The FIA has sent out a notice looking for applications to be the sole supplier of Formula 1 gearbox’s from the 2021 season onwards. The tender documents reveal that the supply would commence in 2021 and end in 2024, with the intended supplier being the only manufacturer for the entire grid.
Currently, gearboxes are manufactured by a number of different companies including the teams themselves, including Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull technology. In the FIA document, it read: “The aim of single source supply is to retain current levels of Formula One gear change performance for all cars at a much reduced cost to the COMPETITORS while also removing the requirement for teams to design or source their own gearboxes. The unit can be carried over between seasons so removing the need for costly continual performance development.”
The document also added that the “life of the unit is defined by the race requirement of 4 per season.”
The 2021 season is set to see a number of regulation changes, in the engine and aerodynamic departments, as well as the sporting regulations. F1 has been discussing ways to increase the number of standard parts when it overhauls its rules in 2021 as a cost-cutting measure. Formula One Management’s technical director Pat Symonds said last year parts which are not “performance differentiators” should be standardised.