Cosworth’s widely anticipated return to Formula One as an engine supplier was given the stamp of approval by all four of its customer teams after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir yesterday.
Working with AT&T Williams, HRT F1, Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing, Cosworth was able to verify the performance of its CA2010 V8 engine in race conditions after encouraging results in pre-season testing. The weekend was marred only by an engine issue on Bruno Senna’s HRT during the race, caused by sudden water loss from the chassis water system.
AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello was the highest-placed of the eight Cosworth-powered runners, picking up a world championship point for tenth place, while team-mate Nico Hülkenberg finished 14th. Cosworth reliability also helped the new Lotus Racing team achieve its objectives of a two-car classified finish in its debut race.
Q+A with Mark Gallagher – Cosworth General Manager F1 Business Unit:
How was the Bahrain Grand Prix from Cosworth’s point of view? “After the many months of work developing and implementing our return as an engine supplier to Formula One it was good to finally get the racing underway. It was satisfying to see all four of our teams in action and to witness the three new teams enjoy their Formula One debuts. From an engine performance point of view, I think we can be very satisfied with the performance of the CA2010 in Bahrain. Both AT&T Williams drivers finished the race with Rubens picking up a championship point for tenth, while Lotus Racing achieved a significant milestone in having both cars secure a classified finish and produce a step-change in performance as a result of being able to race so effectively.”
What about Virgin Racing and HRT? “From a Cosworth perspective both teams worked well and although hampered by reliability issues, good progress was clearly being made. Virgin Racing have been able to take a lot of positives out of the weekend and Saturday’s qualifying performance demonstrated the potential in the Virgin-Cosworth VR01. In HRT’s case, the mere fact that they got two cars ready for the race was an achievement in itself and, in that respect, Cosworth’s provision of the full electronics solution in only three weeks was a key factor. Bruno Senna’s retirement was caused by a broken water fitting from the radiator which meant he lost all the water from his car. The implications of that failure on his engine were apparent for all to see and the engine is being returned to our headquarters.”
Have you received positive feedback from the teams and drivers themselves? “We have spoken with our technical counterparts in each of the teams on a regular basis to ensure that we are meeting our targets and objectives. I have also spoken to several of the drivers who have given us positive and constructive feedback on the CA2010 performance and driveability. We have accumulated a lot of track data from Bahrain, a circuit that is quite demanding on the engine, and this will be thoroughly examined and analysed by our team of engineers back in Northampton. Overall, it has been a solid start to Cosworth’s 2010 season, in terms of engine performance and reliability, as well as with our specific electronics support to Lotus Racing and HRT.”Source: Cosworth F1