Why airline nightmare could hurt F1
Much internal debate has surrounded Formula 1's 2014 engine regulations, but the biggest obstacles could yet come from outside the sport. Dieter Rencken analyses what impact Boeing's recent battery crisis could have on F1's future
It was a sight to strike fear into the heart of even the most travel-hardened pilot: the white/blue ANA 787 'Nightmareliner' parked with all emergency chutes deployed. The reason: smouldering lithium-ion batteries of the type that were certified for a single incident in over 10 million flying hours, yet had allegedly caused two incidents within two weeks in two different aircraft belonging to separate airlines despite Boeing's flagship Dreamliner having amassed less than one per cent of the certified travel.
All 787s have now been grounded pending investigations by aviation authorities in both the USA and Japan. While the problems hold massive ramifications for the giant Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer with annual revenues of almost $100 billion, the fallout could seriously affect Formula 1, particularly the sport's 'green' power units scheduled for 2014 introduction, which will pack around five times the overall Li-ion power when compared with the current KERS-supplemented drivetrains.
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