. We provide a very good financial solution as well. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out teams are very interested."

Routsis also reckons that if the negotiations it had with Red Bull Racing at the end of last year had come after it had shown what it could do, then its dealings with the team may have had a different outcome.

"We had a lot of conversations with Red Bull, but obviously at the time we were at a bit of a disadvantage because we were talking about what we were going to do, not about what we had done. I think if we'd been able to wind the clock forward 12 months, things would have been different."

Routsis made it clear that Cosworth's F1 future was not dependent on it being able to supply more than one team - which means its presence does not depend on the new teams surviving.

"It was a question we looked at long and hard when we considered coming back," he said. "New teams in motorsport are a high risk business, for all the reasons we understand.

"So we structured our contracts so that they were completely stand-alone. We don't have any objection to supplying just one team if that's what it comes to, and we can clearly supply a much greater percentage of the grid if that's what's required as well."

For more on Cosworth and its Formula 1 plans for 2013, see the Weekly Grapevine.

shares
comments
Pirelli completes two-day Jerez test

Previous article

Pirelli completes two-day Jerez test

Next article

Singapore preview quotes: Bridgestone

Singapore preview quotes: Bridgestone
Load comments
The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021