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FIA to guard against “extreme engines” in 2014

2014 F1 rules

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Mercedes 2014 V6 F1 engineThe new engine regulations for 2014 have been designed to discourage teams from producing “extreme engines” and employing “exotic strategies”, according to the FIA.

F1’s governing body intends to make energy efficiency a priority for the teams in designing their new cars and engines and will limit each driver to using no more then 100kg of fuel per race next year.

But, as FIA head of powertrain Fabrice Lom explained to its magazine Auto, the rules go further than that to prevent teams coming up with unusual attempts to get around the rules:

“Giving the same amount of fuel to each car is an easy way of promoting efficiency – but the requirement is not as simple as that.” said Lom. “With no other limitations we might see some extreme and dangerous powerful engines, coupled with exotic strategies.”

“The fuel-flow limitation is there to stop this, enforcing a certain level of control. I say ‘a certain level’ because the engineers working on this project have an infinite amount of ingenuity, and over time the will certainly develop more efficient engines with greater power output.”

The current V8 engines are subject to a development freeze and a similar policy will be gradually introduced for the new engines to prevent development costs getting out of control (see below).

Renault energy F1, 2014 F1 engineRenault Sport F1 deputy managing director (technical) Bob White said: “A multi-year specification freeze is not really where we think the balance should be.”

“But equally, it shouldn’t be a development free-for-all that would make the necessary investment unaffordable. We’re heading towards year-on-year tightening restrictions and we think that’s a prudent and responsible approach.”

The FIA’s plan for freezing development of the engines calls for 8% of power unit components by weight to be frozen in development by 2015. That will rise to 23% in 2016, 35% in 2018 and 95% the year after that.

“The aim of the new regulations is to keep F1 at the pinnacle of motor sport,” added Lom, “but to do so mindful of the era in a which we operate.”

“Yesterday the sole aim of transportation was to travel from A to B as swiftly as possible. Today the technology is such that anyone can go fast – but they do so knowing resources are not unlimited and must be used with care.”

With the new V6 engines producing around 600bhp plus a further 150bhp coming from the Energy Recovery Systems, next year’s engines are expected to produce at least as much power as the current V8s.

But the higher minimum weight limit for cars should mean lap times remain similar. However FIA race director Charlie Whiting has previously suggested lap times could rise by two to three seconds next year.

Planned FIA engine development freeze, 2015-2020

As per the current 2014 Technical Regulations:

YearNew items included in development freeze
2015Upper/lower crankcase: Cylinder bore spacing, deck height, bank stagger.
Crankshaft: Crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter.
Air valve system: Including compressor, air pressure regulation devices.
2016Upper/lower crankcase: All dimensions including cylinder bore position relative to legality volume, water core.
Valve drive – camshafts: From camshaft lobe to gear train. Geometry except lift profile. Includes damping systems linked to camshaft. Exhaust and Inlet.
Valve drive: Position and geometry. Gear train down to crankshaft gear included, and dampers.
Covers: Covers closing the areas in contact with engine oil cam covers, cam-timing covers.
Ancilliaries drive: From ancillary to power source. Includes position of the ancillaries as far as drive is concerned.
2018Valves axis position: Includes angle but excludes axial displacement.
Valves drive: From valve to camshaft lobe. Position and geometry. Exhaust and inlet. Includes valve return function inside the head.
Crankshaft: Except crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter. Includes crankshaft bearings.
Oil pressure pumps: Including filter but excluding internal if no impact on body.
Oil scavenge systems: Any scavenging system.
2019Cylinder head: Except modifications linked to subsequent modifications.
Combustion: All parts of parts defining combustion including ports, piston crown, combustion chamber, valves geometry, timing, lift, injector nozzle, coils, spark plug but excluding valves position.
Con rods: Including small and big end bearings.
Pistons: Including bearings and pin. Excluding crown.
Oil recuperation: Oil/air separator, oil tank, catch tank.
Engine water pumps: Include power unit mounted water pipes.
Injection systems: Power unit-mounted fuel system components e.g. high pressure fuel hose, fuel rail, fuel injectors, accumulators but excluding injector nozzle.
Inlet system: Plenum and associated actuators. Excluding pressure charging, trumpets and throttle associated parts and actuators. Trumpets and associated parts and actuators. Throttles and associated parts and actuators.
Pressure charging: From compressor inlet to compressor outlet. From turbine inlet to turbine outlet. External actuators linked to pressure charging.
Ignition system: Ignition coils, driver box.
Lubrication: All parts in which circulates oil under pressure (oil pump gears, channels, piping, jets) and not mentioned elsewhere in the table.
Friction coatings
Sliding or rotating seals
Complete Motor Generator Units for Heat and Kinetic energy – all internals including bearings, casing, etc…, their position, transmission and power electronics.
Energy Store: Cells.
Energy Recovery System – Cooling/lubrication: Including energy store jackets, pipes, pumps, actuators.

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Images ?? Mercedes, Renault

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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105 comments on “FIA to guard against “extreme engines” in 2014”

  1. Although I understand the need for it, I am not a fan of engine development freezing. But I’m glad to hear that at least it is being staggered with these engines, partly because it’s nice to know that anybody with a great engine next year won’t necessarily carry that advantage forever, and partly because seeing any development in F1 banned is pretty sad.

    1. @matt90 It’s an engine development semifreddo. Seems like a reasonable compromise, it’s not quite as restrictive as I thought it would be.

      Though surely it means no more manufacturers will enter after Honda in 2015, otherwise they’d have the advantage of being able to develop the restricted components. It’s not as if any manufacturers entered the sport with new engines after the current freeze was introduced.

      1. @keithcollantine
        Cosworth came back in 2009 after a couple of years out. And they were allowed to develop their 2006 spec V8 up until the first race in Melbourne.

        I wonder if they would give new engine suppliers the change of starting from the beginning of the engine freeze table. Say, Honda comes in 2015 and are allowed to develop their engine throughout the season while other manufactures have to stick to the first year’s “8% freeze”.

        1. @brunes

          2010 not 2009 :-)

        2. I dont like this approach. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, it should have the best cars, engines, drivers, etc. I totally understand the need to restrict development in some areas to control costs, and for the record, Im all for hard caps and resource restriction agreements, but I dont think this is the way to do it. The problem with this is that engines could become out of date by 2018 or 2019 (or even 2016 or earlier). Also, if Renault come up with an amazing innovation mid way through the year and Mercedes and Ferrari cant catch up, they could be stuck permanently at a disadvantage because the following year development in some components is frozen. if If manufacturers make significant gains, F1 wont be able to keep up without a major regulation change and then you get the same issue all over again.

          I think a better way would be staggered in-year freezes. So engine development starts every year on Jan 1 and is open on all componenets, and then at the start of the European section of the calendar (i.e. from Spain onwards) for example, development is frozen for certain components (lets say the ones mentioned in 2018), but for the rest of the engine components development can continue until the summer break at which point it is frozen for more components (lets say those mentioned in 2019), and then at the end of the European section (i.e. after Monza), its frozen completely for the year. That way, its staggered over the year and gradually reduces as the year goes on (which would also correspond roughly with teams’ schedules to allocate resources to the following year), but crucially, the following year teams are able to develop all aspects all over again and bring further innovations. This way, by 2018 you dont have engines that are out of date and need a regulatory overhaul. If you combine this with an RRA or hard or soft cap you’ll see steady regulations, but a relatively constant stream of innovations while also keeping the field relatively equal.
          @keithcollantine, your thoughts?

          1. That’ll end up being a development free for all, albeit a slightly slower one.

          2. In year development freeze is not going to happen. Your idea works on the premise that engine manufacturers willingly police themselves to stop development of the engine midway through the season. Let’s say the engines are frozen for the year. What is stopping Mercedes from continuing its development in its factory until the next year when the freezes are lifted?
            But when a part of the engine is frozen for good, development costs can definitely be manageable.

    2. FIA to guard against innovation . The population of the world has never in history been wealthier than it is now, there have never been more billionaires in the world than there are now, there has never been a greater demand for small, powerful, efficient engines than there is now and yet F1 is crying poor and heading towards a one design formula to “reduce costs” or more truthfully ” maintain profits”.
      When F1 started just a few years after World War 2, Britain was bankrupt and still had years of food rationing ahead, Germany was in ruins and things were no better in Italy and France, and yet F1 succeeded and grew because it provided an opportunity to test new engineering innovations and train new engineers for the automotive industry.
      A complete change of formula every 10 or so years with a 99% complete specification provides all the expenses but none of the gains of open development.

      F1 is heading down a dead end, and all to maintain the profitability of the shonky deal Max Mosely as head of FIA granted his friend and backer Bernie Ecclestone.

      1. I have to give you a GIANT +1 on that comment.

      2. I agree 1000%

      3. It is not really interesesting how rich the _world_ is, it is interesting how rich the teams are, and how easy it is to get sponsors.

        Facts are, besides Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, all teams has problems with getting enough cash flow. That is WITH the engine freeze, removing it will obliterate most of the field.

        I’d LOVE to see it go as well, but without it, we will at least heavily restrict the amount of teams. It would be Montezemolo’s wet 3-car dream, but F1 would be much worse off.

      4. Not sure I agree with everything you said @Hohum, but COTD.

  2. Do the new smaller engines require the same amount of air cooling than the old atmospheric engines did or will we see new exotic (bigger or smaller) airboxes next year? In the previous turbo-era the airboxes were completely absent.

    1. The engines themselves do not. But the turbo and the more powerful ERS will need a lot more cooling.
      Interestig read on the topic

  3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    16th September 2013, 9:55

    Seeing the batteries for ERS frozen in 2019 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. There’s been HUGE leaps in lithium technologies in the last couple years, battery life is exponentially growing, while size is halfing every year. I can’t begin to imagine where we will be in 2019, much less in 2020.

    1. 2021 is the last year of these engines(if I remember right), So that’s 3 seasons. We have had the same KERS for 3 years, too.

    2. There’s been HUGE leaps in lithium technologies in the last couple years, battery life is exponentially growing, while size is halfing every year.

      I wish that was true – if that were the case, we would have a lot more electric cars and smartphones that last longer than a day. There have been significant improvements but unfortunately not that striking!

      1. It is the case, if you have not noticed, sign of this is that there is more “normal” electric cars and high performance cars are starting to incorporate hybrid tech.
        But, there is so many new discoveries and developments happening as I speak, that there are a lot of technology on the table ready to be implemented industrially, and a lot of technology in the labs, all of which by themselves promise great improvement, not to mention all of them combined. At the moment things are being discovered more quickly than they are being translated into commercial batteries.

        I myself am currently working on a type of lithium ion technology, what this promises is much, much greater capacity, light weight, simple chemistry, cheaper materials, maintaining over 99% performance after 1000 charge/discharge cycles (with not much sign of dropping, but haven’t been tested for more cycles at the moment). The latter practically would mean that after 10 years of smartphone use, the battery would be as good as new.

  4. I’m expecting a great fight on and off the track for the coming seasons of Formula 1.

    The new Turbo era will be great for the sport and drivers will have to rely on own skills to drive those cars,. The throttle pedal/engine/traction will have quite a reaction time delay and oversteer/understeer should be massive compare to 2013.

    Let’s bring back the balls …errr… the boys!

    1. Driveability will surely be a high-priority for the development of these new engines. And with variable turbine-geometries I doubt turbo-lag will be much of a problem during normal driving situations.

    2. same with me, Really excited for this new turbo era….just hope it lives up to all the hype, being a young F1 follower, I hear people talking about the 80’s and the turbo era of f1 which I haven’t witnessed, But I am excited!!!

    3. I don’t remember exactly where, but they said they specifically worked on turbo-lag a lot because drivers do not want a car that has lag on the throttle.
      If I remember correctly, they said that at forst the lag was sometimes like 100ms but even with that, drivers complained, so they had to work on it a bit more.
      It will be interesting to see if the different manufacturers have found better solutions about that problem.

      1. Didn’t they do a feature on this before one of the races on Sky. It said the turbo will be directly connected to the ERS system so that can be used to spin up the turbo and eliminate turbo lag.

  5. The throttle pedal/engine/traction will have quite a reaction time delay and oversteer/understeer should be massive compare to 2013.

    The application of power from the ERS (150 hp for 33.33 seconds per lap) will be controlled by computer, the driver won’t control that aspect of the power delivery. Plus brake bias will be computer controlled because of the much more significant energy harvesting under braking. So I don’t think drivers’ input will be as complete as you are expecting.

  6. I just wish they wouldn’t make the cars heavier to sell us their “greener” F1.
    They would probably save more fuel if they were allowed to run n/a 4.0 litre engines, with a 12,000 rpm limiter and 600 kg min. weight.

    1. The minimum weight isn’t there to promote the environmental angle. It’s there because key components are going to be heavy to start with, and the FIA don’t want one manufacturer getting a clear and unfair advantage just because their engine is lighter. Such an advantage would be preserved for years under the engine freeze, which would be a disaster.

    2. I think a large part of what makes the cars heavier is all the KERS packaging, if I’m not mistaken…

    3. The min weight has more to do with the ERS package and to offset the additional weight. Making sure costs don’t explode in the search of lighter materials for the rest of the car – it’s not so much about going green but staying sustainable.

    4. The minimum weight is in place to keep the field competitive. That way, team with huge budgets don’t spend millions on special ultra light weight materials

      Lets say the minimum weight was 600 kilos. –
      Top teams would maybe get their cars to weigh around 550 kilos, then use the other 50 kilos as ballast to improve weight distribution. While other teams that wouldnt be able to afford extremely expensive battery packs and other weight saving parts, would have cars that weighed roughly 600 kilos which would leave them with no ballast to play with.

      1. Now let’s say the minimum weight was 690 kilos, the top teams can build a car that weighs 640 and use 50 kgs as ballast…

        Extra weight is the biggest killer of efficiency in a racing car. There has to be a minimum, for safety reasons alone. But 690 for a formula 1 car is simply way too much.

    5. In a recent study, and common sense really, demonstrated that battery production is less “green” than burning fossil fuels… Albeit, it’s a lot better to be producing any battery technology other than lead-based, but it’s still far less green than just burning fossil fuels. And a study just before that said having a child is far less green than ANY pollution accident.

      1. It is not a recent study. That concept and proof has been around for more than a decade.

        1. @rojov123 Which one? Batteries or the kids being worse for the environment than anything else? The study about battery technology in hybrid vehicles was in 2012 and the study about having one child being horrible for the carbon footprint was in 2009. To do a back-calculation, birthing one human being will have between 4-13 times more CO2 pollution for the environment than the BP gulf oil spill.

  7. “With no other limitations we might see some extreme and dangerous powerful engines…”

    So 750 bhp is about the maximum the FIA will allow to be produced by cars at the pinnacle of motorsport which are driven by the finest drivers in the world, but Bugatti can stick a 1200 bhp engine the Veyron SS, a car they sell to wealth members of the general populous. Right.

    1. And a contemporary F1 car or even next seasons F1 cars will leave a Veyron for dead. I think you are forgetting a Veyron weighs around 2 metric tons wet. A little more than an F1 car. Oh and then there’s aero and cornering capabilities of 4g’s+.

      1. Yes, but we are talking about engines here.

        1. Well, it’s all relative. An engine is only as powerful as the power to weight ratio it has to deal with. They have 1000bhp+ engines in a large truck these days but I hardly think they’ll worry an F1 car or a Veyron. Although it’s likely that most truck drivers are far more capable than your average Veyron driver.

          1. Well as I mentioned in the forums, the rule changes (which I do largely support) do also come with a hefty increase in the minimum weight of the cars. They now have significantly worse power to weight ratios than they did say in 2004 (which is also a nice round 10 year period to work with).

            If the stats are to be believed, Toyota’s V10s were putting out about 900bhp in 2004 and the cars weighed 605kgs, giving them a power to weight ratio of 1488 bhp/ton (If I have got my sums right). In 2014 they will have a power to weight ratio of 1087 bhp/ton (again if I have done my sums right and based on about 750 bhp and 690 minimum weight).

            Not exactly truck like performance, but 2014 is still a massive step back power wise.

          2. This is very sad, I know Bottas and Räikkönen has both stated that they would like the cars to be more powerful, they are too easy to drive.. Hopefully The almost doubled torque next year will help with that.

          3. @geemac
            Did you also calculate the torque to weight ratio?
            The V6s will have A LOT more torque than the current V8s, plus, with the electric motor they will have an almost flat torque curve (similar torque at any RPM), unlike the current V8s that have extremely low torque at “low” rpm.

          4. @brunes Interesting. They can of course only use that extra energy from the ERS for just over 30 seconds a lap, so that nice extra chunk of torque won’t be available to the drivers for the majority of the lap.

          5. @geemac
            That’s where engine maps will become extremely important. Also, finding the best places to use the ERS will be the challenge.

            Also, drives don’t go 100% of the lap at full throttle. In Malaysia, with it’s huge straights they only drive full throttle around 60% of the lap. Of that 60%, a lot is done in 7th gear which wouldn’t require ERS as the engine would be at its peak of power. So that’s not acctualy much running without ERS

            In Monaco for example, only about 42%.

          6. @ Bruno. So why wouldn’t you want to use ERS in 7th (probably actually 8th next year) gear? Drag is greatest at highest speed so extra power from the ERS would help top end. With the projected increase in torque next year I don’t think the ERS will be much use in lower gears. Also, fuel flow is limited to 100 kg/hr over 10,500 rpm so power will be pretty flat above that rpm; this would seem to be when ERS is most useful.

    2. Maybe they mean that it’s dangerous to try to squeeze as much bhps from the engine, rather than it’s dangerous for F1 drivers to control a powerful engine.

      1. Why shouldn’t they be squeezing every bhp they can from the engines? This is the pinnacle of motorsport and motor vehicle development. They should be wringing every single horsepower they can out of the engine itself and the recovery systems to show the world what this sort of hybrid technology can do.

        1. @geemac
          except, not every team would be able to afford a HorsePower race, (I mean, a race in which team and engine suppliers are constantly trying to increase horsepower)

          Sometimes, it is not always about the maximum power, but about the driveabillity of the engine. Look at Ducati in MotoGP, they had the most powerful engine when Rossi was riding for them, and he constantly complained that the engine was too rough so he could never extract the most out of it as power was being delivered too aggressively.

          1. True true, drivability is incredibly important, but if you offer a team a few extra horsepower, they’ll usually take it off of you.

        2. @geemac – I understand where you are coming from. F1 should be almost limitless once the boundaries of the formula have been met. In other words if Mercedes or Renault for example manage to find a 50bhp+ advantage through sheer technical brilliance then they should be allowed to use it.
          Especially as this will be the launch pad for some really serious ERS and alternative power tech that could really mean something to the consumer one day.
          But there’s a lot to be said for limiting resources and seeing who can then best the formula.
          Right now it is said we have Red Bull / Renault domination. Not a lot of people seem to think Vettel domination. I think if we allow technology to run rampant then the drivers will be (considered) less of the equation than they are now.

          Personally I think we are seeing a Vettel dominated era supported by Red Bull / Renault. But many others see it the other way round.

          I want the driver to be the decisive factor (and not KERS’s/Hybrid’s/DRS/Tyres) for the me the constructor should be incidental…

          1. But it is a team sport. The constructor is vital to the whole package, always has been, these days even more so than the driver. You need the right combination of team, driver, engine etc. to win. The people who aren’t getting credit are Renault. Red Bull get heaps of credit, so does Newey, Vettel gets it from his fans and begrudgingly from everyone else. But never is there a mention of Renault. If they build a blinding powertrain next year they better get the credit they deserve, because they have been fantastic for the sport over the years and they have been an incredibly important part of RBR’s success over the last few seasons.

          2. @geemac I couldn’t agree more about Renault. They are one of the all time greatest contributors to motorsport since the very beginning and their contribution to F1 is right up there with the ‘big sexy names’. Alas it is true, they do not seem to attract the headlines like other marques.
            No company has kept the affordable sports car flame alight like Renault has over the last decade or two. Clio Williams, 172, 182, 197, 200. Megane etc. Something the likes of you and I can aspire to and indeed afford and have a taste of a machine fettled perfectly to its sporting intent and budget.

            I own two :)

          3. @psynrg, I’ve probably told you before, but it is worth saying again, if you want it to be all about the driver and not the car you should follow a “1 design” formula, what differentiates ( or used to ) F1 from other series is the development of the cars, hence it is Scuderia Ferrari not Scuderia Fernando.

          4. @hohum I said I just wish for the driver to be the decisive factor. For example in some cars the driver may make up 60% of the package in others 65%. I think Red Bull is a good case in point. Webber’s a great driver but I only think he could (in this grossly oversimplified example) contribute 60% with Vettel always capable of more (65%). If the car/team can deliver 35% then the math speaks for itself.
            I do follow single make series but I also follow mixed series. And F1 well, is F1 and there’s nothing else like it.

  8. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, an engine freeze is completely wrong.

    First and foremost, development in anything Formula 1 should never ever be frozen, it’s completely against the spirit of the sport, which is about competition and development. But besides that, these regulations will make it impossible for manufacturers to join in. Who the hell would risk building a mediocre engine in 2017 only to be allowed small changes for the year after? Any new manufacturer will start with a clean slate with barely any room for improvement at all, while competition DID get the chance to learn from mistakes in years before. I’m not against the idea of limiting development, but development should be the same every year and should not lead to a complete freeze eventually.

    The way I see it, everyone should’ve been allowed to change, say, 20% of the parts the engine consisted of the year before, with no decrease in the percentage every year. On top of that, a new manufacturer should have been allowed to change 40% after their first year. That way there would still be development, costs would be controlled and most importantly, it would be attractive for manufacturers to join in. If BMW wanted to return in 2018 they would be allowed to develop faster than the competition so they wouldn’t be penalised for being a bit late to the party and having a slight development-disadvantage to begin with. Seriously, I couldn’t think of a worse way to keep manufacters out than these regulations. What’s the logic FIA?

    1. @keithcollantine My comment has been stuck in the filter all day. Why?

    2. @roald, absolutely 100% correct (see my belated answer to comment 1).
      Costs could be reduced without so totally limiting engine development, the fuel restrictions alone will likely prevent engines from being so powerful that they self destruct or totally outperform the opposition.

  9. It is going to interesting to see if the speed of the new cars can be maintained in line with present F1 cars, given the fuel restriction. As all the reports of replacing a “large” normally aspirated engine with a smaller turbo charged unit have yet to see any significant fuel saving.

    If there is a fuel saving then it will have to be down to the ERS but what will the costs be there, how long will the batteries last? Will there be future rules to say a battery pack has to last for “x” races, or only “y” number of packs/season?

    It also has to be noted that unless re-cycled, batteries, that is all parts not just the metals, are not green or good for the environment.

    1. @w-k

      As all the reports of replacing a “large” normally aspirated engine with a smaller turbo charged unit have yet to see any significant fuel saving

      Is that true? Road car turbocharged engines at least are significantly more efficient…

      1. Well I just googled “large normally aspirated or turbo charged small” and “are turbocharged small engines more efficient” and the results seem to be on my side.

        1. @w-k, this is an area with many variables but it is generally accepted that turbochargers produce a more complete combustion of the available fuel than a naturally aspirated engine providing cleaner exhaust gasses and fuel savings, but whether they are significant or not may be in the eye of the beholder.

          1. You are probably right in saying that turbo engines are cleaner, but to remove turbo lag they usually burn fuel in the exhaust to keep the turbo spinning at low engine speeds. There maybe some savings in F1 as they could use a ERS boost to aid low speed acceleration.
            But a lot of the things that would make road turbo’s more efficient by saving weight have already been done in F1 engines so the new engines probably cannot even gain a bit of efficiency there.

            Let’s put it this way I am skeptical that the 2014 engines will be as powerful as the 2013 engines, especially with the requirement to be a lot more (37.5%) fuel efficient. With the present financial situation if any manufacturer could make a car 37.5% more fuel efficient without sacrificing performance they could make a killing world wide.

  10. With the new V6 engines producing around 600bhp plus a further 150bhp coming from the Energy Recovery Systems, next year’s engines are expected to produce at least as much power as the current V8s.

    Peak power for half a minute. Imagine Monza 2014. Where do you use your ERS? Mainly on the four longest straights. Half a minute is enough for half their length. On the speed trap cars will be using only the turbo engine’s power which is way below current V8s. So 340km/h never again? And Montoya’s 369km/h?

    The thing about extreme engines seems to imply that FIA does not want someone making Power unit that lasts only a single weekend with much higher power. But I really want to see someone do it. Another vision from the future:
    First five races – pole to win. Then penalty. Qualify or not is irrelevant but maybe better skip it and save the power unit. Starting last and going through the field like a hot knife through butter thanks to the power advantage and even more powerful DRS. Race 7 – repeat. Stacking grid place penalties doesn’t matter at all if the car is good enough to win from last place. Even if FIA impose a 1 race ban for every power unit changed – this is still 14 wins in a 22 race season. Maybe less as on some tracks (like Monte Carlo) overtaking will remain difficult.
    Big IFs but making fools of the rulemakers is priceless :D

    1. Everyone would soon get the same idea… :P

      1. The whole thing is a big gamble but I think it’s something that the manufacturer had to include in the initial concept of its power unit. Now it would be too late. The power gap to the endurance engines is the thing that makes the strategy working. Even if first year is successful, the other manufacturers will increase the power of their engines for the next season, possible making the gap in performance not big enough to compensate for the insufficient reliability. Unless 1 year is enough to fix it. If it is not they still got 3-4 years to find a solution. If they can’t before engine freeze it would be a quite high price. Or is it worth it for one killer year 7 bad ones?

    2. I think Montoya did 372.6km/h in the race

      1. @alexanderfin Montoya still holds that record I believe?

        1. @noob Yeah, I think he does indeed

  11. I strongly believe if they want to reduce speeds they should reduce aero development not engines. Engines are way more relevant to production cars and it would provide better racing. Also having studied active suspension I am really disappointed it’s banned. It’s the perfect suspension so sure it does aid the driver a little but it’s not abs or tc.

    1. I’d like active suspension also: it’d be really interesting to see just how fast the cars could take corners, and of course you’d still have lock-ups and wheelspin. Snap oversteer would still occur also. I’ve always thought that in tandem with some element of ground effect would be fabulous to watch, if they removed front wings and simplified greatly the rears. So overall downforce levels could happily drop.

      Engines should take much more precedence also I agree. I would love if the FIA simply said “you are allowed 4 engines a season, 100kg of fuel per race, one turbocharger and a maximum 1.6l capacity. Do your thing”. That way, fuel efficiency and reliability would be massively important but at the same time there’d be the obvious incentive to push the engines to produce as much power as possible within those constraints. I’d also impose a hearty penalty for having to change an engine, such as not being allowed to score points towards the constructor’s championship on the new unit (if over the 4 engines per season).

      Sadly, I fear it’d cost just too much money.

    2. While I disagree that F1 should concern itself with its “relevancy,” I wholeheartedly concur that the current dependence on aerodynamic grip is the sport’s Achilles’ heel. It is a key reason there is so little natural and competitive overtaking (as opposed to contrived and orchestrated, e.g., DRS and disinte-Pirellis), because wings only produce optimal lift (downforce) when running through undisturbed air, giving the driver of any car in the lead a perpetual grip advantage.

      If they would bring back the tread width from the previous turbo era and reduce the size and complexity of the wings, there then would be a natural return to dependence on mechanical grip and competitive overtaking should return to pre-1990s levels. Ban multi-element wings, no vanes or slots or vortex generators. Require a single uniform chord across the entire span, and the exact same wing for every circuit (except angle of attack may be adjusted and span may be reduced to less than the allowed max). Banning multi-element wings would dramatically reduce the expense of aero research. Each front wing now costs > £100,000 to build, exclusive of R&D, and the teams make a bespoke wing for each circuit. And they take the precaution of bringing spares, most of which are discarded without ever being used. Red Bull are famous for producing new wings after Friday testing and flying them half way around the world (from Milton Keynes) overnight in time for FP3 and qualies.

      Active suspension also would reduce the aero dependency. The technology is common on production automobiles, which provides an economy of scale that would lessen the economic impact on F1.

      Ground effects could be another suitable replacement for wing-generated downforce because it is largely indifferent to turbulence. It only was banned because a flawed execution allowed it to fail and its failure killed the sport’s patron saint. But it soon will be 20 years since Senna’s death and I think it is well time for F1 to move on and consider its return. Point of fact, the exhaust blown diffuser was an implementation of ground effects. The only reason the FIA sought to ban the EBD was it put their knickers in a twist that someone found a loophole in their rules and gained an advantage that they did not intend. It was the most tortured interpretation of the rules I can remember to label exhaust gasses as a “moveable aerodynamic device.” With the combination of CFD simulation and two additional decades of aero research (and, …cough, cough, …the rise of Adrian Newey …cough, cough), I am confident ground effects packages could be produced that would be impervious to any sort of catastrophic failure.

      But it’s the wings that are killing the overtaking. And the FIA, because they fail to recognise it was their own half-witted rules structure that almost extincted overtaking in the first place. So they create even more half-witted rules to mend the original half-witted rules. Which makes them quarter-witted (to be followed closely by eighth-witted).

      1. I can’t follow you – multi-element wings are designed to reduce the dirty air effect and ground effects would only work on the rear and you’d still need something to generate df at the front unless open wheels are up for discussion.

        1. Ground effect works at the center of reduced pressure under the car, similar to center of gravity. It’s possible to move the center of pressure to balance the car. Don’t you recall the front wingless F1 cars back in the ground effect days?

        2. @tmf42 no, Matt_D makes perfect sense. Wings are highly sensitive to turbulence (if you’ve ever encountered turbulence on an aeroplane you’d know), hence why they have to leave such big gaps between planes when taking off (otherwise the wake would effect the wing so severely they may not be able to take off). Multi elements may help, I’m not entirely familiar with that, but that’s almost irrelevant – the overall efficiency of a wing is reduced in turbulent air. Driving behind another car closely is like trying to take off in a plane’s wake.

          The multi-elements don’t help because that increases the efficiency of the wing in creating downforce over a single plane, so naturally they are more dependent on them for downforce. So when you run in that “dirty air”, it affects it the same, but since the dependency on it is much greater the effect is much more profound.

          Ground effects don’t have that problem, as they aren’t wings in the normal definition.

          ground effects would only work on the rear

          That’s not true either: have a look at the old 80’s cars and you’ll notice they have very long sidepods, that extend almost the whole length of the car. Why is that? So the whole car in essence becomes a wing and the skirts could run most of the length of the car. So consequently, downforce was created along almost the entire floor due to the increase in air pressure.

          That’s why you also often saw cars running without front wings – they simply weren’t necessary due to the immense amount of downforce generated by the ground effect aerodynamics! So I say we could just do the same – simply ban front wings altogether, hence immensely decreasing the costs, and restricting the underfloor aero more effectively than before (no low exhaust exits, skirt length limited or non-existent etc.). I see no reason why that couldn’t work – and much better than it is now as there’d be no need for DRS or degradable tyres!

          1. They’ve been putting wings on F1 cars for roughly the last half-century. If they cause an inability to overtake then it’s odd nobody noticed it before now.

          2. @jonsan yes, but only fairly recently have they become so efficient as to recover the lost downforce from losing ground effects. The wake effect from the increasingly efficient diffusers doesn’t help them, either. It wasn’t really as much of a problem before say 1994 because the wings weren’t all that highly developed (and so didn’t actually produce all that much downforce).

          3. If what you say is true its a sad reflection on F1. Aerodynamics is a very mature branch of science. The aeronautics engineers had learned everything there was to know (at least about sub-sonic aerodynamics) by 1950, but apparently this knowledge has yet to fully trickle down to F1.

            You should read this on ground effects cars.


          4. @jonsan read it several times haha!

            They learned most of the principles by that time, yes. But that does not mean that the exploitation has been perfected – far from it in fact. That’s why we still see gains even during a season of several tenths of a second.

          5. @vettel1 with current monocoques and safety standards I don’t see enough room to have a balanced distribution of downforce on the front and back with ground effect alone. You’d have to divert the air beneath the car by lowering and widening the nose and move the floor forward, so enough area is close to the ground to generate the effect – this would expose the survival cell.
            Also the main reason ground effect was banned were the extremely dangerous corner speeds and there isn’t really a good way to regulate this while keeping competition alive.
            So might be that this is a possible solution for the current aero dominance but it’s nothing which is as simple as clipping away a few wings ;)

            About the multi-element wings – if you would have only a single element then it’s exactly like you described with a plane but each of these components have a purpose not only to create downforce but to redirect the air flow to different places around the car towards the rear or sidepods or underneath and some elements also help to avoid a stalling of the elements that generate the downforce.
            It would be interesting to have an expert on this topic because imo the loss of downforce due to dirty air these days can’t be more than a few percent.

          6. There was never any need for degrading tyres and DRS. The general consensus is that the three best years of F1 action in the last twenty years were 2010, 2007, and 2008. There was never a problem which needed fixing, whether by DRS, designed-to-be-bad-tyres, or ground effects. You’re proposing a solution for a non-existent problem.

          7. @tmf42, if you were a sailor you would have a much greater appreciation of the effect of turbulent air on an aerofoil.

      2. …and with some more half-baked changes soon to be ‘twitted’, haha. Death by social media.

        I agree wholeheartedly with this.. I wonder what would have happened if the Lotus 88 wasn’t banned (reducing the G forces on the driver). There the second chassis was deemed ‘a moveable aerodynamic device’. Surely the throttle is one under the current rules and implementations…. (aero load on flexi-wings!)

      3. All grip is “mechanical grip”. The only grip a car ever has is that via the (extremely small) contact areas of the tyres. Mechanical grip varies with the weight of the car, and the weight can be effectively (and very desirably) varied with the speed of the car via aerodynamics. The faster you go the more downforce and the greater the mechanical grip. You have to have downforce – even modern low cost family sedans use it to keep the car safely on the road at 80MPH.

        As for ground effects downforce, you should read this.

        1. It’s not 1980s now things are much safer now. The problem with ground effect was massive cornering speeds which can be solved by limiting the development of ground effect. Many safety measures could be taken and you could have ground effect without skirts. It could be even safer than now because now you can easily loose a wing and third of your downforce is suddenly gone. The problem is not safety the problem is that teams fear loosing a lot of money by developing it

          1. The problem with ground effect … can be solved by limiting the development of ground effect

            Wonderful. But you can say that about any technology, including the existing aero rules. (The problem with which nobody has yet been able to identify)

            teams fear loosing a lot of money by developing it

            How would teams lose money by developing ground effects? People up above are arguing that ground effects would save teams lots of money.

      4. Right on Matt-D.

      5. @jonsan, the reason early wings were crude and less effective than today is because engine/power development was a more effective use of resources.

  12. I think reliability and efficiency will be way more important than raw power – could also make for good races if the guys in front (better peak performance) struggle to get over the distance and allow the guys behind (better efficiency) to catch up.
    But the fact that ERS, batteries, turbo, exhaust, etc. will now count to the power unit means that any failure will cost you 10 places on the grid – with 5 units per season reliability could make the difference towards the end of the season (if the championship stays close)

  13. Isn’t “extreme” and “exotic” exactly what makes F1 F1?

    Q. Take F1, remove the extreme and the exotic and what is left?
    A. NASCAR sans fenders.

  14. Manfred J. Wierthaler
    16th September 2013, 17:53

    The execution already is in trouble:

    How can they justify such a monumentally expensive change while at the same time telling us the sport is spending itself into oblivion?

  15. Boo.

    Open development brings experimentation, which brings unreliability, which brings unpredictability, which brings entertainment.

    1. I completely agree.


  16. The biggest problem in Formula 1 right now is that the cars are underpowered compared to the aerodinamics.
    In the 90’s the cars had powerfull engines and the downforce level was not as high as nowadays.
    So back then you saw the cars much more sliding around and the drivers were making more mistakes because they were driving on the edge , that is also what F1 is all about. Drive on the limit. Today the cars are much more easy to handle because they have too much grip compared to the engine power. And especially in the race there are much less mistakes and crashes than in the past because the drivers have drive carefully so that they don’t destroy the tires. Hopefully with the new engine something will gonna change because seeing the drivers ask if they please can set one fast lap in a race because they are bored isn’t fun to watch.

  17. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    16th September 2013, 19:12

    The difference in engines shapes is just for some additional parts showed in the Renault photo? Or can that lead to a very different aspect between Mercedes-powered and Renault-powered cars?

    1. AFAIK, the additional appendage on the Renault engine is the turbo intercooler, which is not present on the picture that Merc released of their engine. The Merc will have one also (as will the Ferrari), its just not present in the PR photo.

  18. Deeply disappointing. F1 is not about driver vs driver, it is first and foremost technology and development of outrageous bits and pieces that makes the cars spacetoys and eventually will trickle-down develop road-versions of the same tech to save lives or effictivise the way we drive from A to B.

    600hp, regardless of the massive electric torque for accelerations and the straights-only 150hp boost, will still be a relative joke. I really was hoping for more open rules and not some crazy restricted slowmobile snoozefest. 2-3 seconds slower per lap? You have got to be joking. At least then give the drivers optimal tires, the best they can be, and lets see what that does to the lap times.

    F1 has always had rules limiting this and that from 1950 with the SC’d 1.5L’s, but this is too much. I would love to be proven wrong and see 2013 or better competitive lap times, massive amounts of overtakes and not just due to DRS zones and bad tires.

    Will watch it, but only in free places, no more money for Bernie from me, there are other motorsports out there.

  19. Little by little they’re killing F1. I wish the FIA would Stop imposing restrictions just to make themselves look important.

  20. That’s all good but why do the engines look so different?

  21. I see aq dream – I wish all the engine manufacturers to participate in the following progression – to build engines that blow the 100 kg of fuel say in about 50 km – then after a couple of races with all the grid stopping all over the track with empty fuel tanks after about 15-20 minutes of racing, there will be a hope that at last fans will see the freezing or ban of development restrictions and people imposing them who kill the sport and innovations.

  22. But I like “extreme engines” and “exotic strategies”…

  23. Seems sensible to me.

  24. Yes, that’s what I need:

    “The car was like a bomb at circuits like Spa, Austria and Monza. And the power was unbelievable – even if the turbo delay was terrible. You’d open the throttle at the entry to the corner only to get the power at the exit. And if you missed it by five or 10 metres, there was nothing you could do – you just spun it. The lag was about one or two seconds. At Zeltweg, down the long straight to the Bosch Kurve, the car was throwing out 1400 bhp and just kept on pushing – you felt like you were sitting on a rocket.” – Gerhard Berger speaking about the Benetton BMW B186

    That’s why I became F1 fan back then and now, when I see “exotic regulations” and “extreme restrictions” I think it’s time to find some other favourite sport – watching F1 drivers saving their Pirellis was more than enough yet, and when they start to save drips of fuel and install solar panels onto F1 cars, I quit…

  25. I understand the approach to be more efficient and “greener”, BUT F1 is and still should be the number one in motorsport. Unfortunately things are not going well, I personally don’t like the absence of refueling, those tyre compound regulations, DRS (the silliest of them all) and a few other things aswell. I mean GP2 racers are sometimes faster than a F1 car. How can it be? It can’t be right. F1 is exquisit, it should be the most exciting and the most fastest motorsport. This freezing idea is quite the opposite what F1 should be. As already other F1 fans posted, the ingenuity, incredible innovations and superb engines are the sorft of things F1 is made of. There are lots of examples which I could post, what should be changed, but no….. I am following F1 since 1998 and have missed maybe a handfull of them all, but since the RedBull domination started, and when regulations change so rapidly, it’s no longer fun watching F1 races. I would rather prefer the unlimited budget to develop cars and ged rid of a number of rules, because there are plenty of sponsors and investors who could make things happen for smaller teams. Maybe I have got off topic a bit, but I fear that F1 is about to become a boring Carrera Slot race.

  26. SaidLom, “With no other limitations we might see some extreme and dangerous powerful engines, coupled with exotic strategies.” That is exactly what F1 fans want to see, some ingenuity. Thanks for not giving us fans what we desire from Formula 1. What a joke.

  27. I hope the ratings and attendance figures drop precipitously in the next few years and these dumb asses finally come to their senses and realize they have ruined what was once the best show on earth.

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