Cosworth's four-pronged return to F1 in 2010 has been deemed an unqualified success by general manager Mark Gallagher, despite just one pole position to show for its season-long efforts.
The famed British manufacturer provided a third of the grid with motive power despite having been on the sidelines for three years, with Williams leading the way and scoring points on a regular basis. The Grove team also claimed an unexpected pole, courtesy of rookie Nico Hulkenberg in Brazil, en route to sixth in the constructors' championship, but the three other Cosworth-powered teams were also the three newest on the grid, with Lotus, Virgin and HRT all failing to break the top ten despite some solid performances.
Although the newcomers all suffered reliability problems, Cosworth could boast a 100 per cent record with the CA2010 engine, completing 1129 racing laps and 5795km over 19 races, part of a massive 100,000km running across the entire three-day race weekend programme. On top of its engine commitments, the company's electronics division continued to develop a long-standing relationship with F1, supplying complete solutions to both HRT and Lotus, and steering wheels to all three of the new teams.
“We achieved all our key operational objectives from an engine supply perspective, providing our four customers – one third of the grid – with a competitive, reliable and affordable CA2010 engine, supported trackside by a dedicated team of technicians embedded within the teams, and backed up in Northampton by the personnel in engineering, manufacturing, build, test and operations," said Gallagher, general manager of Cosworth's F1 Business Unit.
“The Cosworth CA2010 was created in a very few months using the original CA2006 as the baseline, but revising it to produce peak power within a rev limit of 18,000rpm, a much extended duty cycle of up to three full race weekends, and fuel consumption correspondent with the ban on refuelling and increased emphasis on start weights. I believe our engineers did an outstanding job.
"The engine performed very well in pre-season dyno-testing, but we knew that once it would hit the track we would need to optimise its performance more fully. The fact that pre-season testing was rain-affected, and that only one of our four customers took part in all the tests, rather limited the gathering of useful data. Once we started racing, we had a couple of issues which, while not 'show stoppers', necessitated some action to revise the oil system and tackle slightly higher than expected power degradation. I am pleased to say the issues were quickly identified and tackled.
"Obviously, we had an initial pool of engines already with the teams and it took a little time to cycle rebuilds through the system to revise specifications, but at no stage was the programme compromised and the best measure of that was total race reliability.
“If you work in any significant aspect of F1, whether as a team or a key technical supplier, and don't focus on winning, then there is no point being here. As a supplier of engine and electronics technologies, Cosworth plays an important part in contributing to the overall package of the teams we work with but, ultimately, the chassis, the vehicle dynamics, the aerodynamics and the myriad of other systems which go to defining a F1 car are not within our control. We therefore focus on making sure our technology behaves absolutely to the best of its abilities. The results on track in relation to the new teams were very much in line with our, and their, expectations.
"Williams gave Cosworth a much better opportunity to show our true performance and, together, we achieved every possible points finish in fourth to tenth places and scored that pole position in Brazil which, whilst due to conditions, was a memorable milestone. Williams is one of the very best teams in F1, with enormous capability and experience. We have worked hard to ensure that the Cosworth engine contributed successfully to their overall package and at all times they have demanded from us a constant push to optimise performance. We have no problem with that - it's a very good thing because when you add our inherent motivation to the determination of a team such as Williams, success will come.