F1 teams look to address transmission system costs

Written by: Chris Shaw | Published:

Transmission technology specialist, Xtrac, is supplying the Hispania Racing F1 Team and Lotus F1 Racing with a newly designed gearbox, designated as project 1044, developed for the 2010 season.

New team Virgin Racing will specify a unique casing, which is a major structural part of the vehicle, but will also be using the entire project 1044 internal kit supplied by Xtrac. Hispania and Lotus meanwhile will use the complete Xtrac transmission including the casing.

All three F1 teams are racing with a Cosworth engine, for which the transmission was originally conceived as part of the FIA proposals put forward in 2008 to significantly reduce costs through the option of a standard powertrain.

In the context of F1, where every component is normally designed and manufactured as a bespoke item, Xtrac claims its batch produced gearbox with common parts offers cost savings, while technically remaining competitive.

With a longitudinal layout, commonly utilised in F1 gearboxes, Xtrac says that the transmission could be easily adapted to other F1 engines. It positions the gear cluster forward of the differential to aid vehicle weight distribution, while meeting aerodynamic requirements at the rear of the vehicle. It's also designed to be as compact as possible to help accommodate the larger fuel tank and tighter packaging requirements imposed by the 2010 regulations.

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