The Theme

Shaping the Future

It could well be that the next World Motorsport Symposium that takes place on 27/28 November at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London is the most important one for the last 10 years, if not before that. Never before have two massively and topical important issues been addressed in such detail: artificial intelligence and the environment. There are a number of highly topical presentations over the two days that cover these topics in great detail.

At the same time there are presentations by FIA technical director Gilles Simon on the evolution of motorsport regulations and another by aerodynamicist Willem Toet on the 2020 hyper future for the WEC. To ensure that our feet are kept on the ground, the 2-day proceedings will close with a presentation from Ewan Baldry, Ginetta Cars’ technical director on the challenges of developing and building an independent LMP1 team from scratch.

The idea behind the World Motorsport Symposium is to get everyone to think about the future, unfettered by meeting in formal Technical Working Groups where team and manufacturer interests need to be protected by those involved. This is an open forum, working under Chatham House rules so that presentations and discussions can be open as they will not be shared outside the four walls. As the past has proved, ideas generated there often lead to implementation at a later date. Lord Drayson, for example, first talked about creating an all-electric single-seater racing series located in city centres……The global engine concept, presented by Audi Sport’s Ulrich Baretzky, was first put forward at the World Motorsport Symposium over 10 years ago, an idea that has been resurrected by FIA president Jean Todt at the start of this year. There are many more such ideas that have since been adopted that can trace their roots back to the Symposium.

This year’s event, though, coming as it does on the crest of a revolution, could well be the most influential yet in terms of ideas and solutions being generated. We live in highly exciting but at the same time uncertain days. Motorsport is not necessarily under threat – yet – but before it is, it’s our duty to future generations to ensure that we pass things on in a way that is most beneficial to the sport itself as well as to the world at large.

Come and be part of the discussions. Come and be part of shaping the future.