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Analysis of World Council decisions, 2013 engines and new F1 rules
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Analysis of World Council decisions, 2013 engines and new F1 rules
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Dec 2010   |  2:51 pm GMT  |  130 comments

Last Friday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council was the culmination of a lot of work behind the scenes and threw up some interesting outcomes on several fronts.

The sport is changing in significant ways and these decisions are a milestone on that journey. F1 always has to balance several requirements; to be entertaining, to be relevant and to be technologically innovative and there are big moves in all three directions going on at the moment.


On the entertainment side you have the moveable rear wing, which will mean that a slightly faster car should be able to pass a slower car without losing the chance in the aerodynamic wake. We will also see Pirelli evolving the tyres in a way which makes them central to the show, making more races more like Montreal this year where it was up to drivers and the team strategists to get the best outcome using tyres which were quite on the edge for the conditions.

2013 Engines
The news on the 2013 engine formula is the most significant for the long term future of the sport. This is all about the sport staying relevant. Many road car manufacturers are evolving their strategy towards electric cars and to direct injection turbo engines, of the kind the FIA has voted through – 1.6 litres. The FIA’s statement doesn’t actually mention the word “turbocharged”, but it would be pretty difficult to get 750 horsepower out of a 1.6 litre engine revving to 12,000rpm any other way! The F1 engineers understand it to be turbos, but there are some other ideas around including turbo compounding.

The energy regeneration systems will be much more potent, which is a good thing. The rate at which they can harvest energy and recycle it will double. Instead of the 60 kilowatts KERS will give next year, the 2013 engines will have 120 kW.

The target is a 35% fuel saving, which is around 60 kilos of fuel per car per race. That said the fuel consumption will still be only 7 mpg – a modest improvement on the just under 5 mpg currently and a long way from road relevant.

There have been discussions aimed at optimising the chassis rules to work with the new engine rules, to create far greater efficiency. So for example, reducing drag would be a highly desirable, giving the same speeds with less consumption and greater efficiency. Radical reductions in drag would allow you to reduce engine power and still maintain F1 speeds. Active cooling is another idea engineers are keen on. The senior engineers are meeting today in London to discuss this.

Ideally with a clean sheet of paper concept teams will need 18 months to work on it, so the chassis rules could do with being finalised by next summer.

With the subject of road relevance comes the opportunity for the manufacturers to engage with the sport as suppliers not just of engines but of drivetrains as well. The new rules on gearboxes which have to last five races and sophisticated energy recovery systems create a commercial opportunity for manufacturers like Renault, Mercedes, Cosworth and even Honda, who I’m told have been following the engine discussions closely, are quite likely to return in 2013 as an engine/drivetrain supplier.

Team Orders
The thorny subject of team orders has been addressed, according to the FIA World Council’s statement; “The article forbidding team orders (39.1) is deleted. Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions.”

In some ways this is worse than what we had before because it is so vague. The previous rule was unworkable, but at least it set out the principle that teams should not interfere -or be seen to interfere -with the order in which the cars finish. This is certainly valid for races in the first 70% of the season, but unrealistic in the closing stages.

After Ferrari invoked team orders at the 11th round of 19, there was an uproar from fans and media alike. The new rule seems to suggest that although team orders are allowed, a strongly negative reaction to a team order will cause the team to be charged with bringing the sport into disrepute. This could also occur for example if a driver pulls over in the final corner to let a team mate through. I think what this revision means is that the fans and media cannot point to a specific exclusion of team orders any more and that what is and isn’t acceptable will be sorted out behind closed doors at team principal level.

I’m also pretty sure we will see this rule tested next season, not by Red Bull who have stuck to their guns and say they will never favour one driver over the other. But Felipe Massa’s heart must have sunk when he read this statement. Although theoretically Ferrari hits a reset button at the start of 2011, it was pretty clear which driver was going for the championship. Will they play it the same way next year? It will be fascinating to see.

Driving standards
There were some controversial moments in 2010 where drivers blocked each other, raced in the pit lane and so on. There are some detail changes in the sporting regulations now to address some of those issues. Drivers must not overtake in the pit lane and when out on the circuit they must stay with all four wheels on the track at all times, and “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

This clarifies the situation and follows the incident between Vitaly Petrov and Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia. The race stewards, of which one will remain an ex F1 driver, have a range of penalties to hand out including any size of time penalty and at the extreme end, exclusion from the race or a suspension from the next race.

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130 Comments
  1. The expected “improvement” in fuel consumption from 5 to 7 mpg at a cost of countless millions of pounds/dollars/euros just shows what a nonsense the new engine rules are.

    As has often been said, the activity of actually running the engines represents a tiny proportion of the total CO2 emissions related to F1 so why is all this necessary ? :

    It’s just political correctness gone mad.

    I would much rather see a return to a completely free engine formula : we might even get a return to V12s which would sound fantastic ( some of us will remember the Matra F1 engine ).

    Realistically the simple alternative would be to just specify a maximum race distance and tank size for the car and leave engineers to come up with the best solution for engine type, layout, HP, fuel to be used and fuel consumption ?

    That would be truly innovative.

    1. Bevan says:

      I’ve said it before,the show bizarrely continues to worsen.Some continuity would see an improvement overnight.Every change listed for 2011 is just nonsense in my opinion.

    2. Darren says:

      Yep, I have said that for a while now. They know how long the race is, they should be given a fuel limit (an ambitious one) and a maximum engine capacity. Apart from that, nothing, go away and come up with what is best. The cleverest people will win. Although it seems childish I really think that having different engines making different noises improves the show.

      The sport is gaining increasing amounts of red tape. To quote a poster from this website “theres more freedom in an American prison”

      Although it is very easy to look back to the 80s with rose coloured glasses, I think there is much to learn from revisiting some of the regulations. Hugely powerful engines with a fuel limit, big fat tyres that fell apart if you pushed too hard for too long (providing the engine was still going) and enough aero to keep the car on the road but not so much that they can take most corners flat out. You can evern argue that under the road car relevance act, F1 aero does not help road cars, engine and tyre technology does.

    3. Jo Torrent says:

      Everybody knows that F1 isn’t going to consume reasonable fuel volumes. The idea is to make F1 work on technology relevant for car industry.

      How much the 4L turbo engines are going to help and how much is KERS relevant I don’t know but if F1 manages to help decrease fuel consumption even by 1% then it will be helpful and it will justify the move.

    4. Mark V. says:

      You are right. And wrong. Right in that it is hypocritical to strive for energy savings when the actual race cars use up a fraction of the total what it costs to keep the whole circus running, but wrong in how you underestimate the importance of developing energy efficient Formula 1 engines.

      Does reducing the emissions of an F1 car make a big difference overall in reducing emissions globally? Of course not. That is not the aim of implementing such measures. Where it WILL make a difference is the way these fuel saving measures are perceived by the public, many of whom were born after the days of unrestrained energy use and so have a lot less tolerance for greed and apathy than those of us who remember the monstrous engines of motorsport.

      If F1 can continue to make the cars faster while reducing energy consumption, that will go a long way towards justifying its existence to an increasingly skeptical public. That it takes far more energy to run the whole show is inconsequential; F1 engineers do not design the airplanes and the other commercial transport vehicles that F1 uses, they design race cars. Unfortunately this is not a talking point most fans or media would consider so it is inevitably not a priority.

    5. SteveH says:

      As I’ve written several times before, how about just allowing a certain energy per second of fuel, no matter what the fuel is? Allow the old toluene turbo fuel, allow diesel, allow gasoline, allow alcohol, or whatever, but regulate the heat energy/sec. If you want to run a diesel, run a diesel, but the limit is x ml. of fuel/sec. Do you want to run a turbo gas engine? Fine, do so, but here is the limit of gasoline @ s ml/sec. Alcohol? Okay, but y ml/sec. Then we might see some activity in regards to optimizing potential energy of fuel. Control the available energy/sec but let the rest be free. This would be a true green F1.

      1. DB says:

        If the fuels are restricted to “road-grade”, meaning the fuel company sells a minimum amount of it in service stations around the world, I’d back this idea fully.
        The reason for this is that there are gasolines and gasolines and that it would be really road-relevant.

    6. Steve Dalby says:

      The key to this is the term… relevant to the motor industry. Our car engines have become more reliable over the last few years because of the work in F1. Everyone know that this i snot about green but about allowing the manufacturers to obtain something in return for engines and support for the sport.

      Running the type of engine used in my car at 300Km hour for something like 8 hours (4 races?) will give great feedback to makers of my car engine that will do 100,000+ miles with the experience of extreme F1 development.

      Time to worry for me is when they run on electricity and not fossil fuels at all…

    7. Paul says:

      I don’t think the Hamilton Petrov ‘incident’ needs any clarification !
      If you watch a replay yo can see that Hamilton didn’t block Petrov, Petrov just followed Lewis Hamilton’s moves across the track.
      Only If Petrov had moved first and then Hamilton made his move would you have a case. There was no movement in the braking zone – so, no block !

    8. er,go says:

      Gotta be seen to be doin’ somethin’ man, don’ matter if it’s good or not. Jess preten’, them folks believe any damm thing.

      Damn plane trips use more juice’n the cars. An’all them spectators drivin’ theyse cars to the track and all. Not ta mention th’aerobatics by them jet planes suckin’ down the juice like there ain’t much left.

  2. Silverstone79 says:

    I hope that with this proposal for a radical reduction in drag that an F1 car still looks life an F1 car….no covered wheels or cockpits thankyou very much !!

    I think they should get out their old autocourse annuals and have another look at the Lotus 80 and Arrows A2 ground effect concepts…..downforce that does not bugger up the grip for the guy behind.

  3. Luca says:

    I’m going to reserve judgement on the moving rear wing – it will be interesting to see how easily it can be used within the constrains of the timing gaps (which the FIA will monitor and then signal when the gap is small enough between cars for it to be used)…. it will only take one or two issues to bring about a huge s**t storm in the media (esp if an issue effects a car racing against a Ferrair… can picture the haters queuing up already!)

    Also, in regards to KERS – i get it, its an effort to go green, but in the name of overall financial economy, would they be better off using a burst of higher turbo boost. And without KERS on a car it would weigh less, in turn needing less fuel for a race anyway….?

    I still believe they should set a limit for the energy consumption per race and then the engineers be able to use whatever they see as best to achieve maximum speed within those limits – be it petrol engines, turbos, kers, turbines, even dare i say it a diesel… who knows?!

    But the biggest worry at the moment is the driving regulation tightening – i appreciate safety is paramount – however, at this rate its doing nothing to encourage overtaking or ‘risk’ taking to make a move stick. Sounds like we are heading to scalextric championships not the GP racing of yester-year… hope i’m wrong though!

    1. hks7mgt says:

      i completely agree with the idea to limit the energy comsumption and then allow the engineers freedom to design their own system to achieve it.

      We’ll have inovation back in the sprot and in turn this inovation will be used in road-going cars of the future. I don’t know what designs in the past ten years have been used in road-going cars of today???

      But my heart remains with the use of electric powered engines. If you look at how we are heading with use of energy, most is powered by electricity and most of that is stored in batteries as well. So from continual pushing of electric based engine technology will boost the development of battery storage technologies (in relation to cars specifically – not using banks of laptop batteries), and especially working out a suitible and efficient electic engine/car design incorporating the regeneration technologies to make a car to go the distance. This will in turn assist with the long distance issues current electric powered cars face now.

      James, has there been any discussions on using electric engines in the future of F1 or are they too scared?

      1. James Allen says:

        That’s some way off.

      2. Born 1950 says:

        A hell of a way off. Last time I did the sums I worked out that even with the best batteries currently available a car would need to carry around more than 2 tonnes of batteries to cover race distance.

        Of course you could bring back refuelling — to change the batteries!

  4. leukocyte says:

    “deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track” – will this preclude the currently accepted practice of a driver “squeezing” his competitor off the outside of a corner when contesting a position?

    Has there been any official suggestion that Pirelli have agreed to limit the longevity of their tyres?

    1. er,go says:

      Response to barrichello/schumacher thing if you ask me.

  5. Bec says:

    Compound turbo charging was discussed, but it will probably be delayed until 2015.

    1. Andy C says:

      What is compound turbocharging? I know how turbos work, bit if anyone could explain compound turbocharging?

      Higher pressure?

      1. James Allen says:

        Good explanation on Wiki

      2. Andy C says:

        Thanks James.

  6. Andrew Tempest says:

    7mpg sounds relatively good to me – you’ve got to compare like with like. Have you tried driving a road car hard on track? I would expect a lot of cars will not get much better than 21mpg. And they’ll be much more than 3 times slower.

    1. Neil Jenney says:

      To your point Andrew my USDM STI gets 21mpg on a good day around town and close to 7mpg on the track!

    2. Richard M says:

      7mpg for a f1 car seems super efficient to me and also relevent to road cars because a road car is not going to be doing the speeds a f1 car does so if you can transfer the same type of efficiency from a f1 car to a road car then I am sure a road car could get easily over 50mpg.

    3. Nick F says:

      Also it’s worth pointing out that the fuel savings from increases in mpg are not linear. Saving 2mpg at the bottom end is a bigger deal than say going from 38 to 40 mpg. Much more fuel is saved.

    4. monktonnik says:

      Or to put it another way, I am pretty sure that the one of the Ferraris or similar tested at the Top Gear test track achieved something like 4 mpg at 400-500 bhp.

      7 MPG sounds pretty good to me.

      I drive a small capacity direct injection diesel car and the major problem for me is that whilst the economy is OK, the drivability of the engine is poor. Perhaps F1 can help there :)

    5. Gareth D says:

      Hi Andrew

      I drive a Scania Omnicity and those bad boys on a good day only does 5…….. and its DIESEL!!! Ha ha

    6. john g says:

      it’s not uncommon for performance road cars to drop down easily to sub 10 mpg on track – and something like the new ford gt40 will struggle to hit 4. even in my little mx5, i’ll get 12mpg on track (and probably closer to 4 times slower haha)

  7. Timo says:

    James — a few interesting questions come to mind. How would F1 cars in 2013 cope with turbo lag? Would manufacturers think of using superchargers instead despite its overall lower efficiency compared to turbochargers? Or perhaps a combination of the two (like the Lancia Delta S4 WRC car of 1985)? Also since turbochargers are powered by exhaust fumes, would their use adversely impact energy recovery systems such as KERS?

    1. S.J.M says:

      or Perhaps Twin Turbos, a small 1 for the low revs that feeds the bigger one and cuts the lag. I think BMW did this on their diesel a few years back. The Lack of mentioning if its turbo or not surley gives the engineers some scope to play with inorder to get that power.

      The Delta Super/Turbo combi worked and i believe was on 1.8 engine. i know its rumoured Henri toivonen set a time in his S4 that during a test in 86 at Estoril would have put him 6th in the ‘portuguese GP

      1. Timo says:

        The Volkswagen 1.4 TSI engine (2006) also uses twin charging (turbo + super combination) to achieve 170 HP at 6,000 RPM. This system eliminates lag while being extremely reliable.

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      1) I doubt you will see much turbo lag. WRC teams have solved the problem with efficient anti-lag systems.

      2) Superchargers won’t be used, as the benefits don’t outweigh the advantages. Too much power loss to drive the supercharger, whereas a turbo takes advantage of what is largely wasted energy.

      3) Turbos won’t affect KERS, as KERS regenerates energy from braking. The two systems aren’t connected (unless teams plan something new in the future.

    3. Robert says:

      They would cope with turbo lag by using compound turbo’s. One turbo is used to spool the other, giving you faster spool time and greater psi. The tractor pull guys in America have been doing this for sometime now to achieve 200psi.

      KERS was powered by the rear transaxle and brakes, not the engine. It used heat to create electricity. A turbo will be a goldmine of heat, so I’d think it’d only be beneficial to the overall package.

      I think the new engine formula will be greatly beneficial to F1, consumer auto technology and alternative power companies.

    4. Terry Shepherd says:

      Timo, modern-day road cars suffer very little from turbo-lag, due to clever features such as variable-angle turbo blades and you may be sure that by 2013 such designs will have improved even further.

      It’s true that big turbos running relatively slowly take time to spin up but small, high revving ones respond quickly. There are various techniques to keep the turbos spinning fast anyway, some are electrically driven. They don’t all need Ayrton Senna’s foot dancing on the pedals now, as he used to do to keep the car ‘on the band’

      As for the KERS aspect, the energy for that is recovered from the braking of the car, not the exhaust. You might do better asking what effect the turbo might have on blowing the diffuser.

    5. Kishan says:

      Turbo lag??????? this is the 21st century. Even porsche use ‘variable vains’ on their turbo to eleminate turbo lag on their road cars. Meaning the turbo spins up across the rev range and not just over 1800rpm as on my AUDI!!!

      I doubt this is an issue.

      1. Andy C says:

        I used to love the turbo lag in my car. It was like strapping yourself to a rocket. You know it’s going to go off, but you don’t know when.

        Modern turbos are nit as much fun :-)

  8. PaulL says:

    The problem I want the FIA to realize though is that under the present regs, the time gaps between the drivers are largely irrelevant. If you’re leading the race, I don’t see any good reason to push harder than you need to keep just ahead of 2nd place. Now, in the days of fuel stops, the guy behind might do you on strategy if he’s running longer or if he utilizes the first lap performance of the tyres after his stop (inspite of the heavy fuel load) so it always made sense to push. But if it’s all about track position only rather than time gaps to the car behind and ahead, and if the tyres are likely to be more “marginal” then there’s actually a probable disincentive to push during the race.

    I personally think too much is leveraged on overtaking. To overtake you need to be significantly faster than the guy ahead. But what about races that could be decided on a few tenths of a second like Bahrain 2006? I personally find a race that is decided on a hot inlap or outlap by less than a second as (if not MORE) exciting than one where an overtake occurs because typically if an overtake occurs one driver has a significant car advantage over another whereas two drivers can have even cars but, like Malaysia 2008, one can do a stunning hotlap and win it by a fraction. Mansell vs Piquet was an example of an exciting overtake which was a decisive factor in the race, but it was the flat out chase that Mansell put on which lead it to be as exciting as it was. We howl over how Ferrari switched their cars at Hockenheim this year, but quite honestly on a dry day, in the same car, and with no mistakes from Massa, how was Alonso supposed to get past the man who he outqualified by half a second? Hamilton couldn’t even do Kubica for 2nd at Abu Dhabi despite having fresh tyres, possibly the best F-Duct and, almost certainly the fastest Mercedes engine.

    Now, if they aren’t going to reintroduce fuel stops then I want the FIA to consider how they can make a race dynamic thing that the viewer can work out in his head as it goes along and witness as it unfolds. And let me argue too that it’s better to have drivers attacking with laptimes as much as possible. I’m a great Alonso fan, but I was pretty bored when, in Singapore, Vettel radioed his team to say “I am not pushing”, followed by him pitting once and on the same lap as Alonso and for TWO HOURS waiting for Alonso to make an error because there wasn’t apparently any other way past.

    With the adjustable rear wing exclusively for the pursuant it seems they have brought in a greater chance for overtaking albeit via artifice, but are we likely to witness close racing in 2011 and beyond?

    I’ll leave you with a commentary quote from James. “On the tightest of margins are Grand Prixs won and lost”. You have to ask yourself, does that still hang true?

  9. Lilla My says:

    I thought that weaving when defending your position was forbiden in 2010. How is it different now? Is there any exact change in the rules or will it only be punished more severely?

    On not leaving the track: is the white line that limits the track its part or not? And what does leaving the track mean – is it like in tennis that if a part of the wheel is on the line while the rest of it is outside then the car is “IN” or that if a part of a wheel is outside of the line (even if some part of it is on the line) then the car is “OUT”? And if a driver overtakes another car with, let’s say, only one wheel or half of one wheel on the curb and the rest on the track, is the manoeuvre legal or not?

    On team orders: I don’t think it changes anything really. IMO they are theoretically approved, but the obvious cases (like “Fernando is faster than you”) can still “bring the sport into disrepute”, so I guess we will stay with the “save fuel/engine” radio transmissions. This year WMS Council was unable to prove Ferrari to have used team orders, so they were fined only for bringing the sport into disrepute; I think in 2011 it will be only more complicated as they won’t be able to judge somebody for using allowed team orders but only for the, let’s call it, improper behaviour which is more difficult to judge and distinguish than the team orders. So, I guess, if some team (like Ferrari this year) tries to use the fact that the team orders are no longer banned to its limits, then the whole thing and its evaluation will only be more confusing.
    And I don’t think Ferrari will back one driver from the very beginning. However, I do believe that they will do so, once one of them proves to be faster and more competitive than the other (whichever driver that is). So I guess they should have a fair start to the season, while later on the team will start favouring one of them (I think that was still the case this year, though they made up their minds about their no. 1 quite soon). I think that’s the Ferrari way of functioning.
    Nevertheless, I would much prefer all the drivers in all the teams to be able to sort it out on the track, so I’m happy that at least Red Bull (and probably McLaren) are willing to do so (from the top teams).

    1. Philip Taylor says:

      Sporting Regulation 20.3 states: “Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges
      are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.
      A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track”.

      I think the key bit is “NO part” remaining in contact which means nothing changes because drivers bumping over kerbs will have some part, usually two wheels, still on track.

      1. Lilla My says:

        Thank you very much, I didn’t have time to search for it myself. So I guess we have to wait and see if that changes anything in practice or just makes the stewards’ and drivers lives more complicated and confusing ;-)

    2. Boston F1 Fan says:

      - It isn’t that weaving is not allowed, it’s that you’re only allowed to make one defensive move and, technically, Hamilton made lots of them. However I still don’t think it counts as it was clear that the Renault was FOLLOWING Hamilton as he weaved around, as opposed to finding a gap and squeezing through. Hamilton was trying to break the tow, which I think is fun to watch.

      1. Lilla My says:

        I was thinking about one defensive move when I wrote “weaving”. I looked through 2010 Regulations and the new ones and now I see that the Article about driving is enlarged. What I meant is that (though I can’t find it in 2010 Regulations) I thought that it was the same – one defensive move was allowed in 2010 and not more. So was I wrong about the 2010 rules or will the cases like that be considered more closely by stewards and punished more often (than in 2010) now that it’s clearly written down in the Regulations?

        On Hamilton vs. Petrov – I actually didn’t think that Petrov was able to attack Hamilton anyway, so I think it was o.k. that they left it like this and Hamilton wasn’t punished.

  10. Shane says:

    All four wheels on the track at all times? So no more running up on the curbs then? I highly doubt this will be enforced. Maybe when there is a position being contested a driver will be penalized for putting a wheel or two on the curbs?

    1. jonrob says:

      No, that is not it at all. It is quite clear!

      “20.3 Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

      A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.”
      So in fact it is like tennis as mentioned above in Post#9 by Lilla My.
      So just one bit of one wheel touching the white line is ok.

      1. Shane says:

        But the article that James just posted states that one of the changes to the sporting regulations is:

        “… when out on the circuit they must stay with all four wheels on the track at all times, …”

        Which is why I was wondering how they plan on enforcing that. They don’t even enforce the current rule, which you accurately described.

      2. Turbolag says:

        That isn’t the current rule that jonrob described, it’s a new one. James has got it wrong this time. Unless he knows something we don’t ;-)

      3. Trent says:

        Yes, I can’t see that working well. To expect the drivers not to out two wheel on the kerbing on the exit of a corner is to expect the impossible.

  11. ian says:

    ‘Drivers must not overtake in the pit lane’

    but presumably they can be side by side? You are not overtaking.

    ‘and when out on the circuit they must stay with all four wheels on the track at all times’

    except presumably when forced off of it by a seven times world champion?

    1. jonrob says:

      No he/they are not allowed to do that any more:
      “20.2 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are
      not permitted” Also see my post in response to 10 above.

    2. Kishan says:

      Nope that was covered under the ‘crowding of cars’.

  12. James,

    Thanks for the article. I understand that the purpose of the movable rear wing is to give a faster car a better opportunity to pass a slower car through boosting the pursuing car’s straight line speed. What measures will be taken to ensure the benefit to the chasing car isn’t so great that it allows slower cars to pass faster cars – after a safety car bunches up the pack, for example?

  13. JDOD says:

    Generally pretty happy with that lot.. although I think the limits on the KERS system are wrong. Instead of limiting the power it can produce, they should limit the total allowable weight of the KERS system but with unlimited power. I think this gives the engineers more scope to be innovative.

  14. Robbie says:

    F1 is dead! Senna must be turning in his grave!
    Many of the rules mentioned above are pathetic!
    F1 should be safe yes but it should also be an all out wild animal that a great driver can tame long enough to win a championship.

    1. Robbie says:

      My main concern is this:

      ” Drivers… when out on the circuit…
      must stay with all four wheels on the track at all times, and “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

      Next they will be banning overtaking…

      1. Robbie says:

        Based on the comment below, maybe I’m wrong. I hopw so. Go Vettel!

      2. devilsadvocate says:

        Yeah, it really seems more like they are trying to keep a Hulkenberg-Monza incident from happening again where he cut the chicane 3 times because he was pushing so hard to keep Webber behind without ever receiving a drive through. True he didnt gain a position but almost certainly would have fallen to Mark sooner if he had driven in a way to take the chicane. Someone mentioned this earlier in different wording I think. Basically seems like they are adding a you cannot gain a position nor keep a position by running off track. Thats how I read it at least, James can maybe clarify, the wording is a little complicated in my opinion

  15. mvi says:

    I can’t find where it says all 4 wheels must be on the track. Article 20.3 says rather that all 4 wheels can’t be off the track:

    “20.3 Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

    A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

    Should a car leave the track for any reason the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.”

    1. Andrew P says:

      Leaves Hulkenberg with no chance next year at Monza if he gets a drive.

  16. John Player says:

    The reaction after Austria 2002 was blind and rushed, so allowing team orders is right. Article 151c should not be a problem here. How can legal moves still bring the sport into disrepute?

    More strict tolerances on dirty driving is great. Sadly it took them so many years, spoiled with controversies, to finally act. Drivers seemed to spend more time hoping on kerbs and using tarmac run offs, rather than driving on track.
    On the other hand, the rulebook can say many things. “Range of penalties to hand out including/—/ exclusion from the race or a suspension from the next race”- that is too much power for stewards, considering how inconsistent forcing the rules has been so far. We shouldnt hope much from that.

    The engine situation…
    I dont care too much about what noise or whisper these new turbos are going to make. I have always thought that when doing sports, it is not necessary to yell and make noise at the same time. The development race of the new engines is probably going to increase gaps between teams, leaving less responsibility to drivers.
    Some manufacturers have suffered for years only because their engine was crap when they were homologated. Slight reshuffle would be fair I think.

  17. Scott says:

    I have never understood the complaints about the Hamilton incident in Malaysia. Hamilton moved several times, but Petrov followed, trying to stay in the slipstream.

    1. ESLKid75 says:

      I’m with you. Yes, he moved several times, but it’s not like he was trying to block the guy. He was more trying to shake him off his tail. So that didn’t shock me.

      I’m afraid that this new regulation would mean that Hamilton would need to move over for Petrov, which does not sound fair.

      Although I guess now Petrov could use the moveable rear wing to pass Hamilton, who had just passed him.

      It’s gonna be interesting to see how it unfolds.

  18. malcolm.strachan says:

    Do we know what the limits to KERS will be?

    Perhaps instead of a turbocharger compressing the intake air, we will see the same turbine in the exhaust but connected to a generator to help drive electric motors or charge batteries.

  19. AJIndy says:

    I’m trying to figure out what “active cooling” is.

    1. Rickeeboy says:

      ACTIVE COOLING

      My interpretation James would be –
      At present we have a big radiator cowl and radiator to ensure the engine stays cool in the HOTTEST of conditions. Active cooling would change this – This would investigate ways where you could control the required cooling versus the temp of engine ….. IE cold conditions you don’t need such a big aerodynamic inefficient cowl. ( Makes sense as it would on a normal road car to improve efficiency )
      Let me know if this wrong James.

    2. Luca says:

      active cooling would mean a fan or some such device is being used to aide the air flow for cooling purposes. As it stands all the cars are passive as the only cooling comes from the air passing over/thru the car as it moves forward.

      I guess the side effect/benefit of active cooling is that the fans could be used to ‘suck’ the car to the ground in the guise of cooling

      1. Warren Groenewald says:

        Another benefit is more efficient aero with smaller intakes in the side pods.

      2. Ian says:

        Maybe you could have a fan in each side of the car (in the sidepod) work like a propellor. So it doesn’t just suck in air (to cool the engine and other parts), but also help provide addition propulsion for the car.
        Which should prove interesting.

      3. Born 1950 says:

        No! No! That would be ground effect which is banned. After the Brabham fan car innovation there was a rule put in to stop any mechanical means of sucking the car down to the road — I’m sure someone will be able to tell us what the rule actually says (?.)

  20. jonrob says:

    Where there seems to be a slight difference to this year is:
    “Should a car leave the track for any reason the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.” Whereas this year he was not allowed to rejoin and by so doing regain a lost position, this may be covered in the Int’l Sporting Code (As distinct from the F1 Sporting Regs) Of course retaining a position may be seen as gaining an advantage, I suspect it depends on the Stewards of the day, they let Alonso off a very obvious breach during this season.
    In most cases a simple addition to the likely “Off Track” route would obviate the need for the rule, a zig-zag course around speed humps would negate any need for adjudication on the matter and be easy to install.

  21. Lalit says:

    James,

    I have a couple comments / concerns -

    1. For the team-orders issue, i just don’t see how anyone can stop them from happening (in the era when they were banned) or say its wrong what happened and point to a specific point in race (in 2011).
    Look at how Ferrari orchestrated team orders in brazil 2008… you just can never know, so is this what its supposed to be? (secretive and hidden)?
    I would much rather that they are allowed without being overboard like a car slowing down others, for the sake of his team-mate… or dare i say, even crashing into someone else… But both of those can be hard to prove with telemetry data.. so why have these complications??

    2. This one is about the driving etiquettes – what happened between schumi and barichello in hungary – is very hard to stop, since there was only 1 change of direction.

    1. Michael T says:

      Yes but crowding off the track is also mentioned so the Schumi incident is covered in the new regs.

  22. Martyn Wheeler says:

    F1 has always been fuel economy relevant. Racing is about getting the most power from the least weight of fuel — and so is fuel economy. If the FIA really wants to benefit road car technology, they should open up the rules to where they were in the 80′s, allowing different engine configurations and technology to be tried against each other to advance the science of efficient engines.

    Making F1 engines reflect road car engine technology is the wrong way around. F1 should be pushing the engineering to the next unforeseen development in road car technology. That’s what would drive the pace of CO2 reduction and fuel economy. As it is, the FIA just wants F1 to develop durable carbon fibre horseshoes instead of replacing the horse with something better.

    1. Absolutely right.

      We need a F1 with a free formula rather than ever-more rules which ensure that the cars are very similar in looks and performance characteristics.

      This is one of the many problems that lead to a lack of overtaking.

      Why not let the designers loose with a minimum number of rules that relate to the car, built around a common safety cell :

      Min/max race distance with maybe one tyre stop.
      Minimum weight including driver
      Tyre sizes, front and rear
      Open wheels
      Maximum fuel tank capacity

      Just imagine where Adrian Newey’s imagination might take him with these simple restrictions.

    2. er,go says:

      Good onya mate. Anyone one’d think engineers are fools. Course they’re working on efficient engines. They started (again) as soon as refuelling was banned. Speed is all about power to weight ratio, all you have to do is keep squeezing that ratio and you’ll get economy of fuel consumption.

      What are we after here? Economy of fuel consumption. Thought so.

  23. Alexis says:

    If relevance is so important why don’t they fit them with headlights and air conditioning?

    If I want muffled farting vehicles that look like my road car I’ll go and watch BTCC.

    F1 2013 will be pathetic.

    1. er,go says:

      These blokes are rich so they’ll be wanting a vibrating, heated leather seat as well. That’s relevant. Make it a rule.

  24. Steve Rogers says:

    I wish that race-fixing had been banned with more more carefully-worded regulations rather than allowed again. I hope that fixed results are strictly regarded as bringing the sport into disrepute.

  25. nick says:

    James, I don’t quite understand your point about reductions in drag: “reducing drag would be a highly desirable, giving the same speeds with less consumption and greater efficiency”. That assumes that speeds remain the same and therefore fuel consumption will go down. Surely what would happen is that fuel consumption would remain the same, and speeds would go up. The speed will only stay the same if it is artificially restricted; are you implying that is on the cards?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, with less drag you can have smaller capacity engines using less fuel to achieve the same speeds.

      1. giorgio0078 says:

        Ok, that’s absolutely right, but doesn’t this concept mean just lower downforce with slower cornering? or could it be achievable by the ground effect?

      2. Born 1950 says:

        Seems to me that, unless I’m missing something, what James has written doesn’t actually make sense. A smaller engine capacity using less fuel will produce less power — correct. But your article says we’ll still have 750hp, James, which with less drag means higher top speeds — as Giorgio suggests. A bit of clarification is needed I think.

  26. Gary says:

    It’s a bit of a farce … they’re playing around with ‘tricks’ like FIA-controlled movable wings and tyres that are made to not last, to enable faster cars to overtake slower ones!

    What they should be doing instead is to get the cars redesigned to allow cars to race when close to other cars, by cutting down dramatically on the aero (it’s SOoooo expensive, and makes big differences to the car’s times in ways that the spectators can’t see), and give them tyres that are progressive, don’t pollute the off-line track with marbles, and need longer distances to slow the car down in … I want to see drivers racing their pants off and making their cars dance, showing their skills to everyone, instead of more and more being just operators of their machinery, whose performance is dictated by the amount of money the team spent on it.

  27. Bollo says:

    I think the lack of information re the 2013 engines is quite interesting. At this point in time it allows an amazing amount of possible innovation with configurations, boosting and regenerative power.

  28. Richard M says:

    Surley with the moveable rear wings then if cars are close to each other then the one behind is easily going to get overtaken on a straight which could lead to the car in front purposly conceding position in a corner leading onto a straight so he can easily repass on the straight to maintain position.

    1. Richard M says:

      *easily going to overtake on a straight

  29. Lockster says:

    I agreethat it is a little ridiculous but lets put a different spin on it… If the major manufacturers can only justify the F1 budget if there is a “percieved” relevence then it is still worth doing bexause if there’s no funding, there’s no F1.
    Besides i’m actually interested to see what the F1 engineers can acheive in making more efficient technology, i think it will add a whole new area of development and competition.

  30. Christopher Snowdon says:

    James would honda come back as Mugen or as Honda? Possible Mclaren tie up there?

    1. James Allen says:

      As Honda I would imagine

      1. Andy C says:

        Would be great to see them back in F1 as an engine supplier.

        They are one of the manufacturers that belongs in F1!

        You have to wonder what might have happened in 2009 if they had not pulled the trigger.

        If a good engine makes half a second per lap, they’d have been in with a chance of a constructors and WDC.

        Always ifs and buts…

      2. unoc says:

        James!!!, related question I have really wanted answered by someone with f1 knowledge for a while.

        Q: There are Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Cosworth engines in f1 currently, but due to the engine dev ban there are also 3 others up to current spec, (Honda, BMW and Toyota). Why would teams like Williams go from Toyota to unknown and untested Cosworth? And why would all 4 new teams (USf1 included) go for cosworth?

        and pt 2. I heard a rumour during last year that the FIA wanted all new teams to indicate they want Cosworth engines as part of a deal with cosworth, is that true/as true as ferrari’s team orders this year/false/etc..?

        Mereceds have managed without a Mercedes team in F1 (share in mclaren only) before now, and Renault will run the engine for RedBull and Lotus without a Renault team, so surely BMW/Honda/Toyota wouldn’t mind leaving a few already trained engineers at ….. to run already fully developed engines.

        Sorry for the !!!, I asked elsewhere, but I think you must have missed it, and it seems something so obvious and something atleast my friends and Ican’t work out.

        Thanks so much if you could answer that! Been on my mind since williams went with cosworth

      3. James Allen says:

        1. Cosworth was a good value deal for them. Honda, BMW etc shut down the engine operation so no staff to run it. Toyota kept some people on but the engine wasn’t the best, not powerful and quite heavy and Williams thought Cossie a better bet.

        2. There is some truth to that, Cosworth needed four customers to make the programme viable, but as you see, Lotus has now switched to Renault, so it’s clearly not compulsory

      4. unoc says:

        THANK-YOU so much for answering!

        Sounds so strange though that Williams would go for unknown quantity over Toyota. Perhaps some money from elsewhere guiding their hand given what you have said about cosworth needing 4.

        thanks. Makes sense about honda, bmw only left last year though so surely they still have the mechanics trained up and their engine didn’t seem too bad. Oh well.

        thanks once again.

  31. Greg says:

    All of these nonsensical so-called “green” initiatives in F1, other FIA governed motorsport, and the geo-political arena as a whole are nothing more than pathetic attempts by the world political elite to trick the masses into believing that the sky is falling because man-made CO2 is a pollutant (which it is not) and that we must accept radical changes to our lifestyles and interests or risk giving them up entirely.

    When you wake up to the facts that…

    …the UN/IPCC is full of liars and frauds, (Anyone remember Climategate?)

    …that WE LIVE ON A PLANET with a naturally occurring variable climate and not the starship Enterprise where it’s 85 degrees F year round,

    …that ONE (1) VOLCANIC ERUPTION is capable of producing MORE CO2 THAN ALL RECORDED HUMAN ACTIVITY EVER,

    …that the hypocritical global elites pushing this “do without” agenda have more cars, jets, yachts, women, castles, mansions, power, wealth, etc than the poor dumbed down rabble have fleas,

    …that you realize the notion of 1.6L four cylinder ‘low carbon’ turbocharged Formula 1 racing engines and roving electrocution deathtraps is farcical at best.

    The time is ripe for a true free market form of minimal restriction motorsport to replace F1, and for brave automotive journalists to admit that the current pinnacle of motorsport and its governing body is nothing more than sham and a tool of mass propaganda.

    Get a clue people. It ain’t hard.

    1. Les says:

      Obviously F1 is your prime concern when writing this!

    2. mvi says:

      You may wish to do some googling for facts before making statements such as:

      “…that ONE (1) VOLCANIC ERUPTION is capable of producing MORE CO2 THAN ALL RECORDED HUMAN ACTIVITY EVER”

      The science does not back you up. Volcanic activity produces less than 1% of total yearly CO2 emissions from human industrial and transportation activities. A volcanic eruption doesn’t even create a spike in the total measurements. (Volcanoes do have some other effects which are fascinating.)

    3. Robert says:

      Love it. Reminds me of a conversation I had yesterday where someone told me i didn’t live in a democracy, and I just hadn’t noticed all these years.

  32. Carlos Del Valle says:

    James, you said “That said the fuel consumption will still be only 7 mpg – a modest improvement on the just under 5 mpg currently and a long way from road relevant.”

    But I think a F1 engine is very efficient, with very lightweight parts etc. The cars as whole is thirsty because of downforce – let’s not forget that these beasts could run on the ceiling of a tunnel from 200 km/h onwards, and that is pretty expensive in terms of fuel consumption

  33. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    The engine changes are really getting me down.

    A turbo charged engine that brings on power in leaps, rather than progressively, is hardy relevant for road use.

    I hope that F1 is not going to turn into the Toyota Prius Challenge Cup.

    1. Andy C says:

      I’m hoping the changes are positive, in that in encourages a couple of more manufacturers (sorry engine producers), back to the sport.

      I doubt very much any one of them is willing to come back in with Mercedes, Renault so well settled in the sport.

      I’m not actually against the turbo idea, but what I dont like is the long life nature of the engines.

      Are we going to start seeing such long life engines that they never fail, and therefore no boundaries are being pushed.

      One has to question, how many of these changes that keep being made are being made for the sake of improving the sport, and how many are just gimics. The rear wing thing to me is more playstation than F1.

  34. Nic Maennling says:

    My beloved sport is being micromanaged to death. Tell you what, how about a cap on the finances as the ONLY rule (apart from all the safety stuff) ?

    The new rules will produces the same kind of squabbling we have now, only they will be slightly different. I can hardly wait.

    Cheesed off for the winter,
    Nic

  35. Trent says:

    If you’ve never been to a GP with normally aspirated engines, make sure you get to one before they’re banned. The sound of an F1 car will never be the same again!!

  36. redfive says:

    James, I always thought you a bit of a [mod] when you used to shout in that fake manner in a vain attempt to step into the giant shoes left by Murray Walker, however I was hoping that in this non vocal medium you might have at least spoken some sense from time to time. Alas my hopes were dashed.

    What I don’t understand is how you or most other commentators of our once great sport can’t see that constantly changing the rules of the sport only serve to diminish the show and more importantly its credibility as a World Class sporting spectacle. When was the last time FIFA changed fundamental rules in Football? You can look at teams’ records today and by in large compare them with great teams of yesteryear; not so with F1.

    Not only do the technical rules keep changing but even the scoring system!! And for what. If you were to award points for this season based on what I consider to be the classic 10,6,4,3,2,1 of the 1990′s and early 2000s the final standings would read as follows; Vettel 84, Alonso 81, Webber 76, Hamilton 76, Button 62; in short then, exactly the same!

    As for the latest installment of the now annual changes in technical regulations, what in the name is the rationale behind this ridiculous moveable rear wing? How can you sit there and type codswallop like…..
    “On the entertainment side you have the moveable rear wing, which will mean that a slightly faster car should be able to pass a slower car without losing the chance in the aerodynamic wake
    …without so much as a mention of the utter nonsense behind having some FIA computer deciding when and where a driver may use moveable wing?? Or how about a mention about the KERS system whose use will no doubt be computer governed again by FIA race control??? Or the continuation under Pirreli of the mandatory use of two compounds?????? why??? The whole thing is so manufactured it is not funny.

    Where have all the purists gone? James, you have immersed yourself in our sport for your entire adult life and yet are you seriously trying to tell me that this pathetic gesture is the best ‘analysis’ you can come up with? Seriously?

    You were were around in the 1980s and 1990s; the ‘hay days’ of our sport; has it never occured to you, what it was exactly that made the sport such compelling viewing back then?

    Yes in Senna, Prost, Mansell, and Piquet we had some fantastic characters, but it was the sport that enabled them to become characters, it was the simplicity of the sport that enabled them to become heroes. You chose your tyre compound and set off on a race to the chequered flag. If you gambled on the gripier softs you ran the risk of having to make multiple pitstops, if you took the less grippy hards you tried to make your track possition count at the end. This lead to some epic battles such as Silverstone ’87 or Hochenheim ’92, where on both occasions you had a lightening fast Nigel Mansell on fresh rubber hunting down Piquet and then Senna on used in the closing stages…..you had this situation because on both occasions Piquet and Senna were not mandated to make a ‘fake’ pitstop in order to use the ‘green rimmed option tyres’….I mean what is that???! Retarded that’s what it is.

    Please James, get your head out of your [mod], think for once and give this blog some purpose……

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ve written before on what I think of adjustable rear wings – I think it’s debatable whether it crosses the line into artificiality. There is an analysis of them and how they work coming up on the site soon.

  37. Robert says:

    I always think the problem with the four wheels on the track rule is about the definition of gaining an advantage. IS staying in front of someone due to cutting a corner not the same as overtaking them (not literally but practically as it prevents that person having a position). The only way it will work is if the stewards are consistently harsh.

    1. Stevie P says:

      I have the same worries Robert over the consistency of decisions for the “four wheels on the track” rule. I can see a lot of bickering and petulance from the drivers about this… so n so got away with it at race four, but so n so didn’t at race seven etc, etc.

      We have so many sensors in the cars these days… there must be a way to “sensorise” this issue too (after all we’re gonna have sensors to determine whether you can “deploy the over-taking wing” or not, aren’t we?); have a device that counts how many times the whole car is outside the white lines; have stewards know which corners are more likely to be attacked, thus the chances of the car leaving the track are increased and “steward” accordingly. 2 “hits\beeps” on the sensors and you’re warned, a third occasion and you’re penalised etc, etc – vary it for certain tracks too. At Monza this year, some drivers were continually outside the track (all 4 wheels) exiting the Variante Ascari onto the back straight – no-one was penalised. Sure the stewards had said they’d turn a blind eye to it… but hold on, they’re outside the track!?!?!? So I won’t be holding my breath…

      Hey you could even “sensorise” the engineers so that they can only be within a certain range of the car for a certain amount of time. Heck, we could take it the whole hog and stop the race for a TV replay of said car leaving the track and then have the cameras zoom in as the driver and steward debate the replay, using Hawk-Eye etc… you get 2 challenges! ;-) Ok, so I’m being flippant – ha ha.

      As for the rest of it, well although some tech does dribble down to road cars from F1 – a lot doesn’t. For me, I always view the “green” issues within F1 as purely as being seen to be green – as that’s the big buzz at the mo (we’ve gotta be green \ sustainable etc, etc). Supposedly we were having budget cuts and caps, but my word the amount of development last year certainly gave me the impression that cuts\caps didn’t exist.

  38. Paul Mc says:

    James it’s pretty clear from the constant rule changes and regulation changes that the FIA do not know what they want F1 to be. It’s F1 run on an adhoc basis season by season and let’s hope for the best.

    Anyone know the year in which it suddenly became impossible to overtake? Can we not just go back the year before that and everything will be fine! :)

    1. James Allen says:

      I disagree with that. It’s not perfect, but Todt most definitely has a vision and this engine is the first stage in that. Next will come more hybrid technology and the chassis regs will be framed to work with these engines.

  39. Wayne Sadlier says:

    Quite suprised that with the change in engine size ‘to refect what is happening with road cars’, that bigger wheels and ultra low profile tyres wasn’t included…………

  40. Ben says:

    James, it doesn’t say ‘turbo charged’ but it doesn’t say ‘naturally aspirated’ either – surely this is to allow the designers free to consider other forms of forced induction – such as supercharging – or to at least set the 1.6l displacement in stone at this stage and allow for further discussion on what is needed to bring it up to the power levels demanded.

    It is worth pointing out that if they are revving at 12,000rpm rather than 18,000rpm there will be a lot less energy wasted; as the maximum power an engine can theoretically generate is down to the amount of fuel burned (not down to engine displacement) then the rev drop will actually help them generate more power per kilo of fuel if they are using forced induction. The drop in displacement will also reduce the frictional losses as there will be less contact area per revolution resulting in greater engine efficiency too.

    As for the sound, anyone who saw the Senna tribute on a popular TV motoring show will have seen footage of Lewis Hamilton driving Senna’s MP4/4 around Silverstone. It certainly sounds different, but it still sounds great. And to many people that is the greatest Formula 1 car ever built. The turbos in the 1980s generally ran at a maximum speed of around 12,500rpm, and although the MP4/4 had 6 cylinders, many from the era were 4 cylinder designs.

    1. James Allen says:

      F1 engineers I’v spoken to say that its interesting that they’ve not said turbo, but the working understanding of everyone is that it is turbo.

  41. Bob says:

    The team orders issue is a farce. What other self respecting and credible sport ‘fixes’ the result of contests? OK so US TV wrestling comes to mind … is that the company that F1 now finds itself in?

  42. Rudy Pyatt says:

    Opening up the engine regs is absolutely essential. My hope is that it brings new players to the scene – drivers, designers, techniques, suppliers and teams that the FIA and F1 have ignored or discouraged.

    For example, it has been observed that,

    “The 20th Century’s smokestack industries and vehicular traffic began to choke us, and many forms of combustion came under government regulation. Direct fuel injection – making possible clean, economical two-strokes – arrived ten years too late. Two-strokes persisted in racing, having become the dominant type, attended by extensive development technique.”

    So wrote Kevin Cameron in The Grand Prix Motorcycle.

    Well, self-evidently and as specifically referenced in the F1 rules we know to date, direct injection is central to future development plans. “Clean, economical two-strokes” are not only possible, but desirable. And they’re here now:

    http://www.evinrude.com/en-US/Engines/ETEC_V4

    Don’t scoff at the marine engine derivation. The famous Offy (4-valve head and all) was directly developed from the Miller Marine boat engine. There is no reason to suppose that teams and engineers willing to make the effort cannot do the same thing here – especially given that hybrid drivetrains, in the form of KERS, figure heavily in the FIA’s plans. Isn’t it logical, isn’t it a fascinating prospect, to apply small and lightweight 2-strokes to a KERS system? Note that to obtain the same low and mid-speed performance as a 550cc two-stroke engine, a four-stroke engine requires 800cc. No wonder the FIM had to go to 990cc to get MotoGP four-strokes to outperform their 500cc two-stroke predecessors: By the end of their development in Grand Prix motorcycles, the 500cc 4-cylinder two-stroke engines were reliably making around 200hp.

    I see no need for more than 12,000 revs, and there’s no need for 750hp to get spectacular racing. One of the most significant periods in the history of F1 racing occurred during the 1.5 liter formula of 1961 to 1965. Electronic ignition, fuel injection, the re-introduction of 4-valve heads, modern tire construction and compounds, and monocoque chassis were introduced to F1 during that period. Low power, high tech and a period in which great racing flourished, and some of the greatest and drivers and teams came to the fore. And all with engines producing a bit more than 200hp at 12,000 revs. Maybe we can get away from the complication and irrelevance of pneumatic valvetrains.

    To those who say that F1 “must” be the most technically advanced racing, with the fastest most powerful cars, that has never been unambiguously the case. Look no further than the original CanAm, in particular Jim Hall’s Chaparrals. Complete with composite chassis and movable wings:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can-Am

    So bring on two-strokes. Bring on air-cooled engines. Let someone try to make a competitive car without wings and diffusers. Let someone try to make a front-engined or front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive car.

    Let someone new take on these challenges. I fear that the existing club will just keep messing with wind-tunnels and CFD.

    1. Rudy Pyatt says:

      Forgot to add that the 1.5 liter GP era was definitively chronicled by Mark Whitelock in “1 1/2 Litre GP Racing, 1961 to 1965: Low Power, High Tech”. Credit where credit’s due!

    2. Rich C says:

      I remember CanAm! Real men driving real, no bs racecars. None of this pc crap that F1 has become (he said with scarcely-concealed scorn.)

  43. James, in trying to counter some of the complaints from the Green lobby it would be useful to know exactly how much progress F1 has made over the years with engine efficiency ?

    For example, Do you know how the fuel consumption, horse power, torque and engine life of the current Cosworth F1 engine compares with that achieved with the old Cosworth DFV at the end of it’s long service in F1 ?

    It would be fascinating if the clever guys at Cosworth could give us an insight here.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the point they make is that in terms of power relative to fuel consumed, the F1 engine does better than a Prius.

      1. That’s an interesting point but isn’t really what I was asking.

        Exactly how much more efficient is a 2010 Cosworth than a 1980′s Cosworth DFV ?

        fuel consumption, horse power, torque and engine life

  44. Peter Freeman says:

    I for one am utterly dumbfounded that anyone should be participating in this wilful suspension of the mental faculties and calling for F1 to be in any way relevant to road cars!

    Why would we want the sober business of human daily transport to be seen in F1, or vica versa? F1, thank God, is about racing, daily driving is NOT! What is needed to go F1 racing is not at all what is needed to drive to work and back and to try and mix the two is to ruin the one or endanger the other!

    I no more want to drive to work at 300km/h no more than I want to see F1 have a 60km speed limit and require 2 passengers and a bus lane!

    Let’s just be honest and say that the one has nothing to do with the other and at least pretend that intelligence and honesty are more important than political correctness.

    1. Ian says:

      Companies like Ford, Honda, FIAT and VW are all making small, efficient, turbo charged cars. They’re more than keen to sell these things by the bucket load. Formula One is a massive marketing oportunity but the motor manufactures aren’t going to be interested if F1 is completely out of step with what they’ve trying to sell.

      Trying to flog a 70mpg eco car by showing how good you are at making screaming V8s doesn’t make sense.

      Maybe it’s sad that F1 has to temper its racing ethos and pander to the motor manufacturers but that’s where the money comes from and Formula One is finished without lots of lovely cash!

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        I understand the theory of sponsorship, but the money in F1 does not primary come from sponsorship at all, it comes from revenue from the people watching the RACE. If we wanted to see eco cars cut it up on track then we would not have an F1, it would be a Fiat Panda fest!

        Fact is to RACE you need something totally unsuited to use to drive around daily… The two are unrelated on a fundamental level, it just makes no sense at all to even refer to ‘road relevance’ in F1, fact is that’s not what fans come to see…

      2. Peter Freeman says:

        I understand the theory of sponsorship, but the money in F1 does not primary come from sponsorship at all, it comes from revenue from the people watching the RACE.

        Besides it is clear that advertising in gerneral works in F1, not a actual display of a companies product, hence cell phone companies and airlines and banks spend money sponsoring F1!

        If we wanted to see eco cars cut it up on track then we would not have an F1, it would be a Fiat Panda fest, tearing up Spa at 130km/h!

        Fact is to RACE you need something totally unsuited to use to drive around daily… The two are unrelated on a fundamental level, it just makes no sense at all to even refer to ‘road relevance’ in F1! The simple fact is that’s not what fans come to see…

  45. Richard Trinder says:

    What they should be doing is LEAVING IT ALONE.

    i think people have rose tinted goggles when it comes to overtaking, there has never been tones of it.

    this year has been excellent.

    “we need to improve it we need to improve it”, god darn i am sure sometimes that people like the idea of F1 and motorsupport not the real F1 / motorsport.

  46. Spyros says:

    Don’t frown at the MPG figure.

    If a car can do 40 MPG, when driven to/from work, and you put Alonso on the wheel and send him ’round a track, you’ll be lucky to get 15MPG.

  47. Edd Porter says:

    Hopefully, they’ll consider the safety aspect to the new KERS systems for the people involved outside of the car, especially if they are doubling the potential power output. When KERS was first introduced, there was hardly any guidance for marshals on how to deal with the potential for electrical discharge. I think some were issued with large rubber gloves, but it just meant you couldn’t hold the fire extinguisher any longer!

  48. tom p says:

    if you’re going to have adjustable wings let the driver decide when to use them not some techno geek watching the gaps between the cars. since most drivers left foot brake, install the system Jim Hall used in his Chaparrals 45 years ago.while on the straight the driver would pressed on a pedal to feather the wing, when braking for a corner the driver would release the pedal and the wing would go into the attack angle.it as easy as that.

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