Formula 1 dropping standard gearbox plan 'disappoints' Xtrac

Gearbox supplier Xtrac says it is "disappointed" by the FIA's decision not to pursue a common gearbox cassette for all Formula 1 teams from 2021

Formula 1 dropping standard gearbox plan 'disappoints' Xtrac

Potential suppliers were invited to submit tender bids in March, and since then the FIA has been studying the implications of switching to a standard unit - particularly in terms of costs.

Teams were told in a technical working group meeting earlier this week that in the end the FIA technical department opted to let them continue to make their own gearboxes or buy them in from partners.

That decision has now been supported by the World Motor Sport Council.

The FIA believes that it can still achieve savings in the area of gearboxes without going to a standard supply.

Xtrac was the only bidder to go public with its desire to win the contract and supply the field, although it did face competition.

"Xtrac put in an enormous effort to answer the tender set out by the FIA," the company's president Peter Digby told Autosport.

"Given our extensive experience with other global 'sole-supplier' formulas we felt we were ideally placed to meet the specific challenges laid out in the tender document, which specifically asked for a high level, lightweight gearbox and actuation system based very closely on what the F1 teams use today.

"Whilst we are clearly disappointed the FIA have now decided not to pursue this particular route to achieve much-needed cost savings for F1, we have no doubt that all parties have learnt a lot from the tender process, and we are sure it will provide a useful and practical foundation for any future discussions."

Teams have generally welcomed the decision not to pursue a sole supplier, while accepting that other areas of the car could be addressed with common parts.

"It's good to try," Racing Point technical director Andy Green told Autosport.

"There are lots of areas where they can make savings, but there are some areas where they have to tread really carefully.

"I'm talking about areas that are more linked to reliability than anything else, and that have the potential to stop the whole grid."


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F1 calls off planned standard gearboxes move for 2021 cost saving

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