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Future F1 engines – compromise in the air
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jun 2011   |  6:20 pm GMT  |  168 comments

As expected the F1 Commission, which met today, has delayed the introduction of a new engine formula to 2014, rather than 2013.

And compromise seems to have been reached on the layout, with the 1.6 litre turbocharged engines likely to be V6 rather than in-line 4 cylinders, to which Ferrari was vehemently opposed, among others.

This looks like a sensible compromise to me. I was struck by the strength of opposition from fans to the 4 cylinder units at the recent FOTA Fans Forum we hosted in Montreal.

As far as I know, the other elements of the new engine package which the FIA were so keen to see, such as the potent energy regeneration systems known as ERS, have been maintained. The compromise package will now be presented to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for approval.

There had been suggestions before the meeting that Bernie Ecclestone may seek to embarrass FIA president Jean Todt over the issue, as happened recently with the U Turn over the Bahrain Grand Prix, by suggesting that the vote by which the 4 cylinder engines had been agreed had not been carried out correctly. But compromise was in the air today and the outcome seems reasonable for the sport.

It is still an exciting challenge for the engineers and will keep F1 at the sharp end of technology, whilst also putting energy regeneration at the heart of the story.

The solution is palatable to Ferrari – whose legendary V6 turbos powered Gilles Villeneuve in the 1980s – and Mercedes as well as Renault, who had threatened to leave the sport if it didn’t move to small turbo engines. Cosworth is a versatile engine builder with experience of engines of all sizes with and without turbos. For them it will come down to a cost analysis of customers and price point versus development costs.

The compromise package is likely to be a hot topic among fans at next week’s UK edition of the FOTA Fans Forum, which is taking place at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

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168 Comments
  1. Sangeen says:

    Thats something good to look (or listen) forward to.

    1. Wayne says:

      Who appointed F1 as custodian of future road design ideas and ideals?

      Why does F1 feel it has to be ‘road relevant’ at all? F1 is in the sports entertainment industry and it would do well to remember its reason for existing! Football does not feel it has to change its rules to ensure it is at the forefront of the leisurewear and trainers industry. Swimming feels no self aggrandising need to lead the way on goggles and latex technology.

      F1 is a dream for many, an amazing explosion of colour and sound. Who wants to dream about owning a 1.6 litre fiesta that is road relevant and ‘green’ when they can dream of piloting a rocketship?

      As for environmentalism. F1 needs to stop kidding itself – cancel one poorly attended and boring long haul race (Dubai anyone?) and the aviation fuel and logistical savings will save more global resources than all the cars racing all year long.

      1. Kristiane says:

        “Why does F1 feel it has to be ‘road relevant’ at all? F1 is in the sports entertainment industry and it would do well to remember its reason for existing! Football does not feel it has to change its rules to ensure it is at the forefront of the leisurewear and trainers industry. Swimming feels no self aggrandising need to lead the way on goggles and latex technology.”

        +1!!

      2. Benson Jutton says:

        Not really true though.

        Football: Lighter and easier to bend in the air, boots lighter and with more grip for bending the ball.

        Swimming: Suits designed to reduce friction and increase buoyancy, leading to faster times.

        Rugby: Compression jerseys to increase blood flow to muscles.

        In short all professional sports strive for competitive advantage. F1 tries to make those advantages relevant. Plus, its regulated by the FIA, so they sort of appointed F1 as the custodian, so to speak.

      3. Wayne says:

        Benson Jutton, no. You are talking about byproducts of football and swimming. These sports do not chnage their rules to ensure that they lead the way in these industries – so yes it is completely true.

      4. cammy says:

        bring back 3.5litre v12,s

    2. Frosty says:

      Any chance of Honda coming back? :P If the new V6s sound anything like what the Honda McLaren did in the late ’80s, I’ll be more than happy. Are there boost and rev restrictions planned and ? Last I knew for the I4s was 1.5 bar and 12/13k rpm?

  2. Williams4Ever says:

    Whatever happened to the decision technical group formed the F1 teams that proposed V4 engines and going green in first place :-?

    If indeed Jean Todt bends backwards on what originally was proposals from F1 teams, a precedent will be set and FOTA(and/or) Bernie will take Jean for ride in all future decisions. Might as well Jean quit rather than become puppet.

    I was kind of started liking Jean’s approach on involving stakeholders, taking consensus and keeping low profile. But this kind of flip flopping is not good for him and for governance and regulation of motor sports.

    Max Mosley took quite a flak for his autocratic ways and his liking for limelight, but I guess, one has to concede that he knew his stake holders better, and dealing democratic way with this lot was not the right way I guess.

    1. brendan says:

      I don’t care if people change their point of view, as long as they arrive at the right decision.

      This attitude (which has come mainly from politics) that people cannot change their mind when presented with new evidence is absurd.

      Jean Todt involved the stakeholders in formulating the idea in the first place. Those same stakeholders then changed their minds – is it unreasonable to not allow Jean Todt to do the same?

      1. Williams4Ever says:

        I don’t have issue with FOTA thinking over and making up their mind and providing feedback to FIA. Infact FIA had engaged FOTA/FOM and everybody concerned ahead of time, FOTA formed a technical committee that gave recommendations and the regulation was put forward in december’10.

        If FOTA/FOM really changed mind suddenly and decided to pay heed to the fans (as though they care), they could have contacted FIA and not the press and start disowning their own involvement in original plan.

        The path they chose – to go to media and complain clearly indicates their intentions were not the in interest of F1, but to make Jean Todt look bad.

        I was not much of Jean Todt Fan when he led the Ferrari team, due to obvious evidence of Jean-Ross-Schumi in Collusion with FIA in early part of the millennium. But Jean was making sincere attempt to democratize way motorsports was governed, but FOTA & FOM have thrown him under the bus on this one.

      2. Wayne says:

        What is ridiculous is that the FIA took this decision in the first place to introduce the 1.3 spec without full and thorough consultation with the sport’s most important stakeholder – fans. On ever single F1 website and forum through which they could speak the VAST majority of fans were screaming that they did not wan this 1.3 spec for THEIR sport from the moment it was announced.

        It wasn’t about NEW informatiom comming to light – the information was always there if they had bothered to even casually look for it.

      3. Wayne says:

        Much like the FIA disgracefully took the decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP when public opinion was so overwealmingly against the concept. The FIA has to follow FOTA and leave it’s rareified bubble of sheer arrogance and actually talk to the fans.

        FIA If you’re listening (and I realise you are not), here are the fans biggest gripes – there is evidence of disafection about these issues EVERYWHERE if you bother to look:

        1) Constant changing of the rules; year or year or from race to race.

        2)Stewards blatant, continuous and gratuitously inconsistent decisions.

        3)Chasing billions to boreing desert tracks which noone turns up to and then having to introduce silly overtaking buttons to compensate for the terrible circuits

        4) Introducing crazy concepts to enforce overtaking leaving drivers defenceless yet penalising any driver that is colourful enough to actually try and overtake anyone.

        5)Banging on about environmentalism yet still trucking all the way to the other side of the world for races that not even the natives want because they pay so well.

        I could go on.

      4. thomas says:

        Have never seen such a misguided post.

        Where F1 races is up to FOM (Bernie) not the FIA. Todt got caught out by Bernies soft shoe shuffle.

        1.3spec… Never heard of it… Is that a scoop!

        “Most important stakeholder..”, don’t make me laugh. If you have a few spare million to throw at the ‘sport’ you might get a passing nod, just.

        You’d think that the teams, FOM and the technical working group do not have anything to do with F1, it’s rules and where it races.

      5. Wayne says:

        thomas, 1.3 spec was a typo, thanks for taking the time to point it out.

        Of course the people who watch F1 are the most important stakeholders. This is the same for F1 and and other sport which attracts sponsors. If fans started switching off in large quantities because they no longer liked the show – the sport would have to change or die.

        This fact is not open to interpretation.

        I would also suggest that calling others ‘misguided’ and being sarcastic about their typos is not worthy of this website.

      6. Wayne says:

        Thomas,

        Sorry I apologise. I did get a bit muddled up and was rude. Obviously you make some valid points. I suppose if the changes to the sport attract more new fans than they lose old fans, then they have more “stakeholders”, and who am I to argue with that?

        Come to think of it, I think Benson Jutton’s earlier post (above) was quite right, and I would like to apologise for my response to that post as well.

      7. Wayne says:

        P.S.

        Sorry to all for writing with CAPS ON I realise it makes me look about 12 yrs old.

        NO MORE!

      8. Wayne says:

        Mod, any chance of remoing the followings posts as they have been posted by an idiot pretending to be me apologising to him. I thought it better to ask you than to lower the tone by arguing with the idiot.

        “Thomas,

        Sorry I apologise. I did get a bit muddled up and was rude. Obviously you make some valid points. I suppose if the changes to the sport attract more new fans than they lose old fans, then they have more “stakeholders”, and who am I to argue with that?

        Come to think of it, I think Benson Jutton’s earlier post (above) was quite right, and I would like to apologise for my response to that post as well.”

        and

        “P.S.

        Sorry to all for writing with CAPS ON I realise it makes me look about 12 yrs old.

        NO MORE!”

      9. James Allen says:

        Mmmm. We’ll take a look at it

    2. [MISTER] says:

      I don’t agree with you.
      The matter was voted but since the teams and fans expressed a strong opposition. I think it shows good leadership from Todt to listen to the teams and fans and get to a compromise.
      There was no point of pushing the engine change in 2013 if people were not happy with that.

      Good job Todt!

      1. Williams4Ever says:

        The matter was voted but since the teams and fans expressed a strong opposition.
        >> On contrary, the technical gurus nominated by FOTA proposed the V4 engine related specs for 2013, and voted in favor of it end of last year.

        And in few months Bernie & Ferrari started the dissent campaign and went public on it. If indeed they didn’t agree with the specs, what were they doing last December in all the meetings they participated where the specifications were finalized??

        Why did not they contact FIA/Jean Todt, rather going to scribes. A point to note, When Jean Todt put this facts in press release 2-3 weeks ago, nobody in FOTA/ Bernie challenged or countered Jean’s statement.

        Here is Jean Todt’s official Statement from 6/7/11 -

        Todt admitted that he finds the situation frustrating.

        “It is they who proposed the regulations, and the FIA who accepted them,” said the Frenchman.

        “The proposal didn’t fall from the sky; we had 11 meetings with all the representatives of those involved.”

      2. MISTER says:

        Your point is invalid.
        Today, 3 out of 4 engine manufacturers did not like those changes. Fans are against them also.
        I know what has been voted last year, you don’t need to remind us.
        I am talking about the actual situation now and in my opinion, it would’ve been stupid from Todt to disregard the fans, teams and engine manufacturers change in opinion.
        We want people to be happy with the changes, not do them because they are imposed.

      3. Wayne says:

        Todt stands no chance in winning such a war of words regardless of how accurate and honest his statements are.

        Bernie is larger than life and ‘brilliant’ at creating a media fuss in the most outrageous, rude and juvenile manner.

        Ferrari is (for reasons totally unknown to me) regarded as the most indispencible element in F1 and again adept as going to the media with THE most outrageous and rude comments.

        Todt? Well he is a rather grey little man, and if he is going to conduct himself in an honest and respectable manner in the media then he is doomed.

    3. Steven says:

      I actually think this is better. The FIA shouldnt be writing rules without the input of FOTA, IMO the FIA’s job is to implement and enfores rules, not write them

      1. Joe says:

        The 4-cylinder engines were the teams/manufacturers idea to begin with. What’s to keep the teams from changing their minds a year from now. I have a feeling that six months from now you’ll start hearing rumblings that Ferrari is not happy about the new engine rules and we’ll be right were we are now.

      2. Williams4Ever says:

        That’s the point – These rules were written with FOTA’s inputs to start with. FOTA members are distancing themselves away and making Jean Todt look bad…..

      3. Frosty says:

        Hmm… D’oh. Does this mean that FOTA listened to the fans? And that begs the question, should it? Fans do pay to go the races, and therefore contribute to the commercial revenue. But in the end, they’re still manufacturers with bottom lines and investments. If a small band of vocal, hardcore ‘original’ fans don’t want the engines as such, should they listen to them, or as per normal marketing philosophy, create an image and target potential new fans and retain long time clients wishes?

  3. Michael Prestia says:

    Keep moving in this direction and by the 2018 Concorde agreement the driver’s will be required to use pedal power and Schwinn will be the main supplier.

    These constant changes are ridiculous.

  4. Sebee says:

    Is this new proposed V6 Turbo really so much different than current V8?

    F1 may as well just stay with current V8.

    I hardly see how V6 satisfies the Ferrari market, in the same way V4 doesn’t. I was hoping to see the craziness in power and efficiencies that can be realized from a 4 Cylinder engine when too much money and plenty of brain power is applied to this most common of car engines.

    1. Rich C says:

      Because ferrari can bolt two of them together and have an absolutely awesome V12 again.

    2. Robert says:

      Know your terminology. V4 was never discussed – I4 was. The different is that one has a V shape, while the other has 4 cylinders all in line.

      V4 is a losing platform as the harmonics destroy the engine, making their life span short and sweet. A majority of engine development budget would be first directed towards sorting out the harmonics, so that they could produce reliable engines.

      I am upset they moved away from I4 turbo engines, as I was looking forward to Honda and Toyota being enticed back into the sport, albeit most likely as an engine supplier. I4′s are their bread and butter really, and being able to develop the turbo side of it would be enticing for them. Both manu’s have a few models with turbo options. The engine, at high rpm and high boost, would sound incredible. I’ve built high revving I4 engines, and that is the sound I prefer.

      V6 turbo engines, imo, won’t sound good.

      1. C says:

        It’s not just Honda and Toyota that are turbocharging 4 cylinder engines nowadays: BMW and Mazda, for instance, also stick turbos on small engines when they look for performance on a budget.

      2. iceman says:

        Plenty of Honda VFR750/VFR800 owners will disagree with your assessment of the lifespan of V4 engines. That Honda V4 is renowned as an exceptionally reliable engine. There was one motorcycle courier who did 800,000 miles on a VFR. The first engine lasted 450,000 miles and the second was still going when the bike was retired. That’s sky-high mileage for an 11,500rpm motorcycle engine.

        V4 is also the opposite of a losing platform in MotoGP ;) and they are limited to 6 engines per season. Making a reliable V4 is a solved problem.

      3. Bill Johnson says:

        yes, but aren’t those v4s really just v twins with twinned pistons? I.E. the pistons in each bank rise and fall (and spark) together, rather than 90 or 180 degrees apart?

      4. iceman says:

        @Bill: no. The standard VFR750 and 800 have a 180 degree crank and a 90 degree vee, which gives primary balance (like an inline 4), while at the same time minimising the inertial torque effect on the crankshaft. I can tell you that those engines are smooth as butter.

        The racing versions (RC30 and RC45) had a 360 degree crank, so each would be rising and falling together, but firing on alternate cycles. Clearly that’s not going to give primary balance so there must be some other advantage, presumably to do with having more of a “big bang” firing order to improve traction. Even those were very reliable race engines.

      5. iceman says:

        Sorry that should have been:
        The racing versions (RC30 and RC45) had a 360 degree crank, so each BANK would be rising and falling together, but firing on alternate cycles.

    3. Gareth Chambers says:

      4 cylinder engines are the domain of the family hatchback and people carrier. They have no place in luxury sports cars made by Ferrari or Mercedes.

      Ferrari could make a hybrid V6 though. They’ve all but abandoned V10′s and V12′s in their road cars moved to V8′s to maintain some sort of parity with their F1 cars. Mercedes have always had a healthy interest and continue to do so whilst trumpeting a link to F1.

      Expect to see Ferrari, Mercedes, Infiniti and probably Renault too all selling hybrid V6′s by 2014.

      1. Sebee says:

        Sorry to disagree with you. As much as I love the term “no replacement for displacement” and as lovely as the V12 BMW 850CSi is in my book, large engines are going to be extinct. Even the rich and famous are more conscious of their image and drive smaller more efficient cars.

        Remember Be Cool?
        Chili Palmer: [about a Honda Insight] It’s the Cadillac of hybrids.
        Martin Weir: But what about speed?
        Chili Palmer: If you’re important, people will wait.

      2. Sebee says:

        Just to be clear – on why I disagree with you. It is because 4 cylinder is the future and the only engine that we should see being manufactured. It is already by far the #1 seller. Ferrari and others will have to find ways to maintain their luxury exclusivity image while delivering image of performance. I say image because there are other more efficient and lower priced ways to achieve that performance as we know.

        All electric Ferrari?
        4 cylinder Ferrari?

        I’m sure they’re looking at it and it’s on the drawing board already if not testing. If they aren’t, Porsche, Tesla and others will soon make Ferrari as relevant as steam engines.

  5. Miha says:

    James, do you plan to write some on engine mapping ban. I’m starting to wonder if FIA is trying to stop Red Bull Racing from winning the championship. First blown diffuser, now engine mapping with almost no notice … This is weird.

    1. James says:

      I agree!

    2. terryshep says:

      Miha, please realise that the funny mapping which goes with the ‘hot-blowing’ of the diffuser, only matters on the overrun, on the corner entry. It has no role whatever in the exit phase of the corner, when the driver starts acclerating and the superior aerodynamic efficiency of the Red Bull allows Seb and Mark to deploy the DRS rather earlier than the rest of the field.

    3. fausta says:

      Yes, why stop it all mid-season when most of the teams have already spent so much on these technologies? Seems they are desperate to keep interest in the championship by slowing Red Bull down.

    4. Michael says:

      The engine mapping rule seems logical. You’re not supposed to alter the car after qualy, unless you want to start from the pits. To me, changing the engine mapping is the same as changing gear ratios or wing settings.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        what about brake balance, fuel mixture, engine fuel efficient settings, are these supposed not to change during the race too.

    5. Ade says:

      I feel it is all to do with stopping Red Bull et al from just wasting fuel during qualifying, something the FIA has been at pains to reduce for years on cost terms…

    6. Steven says:

      Whu does it have to be the FIA trying to keep RB from winning? Why do people think that the FIA is trying to get RB? I dont get it. I do agree that its stupid to implement the rule change now, but… SMH

    7. James says:

      I thought the exact same thing but then I am Mr. Cynical – Like they said on the BBC if they just organised the season differently instead of flying back and forth across the globe that would save far more energy..

    8. Jason C says:

      Wasn’t the engine mapping rule change part of the blown diffuser ban? The engine mapping is what enables RBR to ‘hot blow’ their diffuser.

    9. Tommy boy says:

      I can see why they’re banning it though. By keeping the exhaust flowing when off throttle, the sole purpose of the engine is to suck the car to the road.
      Why don’t they just attach a few Dysons to the underside?

    10. Mer says:

      Yeah, it is definitely to try stop them. There isn’t much protest by the F1 fams because he vast majority of F1 fans aren’t RBR or Vettel fans. They are Ferrari/Mclaren/Alonso/Hamilton/Button fans.

      If Ferrari or McLaren were leading this way because of clever engineering/designing and the FIA decided to ban them, all hell would have broken loose, how the FIA is trying to stop Ferrari/Mclaren and manipulate the outcome of the championship.

      2011 is an artificial season, DRS, intentionally degraded tyres and now FIA changing the regulations half-season to help other teams catch up with RBR.

      It is pathetic.

      1. Robert says:

        It’s not clever engineering – RBR use two different maps for qualy and the race, which goes against the spirit of the parc ferme rules. As an earlier poster said, it’s akin to changing ratios or wing settings.

      2. Chapor says:

        Much like the FIA stopped Ferrari 2000-2004? Or McLaren 1998..?

    11. CartRider says:

      There is a sound logic behind the decision. While the F-duct and double diffusers were clever solutions within the rules, they couldn’t be prohibited during the season. Blown diffusers are a clever solution outside the rules, and it’s clear that the FIA could’ve banned some teams because a punishment would be appropriate, but with so many teams affected such a decision would’ve never been passed. Of course, the FIA could’ve let the blown diffusers to remain till the end of the season but it would have been unfair to the smaller teams and they did nothing wrong to have their chances diminished. Of course, there is still the question why the FIA didnt react earlier, but it is the FIA’s fault and not the smaller teams’. It was a compromise, and hopefully it will help this great season to develop some intrigue!

  6. Rob says:

    Id still love to see V10′s back :(

  7. Dale says:

    V10′s are best and what I’d have if I (and I guess many of the teams and drivers would) penned the rules.
    The original decision by someone to go for 4 cylinder engines in F1 was nuts (how much money has been wasted by this debacle)?

    1. Joe says:

      Ask the manufacturers cause it was their idea to begin with.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      Those who talk about V10s V12s are the best, do they have an objective argument or is it just the bigger the better.

      A F1 engine has to give as much power as possible with the best power curve and the most efficient way, that’s it.

      The engine has to have a nice noise. In that respect higher revs lead to more acute sounds.

      1. john g says:

        900 BHP is better than 750 ;)

        the V10′s were awesome up close and personal. the little V8′s just aren’t quite the same.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Could we see Honda make a return to engine supply???? After Brawn took over and won, they have unfinished business!

  9. Phil says:

    At least it’s the right direction from a fans perspective, as most fans are opposing the 4 cylinder engine. It’s great that the FOTA fans forum is giving a voice to the fans. It’s certainly an improvement to the FIA surveys a couple of years ago which I am sure went straight into the bin.

  10. Doug says:

    I think they should open it to V6, V4 or in-line 4 cyclinder engines and let the manufacturers decide which way they want to go…I’d be facinated to see the outcome.
    Great new look on the site btw James!

    Regards

    Doug

    1. j says:

      YES. Minimum car weight. Maximum KERS weight. Maximum amount of fuel per race.

      Let the teams do whatever they want with their engines and KERS systems.

    2. Ohm says:

      Now that sounds interesting! Maybe not just 4 or 6 cylinders too! But..will opening it up like this introduce an engine war and spiral up the cost?

  11. sean hastie says:

    hey james do you think this could lead to other engine makers wanting to come into f1 such as porsche?

    1. James Allen says:

      Doesn’t seem to have worked too well, not a great queue of manufacturers attracted by new rules, it seems

      1. Joe says:

        Don’t you think an engine formula based on the most ubiquitous engine in the world would have attracted more attention from manufacturers? Let’s face it, in these economic times, it gets harder and harder for manufacturers to justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an F1 engine program, much less for an engine with no correlation to real world application. Every major manufacturer has a 1.6L GTDI 4-cylinder. How great would it have been to see the flanks of a Williams with “Powered by Ford Ecoboost” or “Powered by Chevy Ecotec”?

      2. Ohm says:

        Was there more interest with 4 cylinders James? Cheers.

  12. . says:

    To me the most important factor is the RPM, that is what makes 80% of the sound. If it is going to be V6 limited to 12k RPM, it will still sound lame as a V4 12k RPM (just a little bit more airy bite sound, is all).

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      100% agree. The sound depends mainly on the revs rather than the architecture. But I wonder what modifications the turbo will bring to the engine growl.

      1. Jim says:

        “The sound depends mainly on the revs rather than the architecture”

        Um, really? Have you listened to I4 vs. V4 vs. boxer 4? I6 vs. V6? Big-bang vs. screamer? Cruciform vs. flat-plane crankshaft?

      2. Jack Flash says:

        You betcha.
        For those of us old enough to have heard a 1950′s-60′s straight 8 (I*) from long ago, Ford et al, versus a classic 90-deg V8 of ubiquitous use now; I can guarantee they sound nothing alike.

        Jim’s example of Boxer 4 (eg. Subaru) versus I4 or V4 is a great one too!

        RPM range is just a piece-part of the influence of sound determinators for engines.

        Exhaust/Header config is another big variable determinant. The pipes are highly pressure-tuned systems which can markedly change the end sound produced by same engine. Listen to Lotus-Renault’s current V8 long-pipe forward exhausted solution in comparison to same engine in a RBR7 with shorter-head rearward exhaust. Different by a clearly discernable note/tibre change.

        So no. RPM is not all that. JF.

  13. David says:

    Green considerations in F1 make as much sense as Green Top Fuel drag racing

    1. devilsadvocate says:

      Wouldn’t knock green dragsters… The 100%alcohol Funny cars arent exactly boring

  14. andrew says:

    Probably, the main advantage to the turbo V6 layout versus the V8 is smaller engine package. That’s longitudinal wise. F1 cars are already very cramped and with energy return being emphasiszed, they need all the new space to work with they can get. F1 cars sure can’t get any longer than they already are and still fit around tracks like Monaco.

  15. Jose Arellano says:

    James i been asking this question many times and nobody seems no know a precise answer. and i know there should be a very good one.

    why not limit the total amount of C.C. and let them do whatever number of cylinders they want ?

    1. James Allen says:

      Brilliant question. I’ll ask FIA for you

      1. andrew says:

        Didn’t the FIA once offer a CC limit option and Ferrari used that to keep its V12 layout active, but the V12 configuration used more gasoline/petrol, so manditory refuling had to be instituted to allow them to comptete. I’d guess they’ed want to avoid that type of situation from happening again?

      2. GP says:

        Or, as Keith Duckworth suggested many years ago, determine the maximum allowed fuel flow and everything else is open. It seems to me that this is also road-relevant.

      3. Tokyo Nambu says:

        A “here’s 100kg of fuel, go race” formula is attractive, and it leads to easy controls if the cars get too fast: just reduce the amount of fuel. The problem is that it’s monumentally expensive for the engine manufacturers: any development that one manufacturer makes has to be tracked by the others. You can reduce that to a point by homologating the engines annually, but then if a manufacturer happens to do a better job in the run up to the design freeze you have that manufacturer’s teams running away with the races for the next year (this is why Renault were allowed to equalise their design in the year following the V10 freeze, if I recall correctly).

        The technology fan in me would like to see an open formula: here’s the amount of fuel you can have, here’s the weight and crash testing limits, go race (something like LMP, perhaps). But manufacturers would pull out in droves, because the cost of competing in that formula would be immense relative to the chances of success. The current F1 rules mean that you can design a car to the regulations, put in a customer engine, and be there or thereabouts for the 107% rule unless you do something stupid. In an open formula, you would risk being 20% off the pace or more, as happens in LMP, and worse you would risk one team turning up at a race with a development which gives them 5s a lap which will cost everyone a million pounds to replicate prior to returning to status quo ante. Technologically fascinating, but commercial suicide.

      4. Alex B says:

        An open number of cylinders sounds more exciting, but I assume the restriction is aimed at getting engines which have roughly the same power?

        If it was completely open, they would have to research all types of engines (huge $ cost). One manufacturer might, say, develop a V6 that has 100 more BHP than and another who went with a straight 4. We’d be left with cars with completely different horsepower and a manufacturer having to redesign its engine from scratch.

      5. Jose Arellano says:

        Great!

      6. snailtrail says:

        Or set a limit on the amount of fuel each team have for the race weekend.

      7. Ohm says:

        Ooh, careful about that, we don’t want drivers who crash out in practice to have a fuel advantage in the race do we? Or, even deliberately missing practice altogether! :P

      8. igb says:

        This was discussed in the 90s when the V10 rule was imposed.

        3 litre engines (the historic formula of the 70s) were mostly V8s with four valves per cylinder, because Cosworth had done a good job and everyone wanted to copy them. But all sorts of configurations (V12, flat-12 — the H16 is earlier, isn’t it?) were used as well, to varying effect. The 1.5 turbo engines of the 80s used a variety of configurations as well, I think — weren’t the Porsche / TAG engines V4s or V6s, while the BMW was an I4?

        When turbos were banned and the rule went to 3.5l normally aspirated, although there were V8s (from Ford) and V12s (from Ferrari), things converged pretty rapidly on a 72 degree V10 as the best blend of weight, internal friction, valve area and packaging.

        When post-Imola94 the formula was changed to 3l, the rules explicitly mandated a V10 in order to spare manufacturers from the expense of developing a 3l V8 which several had started to consider. They could just sleeve down or reduce the stroke of their existing V10, although I think a few did actually shorten the block.

        At around the same time they banned oval cylinders (which had started to arrive in motorcycle engines) and heads with more than five valves (which were being discussed); both are ways to improve induction and exhaust by increasing valve area, neither are remotely relevant to anything other than short-stroke high-rev racing engines, and neither do anything to improve “the show”. They would just be a money-burning arms race which would push smaller engine builders out of the sport.

        So by mandating the basic parameters of the engine, the FIA can avoid manufacturers with more money than sense building (or at least designing and simulating) a bunch of engines in different configurations. This in turn avoids the sparking of an arms race when someone finds that three-crank 6-cylinder deltic engines with 13 valves per side and hexagonal pistons looks like the winning way.

      9. Ohm says:

        Here here for hexagonal pistons! XD lol

      10. Ohm says:

        Oh and by the way James, do you know the specs for the ERS? Cheers :)

    2. Bollo says:

      I agree,

      configuration should be up to the manufacturers although it could end up with some developmental dead ends when one engine configuration proves superior for a given chassis/tyre/weight rule set.

      I also think F1 engines having relevance to everyday road cars is ridiculous. Look at 90% of the brand making glamour cars of the world. Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bugatti and to a lesser extent Porsche – all have large capacity engines (larger than 1.6 anyway) because that is what dreams are made of. Not 4 cyl green dull mobiles.

    3. Tim B says:

      Possibly they’re concerned that path might lead to increased R&D costs – bigger engine builders might try several layouts to determine the best option.

    4. Rich C says:

      They would just change it mid-season if they didn’t like who was winning.

    5. jpinx says:

      Totally agree – I seem to remember 3000cc normal aspiration or 1500cc tubo was an option at one point in the past. The budget restrictions will control engine costs and the motor industry will benefit hugely from the diversity of combinations of engine and energy recovery systems, which should be left open – especially in their deployment during races.

      The budget controls have worked, now lets see the brilliance of the technical guys shine, and the best drivers will thrive on the diversity.

      Yes – I am getting very tired of “one-size-fits-all” F1…..

    6. Ian says:

      The FIA’s thinking on this is that there’s always going to be an optimum configuration and finding out what that configuration is, costs a lot of money. By removing the freedom to choose configurations, the FIA hopes to cut the costs (and risks) of developing a new engine.

  16. Hannah says:

    I would also like a feature on engine mapping as I thought the teams used various maps throughout the weekend and more than two during the race. But the new changes appear to state that there can be no change of maps from quali to the race. Which has confused me as you can tell from my poor explanation. Thanks

  17. RichardB says:

    good decision. chopping off 2 cylinders is cheaper than making 4. should create a more individual and exciting noise than 4 cylinder too.

    Jean Todt seems a bit weak on decision making, lets try sticking with the V8′s and adding a turbo, you know it makes sense.

  18. mtmark says:

    what is wrong with the V8s?

    pursuing green ideals is fine (kers, ers, fuel efficiency) and a worthy part of F1 but I do not see what is wrong with a V8!

    1. Rich C says:

      Because it’s so very *not European.

  19. Bec says:

    I bet Renault and PURE are pissed off, they were well advanced with their engines and now all that time, effort and money has been wasted, just so the two teams that run FOTA can have a chance to play catch up.

  20. AJIndy says:

    Indy car (IndyCar?) racing rejected “universal racing engine” (4 cyl.) concept in favor of, wait for it…V6 turbos! Will common use of V6 turbos help open wheel racing on both sides of the Atlantic by reducing costs (economies of scale), promoting some crossover of teams and drivers?

    1. Rich C says:

      No, FIA will jerk the rules around so that there will be nothing in common.

  21. AlexD says:

    James, what is really behind the issue? I do not think it is the consumption and pollution itself because Boeing 747 is going to consumer more fuel during one long distance flight the all F1 teams together.
    This is not about F1 not being green – I am 100% sure.
    It is about relevance to road cars? How is that? How relevant for Renault it is to have 1.6 V6 bi-turbo engine reaching 700 HP?
    Something is not right…
    I personally think it is the image itself – it has to be GREEN…typical marketing hypocrisy.

    1. igb says:

      “How relevant for Renault it is to have 1.6 V6 bi-turbo engine reaching 700 HP?”

      A lot of car buyers have silly hangups about certain technologies: look at the people who dismiss CVT gearboxes as suitable only for the halt and the lame, when the FIA had to ban them in 1993 because the CVT Williams showed every sign of being seconds a lap faster. Indeed, look at the resistance in Europe to automatic gearboxes in general, when the only reason F1 cars aren’t fully automatic is regulatory. Ditto ABS, traction control, etc, which aren’t for “real drivers” and yet Ayrton was very happy to have them on his car at Donnington. Having the “peak” of motorsport unable to use innovative technologies slows their adoption, while their being fitted to champions’ cars speeds market acceptance.

      It is absolute crazy that my Skoda is fitted with a gearbox that is more sophisticated than an F1 car’s, just because Charlie Whiting was talking into banning the dual clutch system McLaren had produced (which is almost exactly the DSG system available on a Polo or an Octavia in your local dealer). Energy recovery is an important technology, one which will also make cars go faster. Banning it in F1 is madness, and the end-game with the 1.6 formula — turbo compounding — would get a huge boost (ho ho) from being on competition cars.

  22. Abhijeet says:

    So we’ve gone from a 1.6 V4 to a 1.6 V6. When we went from V10s to V8s, we got the corresponding reduction in capacity (from 3.0L to 2.4L). Seems like a pointless change, more for marketing reasons (V6 sounds better than V4) than for technical ones. What’s going on here? Feels like Jean Todt got the formula he wanted anyway.

    1. Robert says:

      They’ve gone from a 1.6l I4 to a V6 – big difference.

      1. Abhijeet says:

        The earlier regulations specified 4 cylinders, not the configuration. Could have been a V4.

      2. Robert says:

        Actually it really couldn’t. V4′s have nasty harmonics, are a struggle to work with, often requiring balance shafts. Any F1 engine engineer would immediately start with an I4 and go from there.

        Another reason why I4 is the only logical option is weight.

  23. Stony says:

    The changed engine specifications are even more farcical if the compromise is a V6. What sense does it make; the FiA continually changing specifications whilst dithering about the ‘cost’ of doing business? There’s no reason to think that building a stressed six cylinder turbo engine that will deliver the necessary horsepower as well as the required reliablity is any more simple or cheap exercise than a four cylinder that does the same. So it would seem the reasons are not fiscal but political. Politics are also the justification for KERS. If you wanted an inexpensive increase in horsepower, just allow the teams to raise the RPM above the current limits, but instead they’ve added weight, complexity, expense as well as waste-environmental waste. If you were actually concerned about fuel consumption and economy; the teams would be given a maximum amount of fuel they can use in a race.

    We currently have teams that field cars that are barely faster than what one finds in GP2, and at one point in the Spanish GP the hard tyres reduced the pace to F3 levels, why do we need new smaller engines, with lower horsepower and bigger KERS? Ideology, in my opinion; little more.

  24. Joe says:

    As an adamant supporter of the 4-cyl turbos, I have to say I like this compromise.

    However, I have to say that Jean Todt and the FIA just got completely rolled by the teams and manufacturers. Wasn’t the 4-cyl engines agreed upon by the teams (through the Technical Working Group) in the first place. What’s to prevent them from coming back halfway through next season and moan about the 2014 engine rules. It sets a pretty bad precedent.

  25. Roman says:

    What would have been interesting is to say 6 cylinders with a max capacity (1.6 litres) and leave it to the manufacturers to decide inline, “vee” or horizontally opposed (or some sort of W configuration) and let them fight it out that way. But I guess they want to keep the power bands about the same.

    Can’t wait to see what the manufacturers come up with that skirts the edges of the regulations. Good to see that the KERS is being boosted up too (at least that’s what I read somewhere). That’s the one energy-saving concept that actually makes sense in F1.

  26. I was also wondering about the way Todt reaches his “unanimous agreement”… It’s something to think about

  27. PaulL says:

    Hi James,

    What is your understanding about the impact of these engines on aerodynamic regulations? Andrew Benson, from BBC suggested the cars will look substantially different but I’ve not heard anything similar elsewhere. Do you know anything?

  28. Mark F says:

    Why doesn’t the FIA just come out and say “we don’t care what type of engine you have, as long as it has so much power, fuel consumption and these green systems” That would make everyone happy. Mercedes and Renault could build their 4 or 6 cylinder turbos and Ferrari could build a 6, 8, 10, or 12. Just like the old days. It would show much better innovation and bring more excitement to the sport.

  29. It’s weird. Considered that BMW 4 cylinder turbo engines of the 80s were amonst the most powerful F1 engines ever. I bet fans were protesting the ban on turbos back then as they do now with V8 vs. 4 cylinder. Sorry, but F1 fans have not gone far from football fans – apart from waving flags in the grandstands, posting stuff on crazy forums and wetting their pants when they get to meet their favourite drivers, there’s not much substance in the fan zone. I suggest FOTA/FIA stop listening to people and press on with whatever changes regardless. In a way, I’m ashamed to be in the company of people who don’t appreciate the push for change and some really interesting technology. 1 year dealy, then one more, and then someone else will use the idea and F1 will be running some outdated V8 units. It’s a shame.

    The new type of engine works fine in the WRC/WTCC, the noise is good. It’s a mystery to me why F1 in general is so opposed to fresh ideas.

    1. Robert says:

      Agreed. I was looking forward to I4′s with sequential turbo’s, or a single turbo for that matter. The powerband sequential turbo’s can make would be incredible to watch, as the driver would have gobs of torque down low, making it even more difficult for the driver to control the rear end of the car on corner exit.

      If KERS motors were allowed to produce more power, something in the range of 145-160 ft/lbs of torque, combined with the potential torque output of sequential turbo 1.6l I4′s, the torque v. hp output could be nearly identical.

      This news is a bummer.

    2. krieng says:

      Finally I found to agree with you.
      No one care it 4 or 6 cylinders as long as it’s a powerful engine.

    3. unooc12 says:

      I agree completely with what your saying. You should be ignored as by the FIA and just take it as it comes.

    4. Alex W says:

      the new engine will still be restricted, not really exciting.

  30. Isotope9 says:

    Why a 1.6l v6 and not 1.8?

    If they are so interested in cost cutting, doesn’t it make more sense to introduce a new engine that has the same volume/cylinder, but with fewer cylinders? Much like the did when they went from 3.0l v10s to 2.4l v8s…

    I realize that bore and stroke combined gets you the volume of a cylinder…but it surely must be easier to just chop two cylinders off instead of having to re-invent the wheel.

    1. Robert says:

      It’s much more than just chopping off two cylinders. Bore and stroke must be taken into account, looking at what type of power it would produce. Then you must consider firing order, as that can sway an engine’s power output considerably. Next is intake plenum/manifold, along with exhaust header construction.

      I’d say the cost isn’t much more expensive than just creating a new engine formula altogether, regardless of volume/cylinder.

  31. Steven says:

    I would much rather they had said V4 or V6, instead of keeping only one of them, F1 needs some diversity

  32. Nick F says:

    I was hoping it would basically end up being a souped up standard car engine that was developed to be lighter stronger, higher revving and with added goodies like turbos and energy recovery. I was hoping that the manufacturers would be able to directly take the stuff F1 invented and bolt it into their future cars.

    I guess that’s basically what we still have. I understand why Ferrari don’t want to make 4 cylinder engines. They want to have a technology they can sell in their cars. ….fair enough.

    The compromise seems OK and a years delay aint too bad at all.

    1. Nick F says:

      Another thought…

      Whether they had chosen a 4,6 or 8 cylinder engine there would have been a horsepower target in the rules. The performance of the final engine would have been fairly similar as far as the outsider observer would have been concerned. I know there are sound issues and maybe the way the power is delivered may be subtly different, but I’m not sure that’s all that important. High revving engines of any type will sound good.

      Ferrari want an engine that’s more than 4 cylinders so they can differentiate their brand from normal car brands. I’m sure ideally they want 2 to 4 more cylinders than normal cars have in because that’s something they can use to sell their cars. There is a marketing component in this.

      1. krieng says:

        And F1 must move for their marketing plan.
        I had heard for somewhere that Ferrari just sale their car to get budget for their racing team but now everything seem change, they just racing to promote their marketing.

  33. Maksymilian says:

    On one hand I liked the idea of developement of technologies closely related to roadcars. But then is Formula 1 supposed to be exactly about roadcars?
    Those cars were built to go as fast as nothing else can, not to resemble Ford Focus.

    Turbo engines are comeing anyway so the potential brakethroughs in F1 will still be trasferable regardless on number of cylinders.
    Same goes for energy harvesting devices.
    In some ways FIA almost went to far to please people who will never be pleased anyway.
    Unless we want grid consisting of Vauxhalls, Fiats, Ladas. Thats BTCC isn’t it?
    So in a way Ferrari (probably half intentionally) is saving the show for us.
    I like those cars sounding like they would swallow you without chewing. V6 is a deacent compromise.
    If I want sound of four cylinder engines reving stupidly hihg I can always watch MotoGP.

  34. Nick F says:

    I’m not an engine expert so this may not be feasible, but how about this for a crazy idea:

    The new F1 engine is a modular 2 cylinder engine designed to stack together. F1 uses 3 of them bolted together, car manufacturers use 2 bolted together and Ferrari in their road car uses 5 bolted together. Just 1 could be used as a range extender for an electric vehicle.

    ….yes OK. A crazy idea and possibly not feasible. Everyone’s interests are served though if this is feasible.

    1. ACB says:

      The main sticking point with road car vs. open wheel or Formula one is how the engine block is an integral part of the structure of the car. In touring cars or stock cars the engine might have a bit part to play in the structure of the car but for the most part has a frame or unitary body that takes all the stress and holds everything together. In a Formula One car in a GP2, F3, Formula Renault, etc., the engine is attached to the monocoque to form part of the chassis, attaching the rear suspension, wing etc to the rest of the car. This means that cylinder blocks would need to be significantly different, than a passenger car, and it means a modular block would probably not be strong enough to handle an F-1 car’s stresses.

      Hope that helps.

  35. Alan Bicke says:

    Who says V4? I known that the new engine would be a turbochrger 1.6 liter inline 4 cylinder.
    V4? Only in MotoGP.

    1. Alex v says:

      My exact thoughts!

    2. krieng says:

      Agree, Do they know that V4 not so good. MotoGP bike use it just for compact size.

  36. Darren says:

    Interesting move. I had no problem with a 4 cyl. If it keeps the manufacturers and fans happy then a small V6 is fine too.

    Nice to see some sensible compromises from all parties.

    I wonder if there’s any inherrent eco impact difference between the two engine layouts. A V6 will have more components. I’m guessing the 4 cyl turbo is a more efficient design oveall which is why most car manufactureres go that way in their retail products.

  37. Paul H says:

    I think this is a fair compromise. Any true petrolhead wants every car to have a massive capacity engine with as many cylinders as possible but the FIA has spent the last couple of decades reducing power outputs so another reduction is no surprise. Can’t help feeling that the four cylinder unit was just put out there so that people would accept a six pot on the basis it was better than the four. Wonder what McLaren’s thoughts on these talks are considering that they will split with Mercedes in the future – will they build their own or get another engine partner?

  38. Tom M says:

    A V6? A V engine makes a lot of sense regards modern aerodynamics but I don’t really see the point over an inline 4. I also fear that there’s some false posturing regards engine noise with people emphasising volume over sound – I have and always will prefer the V10s!
    An F1 car should always look impressive on paper or have engineering nouse (spelling?) behind it, example: V10s over V12s because the weight savings are favourable against the power increase. A V6 does neither.
    Does anyone know if FOTA has considered has considered hydrogen based ICEs? Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Daimler and Hyundai are all pushing hydrogen (albeit fuel-cells) so surely it’s attractive to them?

    1. Nick F says:

      Hydrogen fuel cells power electric cars.

      Hydrogen is not naturally occurring. They get it I believe by stripping it from natural gas or sometimes through electrolysis. If you want to run the engines on hydrogen you might as well run them on natural gas instead. That’s probably better environmentally in terms of how much energy you have used and how much carbon you have released.

      disclaimer: not an expert.

      1. Tom M says:

        There are numerous ways to procure hydrogen and most people bemoan the cost but F1 could inject so much positive money into the R&D that it becomes more and more cost effective and… “green” which is surely beneficial to the manufacturers and fuel companies?
        I too am no expert but from what I’ve read I don’t support people’s opinion regards energy in > energy out which is another supposed negative.

  39. Daniel says:

    It’s a shame that F1 is becoming more and more regulated. It pains me to admit that I find myself becoming less interested overall in the sport.

    In fact, since beginning watching F1 in 2007, this is probably the least interested I’ve been in the sport and i feel like there’s not much that’s cool to look forward to.

  40. Jordan S says:

    I don’t care as long as they get the sound right. It has to sound amazing and make the hair stand up on the back of the neck like the current ones

  41. Robert says:

    People on this board are killing me.

    V4 engines were never in the mix – I4 engines were!!!

    How can F1/FIA value these peoples opinion when they show that they’re ignorant of the topic at hand?

    On an engineering level, which I understand most people won’t know, V4 engines are a failure. They were seen in motorcycles and some cars long ago, but they’ve faded – fallen to the wheyside. Why? They don’t last long due to engine harmonics. V4 engines are dead as dead can be, and hopefully Flat4 engines won’t be far behind.

  42. AndiD says:

    A 1.6 V6 limited to 12,000 rpm – sounds like MotoGP and F1 are getting closer and closer.
    Wonder how long it is until we see a Ducati powered F1 car!

  43. FordGT40 says:

    If the racing is good and it still feels like F1 then I will still watch regardless of the engine size.

  44. devilsadvocate says:

    James here is a practical question that just occured to me… if they delay the new engine formula till 2014 and the current agreement and engine freeze expire at the end of 2012, what is there to stop people like Ferrari and merc from bringing some factory special rocketship engine for 2013? It’s not like the current units are completely maxed out. Can the FIA enforce a stopgap for 2013 wssbtially keeping everything as it was?

    1. James Allen says:

      They would agree as part of the plan that the V8 freeze continues into 2013

  45. Abbale says:

    If they want to keep f1 relevant to road cars and going green then they should keep the no refueling rule in place and allow the teams to develop these new v6 engines however they want whenever they want with a horsepower cap. This way the manufactures will continue to develop engine technologies that allow them to burn less fuel and build the cars with smaller fuel cells and less weight making it a worthwhile competitive advantage.

  46. rvd says:

    I think this compromise is probably the best the true fans of F1 are going to get. The sickening thing is this “green” facade. The devotees of F1 are likely not particularly “green” minded and those that are know the logistics of F1 far outweigh this farcical crap about engines, blown diffusers, and engine mapping.

    I guess limiting the cost of competition has gone out the window with the development cost of a new engine.

  47. Ian B says:

    Does anybody have any idea if this makes it more or less likely that a major new manufacturer joins the sport?

    I’d say the engine wars (1994 – 6) brought some real excitement with cars running V8s, V10s and V12s all winning races so I’d imagine more open engine rules would work well for f1. Its certainly more road relevant than the aero obsession the sport has been stuck in since engines were frozen.

    I agree with a previous suggestion that had the capacity limited to 1.6L with complete freedom on configuration. That way Renault could do its I4, Ferrari and Mercedes a V6/8 and prospective manufacturers could bring their own unique configurations. Imagine BMW bringing in a I6, Audi an I5 and Porsche a H6. That would be perfect!

  48. powersteer says:

    Why the insistence on turbo? We all know that turbochargers used in motorsports is not the same we have on road cars. These costs tens of thousands per piece and have limited lifespan in their working environment. –> $$$$$$$$$$

    Why cant they simply limit the engine capacity to a output level desired and use KERS to provide the boost? Leave the number of cylinders open to encourage diversity. … and perhaps, remove rev limits altogether! Continue to ban exotic material in them, thats all

  49. WayneC says:

    I like the move to V6s because it will differentiate F1 from lesser series like F2,F3, GP3 and F.Renault. Though GP2 may still continue as V8s, and World Series by Renault is going from road car based V6s to a racecar only 3.3l V8.

    The only other change I’d make is a small capacity change from 1.6l to 1.5l – because for most of F1′s history when there was a supercharger option it was 1.5l.

  50. Dougie Smythe says:

    I am saddened by all these changes to F1. To me, F1 should be the ultimate in motor racing, but it seems they are moving backwards.

    I propose a name change from F1 to F1.5

    ds

    1. igb says:

      “I am saddened by all these changes to F1. To me, F1 should be the ultimate in motor racing, but it seems they are moving backwards.”

      The same argument was advanced, word for word, when F1 went from 1.5l turbos to 3.5l normal aspiration. Slower, don’t sound as good, we like grenade qualifying engines, etc, etc. When 1.5l turbos raced in the same races as 3.5l (3.0l?) normally aspirated engines, they had to have a special prize (the “Jim Clark Cup”) to give to the losing teams with normally aspirated engines as a consolation. F1 cars were at their most powerful when Gerhard Berger had a Benetton-BMW with over 1000bhp for qualifying. Can you remember what the configuration of that engine was? Oh yes. That’s right.

    2. Tyler says:

      Don’t you mean F.5?…:)

  51. Ashwin says:

    James,

    I am from India and am yet to go to an F1 race. Planning for Indian GP. Hence, I wont be able to comment on the sound.

    Could you please let me know which engine spec comes close to the existing 2.4L in terms of pure sound?

  52. Jiri says:

    Dear James,
    I am completely amazed by the FIA stance in this matter… They want small turbo and ERS systems… but for me the question is following – is F1 here for the F1 or fans? I would rather say that F1 is giving golden eggs not only to Bernie but also to FIA and all of this thanks to the interest fron fans. There have been a lot of surveys and as far as I know fans are strongly against turbo engines and would like to keep the big current engines…

    I have been in motorsport for more than a decade and one of the worst feeling experience were diesels at Le Mans… such amazing prototypes and they have no sound!!! can’t imagine watching race with grid of just those cars… sound is one of the main sense of the motorsport especially as with the new circuits the spectators are quite far from the track and sense of speed is therefore little bit reduced. Monaco is the slowest of the year but sometimes stands are just few metres from the cars and the feeling of speed is incredible.

    so the point is, when the FIA finaly forget about that they want and instead will do what fans want? you can have the greenest F1 but without fans interest it would be dead category…

  53. Red5 says:

    A smaller engine can be packaged more tightly. That will make Adrian Newey and the other design engineers very happy. In the future, no doubt, a number of hybrid modules will be added.

    Do the rules specifically require 4 stroke + petrol? No gas turbines on the horizon?

  54. Pete S. says:

    At first i liked the new site, but after having come to it since a couple of time i think the colors around the different are too much.
    It seems to busy with all the colors.
    Before, it was easier to simply jump to the left column for your latest blog, or jump to the right for the tweets link.
    Now, i’m all over the place trying to search for things.
    I also have to click on another link to open your lates blog, whereas before, i was able to simply scoll down.
    Bring back the old blog, bloke!!! :)

  55. NorthernSands says:

    I still think Diesel is the way forward, but I might be in a minority here. I’m thinking 2 litre V6 twin turbo.

    I like the idea of putting choice back to the teams, like an earlier poster suggested have a target CC (or power limit) and let the teams / engine manufacturers decide how to get there. Give them the choice on fuel too.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think you might be in the minority!

      1. NorthernSands says:

        Yes, James, I think I am. But I much prefer to drive the 2.5 litre I4 Turbo Diesel I have in the UK rather than the 4.0 litre V6 Petrol I have out here in Qatar (both 4x4s). DERV’s are just so much more driveable! And, if they are so worried about making things ‘real world’ relevant, rather than it just being a marketing gimmick, then surely pointing all that engine genius at diesel engines is the way forward. More reliable, more economic, becoming more popular (in the ‘West’). There’s more to come out of those than there is out of Petrol engines, which have hit their developmental peak (more-or-less and especially so considering there’s an engine freeze in F1).

        At the moment, the Le Mans endurance series is far more ‘real world’ at the moment, it seems.

        PS.: Loving the new site, but I’ve yet to try it on a mobile. The old site was pretty rubbish at detecting a mobile browser and switching layout accordingly.

    2. monktonnik says:

      I would like to see F1 using diesel or pure bio fuels.

  56. Mattoz says:

    Will a rev-limit still be imposed on these new engines?

  57. monktonnik says:

    I was behind the engine that was originally suggested, however I think that this is a much better idea and it appears that Ferrari have thinking about this for a while:

    http://www.classicdriver.com/uk/magazine/3300.asp?id=14637

    Could you imagine a road going Ferrari or Mercedes using a flat four small turbo? No.

    Could you imagine Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and particularly Cosworth selling an F1 derived V6 turbo? Yes.

    Am I literally beside myself with excitement at the thought of this? Yes.

    Now imagine Caterham 7 (or an Elise if you still want to give money to Group Lotus after there ungentlemanly conduct) road cars using a 1.6 V6 Turbo F1 derived engine in a British sports car.

    Where do I sign?

  58. Tris says:

    F1 was conceived by car manufacturers for the purpose of demonstrating their technologies so it has to reflect the road cars of today. I think that the V6 turbo is they way to go in the short term, perhaps reducing the maximum fuel tank size by 5 litres per year but F1 should be looking towards something more radical for the future.

    Burning hydrocarbons to power cars is not viable now, let alone in another ten years, maybe F1 should think about switching to hydrogen fuel cells soon. I think it would accelerate the development of the technology.

  59. Alexis says:

    Yes! Very happy with this. The V6′s should still sound good.

  60. Vic says:

    Can someone please explain to me what the difference is between having a 1.6 straight 4 cylinder turbo engine or a 1.6 V6 turbo. I’m a bit confused as to what the significant difference is in terms of performance

    Vic

    1. iceman says:

      Having more cylinders (for a given overall capacity) means the pistons, valves and other reciprocating parts will each be smaller and lighter, and therefore easier to move faster. So typically the engine with more cylinders will rev higher and make its torque at higher rpm. This is a big advantage for a racing engine because you can take advantage of the higher-rpm torque with lower gearing.

      1. Vic says:

        Thanks Iceman, appreciate the explanation, makes sense.

        Vic

  61. james encore says:

    When we had turbos in the 1980s there was no rule on the number or configuration of cylinders. When we went back to 3.5 litre non-turbos it was said Ferrari built a V12 because they always built V12s Ford came in with a Cosworth V8 because they always built V8s. Renault took a guess and went with a V10, and Honda built all 3 and started with one and switched to the other… So who says the BEST way to get most power out of given amount of fuel is 4 or 6 cylinders ? If something can do it better with a radial 5 cylinder engine let them build it. More small cylinders with high RPM or Few bigger ones with lower RPM. Let them rev to whatever they’ll go to. If you can build an engine which lasts 1000 racing miles AND runs at 25,000 RPM, that should be applauded not legislated out of existance.

    I’d go further: let the cars to burn ANY hydrocarbon – alcohols, Petrol, Diesel , Gas – with an equalization formula for C02 emmisions. You can build any engine you like but the fuel capacity is fixed.

    Simpler rules and greater innovation, with more to feeding down to road cars
    is NOT something manufacturers actually want because of the fear that someone else will come up with something way better than they do. Or am I just a conspiracy theorist.

  62. Qiang says:

    Had FIA done nothing to stop some teams ran away in the past, the qualy rule of 107% will perhaphs be 125%. It’s natural to level the field a little bit once in a while. From the fan side, it’s easy to lose interest if we know Vettel always seem to have vast reserve in speed even though RBR PR machine always trying to spin the picture in other way.

  63. Tyler says:

    Rotary would be a better way forward…they scream, they have a lot fewer parts, surely they are cheaper to manufacture and run. I know fuel consumption is an issue on road cars, hardly an issue in F1. Dont see any cons with them in F1 myself.

  64. peter says:

    what is the rev limit for these v6? still 12 k or is it higher?

  65. Ian Walker says:

    The rev limit is 15,000 rpm because the originally proposed 12,000rpm caused concern that the cars wouldn’t sound very good out on the circuits.

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