Lotus F1 to Debut Own Hydraulic System by July

It seems that a lot of the reliability problems experienced by the new teams of Formula One are linked with their transmission. As many of you know by now, Newbury based Xtrac company is currently supplying some of the new teams with the gearbox units for the 2010 F1 season, but their experience in the series is not that vast.

Xtrac hasn't produced F1 transmissions since more than a decade – 1996 to be more exact – meaning their reliability is questionable to say the least. The teams that are now using Xtrac gearboxes are Lotus F1 Team and HRT F1, but it seems the former is planning to end that collaboration by mid-season.

Taking the Virgin Racing example (whose hydraulic system is also provided by Xtrac, but they build their own gearbox casing), the Malaysian backed team is considering switching to an own-developed hydraulic system by mid-July. The information was revealed by race driver Heikki Kovalainen, prior to this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

I think it's absolutely the right way to go if we are to have full control over our car's hydraulics,” said the Finn, who joined his teammate Jarno Trulli in becoming the only drivers competing for one of the new teams to finish the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lotus F1 doesn't seem like the only one experiencing transmission and hydraulic problems with their cars, as Virgin Racing also confirmed the main reason why their cars failed to cross the finish line of the Bahrain race was related to hydraulics.

We have some new parts which we hope will provide a robust solution to the new hydraulic problem and transmission issue we experienced in Bahrain,” said Virgin's technical boss Nick Wirth prior to this weekend's Aussie race.

As for HRT, Bruno Senna's DNF in Bahrain was also caused by a problem with his car's hydraulic system, something that Colin Kolles admitted his team worked a lot on during the past week, in close collaboration with Xtrac.
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