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FOTA discusses 2013 engine rules as Porsche indicates interest in F1
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FOTA discusses 2013 engine rules as Porsche indicates interest in F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Oct 2010   |  3:08 pm GMT  |  117 comments

The FOTA Technical Working Group met yesterday in London to discuss the new rules for 2013 and today Porsche chairman Mattias Muller has indicated that he is likely to bring his company into F1 using either the Porsche or Audi brand.


Manufacturers not currently in F1 have been invited all along to be party to the ongoing discussions with teams and the FIA on the 2013 rules and I understand that the Porsche/Audi group have been part of that. The direction of travel is 1.6 litre turbo engines which would work with either brand.

The likely timing of a Porsche or Audi entry would be with the new engine formula. It is thought that they will either come in as an engine supplier or possibly as a shareholder in a team, like Mercedes were with McLaren. They will no doubt also do a feasibility study into acquiring an existing team, looking at the likely revenues to teams under the new Concorde Agreement, which many of the F1 stakeholders are hoping could be negotiated over this winter’s off-season break.

“With LMP1, there are two classes and two brands – Audi and Porsche. We do not like to both go into LMP1 [against each other]; that is not so funny,” said Mueller in an interview with Autocar’s Matt Prior.

“So therefore we have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the [two] brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into F1. So we will have a round-table to discuss the pros and cons.”

If FOTA gets its way and the teams increase their share of the revenues from 50% to more like 75%, while keeping costs under control, then owning and operating an F1 team could become cost neutral or even profitable, with the added benefit of the immense global marketing reach. That may work out as a more viable option than part ownership or simple engine supply.

Porsche/Audi will have plenty of suitors among existing teams. Red Bull has cultivated strong links with Audi over the past few years and there are a number of business to business initiatives between them. Hispania Racing’s Colin Kolles is also well connected with Audi in Germany. Meanwhile Williams has a deal to supply hybrid technology to Porsche and the timing is just about perfect for the team to do some kind of deal as Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head look to take a backward step from the business and release some of their equity.


Audi has never been in F1, although in the pre war days when it was called simply Grand Prix, Auto Union carried Audi’s famous four ring logo. It works very closely with Shell in sportscars, but Shell has a long standing relationship with Ferrari in F1.

The problem for Audi as a brand in F1 is that it’s motorsport programme is all about diesel technology, hence the endurance racing programme with Le Mans and ALMS. F1 isn’t likely to go diesel in the near future, so it would require a major strategic shift.

Porsche is synonymous with sportscar racing, but also has a history in F1, as a team in its own right in the 1960s – it won the 1962 French GP – and as an engine supplier to Footwork (Arrows) in 1991.

The TAG Turbo engines, made by Porsche, won 25 Grands Prix and three world championships with McLaren in the early 1980s.

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117 Comments
  1. Dickie says:

    ould this mean a diesel engine appering in F1 in the future

    1. Rich says:

      Not sure about a diesel my self. What i can’t wait for is to hear the sound. We lost something when dropping the revs and moving to V8. I hope we don’t get a drop again as that would take us a long way from where we were a few years ago, and when you hear a F1 car in full tilt in the flesh its awesome

      1. mark says:

        WIth all the push for green etc I think diesel SHOULD be considered as a possibility for F1. The new direct injection engines are pretty amazing and pushing that technology via F1 could take it even further…..

        So long as the sound is still good!!!

  2. Mike Vlcek says:

    Can’t wait for 2013. FIA, Fota and FOM should work to bring these new regulations for 2012 instead.

    1. Hans Jørgen Strøm says:

      I think 2012 is too early. they need time to do the development work/testing on these new engines. we would like the engines to be as reliable as possible.

    2. Mike Vlcek says:

      Yes, I agree. It’s just that I can’t wait. ;)

  3. Mark V says:

    Mercedes, Porsche/Audi, BMW (sort of) and isn’t there rumors that Volswagen is also considering coming in sometime? Along with all the German drivers that could mean quite a nations power shift in F1.

      1. Mark V says:

        Did I say Volkswagen? I meant to say there are rumors Opel is getting into F1. ;)

  4. **Paul** says:

    I’d love to see Porsche in F1 and I think smaller capacity turbo engines is probably the way forward for F1. I’m looking forward to seeing the 1.6 Turbo engines in WTCC, and believe it’s a step in the right direction. Afterall, those 1.5l Turbo engines they used to run sounded great !

    1. TheGreatCornholio says:

      I agree, just a shame they won’t have the same sort of power outputs:(. They’ll probably use the change as an excuse to lower the Bhp but on the upside they may decide to increase the power of the KERS system:). Also hope that they choose to go with the Porsche brand instead of Audi as that fits in well with Ferrari and Mercedes. Better still, buy Torro Rosso and rename it Lamborghini!

      1. Jeff says:

        Back in the previous turbo period, we had 1.5 litre turbos putting out around 1500bhp.

        My guess is that we’re still going to have 800-900bhp with the 4 cylinder turbos being talked about. The challenge is more likely in keeping the power levels and development costs reasonable (so that they don’t squeeze out the independants such as Cosworth)

      2. Stephen W says:

        They are discussing a limit of 650bhp at 12000rpm,i hope its more and using 6 cylinders rather than 4,but i agree development costs have to be kept affordable.

      3. Jeff says:

        650bhp seems a little low, but if they’re reintroducing KERS and trying to increase its effect, maybe that makes sense.

        12000rpm also seems a little conservative. Maybe if they are V-4s it may give a decent sound though. A 1600cc 12000rpm V-4 would probably be a deep-throated growl (perhaps like a couple of 750cc Ducati engines on song?)

        Jeff

      4. indy says:

        or even better lets have the fastest car brand in f1

        BUGATTI!!!!

        They are also own by V-W

  5. mo kahn says:

    Its the most exciting news. I hope they come with their own team. That would be an excellent for F1. No matter how you look at it, The teams like Mclaren and Williams who don’t build their own engines can never match the value of Ferrari and Mercedes (I’ve excluded Renault for its two separate teams. Though new team (re-entry) Mercedes has a higher value then teams the teams it supplies engines to.

    Mclaren and Williams have a wonderful racing pedgree, but they suffer with completeness. That Ferrari and Mercedes (on current grid). When Ferrari Wins its a Ferrari win… but when Mclaren win Its Mclaren-Mercedes that wins.. not quite the same actually.

    So, F1 needs teams like Porsche/Audi, Lamborghini, Buggati, Alfa-romeo, BMW, Toyota, Honda… any manufacturer who builts sports or exotic sports cars in F1 to change the complete complexion of F1 and make it a true identifiable sport.

    1. Steven says:

      VW=Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, Bentley

    2. Andy C says:

      I pretty much completely disagree with you mo.

      Mclaren, Williams and Ferrari have been at the heart of f1 because they are racers at heart.

      You ask Robert kubica how he felt at BMW when he wanted them to push on for wins and the title and they said they had achieved their objectives and they would focus on next year (the year they built a pig and ended up leaving I think).

      I would love to see Porsche. Audi fits very well with le mans.

      What did Toyota and Honda achieve as teams in f1. Both would have been good as engine suppliers but engineering an f1 winner should be the domain of great race teams with works engines (only by view). Honda had a good history of winning in f1 as an engine supplier but as a team they spent hundreds of millions and turned out 2 good cars in all he time they were there.

      1. Werewolf says:

        I’m with you, Andy. Since the early to mid-1950s (Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati) only Ferrari has any lasting success as a car and engine builder. Admittedly, BRM were in the major league for a while and Renault knocked on the door (the later success was a bought-out Benetton) but most of my memories favour true race teams, eg Cooper, Lotus, Brabham, McLaren, Tyrrell, Williams over, say, Honda, BMW or Toyota (and yes, so far Brawn over Mercedes in its current incarnation).

      2. Stephen W says:

        As teams Toyota and Honda for some reason just did not have what it takes,BMW were much the same,as engine suppliers Honda and BMW would be up where Ferrari and Mercedes are.

        Yet we see Ferrari as the only team/engine supplier with any continued historic success,Renault seem to run hot and cold,the engines are however fabulous.

    3. Diarmuid says:

      I couldnt disagree with you more Mo. I think if anything McLaren and Williams define F1 more than a company like Mercedes ever could. They are alive JUST for Formula 1. Everything else they do is secondary to trying to win races and championships.

      Mercedes are there just for marketing purposes and could pull out just as quickly as they arrive. Too many manufacturers with no long term commitment over the last 10 years did a lot of damage to F1 imo.

      And as for your point about a Mercedes win = a Mercedes win? You do realise that this team has gone from being called Tyrell to BAR to Honda to Brawn to Mercedes in the space of 12 years? And they are based in England…

      1. sir bob says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more Diarmuid. Exactly my thoughts.

    4. Steve Earle says:

      I also completely disagree with you! What exactly did toyota & bmw bring to F1? and who misses them now they’ve gone?

    5. Murray says:

      [mod] They win more often than not against Ferrari, historically. Honda were a hugely successful engine supplier to the garagistes, yet Ross Brawn bought the serially unsuccessful Honda “factory” team, replaced Honda’s “complete package” engine with Mercedes’, and won the world championship in one year. Where do you get your theories from?

  6. JDOD says:

    If Porsche come back into F1 they will almost certainly IMO be supplying engines to McLaren in a similar partnership to the McMerc partnership today – convenient really seeing as McLaren and Mercedes Benz have just parted ways.

    Hmmm, I wonder who helped McLaren with the engine for the MP4-12C… that must have annoyed Mercedes Benz

    1. TheGreatCornholio says:

      The 3.8litre twin turbo V8 in the MP4 12C was built and developed with the help of Riccardo engineering (a british company:)).

      1. JDOD says:

        Ricardo have also done a load of transmission work with VW/Audi. I know they had something to do with the Veyron and think they were also involved in the Audi LMP1 cars

    2. Andy C says:

      The engine was a joint project with Ricardo on the mp4-12c.

      I’d like to see them take a stake in Williams.

      James,
      I keep hearing rumblings that mclaren may consider building their own engine in the new rules and engine regs. Do you think there is any weight in that?

      1. James Allen says:

        It’s a big investment…

      2. Richard Mee says:

        I’ve heard that too. They have plans for the road car business with new models coming in both above and below the MP-4 12 price level to fund such a move.

        (I wish they’d get on and change that bloody cars name btw, it’s so ‘Ron Dennis’. I respect him enormously but I fear history won’t understand why they called an exquisitely created, £150k, loinstirring, screaming V8 supercar something that sounds like a dishwasher. “Because that’s its name” (R Dennis, 2011) is unlikely to clarify anything 50 years from now. I wonder how many Marketing men he’s fired so far on exactly that point? I digress).

        Seriously though, MacLaren/Ricardo powertrains in F1; I’d love to see it.

      3. Andy C says:

        Funnily enough, the thing I like about McLaren is that they dont have to come up with a snazzy name (in fact its pretty much in line with their f1 car naming convention).

        What they are doing with this car is leading edge. They are letting the technology and the car design speak for itself.

        I drive past the MTC every day, and a couple of weeks ago I saw one of what I assume is a test mule MP4-12c going into the entrance. The pictures dont do it justice. It is absolutely sensational looking (right up there with the 458 in my opinion).

        James,
        on a semi related topic, Fiat have said they may consider selling some of their stake in Ferrari at some point. That really surprises me.

      4. James Allen says:

        Mmm. They already sold some to an Italian bank a few years ago. They said they might, not that they would

  7. JDOD says:

    Further to my earlier comment, diesel endurance engines are right up Audi’s street and they are already building up a reputation in endurance racing. “For sure”, Porsche have a great history in sports car and endurance racing but nothing lately, and certainly nothing diesel.

    Small capacity turbo engines seem like exactly the sort of thing that Porsche would go for, especially with some sort of KERS system which they could then filter down to their road cars.

    1. Jeremy says:

      they are currently using the Williams Flywheel KERS.

  8. Galapago555 says:

    Well, it seems that we will have some interesting stuff to discuss during the winter break…

    I personally would like Porsche to come back, as some of my first memories of F1 are linked with that turbo engines in the early 1980s.

  9. Guy says:

    Diesel,with the current greener thinking has made enormous strides in effeciencies.

    So, can somebody explain to me why diesel is not on the table as an option?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      And why not starting to think of electric engines as well. The future of F1 will be sustainable and environment friendly or will not be…

      1. Tim. says:

        …So bad to think that…:(

      2. JR says:

        Forget electric. 250 litres of current fuel — which would be enough for most races — represents more than 2,500kW hours of energy (electricity equivalent).

        The weight of modern high-performance batteries to store 2500kWh of energy (say, lithium Ion/Polymer) would be around 16 tonnes. I think that would make for a rather heavy F1 car.

      3. Mark V says:

        Those are some interesting figures.

        I’m not arguing for electric, but surely F1 cars of the past didn’t get 2500kWh from 250 litres of fuel so it’s hardly fair to expect electric motors to equal that performance this very minute, nor is it fair to expect current battery technology to be up to the same standard. They would have to improve substantially first. I do imagine swapping out batteries during a pit stop would be as quick or quicker than pouring liquid fuel in was, and pit stops with batteries would make for some interesting race strategies. More batteries for longer/fewer stints, or fewer batteries for faster lap times? Also, although batteries are indeed heavy, electric engines are not, and are much smaller too, possibly affording a reworking of an F1 car’s size and basic aerodynamic profile.

        While electric engines would probably be the toughest sell to fans in the history of F1, is F1 not now trying to encourage technologies that have real world applications? Certainly there can be no doubt that electric engines and batteries would be two real world applications that would benefit immensely from having F1′s brilliant engineers engineers scrambling to improve them.

      4. Red5 says:

        Surely a gas turbine could be used to generate the electricity.

        You don’t have to carry around big, heavy batteries to make a car go foward/fast.

        And what about other fuel cell technologies? If F1 has the biggest and best brains in the business I’m sure they could find a replacement for the internal combustion engine.

      5. Richard Mee says:

        The only way to really make a difference to the environmental cost of F1 would be to go to the track just down the road from the factories (i.e. Silverstone) and race there 19 times a year. Changing the race fuel to diesel whilst still flying small armies of men and equipment all over the planet every few weeks is nonsense. The environmental-impact equivalent of switching off the toilet lights in the coal-powered Power station. And this at the cost of changing the very essence of the sport to boot.

        Interestingly i’m sensing there’s a bit of a backlash against the diesels in the LMS at the moment. Sure, they’ve been winning a lot due to the rules not being quite even and the sheer cash Audi and Peugeot have thrown at it. But as well, I think everyone’s got over the initial excitement and novelty, and is starting to realise it’s just not the same.

      6. Galapago555 says:

        Anyway, the “flying small armies of men and equipment all over the planet every few weeks” is something necessarily related with any Worldwide event, and you can not avoid it unless, as you say, you make 19 British GP every year… :-)

        At the end of the day, in the next years we will see how F1 turns more enviromental friendly – or at least pretends to do it.

    2. Werewolf says:

      I know there’s political correctness standing in my way but I prefer my F1 cars not to sound like vacuum cleaners and smell like double-decker buses!

      1. Mark V says:

        The scream of an F1 engine is indeed a special sound, but electric F1 cars would be far from silent. Even alpine ski racers make a significant roar as they rip through the air at 70mph, so 24 F1 cars racing at 180mph together would make a LOT of loud noise, and it might also be fun to be able to hear the tires squealing for once, showing who is and who isn’t on the limit.

      2. Galapago555 says:

        It’s not a question of political correctness. I agree with you, I wouldn’t like a F1 car to sound like a vacuum cleaner. But I think that it will be hardly acceptable to waste such big loads of fuel with such a remarkable carbon footprint in, let’s say, year 2030?

        Therefore, I think that this – electric engines – “could be” the next big step to be taken by F1. And I agree with Mark V, it would probably be the toughest sell to fans in the history of F1.

      3. Lee Sharp says:

        As has already been stated the environmental impact of the cars going round the track is minimal.

        The real size of the carbon footprint is in the travel costs of getting the teams around the globe for the year.

      4. Mark V says:

        I don’t think anyone is pretending that is not the case so F1′s biggest contribution to saving energy will be as it always has been: leading the way with cutting edge technology that trickles down. Keeping F1 going takes a lot of energy but sometimes you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.

        That KERS is returning after a failed first attempt is a sign of developments to come. As with anything, the appeal of radical technologies such as electric engines (actually an OLD technology) may be hard to imagine, but then think back to what the average F1 fan in the 60′s was about to experience when wings began appearing on the cars.

  10. Rich C says:

    YES!! Bring back Auto Union!!

    It would be an awesome connction to the past. ANd unlike “lotus”, completely legit!

  11. Alexis says:

    1.6 turbos sound pathetic.

    1. How old are you anyway. Have you ever actually heard a turbo f1 car in person?

    2. Zobra Wambleska says:

      You obviously never heard the 1.5 L turbos from the earlier F1 era. They were fabulous.

    3. Andy C says:

      Some of the greatest engines in f1 history when 1.5 turbos. Including the most powerful engine ever seen in f1 (I’m pretty sure)..

    4. Pitmonster says:

      Sounds pathetic? 1.5 litre turbos produced well over 1000bhp in the 1980′s (in qualifying trim, at least).

      They also used less fuel that the current 2.4 V8s – today’s cars use around 230-240 litres whereas turbos were limited to just 195 litres in 87 and just 150 litres in 88.

      So they have the *potential* to be cheaper, more economical (or ‘green’ if you want to put it that way) AND be more powerful too? Plus they will actually be relevant to road cars, because most manufacturers are switching to small turbocharged engines. Sounds like a no-brainer to me…

      1. Alexis says:

        A lot of rose tinted specs here.

        We’re not talking 1000hp monsters – these will have LESS power than the current V8s (605hp instead of 750) and sound nothing like as good as the NA V’s. Turbos are gruff – noway will they scream like the cars as the moment.

        As for fuel and relevance – who cares? If I want to watch racing related to road cars I’ll go and watch BTCC.

      2. Andy C says:

        What ultimately matters is the performance. Presumably smaller block engines could also allow for a lower weight limit and therefore no real loss of performance?

      3. Werewolf says:

        A fascinating debate and one that seems age-dependent to some degree. As one who remembers the aspos pre-turbo, I have to say I rather a screamer than a whiner. But if the turbos were my first memory, would I hold the opposing view … I wonder?

      4. Murray says:

        That’s true. I liked the off-kilter mechanical noise V10′s made (from the in-car footage) more than V12 exhausts.

  12. PjT says:

    The next step in F1 powerplants will probably be electric, but some type of gasoline/alcohol is going to be the most accessible source of power allowing current levels of performance for at least the next 30 years.
    It would be interesting to see diesel (or some new pressure ignited) engine development, but that’s unlikely to happen in the current, strictly regulated, uncompetitive Formula 1

    1. JR says:

      Electric is a non-starter for the foreseeable future. See my comment at 9 above.

      1. Stephen Kellett says:

        He is clearly meaning electric derived from burning some other fuel, not a battery. You can be more efficient that way than just burning fuel in a (racing) car engine.

        If you just think of batteries when someone says electric you need to broaden your horizons.

        Of course then we’ll stupid debates about the size of the stereo fitted to the car to broadcast thunderous mock V8 sounds so the electric powered cars sound OK :-)

        I only mention this as Top Gear did an article about just this type of behaviour for road car users (and some people do do this if the article is to be believed).

      2. JR says:

        If he’s not talking about stored electricity then he’s talking about fuel cells, not electric cars. In F1, weight matters above everything and there’s no denser way of storing large amounts of electricity energy than in a liquid fuel.

        I can imagine a swappable battery power system eventually.

  13. Steven says:

    McLaren-Porsche(TAG) again? Sounds interesting…

    1. Jeff says:

      Perhaps Williams Porsche may be a more likely match-up, given McLaren’s long term tie-up with Mercedes and Williams’ flywheel links with Porsche.

      Porsche are a more likely entrant than Audi. Porsche could then concentrate their Diesel Engine marketing with Audi in LMP and push the mostly petrol-engined brand in F1.

      Jeff

      1. Cliff says:

        It’s not just the flywheel. Williams have had a lot of input into the new Porsche Hybrid Engines being rolled out in their future and updated model line ups. If FW can make the partnership work, theres every chance that he will get any future F1 engines…as long as Porsche don’t choose to start their own team. The other thing to remember is that the Porsche has gone through a tough time at Corporate level and it’s only just starting to settle down. Many German Companies have a specific structure that makes decision making at difficult or at best drawn-out affairs. Their structures tend to work and deliver profit, but F1 is a totally different beast requiring a mindset that to us on the outside has no business logic. I just wonder, would it not be better to be a supplier of engines rather than run the risk of ending up like BMW?

  14. TheGreatCornholio says:

    James, would i be correct in thinking that the Mercedes engine deal with McLaren ends at the end of 2012? Also, do you think that the 2013 McLaren may be powered by a McLaren engine?

    1. James Allen says:

      I recall it being longer than that. Five years starting this year, wasn’t it?

      1. Galapago555 says:

        James, you seem to be right:

        “As part a realigned long-term alliance, McLaren will continue to use Mercedes engines until at least 2015,…”

        http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/11/10221.html

      2. TheGreatCornholio says:

        My bad, i sit corrected!

      3. Jeremy says:

        I believe it was free engines till 2012 with the option to purchase till 2015

  15. Richard Bell says:

    4 cylinder 1.6 turbo engines would be logical because nearly all manufacturers have one. But I’ll be disappointed if it happens, I love the sound of a V formation engine, its individual tone screams power and speed to my ears before I even see the car. A V6 turbo engine was suggested once, that would be great, high revs and a whistling turbo, perfect.
    Although, if the 4 cylinder engine has a huge turbo with 1400BHP like the BMW’s in the eighties, I’ll be a happy man. Dream on I guess

    1. JR says:

      Why do some people think a 1.6 litre engine cannot be a V — or horizontally opposed for that matter? An engine manufacturer could make a 1.6 litre V8 or V10 that could rev to 20,000 rpm or more, with no problem, if they wanted and it seemed appropriate to meet the rules.

      With turbo or supercharging the only limiting factor on the power output is the ability of the materials from which the engine is made to stand the stresses.

      1. Alexis says:

        The only rumours we’ve heard refer to 4 cylinder 1.6′s

        :-(

      2. Jeff says:

        Even a high-revving 1.6 litre V4 would probably sound rather nice.

      3. Richard Bell says:

        A 20,000rpm 1.6 litre V10 no problem! Suggest that to the manufacturer’s, they could do with a laugh.

      4. Ajay says:

        Well, BRM did make a forced induction 1.5 litre V16 in the 1950′s. And that sounded awesome.

        It’s not ridiculous at all. Trying to make your racing engines SEEM road-relevant is ridiculous. (“Look! My hatchback has a turbocharged petrol engine just like an F1 car!” See how ridiculous that sounds?)

        Obviously a lot of R&D goes into a race car, regardless of the series, which will never make it into road cars. So when it’s not road-relevant why not make the cars look and sound good? (And yes, I hate the way this year’s cars look. Blasted snow-plough front wings, toy-car tail wings and horrible shark-fins. Ugh!)

      5. Stephen W says:

        Quite right,i seem to remember BRM produced a V16 from 1500cc,and as much as i think a 1.6 4 cylinder engine might sound a bit “weedy” i remind myself of Honda,s wonderful V2 1000cc VTR bike,which completely intoxicating.

      6. neil m says:

        The VTR was a dullard, the SP1′s and SP2′s were the mutts nuts. Tuned with loads of power at the top end rather than low end torque.
        But this isn’t the place to reminisce about how much better bike racing is…

  16. Tim Horton says:

    If i want to see 1.6L 4 pots racing around ill go to my local asda carpark after midnight. F1 is about power and glamour. Let them have 3.0 engines again, with no restrictions, but 4 per season. A mix of V8/V10/V12 would add some magic that we have been missing for a few years. Pretty much every manufacturer makes road going 3.0L engines, how many make 1.6 turbos? I dont see the relevance a 1.6L has to Porsche or Ferrari.

    1. TheGreatCornholio says:

      Within the next couple of years you’ll see all the major manufacturers producing them and many do already actually! Although F1 isn’t the technological tour de force it used to be car companies like Vw group are attracted simply because it means ppl who buy cars will associate F1 with their 1.6litre turbo golf and they can flog the link to death in glossy magazine adds! I’m pretty sure that BMW were running a 1.5litre 4cyl turbo in the 80′s that was putting out 1500Bhp!

    2. Werewolf says:

      Mem’ries! Whilst I love the sentiment, I guess the truth is outside factors will dictate F1′s future engine formula and 1.6 turbos have more everyday road and commercial relevance than large multi-cylinder, thoroughbreds.

      Remember the 1980s? Everything from the Porsche 911 to the humble Metro came as a turbo! I drove a girlfriend’s Montego turbo once (that was more than enough), I couldn’t believe it was possible to buy so much understeer in a single purchase!

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        ‘Lo again all. Back on air.

        BRM. Ahhhh. With all due respect to apologies to Ferrari, every BRM ever built sounded glorious, better to my ear than a Ferrari, especially the supercharged V16.

        Anyway, I just want to point out that maybe a 1600cc, 4-cylinder formula could bring in a greater diversity of engines than just VW-Porsche-Audi. I wrote a column that ran in Racecar Engineering a couple of years back, arguing for a motorcycle engine based F2 (ironically enough, that piece ran in the same issue that announced the current spec-formula F2. Ouch). That same idea can, and should, work in F1 as well.

        Motorcycle engines are ubiquitous in club and lower professional car racing categories. Suzuki’s 1300cc Hyabusa road bike engine, alone, has been tuned and turbocharged to exceed 600 horsepower. Indeed, ‘Busa engines (in various states of displacement and tune) and Quaife transmission combinations are as common in bike-engined cars as the classic Cosworth/Hewland set-up.

        Suzuki, Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, KTM and others all have outstanding racing engines (MotoGP, various Superbike series, NHRA drag racing classes, etc.) that produce 200 bhp or more without supercharging, all of them at 1200cc displacement or less. It is entirely logical to conclude that suitably enlarged and supercharged derivatives of any of these engines will produce power adequate to the task under the rumored F1 engine regs.

        I’d like to see a supercharged a Formula BMW (powered as it is by a 1300cc BMW motorcycle engine), or one of its numerous equivalents in various national series, used as a test mule for this idea. And I’d love to see such a Frankencar rock up to Silverstone and run an F1-caliber time (insert manic laughter here).

  17. Brian Kiloh says:

    Despite the McLaren-TAG past, I can’t really see Porsche linking up with McLaren as they will soon be making a directly-competing road car, BMW and Williams seemed to end their relationship on less-than-friendly terms and Porsche’s last involvement with a midfield team (Footwork) was a bit of a shocker so who do they team up with?

    Buying Toro Rosso would appear to be the cheapest choice if they are going for ownership but they would probably have to invest heavily in it – with the Italian base rebadging it as Lamborghini F1 would seem to be a more natural fit – when I think of Porsche it’s always sportscars that spring to mind.

    From a cultural, geographical and infrastructure viewpoint surely buying Sauber would make the most sense especially as it has proven that it is capable of building a race-winning car (and some dogs!). Also I can’t help but think that Peter Sauber would see a sale to VW as preferable to ensure the long-term future of the team (just don’t mention BMW…).

  18. Andy H says:

    1600cc turbo????
    Get real boys we all want big engines like the v10′s but we wont get them.
    James, whatever happened to Whitmarsh, Head, Stewart and many other’s suggestion that a 2000cc V6 turbo would be a better option and more importantly make a proper sound.This would be less stressed (less boost required) than a 1600cc and be in line with the making engines last theory.
    I think the engine has to be right and satisfy all parties ie the fans wanting an engine that sound right, give us a v6 perleeeese mister!!!!

  19. JimmiC says:

    Whilst I would be glad to see another engine in F1, I’d be saddened to see another famous name go. Please, if it happens, let it be a Williams-Porsche rather than just a Porsche.

    1. Steven says:

      I dont think anybody that buys WilliamsF1 will get rid of the name, they have too much history behind it. After Ferrari and McLaren, Williams is the longest continously running team in F1 today. (correct me if Im wrong)

      1. Werewolf says:

        A difficult one. I really hope Williams returns to the top but it has had a difficult few years and, if I’m honest, I think I’d rather the name disappeared than witness the sad death throes of Lotus or Tyrrell or BRM again.

        There’s readers who will only know Tyrrell and BRM from books and so it will be for many names in the future. F1 moves on.

      2. Werewolf says:

        Am I allowed to reply to myself? Better still, buy out Hispania!

        James, I’ve heard your performance in nearly holding Alesi has secured you the second car for Abu Dhabi …

    2. Damian Johnson says:

      Sincerely hope we don’t see Williams sell out to a foreign owned racing team. Williams can only be Williams if it remains an independent British racing team.

  20. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    That’s great news. Good to see manufacturer interest in F1 again. We will probably never again see a similar level of interest as we had in the mid 2000s.

    Just a small point James…the Audi logo that you are using is an old style logo. The new logo adopted is with “Audi” in a different font and larger rings.

  21. Michael says:

    It would be awesome to see Porsche in F1. With the new rules and 4-cyl turbos….I think it would be great to see Porsche tie-in F1 technology with a 4-cylinder engine and bring back the 914 for the masses. It would be a coup for Porsche. Make it light-weight, RWD and I don’t care where you mount the engine…just keep it under $45,000 US. No need for traction control or DSG either….straight up 6-speed manual transmissions to separate the men from the girls.

    1. Jeremy says:

      that was the 986/987 attempt.

  22. Werewolf says:

    Smaller capacity turbos will appeal to the manufacturers, especially if KERS and other future pointing technology is included, and also allow a nod towards improving the sport’s ‘green’ credentials. Personally, I would like a greater power output than appears to be being discussed.

    I would have thought the Porsche name, being the higher end brand, was the more likely for F1. It would seem to me to be counter-productive to have your Ferrari equivalent having a lower sporting profile than your Lexus. Also, in addition to sportscars, Audi is a major player in DTM which, virtually by definition, is outside of Porsche’s territory, and while Mercedes is currently combining the two (no wonder Haug has gone grey), sportcars and DTM is a better fit than F1 and DTM, particularly if BMW joins the latter, for a predominantly (prestige) saloon car brand.

  23. Hendo says:

    I think this is an ideal opportunity to remove major car companies from team ownership.
    Look at the way Honda, Toyota & BMW used and abused F1 in the last couple of years.
    My idea would be to have a separate championship for engine suppliers along side the drivers and team championships.
    Maybe have a smallish limit to how many cars a manufacturer can make per year – say 10,000 so that Ferrari (and maybe McLaren) would qualify as a team owner and an engine supplier.
    Might even stop the threat of a break-away series that destabilised the sport in recent times.
    By the way – this years engine supplier championship would currently be:
    Mercedes 589; Renault 516; Ferrari 353; Cosworth 57 (I think)

    1. Rich C says:

      While that would be interesting it would just confuse teams’ “strategy” more. Now they have to consider team and driver championships – and some days it seems they can’t get *that right – but add in engines…

      Remember the old saying – “the difficulty in agreeing on a place to go to lunch increases as the square of the number of ppl going?”

  24. Blair says:

    I’d love to see Audi in F1. Their motorsports teams are innovative and always seem to find something in a rulebook to use as their advantage. They have historically come in to a series and been ultra competitive from the start. Rally, Trans-Am, DTM, Touring cars, Le Mans….etc etc. Funnily, the Audi teams seem to either re-write the textbooks, or cause the re-writing of the rulebooks.

    The four rings have built their brand quite well recently compared to the other two big Germans, and I see modern F1 as a step up from Le Mans style racing for “bragging rights”.

    Obviously I’m not an expert at all, but I don’t really see the diesel focus as being a deal-breaker, since they still chose to race in a few series where quattro wasn’t allowed, and that is one of their most recognisable brand images.

    1. Rich C says:

      I agree Audi would be my choice too. People say “well they’re only diesel” – forgetting that they *made the diesel revolution at Le Mans happen! And I saw them change the entire ass-end of a car in 2 minutes – you dont get that kind of thinking in F1 anymore. If they can do that, they can do F1 proud.

      Their ingenious outside the box engineering is something needed in F1, where we need *substantive change, not millions of microscopic tweaks!

      And btw the reason imho that F1 is the way it is nowadays, with spec engines and spec floors and spec this and that is that nobody wants to try something new that might make them *lose! They’re not willing to go balls-out engineering for a *winner. No, the Corporation just doesn’t want to *lose. Totally defensive mindset.

  25. Mike W says:

    In terms of future engine developments and alternative power sources, perhaps Jaguar are showing the way with their new C-X75 concept that has been shown at the Paris Motor Show. The car uses two micro-turbines that weigh only 55lb (approx 25kg) each and are powered by almost anything from biofuel oil to LPG producing 95hp each. These turbines do not drive the wheels, instead they charge the batteries that power four lightweight electric motors which drive the wheels, producing a combined 780hp and 1179 foot-pound of torque.
    Oh and they sound like more like a jet airliner.

    1. Rich C says:

      That would be wonderful except for one little fact: they’re not going to build one.

      Which means they can’t. So its all PR BS.

      “Concept” cars at the show are just that: pie in the sky, wild blue yonder imagination, simple PR stunts, with no other redeeming qualities, that will never be built.

  26. anupam says:

    even to think about diesel in the f1 is too much, -the end is near! ;)

  27. Rich C says:

    I’d really like to see *some variation amongst engines! I just can’t *stand it when they legislate identical 8 cyl or 4 cyl or 3 1/2 cyl or whatever specs! Then they all spend a zillion bucks on microscopic tweaks but they still all look and sound the same. That sux.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Absolutely agree, mate!! Great point. A little variation could be fantastic, couldn’t it?

    2. Murray says:

      Too true. Duelling cam covers doesn’t excite me either. Renault innovated turbos and pneumatic valves. Sure, catching up costs money but I watch F1 because Renault’s cleverness gave them an advantage, not because they’re Renaults.

  28. Banjo says:

    F1 is definitely starting to look healthier now with talk of more manufactorers joining. The past few years have been worrying ones with teams dropping out at an alarming rate.

    James, if F1 is not profitable how do non-manufacture teams survive? You wouldn’t run a loss making business and an f1 team is essentially no different.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      I feel it is a signal that F1 is looking healthier when manufacturers consider taking part. I’m not sure they would, at least from a spectator’s point of view, be part of the improvement process.

      Audi/Prosche/whatever is not Ferrari.

      Historically we’ve had manufacturers enter and then leave, seemingly on a whim. Prosche all but destroyed Le Mans – going back a few yers I know but then so do I.

      The ones who have stayed to fight it out have been Ferrari, Williams and McLaren. One could argue, and with some justification, that McL were a new team with MP4 so is the baby.

      Teams dropped out in the past for a variety of reasons but over recent years there has been some suggestion that it was the FIA management that put them off. Or frightened them away. Todt, despite suggestions of doom and gloom prior to what passed for an election, is a different animal and might be able to attract new teams.

      VAG have stuck their noses in at this moment because of the new Concord agreement negotiations. They are trying to influence the outcome and they are not even in F1 at the moment.

      I can’t see them running in two senior formulae so it will probably be au revoir to the ACO.

  29. mawchi says:

    Thanks for another good story.

    off topic: James, what about the JA on Twitter?
    Are the problems almost solved?

  30. Ian Blackwell says:

    I’m not at all surprised … apparently Audi nearly entered formula 1 10 odd years ago and even bought a couple of formula 1 chassis for testing purposes. Perhaps the subsequent engine freeze drove them away that time. With its main commercial rival (BMW) now gone from F1 and Audi enjoying such success at LMP1 it makes more sense to use Porsche as the Volkswagen empire’s formula 1 brand. If BMW did come back or if Mercedes managed to reposition themselves commercially as a more dynamic brand, I’m certain a second team could be supplied with identical Audi badged engines.

  31. jan iposta says:

    Great news! Would be great to see them back to GP racing.

    One note about the “Auto Union carried Audi’s famous four ring logo” line. In fact –since it’s rebirth in the 60s– Audi carries the AU’s famous four ring logo and not vica versa.
    http://bursky.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/auto-union_poster.jpg

  32. Damian Johnson says:

    James,

    Do you think McLaren will think start to supply their own engines when the current contract expires in 2015?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m going to look into that

  33. Richard Hill says:

    This change in the regulations is a great opportunity to tailor the specification to align more closely with mass produced engines and systems to drive the technology advance, those who rightly say the major fuel usage is in the transport of all the hardware are missing this side benefit. Combined with allowing unlimited KERS usage F1 could really drive forward ‘economy with performance’ systems for city based vehicles that have a duty cycle not so dissimilar to driving around a race circuit.

    Obviously to avoid a situation like last year where running KERS wasn’t really an advantage it would be necessary to make its usage mandatory to achieve braking performance, one way might be to frame the regulations along these lines.

    - Limit the fuel tank size in conjunction with no in-race re-fuelling
    -Allow the use of ‘forecourt’ petrol or diesel fuel
    - Limit the effectiveness of the friction based total-loss braking systems

    To drive fuel economy by reducing tank capacity alone would probably result in everyone running turbo diesels. I don’t have a problem with this, but the spectacle would be changed considerably due the reduced noise, on the plus side it would reduce the nuisance created to non-believers living around the circuits. Rather like the appearance of the 2009> cars vs those of two years back, fans soon forget and accept the current as the norm. Anyone who has listened to a high output unsilenced diesel working hard will understand firstly it’s by no means silent, nor is it necessarily unpleasant. Perhaps by modelling fuel consumption at each circuit races could be ‘equalised’ by adjusting the lap count such that each required the same amount of fuel energy to complete ie economy and performance would be linked at every event.

    Limiting the size of the mechanical brake package and thereby it’s effectiveness would encourage the use of KE dissipation via whatever systems the teams choose to use. Another way might be to ban carbon-carbon composite brakes which for reasons of manufacturing cycle time and life are never going to be a practical proposition for everyday transport and simply place a financial burden on the teams to compete. Considering energy recovery systems it would be better to use KERS than say a retarder like trucks and buses use, which is a total loss and loads the cooling system. I would imagine for dynamic reasons it would need to be permissable to site braking devices to be shaft driven off the front wheels.

    F1 can help justify it’s existance in this way, the technology spin-offs could actually be relevant to road vehicles where right now there isn’t a recognisable link.

    I could see Audi / Porsche being really positive about going this route, however the big opposition would come from Ferrari who are not likely to want to develop diesel technology for their road cars and of course their voice in the FIA is disproportionately large as we all witness regularly.

  34. Seifenkistler says:

    Porsche had a great history in diesel engines. Living on countryside in germany i remember all these aerodynamical tractors from Porsche in their red colour. Each tractor builder had his own colour: Lanz- blue, John Deer green, Massey – red,…
    Same goes for Lamborghini: tractors before building sportcars

    Watching how the formula 1 champion will probably come to its title in 2010 i wonder if Porsche will go even more back in history than the tractor area. You become champion in 2010 in winning crashes with other drivers: their car breaks , yours survives.

    Didn’t Porsche design the Tiger Tank? And wasn’t that already diesel-electric? But the fuel, will the Tiger have enough fuel for a race even with its 1500 litre tank?

    1. Richard Hill says:

      Ha ha, very good, who said Germans have no sense of humour!

      Engines for armoured vehicles were my job til last year, you must be psychic… I think the average tank should be able to complete 2 hours without refuelling, not sure the blue flag would be quite as effective, great care required when lapping them!

  35. john g says:

    diesels are a long way off in F1 – it’s not going to happen. nor is electric, quite simply there is no better method of energy storage than fuel. plus, until electricity production is cleaned up, it does nothing for the environment – in fact, if you plug your electric car into a coal powered station, you’re actually harming the environment far more than any gasoline car would.

    as for everyone up in arms about the tiny engines, although the engine power is going to be down on current outputs (probably looking at 650bhp), KERS is going to have a much bigger impact and is not going to be artificially limited.

    the FIA recognise the fact that the cars cannot be emasculated in terms of speed or sound and that the racing ‘spectacle’ should be maintained.

    personally i think the sound of the current V8′s is already quite sad compared to the cars of the past and am quite looking forward to something a little different.

  36. Abir says:

    when ever we talk about cars and people mention Ferrari, i tell them about the PORSCHE Audi achievement over the years, The Le mans 917 Porsche, 959 with its Dakar, Audi with its UR Quattro, and the list goes on from GT1, GT2, GT3, and way deep into history with the Auto Union and so forth PORSCHE sets the bench mark for all super cars, i own a PORSCHE and am passionate about PORSCHE, i love Schumacher as a driver always, but still think PORSCHE should have been in F1 long time ago. show the world why all us PORSCHE owners say 2 words, “ONLY PORSCHE” time and time again! F1 would be good for them in a big way, F1 is the only reason FERRARI has stayed in business otherwise in all other races PORSCHES & AUDI RULE but in F1 its time for them to show the world they mean business and DOMINATE ALL!!!

    PORSCHE IS THE BEST AND IF THEY COME IN F1 THEN I AM WITH THEM ALL THE WAY, IF ONLY WE HAD SCHUMACHER AS WELL DOING HIS MAGIC IN A GERMAN CAR!!! it would hurt FERRARI :) wish him best of luck for next season. SCHUMI and VETTEL DREAM TEAM RACING FOR PORSCHE!!!

  37. Ward says:

    You might be an incredibly brilliant particular person!

    :)

  38. Ruth says:

    Components of an Car Insurance And The Law policy.
    The Office of Fair Trading. You probably don’t drive as much.

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