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FIA releases 2010 calendar and details of green racing future
FIA releases 2010 calendar and details of green racing future
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Oct 2009   |  3:31 pm GMT  |  116 comments

The FIA World Motor Sport Council today issued the calendar for next season with some subtle changes on it from the version in circulation recently.

There is also confirmation that F1 and other FIA events will change the basis on which the engine formula is devised to an efficiency based, rather than capacity based system. In F1 this new formula is due in 2013 and KERS, or a version of it, will be at the heart of it.

Monaco moves forward one week, as I flagged up recently – I learned of it from a hotel over a week ago!

Canada is still subject to finalising contract negotiations with FOM, while Abu Dhabi and Brazil may swap dates, with the Brazil race closing out the season.

2010 FIA Formula One World Championship

14/3 Bahrain
28/3 Australia
4/4 Malaysia
18/4 China
9/5 Spain
16/5 Monaco
30/5 Turkey
13/6 Canada**
27/6 Europe (Valencia)
11/7 Great Britain*
25/7 Germany
1/8 Hungary
29/8 Belgium
12/9 Italy
26/9 Singapore
3/10 Japan
17/10 Korea*
31/10† Abu Dhabi*
14/11† Brazil

*Subject to the homologation of the circuit.
**Subject to the completion of contract negotiations with Formula One Management.
†The FIA has approved in principle a proposal to swap the dates of the Abu Dhabi and Brazil grands prix, pending agreement with the promoters of both events.

Also announced today confirmation that the next engine formula for all FIA championships, including F1, is to be based on gaining power from a fixed volume of fuel rather than from the capacity of the engine, as it is at present.

This is clearly a massive change and one that has been in the offing for over a year now. FIA president Max Mosley first started talking about it two years ago.

“Motor sport must move from a power per unit of a combination of one or more of: swept volume/RPM/boost pressure/sonic orifice diameter, as a basis for engine performance regulation, to one of power per unit of energy, ” said the FIA statement. “This would automatically put the technical emphasis on energy efficiency, and enable all efficiency technologies to be embraced. This approach, combined with appropriate fuels, will also minimise the emissions of CO2. In
order to enable the public to easily understand this efficiency concept applied to motor sport, it is also necessary to limit the amount of fuel/energy consumed by a competitor during a race. For reasons of the cost of development, technologies may need to be restricted depending on the nature of a given championship/series.”

The document also puts energy recovery systems at the heart of the new engine formula and identifies the flywheel, the concept under development at Williams, as the way forward,
“Energy Recovery Systems technology, however, is fundamental to the future of the automobile, including these hybrids. Motor sport can make a useful contribution to development and marketing. Technology such as fly wheels reducing dependence on batteries and concentrating on ICE load shift proves to
be the most promising way forward. ”

So perhaps we will see Williams producing a standard KERS system for the whole grid in the same way as McLaren produces the Electronic Control Unit.

Finally each Grand Prix event must be carbon neutral and the FIA proposes offsetting. This will be quite some undertaking if you consider the number of people who fly all over the world in commercial jets to work in F1.

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I think this could put more variety into the sport as each designer tries a different technique to get the most performance from the cars. Will a variety of fuels be allowed in F1 and if so is it by a fixed volume or calorific value amount. Will we have a handicap formlula to equalize the allowed fuel or bateries.

If handled correctly I expect this will be good for the sport.


Wish I was an engineer and had better understanding of some of the ideas being proposed here.

A quantity of energy rather than a quantity of fuel as we know it, sounds interesting but I am worried about the sound of the engine, if any.

Mosley has admitted, I think, that it has been a mistake to strangle creativity and there have been some very strange decisions taken. Why, for example, did we need a 2.4 litre V8 at enormous expense when we had plenty of 3 litre v10s, and they all sound the same.

One point I agree with though is to limit the engine revs. More revs costs more money, we are always being told.

Consider the following and I will apologise in advance if this sounds like a history lesson. When I bought my first car in 1967, a typical road-car engine would rev to 5,500 rpm, but the recently introduced Cosworth DFV was red-lined at 10,000-ish rpm.

Now, a typical road-car engine revs to a dizzy 6,500 rpm or thereabouts while an F1 engine could rev to 20,000 rpm, probably more, if it were not resticted. Why? If we think that racing is supposed to improve the breed, and plenty of contributors to this blog do think that, it seems that doubling the revs of an F1 engine in the last forty years has not given a lot to road-car engines.

At least we now know that Mosley is history, I am hoping that he will not be able to control or even influence racing from the FIA senate, let the new era of cooperation begin.


Well Having a strategy and policy is one part and implementing it is the other. Before 09 started we read about all those FIA promises where they were planning to increase mech grip and bring down Aerodynamic grip (to the levels of 10 years ago?) and introduced some changes. This didnt work anyway (Thanks to the double diffuser) and like everyone complains following a car in F1 is next to impossible. FIA did have a chance (where the Redbull team had managed to have a really fast car minus the double diffuser) to outlaw this but considerations outside the policy like the competitiveness and hence the livelihood of the engineers and team personnel at Brawn was given more importance and the Policy and Intent promptly ignored! Call me a skeptic but I am not sure if this is going to change anything at all


Does the moving of the Monaco GP affect the traditional Thursday practice? If my memory serves me correct, I’ve let myself hear that the reason for the Thursday practice, at least originally, was some holiday that coincided with the GP weekend, and the citizens of Monaco needed to be able to use the roads on the Friday. Am I completely off here?


Ascension Day, that is correct. It’s a tradition but it doesn’t line up every year


I just realised how we’ve all jumoed on the bandwagon of poo-pooing fuel efficiency when, in effect, a ban on refueling without muttering fuel saving is in effect the same thing.

Every team will naturally try to improve efficiency v power v weight in any event, without even mentioning the word ‘green’.

I think we should all get back in our boxes on this and see how teams deal with no refuelling and marvel at their ingenuity.


Even now, with refuelling, fuel efficiency is an issue because extra weight has such a bearing on lap times and efficiency.

If, for example, the Mercedes can do two laps more than the Ferrari for the same weight of fuel, that is a significant advantage strategy wise. So I’m sure that they are already squeezing every Watt (well approx 30% of the Watts) that they can out of their existing fuel.

I’m sure that today’s “best” engine is also the most efficient, so unless they completely free up development, allow any capacity, and any technology, the status quo will not change one jot.


If we look at what the FIA has thrown into the pot, it is nothing more than a very broad based idea for fine tuning in the intervening years. Does anyone realisticaly believe that with the only power restriction being a set amount of fuel, that four or five engine manufacturers working independently will come up with power units that are within .5 secs per lap of each other? This formula would only have the makings for a runaway championship and certainly little hope of the close multi team competition that makes for exciting racing.


How come Australia isn’t the season opener? I have that race in my top 4 of the season. Belgium, Monaco, Italy, Australia.


Better TV figures when the season opens in Bahrain


Bit disappointing that – I think it’s best to have ‘atmosphere’ races at the beginning and end of the season, and while Bahrain has produced some good races it doesn’t seem to have any vibe to it.


I hope this silly eco-brainstorm will go away quickly after Max is out of office and he’s not trying to boost his legacy at others’ expense.

F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of *racing*.

There are already competitions built around fuel economy, and they may even be fun for some people to watch. Top Gear after all had an entertaining fuel efficiency race. However, that doesn’t mean that every racing series in the world needs to alter their raison d’etre to follow this trend.

Start a new series based on solar, electric vehicles, the winner being the eco-driver that goes the furthest and encourages the most butterflies and kittens along the way. I’m sure that at least four testosterone-free viewers will be giddy at the thought of watching that series, as long as they can ride their recumbent bicycles to the events.


Rotary power is inherently more efficient…still say they should embrace it


Do you want to take a look at my Electric Shift Energy Recovery Unit James?

Top F1 engineers seem to like it.




A good buddy at Merc HPE suggests a major area of focus there at the moment is a small capacity turbo’d in-line 4. Not very ‘F1’ but my thoughts immediately turned to several legendary Cosworths and the likely strong position that outfit will find itself in should such a dynamic engine development phase come about. Particularly as they’ll be used to being light on their feet and watching the pennies…Could get very interesting indeed.


at last, max has realised that his constant strangling of engineering and technology has been completely the wrong direction to go in. only a few years too late following spiralling costs and the loss of a few manufacturer teams… hey-ho eh max, these things happen.

instead of teams spending millions on the total wasteland that is aerodynamic development (which both contributes nothing outside of F1, promotes dull racing, and is dangerous in the case of failures), they *should* be spending money on finding the best solution to make the ultimate use of fuel – developing technology that could ultimately prove useful to the rest of the world, whilst also giving rise to variation in solutions and the subsequent effects on racing. turbo’s and downsized engines are the future of an energy efficient automotive world, and this will be something that is common in road vehicles and race cars – both a sensible solution and a manufacturers dream.

if only max hadn’t completely screwed the manufacturers so far with ludicrous engine regs which allowed no technical freedom or development, no chance to demonstate their reason for being, we would still have honda and BMW on the grid.

as for being carbon neutral, or the amount of CO2 that these engines produce, that’s a (not funny) joke, made by someone who doesn’t understand the basics of carbon balance and emissions, and just wants to be seen to be doing the right thing and making the right noises. i think i remember reading that a single transatlantic flight consumed more fuel and produced more CO2 than a full grid of F1 cars over the whole season. that’s max reassuring us he isn’t suddenly going completely sensible, by demonstrating a clear lack of any perspective and knowledge. also, why has a non-technical lawyer decreed that flywheel based KERS is the future, when the technology has not been demonstrated and proven, yet electrical storage clearly has.


Call me mad, but the FIA are being pretty darn smart right now in the marketing themselves. I don’t know how much will actually be implemented or achieved through these measures, but they are getting motor sport enthusiasts talking about the “green issue”. Proof – This may be one of the most commented posts on the blog (although I am sure that someone will correct me there!)

The FIA seem to be leading the discussion from the front and trying to prove that motorsport is relevant to today’s issues and is self governing BEFORE the big wigs from Governments start clamping down on the sport in an even worse way. Maybe this is the lesser of two evils? BTW I am not an FIA fan (is there such a thing?) but this is a very interesting subject.


Hi James,

turbo I don’t think it will be the right idea.

The engine manufacturer of F1 have been, in the last 5 years at least, trying to maximise energy efficiency and most of all power ratio.

Turbo is a completely different solution and the costs to produce a new engine will be mega.

I think the engine manufacturer will try to use some of the technology alredy in use, use of new materials for the engine to decrease the heat produced, therefore making the engines more efficient.

On the other hand I will be not surprised if some of the engine manufacturer will start thinkering with fuel temperature if FIA will allow that and fuel composition, to make the fuel more efficient.

It will be a very fashinating time for the engineers but I don’t think the general pubblic will appreciate the research that much.

I think this year double diffuser saga has been very helpful for the new F1 fan because they could see the different parts and the importance in the overall performance of the car.

I don’t think this part of the pubblic will be very interested in knowing what goes on under the bonnet


So, presumably, we can look forward to the return of turbos?

And will we see Wankel engines, or gas turbines, or does it have to be a reciprocating engine?

Speaking as an engineer, this is all very interesting, but whatever happened to the £40M budget? How the hell can anyone develop a new engine and run a team for £40M?

I fear that we will end up with a two (or more) tier championship with certain engine technologies split between the “have” and “have nots” and, just like the turbo days, we’ll hear James (when the beeb finally see sense) saying something like “…and Sutil’s is the fastest of the non-plasma cars”.

On an unrelated note, I see that the British GP is provisional on “homologation of the circuit”. No mention of Silverstone, so looks like Bernie is planning to ditch the British GP when Donington inevitably fails.


I think turbos may well be at the heart of the new formula. When the season is over we will get into this subject


This has come from the press officer of a manufacturer of superchargers and turbochargers so I suppose should be treated with caution. However, he stated quite unequivocally that by 2015 ‘most’ cars and light vans will be fitted with superchargers. I can’t remember if this was just cars built in and imported into the EU.

The reasons were fairly numerous but emissions was the lead and fuel consumption came there or thereabouts. There were, according to him, some exciting developments in the field of forced induction just around the corner.

I brought up F1 regulations and he said that there would be pressure on (the now replacement for) Mosley to use them as otherwise the sport would be left trailing. My reply was quite predictable to those who are aware of my opinion of the way the man has run (and is running for just one more day) motor sport.

The problem of using F1 regs to, in theory, develop road car technology is that they will always be playing catch-up.

No one knows, not even the press officer of a well-known blower manufacturer, what will happen in 12 months time. Given that the engine regs change with more than 12 moths notice (hopefully, now that Mosley has gone that is) any new developments will be old by the time they appear on circuit.

Further, with tight budgets, something that is developed for peanuts is unlikely to raise much interest in manufacturers with £billions to spend on development.

Supercharging is the future evidently but, ironically, only at the moment.


“Finally each Grand Prix event must be carbon neutral and the FIA proposes offsetting”

How the hell is Singapore going to get to a Carbon neutral situation? Surely night racing leaves the biggest carbon footprint?


Maybe, but only locally. If most of the audience that watch a day race, live on TV, are on the other side of the world (i.e. at night), what kind of carbon footprint do they create collectively (lights on, kettle on, TV on etc?). It may be a smaller footprint running a night race ? Has anyone tried to figure that one out ?


The whole idea of making car more efficient and F1 being responsible with the Carbon emissions is a very good thing indeed.

First of all, to reduce fuel consumption, the engine efficiency is only a part of the total reduction, what about drag, friction of moving parts.

The engine manufacturer will go bananas to find more HP using less fuel, with bespoken fuel formulas, reduction of engine friction, reduction of engine heat and most of all to design the perfect engine combustion chamber.

But the car manufacturer and the wind tunnel specialists will need to reduce at all cost, drag and make sure that the air will flow over and under the car as efficient as possible.

The moving parts in a car are creating a lot of friction and we will see an incredible research in this, I am not surprised if we will see some use of magnetic field or similar in designing new parts in the future.

I am sure this will not reduce costs but, as always, will push technology to the next level and I believe that what F1 is all about, the pinacle of motor sport.


Also announced today confirmation that the next engine formula for all FIA championships, including F1, is to be based on gaining power from a fixed volume of fuel rather than from the capacity of the engine, as it is at present.

I’m surprised that no-one apart from you, James, has picked up on this. It’s big, BIG news if this indeed comes to fruition.

And I for one will applaud it, since the burn-all-you-can era is clearly over. Allowing a certain amount of fuel — or, better still, a certain amount of energy, which frees up alternative fuels and solutions like diesel or hybrid engines, electric-powered cars, or even flux capacitors! — lets constructors come up with innovative ideas, again, and doesn’t force them into the 2.4 V8 petrol engine format.

There will need to be some restrictions, however, or the manufacturers or otherwise very rich suppliers will try to outspend eachother (again).


I’m very impressed by the knowlegable and thoughtfull comments by most of the commenters!

I actually think the new plans could work well. Although the costs of developing an engine might be excessive. Imagine designing and building and developing a number of different engines before deciding which design to concentrate on. 4 cylinders, 16 cylinders rotarys, opposed piston twin crank, forked conrods, rotary valves, sleeve valves, multi valves, 2 stroke, 3 stroke, 4 stroke, turbine, jet, water cooled, air cooled, constant speed, variable speed, high speed, low speed, ceramic, plastic, steel, unobtainium,——- the whole concept is mind boggleing—-but it has the potential to be very interesting!

But the fuel should not be petrol, it should be methanol or ethanol or something similar, it seems anti the whole idea to still use petrol. Or maybe LPG.

Oh yeah, ban aerodynamic wings and other bits that that are added to the body to create downforce, just allow ground effects, but no skirts.

I cant wait, the sights and sounds and the variety will be “O” for awsome! And we have’nt had that for a while, although this season hase’nt been too bad!

And then there’s what type of transmission to use– manual, automatic, hydraulic, belt, chain, infinately vatiable—- Oh yeah, and let the driver do the driving, buggar the electronics!

I better go, I’m getting carried away!



Bear in mind that the rules currently are quite restrictive in terms of spend. There would be an investment phase when the engine builders were tasked with designing and developing the new engines, but then presumably the costs would be kept under control from then on. The teams and FIA have done well in bringing engine costs down lately and we have been in a phase where the engines are not performance differentiators, they will be differentiators again post 2013.


I don’t understand why the Singapore race does not follow Malaysia… after all it is only 350km down the road. (Hate for common sence to get involved in climate cahnge)

Ch’uk’a haeyo to South Korea (congratulations)

I’ll see you there 17/10.


Its so that they can increase their carbon footprint by flying back and forth in a vain effort to provide extra revenue and thus save the airlines.


James, any news on the Donington bond scheme?


Glad to see the change in engine direction. Hell’ these suckers could be Back2Future MrJuicer/Nuclear and I’d still watch. To me F1 is about technical innovation, and going fast through corners. I could care less about their straight line speed.

I’m all for more efficient engines, and a return of technologies such as fully active suspensions+aerodynamics(WhyNot?) to keep lap times up and technology moving FORWARD!.


“F1, is to be based on gaining power from a fixed volume of fuel rather than from the capacity of the engine, as it is at present.”

Sounds a lot like the old Group C regs – you can build any engine you like, but you only have a set amount of fuel. We saw all sorts of engines tried, from 7 litre V12’s to 2.5 litre turbo engines – and it produced great racing.

Diesel engines in F1 anyone? (They have been proved at Le Mans now)

Robert from Texas

I wonder if BMW will reconsider their involvement and rejoin as an engine manufacturer since this fits in with their “Efficient Dynamics” strategy.


Lets ruin F1 (and Western society) in the name of junk science and weak correlations! Neo-Marxists unite! 😀

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