Q&A with Cosworths Mark Gallagher 03 Aug 2010
Engine supplier Cosworth enjoyed a strong showing at Sundays Hungarian Grand Prix. Not only did Williams Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg both score points, but all three new teams - Virgin, Lotus and HRT - recorded two-car finishes. General manager of Cosworths F1 business unit, Mark Gallagher, reflects on the Budapest weekend and his hopes for 2010s remaining races
Q: How would you review the 12 races of the season so far?
Mark Gallagher: I strongly believe we have done a sensational job in providing a third of the grid with competitive, efficient and reliable engines this season. Adding the distances achieved in Hungary, the total cumulative mileage for Cosworth CA2010 engine in 12 race weekends is just over 58,000km across four teams - without a single engine failure. To me, reliability is a central pillar of any racing programme, and particularly on engines considering the eight-engine-per-driver rule. Unfortunately good reliability is a non-story and engines only tend to get noticed when there are clouds of smoke and pistons on the track, so I am pleased to say we have not suffered any of the catastrophic failures that have been seen elsewhere.
Q: Has Cosworth really not had any engine failures this season?
MG: We have seen two engines cook themselves as a result of chassis-side failures of the cooling system resulting in water loss, once with HRT in Bahrain and once with Lotus in Monaco. They were not engine failures. Early in the season we did see some issues with power degradation in the third race weekend, but we immediately began to address this issue and with all of the other work that has been done to optimise the performance of the engine we are very satisfied with how things have gone. Considering our rivals had a three year head start, actually its been remarkable.
Q: How does the CA2010 rate in terms of ultimate performance?
MG: The Cosworth CA2010 is a very competitive engine and real credit to everyone involved in its design, development, manufacture and operation. The results that Williams have been scoring since Valencia, with consistent Q3 performances and targeting a move up the constructors table, illustrates that. When Rubens Barrichello overtook Michael Schumacher yesterday, he went on to set the third fastest lap of the race with a 1m22.811 - 0.16s slower than the best of race winner Mark Webber. I realise tyres played a key part but its nice to see that he was also third quickest in the speed trap at 291.6 km/h and fourth fastest on the finish line. Id like to hope people understand the Cosworth engine plays its part in that performance. You need power to make the most of the grip.
Q: Speaking of the summer break, how is that going to work at Cosworth?
MG: Cosworth is structured in such a way that Formula One operates as its own business unit alongside aerospace and defence, automotive, clean energy and sports. Although Cosworth will be closing its Formula One business unit, starting from tomorrow, the other areas of the business, those focusing on other industries, will remain fully operational. The Formula One staff at Cosworth, supported by their colleagues across Engineering, Electronics and Manufacturing have done a superb job this year and I think they all deserve a break after these 12 races and Cosworths return as an engine supplier to the world championship. It is almost exactly one year since I joined Cosworth and everyone involved in the creation and execution of the program has much to be proud of. We are determined to push on and deliver the best possible results for our teams for the balance of the season and into 2011 and 12, which is a very exciting prospect. In the meantime the next couple of weeks will see us catch our breath and ready ourselves for the final push for this season.
Q: What are Cosworths hopes for the final third of the season?
MG: We are looking forward very much to Spa and Monza to see how we perform on circuits where the engine can stretch its legs. Williams want more championship points, at every race, and wed like to be on the podium. With Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing and HRT, huge progress has been made and it was particularly nice to see that the reliability issues which have been a problem for them at times finally disappeared on Sunday. The new teams have really done a terrific job under difficult circumstances in terms of lack of time to prepare and the most difficult economic situation the sport has endured in modern times. We are very proud of our association with them and from a personal point of view I would love to see one of the new teams score a world championship point before the end of the season. Impossible, some will say, but I believe that under certain conditions it could happen. That would be fantastic.