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“The new F.3 is the
product of a lot of time
in the wind tunnel,
as well as a
fundamental rethinking
of certain mechanical
Jos Claes, with the debut of the new
car, 2012 promises to be an important
and difficult year for F.3. What do you
expect from the upcoming season?
“It’s still too early for a complete picture
of all the championships, not just F.3,
but also Gp, Gp3 and World Series. At the
moment the teams are still contacting
the drivers. We can’t get away from the
fact that not even motor sports are
immune to the effects of the economic
crisis, and that includes F.1, where at
least a third of drivers bring their own
sponsors with them. There are 12
difficult months ahead of us, but this is
a sector that is better than most at
reacting and adapting quickly to new
market conditions, so I’m not unduly
concerned: the passion for engines
always finds a way”.
Are there any positive signs from the
new markets too?
“Absolutely. The situation has improved
significantly in Brazil, where they have
already been using our cars in an F.3
type championship for a number of
years. Russia is producing new drivers,
and China is creating wealth. There will
be plenty of room for the motor industry
in the future. Dallara has always been
enthusiastic about opening up new
markets, tomorrow’s markets are as
important to us as tomorrow’s
technology. We already started carrying
out research in China six or seven years,
while we are close to achieving
important goals in both India and the
Middle East. Above all, the fact that a
country the size of India has decided to
invest so heavily in motorsport is
certainly a good sign”.
India represents an important market
that seems to have reacted well to the
arrival of F.1…
“Yes, and while the circuits are rarely full
for F.1 events in China, in India it was a
sell-out. And this was a paying public.
This is in part due to India’s recent
history; the British heritage certainly
helped and the widespread use of
English, together with the relatively
small difference in time zones, tends to
make exchanges much easier than with
China ”.
Let’s talk about the new F.3 Dallara for
2012: what was the concept behind the
“The new F.3 is the product of a lot of
time in the wind tunnel, as well as a
fundamental rethinking of certain
mechanical components: the front
suspension is completely new, while the
rear suspension has been thoroughly
reworked in order to make it more rigid
and enhance its performance. The new
regulations covering bodywork have
modified the car’s appearance so that it
resembles a “baby F.1”. It was also the
intention to fit the car with a more
powerful engine, but this has been
postponed until next year”
Why was it necessary to spend so much
time in the wind tunnel?
“Dallara didn’t want to risk being
overtaken by its competitors. For the
time being there don’t appear to be any
other cars that are ready for F.3, but this
doesn’t change our outlook. You’re
always going to have stiff competition in
the F.3 racing environment. For example,
Lola has announced that it will have a
car ready for the 2013 season”.
You mentioned the challenging
economic climate earlier. Will the new
Dallara be cheaper to run?
“Yes, and this is thanks to the new
regulations, which we supported in full.
The new car will cost less, above all in
terms of maintenance. Assuming that
the annual budget in F.3 is
approximately 500 thousand Euros, and
that the car has a racing life of four
years, then the overall budget is around
2 million Euros, this means that the cost
of the car itself – slightly less than 100
thousand Euros – represents just 5 per
cent of the total cost. Also, at the end of
the cycle, it retains at least half of its
original value, therefore its true cost
represents just 2.5% of the total. Hence,
it is more important to reduce the
running costs than the cost of the vehicle
itself. Also, when the new engines are
Jos Claes
F.3 Project Manager Dallara