Is FIA restricting Toyota's new LMP1 car a good thing?
Sometimes being too good becomes harmful for you. This is what Toyota has sufferred here. At the hands of former Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima Toyota’s TS050 was the absolute dominant force in previous two Le Mans 24hrs races making its competitors puff. As a result, the TS050 won the WEC title.
The title was down to Toyota’s hybrid system which made the TS050 both quicker and more efficient than the ICE cars of Rebellion Racing and Team LNT (the only other teams left in LMP1).
As you all would know, those are the two key factors you have to conquer in LMP1 racing. But now the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest have decided to bridge the gap between the updated version of the car and its competitors.
While earlier motorsport was keen to aid the development of hybrid tech, now it has been forced to peg back.
So now the updated TS050 will have a new front aero and will also have to refuel one second slower to compensate for the fact that it can restart in electric mode in the pitlane.
Before the TS050’s retirement, these rules will increase closer racing.