F1 Winter Break
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  |  113 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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Allow me to be the first to complain about "fuel mileage racing": this will suck.


Fuel milage racing is one of the most complained about drawbacks of the Indy Racing League - why would F1 introduce it?!


IRL sucks because it is oval racing. Group C was a mileage formula and produced very relevant tech developments and exciting cars of the day.


Actually, IRL sucks because it is a spec series. Same engines, same builder, same ol' everything.

Champcars (previously called "Indy Cars") were better, and more interesting, with many variations of engines and builders. They also raced on ovals, street circuits, and actual road tracks, such as in Montreal, where the fastest of them would have made the back of the F1 grid. Faster than IRL cars as well, with Ari Luyendyk still holding the absolute lap record at Indy with a 239 mph lap back in the olden days.


Bah!! A typically uninformed reply...

8 multiple versions of oval racing and 9 variations of road and street tracks.

Admittedly oval racing is an acquired taste, but it's often a lot more exciting that your average F1 race.

However considering your greatly incorrect reply, I doubt you've actually sat down and tried to watch and appreciate it.


I'm with you on this one, Rich. Remember that Champ Car did the same thing in the early 2000's, racing for fule mileage. Look at where that series is now.


I agree that squeezing team fuel and some of these other well-meaning but ever changing rules (one set of tires lol) are not proper to the best racing. Like running the tour with limited food and sleep! Make the riders stay up all night before a mountain leg and we will learn more about sleep deprivation and physical ability that the average person can use when biking around the city yawn. I do encourage tech progress but like many am tired of the FIA and all the do good changes to regs, many of which have been a complete bust. James my first thought reading you today was "how much will that cost"? Still love F1 with all my heart. Cheers


According to Denis Lesard in today's Montreal La Presse newspaper, the deal with Canada will be signed this week as all the tax-related issues have been resolved. Interesting read on who pays for what in Bernie's world of F1 financing.


Thanks for that, Don


James - does this mean that teams will be allocated an amount of fuel for the race and, in effect, the most efficient engine will be able to go the fastest? Isn't this a complete reversal of the engine freeze cost-cutting exercise?


That's it. It's how much performance you can get out of a fixed unit of fuel


So what are they going to do - just say 'you have x amount of fuel to do these races so go build whatever you want that will do the job'? Thats what the statement implies but I'd bet next year's bonus that its not what they mean.

They won't be able to keep it that simple. There'll be all sorts of rules and restrictions and dumbass specs.

This is just toooo stupidly politically correct to be woth watching.


Rich - you answered my comment, but missed the point...

James quotes the FIA statement which mentions a metric of "power per unit of energy".

Cynicism aside, I was simply wondering which of the current cars developed the most power per unit of energy - i.e. with current engines, who would perform best under this suggested new regime. For example, I seem to remember someone saying the Ferrari was fuel hungry. The Mercedes engine is supposed to be good - would it still be good? Would the Williams or BMW (whichever it was who did the flywheel KERS) suddenly become the class of the field?


So has anyone done any analysis of current cars to measure their performance under this newcoming metric?

I've heard lots about the time benefit per lap, but would the 2009 McLaren or Ferrari run more efficiently with or without KERS?


They dont actually *have a "new metric", Pete. All they actually have is a vague idea that this would be cool and 'green'. When they eventually get down to it there will be interminable arguing about different sets of specs that might benefit different engines.

In the end they will just pick a number out of the air, and it will be something already being done so that nobody embarasses themselves next year by always running out of gas.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

James, are we going to see more of a "fuel race" between various energy companies as a result?

If it's limited fuel we're talking about then surely it would have to be a joint development effort between fuel suppliers and energy manufacturers? Would this leas to exclusive fuel deals or option fuels? Fuel could become like tyres terms of strategy.

There's no point in just putting the onus on engine builders. I don't think that this one has been thought out too well and the whole green thing from the FIA sounds about as genuine as Gordon Brown when talking about "global warming"....sorry, I mean climate change!

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

What I am asking is to whether the FIA will relax the current fuel regulations to allow more potent race spec fuel compounds to be developed.

The current fuel regs state Formula One cars run on petrol, the specification of which is not that far removed from that used in regular road cars. Indeed, the FIA regulations state that the rules are “intended to ensure the use of fuels which are predominantly composed of compounds normally found in commercial fuels and to prohibit the use of specific power-boosting chemical compounds.”


The "fuel race" already exists.

5-ish years back Shell developed a lighter fuel for Ferarri, which was a key contributor to that years success.


Paige Michael-Shetley

This is EXCELLENT news, James. Thank you for this.

Do you think we'll be hearing more rumblings about manufacturers getting back into F1 based on this change? The big trend in the automobile market nowadays is fuel efficiency. Surely, F1 would prove again to be a tremendous development ground for manufacturers.

One really has to question the logic behind the engine development freeze in the first place, especially if we want manufacturers in the sport. The overwhelming area of F1 cars with road applicability is engine development. It's no coincidence the two manufacturers who have left are two of the largest global manufacturers known to be going in the green direction.


What really concerns me is this statement from the FIA: “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."

And:"For reasons of the cost of development, technologies may need to be restricted depending on the nature of a given championship/series."

So now we have seen the demise of F1. I thought that F1 was supposed to be a racing series based on man's technical prowess. Apparently, we now have the EU mantra of "Carbon Nuetral" BS that will restrict all competition, based on the false premise of "global warming" or "climate change", two phenomena over which man has no control.

The emasculization of F1 was something I would never thought I'd live to see. I guess this will be the last F1 season I follow. What a shame it has come to this, F1 as a "politically correct" spec racing series.


What are you talking about?

"So now we have seen the demise of F1. I thought that F1 was supposed to be a racing series based on man’s technical prowess."

So getting most power out of a certain amount of fuel wouldn't be technical prowess and bettering technology?

And about global warming - it doesn't even matter, because the fact is that oil won't be here forever, and that the car industry is moving away from it/bacoming more efficient as oil becomes more scarce and thus more expensive. Needless to say how good it would be for many countries to lower their dependency on oil, and how much oil comes from geopolitically unstable areas.

So if FIA allows the teams to compete in creating the best fuel efficient technology it will be great for the car industry in general, and also great for the sport because at least we won't see millions invested only in aero development that creates dull racing.


Here we go...I bet there will be not one iota's drop in the quality of racing next year that could be attributed to green measures. Sure, we'll watch them in the knowledge that perhaps their performance will be compromised by the regulations, but we go through this nearly every year, where the cars somehow end up being as fast as the year before.

You can't prove that you are going to get cancer or heart disease or not, but many people live lifestyles that minimise the dangers, just in case it does happen. Imagine if all those eco scientists are right, and it is our fault. Too late when we find out.

And F1 cars aren't even now the pinnacle they're supposed to be, let along whining over some false sentimentality that they're going to be downgraded again. The true pinnacle would be a death trap that would be medically dangerous even if you didn't crash it.


I have to disagree. This would finally bring back technical prowess on the engine side. You could show up with anything you want, but are constricted by the available energy. This allows a lot more room for innovation than present, and also a lot more variety as manufacturers would seek to use whatever solutions they felt most efficient. We'll see a lot more technical prowess as a result. And regardless of your opinion of the climate change issue, the manufacturers seem to be pretty universally convinced, and also seem to be very interested in this sort of thing due to looming energy shortages (global warming or not, we are facing an energy crisis). This would actually be a strong incentive to keep the manufacturers in F1, and actually attract others (VAG) or bring them back (Honda, who've said they wouldn't bother coming back until the technical rules were interesting again). Taking the focus off silly aerodynamic appendages will also be quite welcome for me...


"Taking the focus off silly aerodynamic appendages..."

Completely agree Duncan.


Any technology that can be used to increase engine fuel mileage, power being equal, can be tweaked to maintain engine fuel mileage while increasing power. If I'm reading the spirit of the proposal correctly, we should celebrate the liberation of engineers again.

On carbon neutral GPs (yes, hold back the laughter)

Who else is looking forward to the Singapore GP press release trying to convince us that they're carbon neutral?

"To make our 3,000,000 watt lighting system carbon neutral we powered it with eco-fairies that sprinkle their dust on our coal power plant emissions, turning the pollution into pretty flowers".


Someone tell the FIA that Formula One is about racing, and no one cares about the "carbon footprint" of Formula One.

Formula One is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport racing. More and more it seems as though those in power are trying to turn the series into something that it's not.



Unbeknownst to most fans and critics, F1 has been carbon neutral since 1997. While F1 can always to more to reduce emissions and environmental damage even further, it isn't a critical issue. Plus, as the supposed pinnacle of motorsport and auto technology in general, I believe F1 should be an "anything goes" series (taking into account certain safety standards, of course). Give everyone the same budget, find a way to enforce it absolutely (perhaps collective revenue sharing being the only source of funds for everything but drivers' salaries and logistics?), and see who can build the fastest, safest, most reliable, and most efficient car.

This focus on the environment and a thinly veiled attempt to turn F1 into a spec series is a BIG load of hogwash.


That's not true. A typical F1 fan mightn't care about the carbon footprint but others certainly do, especially politicians and corporate executives (even if only in response to shifting public perception). Not moving on this issue is the very thing that could jeopardise the future of F1.


Thats just dreaming, Trent. All politicians care about is getting re-elected. All corp execs care about is increasing their shareholders' value. They wont risk losing the spectacle over how-green-are-you nonsense. Money talks, BS walks.


If you really want to contribute to saving carbon then don't go to races stay at home and watch them on telly. 100,000 plus people traveling to a race has to be chucking out a good few hundred tons of CO2.

It is also far more eco friendly to use an old banger than to release all the CO2 involved in the manufacture of a new car.

BTW the new coal-fired power stations (mentioned a few posts above) which actually run on coal dust, have very efficient CO2 scrubbers and are amongst the cleanest around.


Whhoooaaa! Can you imagine offsetting an GP event! Good lord, this must be an equivalent of replanting or buying out many, many square miles of rain forests. I recon it is going to be quite a task for F1 to offset it's CO2 footprint and what a brilliant idea it is in deed! This will go down to history - F1 petrolheads seriously going green... It really made my day.


...the reforestation of the Amazon in our lifetime!

Seriously, though, this is sport, and adopting a bio ethanol derived solely from renewable agricultural sources would achieve the same thing... carbon absorbed during growing crops must surely almost equal carbon emitting during burning... got to be a better way than turning a racing series into an efficiency drive?


bio ethanol comes from the plants. CO2 is produced in the fertilisation, farming, fermentation, and transport. ethanol is also a less efficient fuel than fossil fuel. this would help nothing.

opening up engine technology to allow the best engineers in the world figure out a way of using each drop of fuel to its maximum energy potential, and looking at new *sustainable* rather than ignorant (and even damaging) but politically popular bio fuels is the only feasible way forward.


One minute they're telling us the public don't care whether team A has gained 0.05 seconds from expensive part X; now they're telling us a raft of expensive, technically complicated changes are needed to apparently appease these same people.

The FIA spends to much time meddling. Customers care about racing, speed, excitement and drivers. They do not care about gimmicks and the sanitisation of the sport.

F1 cars burn a lot of petrol, go fast, are noisy and churn out a lot of CO2. Get over it FIA - it's a drop in the ocean and harms nobody.

I also don't understand why they're trying to cut costs one minute and then burdening teams with massively expensive technology projects the next.

And this will continue when [mod] Todt takes over next month.


James - in your opinion how far is F! away from an alternative fuel source - e.g. alcohol, hydrogen etc etc?

Surely such a move would be world leading in climate change and would be give F1 more postitive global PR than ever before?

Even the British Govt might then throw Silverstone a few quid to upgrade the Burger Bars and erm.. whatever else Bernie thinks we can improve.


"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."

Would this be a way of compensating and rewarding Williams for investing in a good technology, that for various reasons hasn't taken off - and ensure they , as an independent, get a return on their £30m+ investment at a time when they must be financially challenged - rewarding the entrepreneurial aspect?


Since one of the key differential between cars is going to be efficiency of engine and energy recovery a standard Kers system would be a little odd.

F1 teams should be developing these systems in a competitive environment, Williams have seen where the wind is blowing and got there first. They should be rewarded by winning, a standardised system is only needed when it no longer matters or it's being exploited.


To be more explicit, Williams should be rewarded with race wins, and anyone who comes up with a better idea should be allowed to innovate and win themselves. I've been preaching that F1 engines need to go to a fixed fuel model - currently we reduce the engine size and lock down development when the cars get too fast, Remember when there were V8's V10's and V12's all racing each other. Different engines had different strengths and weaknesses at different tracks. It made for fun racing! Let's embrace new tech that will make racing exciting, and differentiate the cars once again. Lets stop ultra fine tuning the aerodynamics (which has 0 comercial value no one else flys an airplane on the ground) and start building mechanical solutions that I one day will see in a car that I can drive. Technical excellence that is worth throwing money at.


Unfortunately the Williams system does not work well enough to be used this year and will probably need several years of development before all the problems are overcome and it is safe enough.

I would guess there will have to be a new safety spec for a containment cell to try and hold the flywheel in the car in the event of a mishap or accident. This will be extremely difficult and dangerous. Whilst a battery/capacitor system has more ways of failing it is easier to make safe.

I speak here as a former employee of a company that was instrumental in the development of spin dryers, it was well known internally that a twin tub in a failure mode, could demolish a kitchen in very few seconds indeed. Obviously these incidents were not publicised

For a flywheel system to become really effective we must be looking at a mass/rotation speed combination that will have noticeable precession problems. (possibly dual opposing flywheels will be needed)


I thought F1 was carbon neutral anyway. Wasn't this an issue which came up when Honda announced their Earthdreams concept originally?


James, some of us are concerned whether the most talented driver is going to be on the grid at these races next year.

Are we allowed to ask what Whitmarsh is up to? Why is he not finalising the contract with KR? Does he not want McL to have the two best drivers? Is it the Hamiltons bellyaching?

Must say I was not impressed with the unsubtle approach that Howett chose to 'negotiate' openly with the Robinsons via the BBC in Brazil.

Paige Michael-Shetley

Howett isn't negotiating; he's saving face because he knows he's either lost him or couldn't get him in the first place.

Howett is a big talker who compensates for his incompetence by being boisterous. It's a common phenomenon against people who are big talkers. His team had a good car this year, and instead of acknowledging the team's failure to deliver a win in Bahrain by screwing Trulli's and Glock's tire strategy, he has gone on to unduly publicly blame Trulli and Glock for the team's performance. This is a guy also who is responsible for failures like paying Gascoyne more than any engineer in F1 at the time (including Brawn and Newey) and giving Ralf Schumacher one of the most ridiculous contracts in F1 history.

Howett is trying to redirect blame for the team's failures from himself to others. The budget meeting in Japan coming up for Toyota isn't just about the budget, and surely he knows it.


Back on topic... I must be alone in thinking this is all quite inspired.

Wake-up and smell the coffee! - Regardless of all the hows and the whys? - climate change isn't going away - nothing stays the same forever etc. Someone said above that these plans will essentially blunt man's endeavours to greater achievements etc... with respect I think that is narrow-minded.

The talent will still rise to the top regardless of the parameters involved. And allocating the most creative and incentivised engineering minds in the world to the singular task of squeezing every last ounce of kinetic motion out of every drop of fuel is infinitely more important to us all right now than some no-holds-barred consumption fest...

Paige Michael-Shetley

I don't have a problem with the energy efficiency side. If we think that there is a problem with climate change and that CO2 emissions are a contributor, then everyone needs to play their part, including F1.

In fact, getting the most horsepower out of the engines while also improving energy efficiency is an excellent technical challenge worthy of F1. Combine this with the refueling ban, and we may just have something that would interest manufacturers- who need to develop their green technologies to have maximum performance for their road products- to come back into F1.

The main worry I have is of a standardized KERS. The teams should all be free to design their own systems, be they electrical or flywheel. I'm sure Williams would love to have theirs be the standardized KERS, though; they could use all the revenue they can get. It might just be part of the deal with the devil they struck with Mad Max to align with him politically in the FIA/FOTA battle.


Do the teams still have their agreement to not run kers next year? Seems like that's going to go out the window with it still in for 2013 and the minimum weight being raised.


An efficiency based engine formula sounds good. We'll see power increases across a wide array of technologies. Engineers are grinning widely at the prospect. Also, driver's mechanical sympathy will be made more important.

However, I am disappointed that Mosley fell into the Climate Change(TM) hysteria. It's climate(noun) change(verb). The world focusing on CO2 is sad and irresponsible. We dump thousands of other poisons, lethal aerosols and heavy metals into our air and waterways but we choose to focus on a non-lethal, biodiversity friendly molecule. Mosley is a smart man and he plans well into the future. That he mentions flywheels instead of batteries is encouraging and shows he probably has something up his sleeve. Let's hope he's just using the Climate Change(TM) bandwagon to coax F1 teams via their marketing departments.


Seems dramatic at first glance, although the more and deeper I follow F1, the more I realise how much statements like this represent posturing and tone setting rather than concrete plans or rulings.

While I appreciate that this statement may represent an overarching trend and the direction F1 is heading (rightly so, in my opinion), I can't help but think that there will be a great deal of negotiation, threat and counter threat before some form of watered down agreement eventually comes into force.


I disagree with the people that think this will suck. First off, all long distance racing is fuel mileage racing. You can't win if you don't have a fuel strategy to get you to the end.

Some folks might see the word "efficiency" and think this will end up a Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight crapfest, but this is so much more than that. I think this could be awesome. Finally - erase the pages and pages of specific engine restrictions and let the teams do whatever they might do - they just have X liters of fuel with which to do it. It gets away from the spec racing that every series seems to be becoming nowadays. This gives engineers a new creativity challenge, and they will blow our minds with what they come up with. When the cars get too dangerously fast, they simply lower the amount of fuel they get. It even makes the FIA's job of policing the sporting regulations a bit easier.

While I'm a huge fan of hybrid technology and hope KERS is a key ingredient of this, there is still a lot of potential left in good old internal combustion engine technology. This is about finding ways to extract every available calorie of energy from a given quantity of fuel. This is the next frontier of internal combustion engine performance. Look what manufacturers are doing with Direct Injection and things like that - that is just the tip of the iceberg.

A liter of fuel is simply a storage medium for a known quantity of energy, depending on the fuel type. Even the highest performance internal combustion engines today are probably unable to convert more than 30% of that energy to horsepower, while the rest is simply wasted as heat or otherwise. We can improve this, and this opens up a whole new world of road-relevant R&D. Raw horsepower is good, but horsepower per liter is even better.

This could make for an exciting new era of F1, for those of us that enjoy the technological aspects of it. On the other hand, it could also start a cost war, but perhaps engine manufacturers will take more interest in this and offset the teams' costs in the name of R&D that could trickle down to the cars we drive on the roads tomorrow. Perhaps we'll see more engine manufacturers throw their hat into the F1 ring.

There is one caveat to this - I hope they do restrict the fuel type to road-legal fuels. I am not even sure what today's fuel restrictions are for F1 - James, can you offer any insight?


travis, fuel restrictions this year are very tight - they are specifically written so that F1 fuel closely resembles, and meets all the specifications of regular pump fuel. of course, F1 fuel isn't the same, but it meets the same standards, and would work in your car. vice versa, road gasoline would work in an F1 engine, but just wouldn't give as much performance.

the rules become a bit looser next year, and will move a little further away from a typical gasoline composition.


Hi Travis,

I aree in principle with what you said in your comment but the type of fule use is the basic element.

In the Turbo era, Ferrari and Agip at the time, spent a lot of resources to find the right fuel formula to create the maximum amount of HP.

Now I think if all engine manufacturer will try to create more efficient engines, the research will go in several different directions:

Fuel combustion, create the perfect fuel

Engine efficiency in terms of thermal efficiency, weight distribution inside the engine, engine friction and most of all create the perfect combustion chamber.

Engine cooling, a cool engine will produce more HP

Engine elettronics, they might come up with some particular system cutting off fuel when the trottle is at zero, some road cars have a similar system when they are stationary, cutting the engine.

In the late 80's and 90's Fiat had this system in the Fiat Uno ES, Energy Saving.

F1 will be once again at the edge of motor technology and I hope the engine manufacturer will try their best to produce very powerfull and efficient engines.


I have some interesting stuff on this which I will get into once the season is out of the way


What they should consider if they are going to go to an efficiency formula is to allow them a fixed amount of energy to use per race, and let the teams figure out everything else - gas, diesel, turbo, whatever!

Just imagine the innovation that could encourage.


The FIA will introduce highly technical propulsion systems to all series, but due to the high cost, technology will be restricted in some series...???

F1 races will be carbon neutral and the FIA proposes offsetting. This will be achieved by having Scotty beam everyone from event to event, I guess.

The only type of car racing that I can think of that would actually work within this "green" framework is Soap Box Derby.


Okay, 1 thing I want to point out. In order for F1 to become carbon neutral, they don't have to plant loads of trees or anything like that.

They can sell their carbon footprint to a company that has a carbon defecit - that company make money out of being efficient, F1 offsets some of it's carbon footprint.

And to answer Buttoneer above, I believe Honda Racing was the first F1 team to acheive the ISO14001 rating for it's factory....though I could be mistaken on that.



Good thinking or is this something that is already in practice.

Send me a link if it is please. This is innovation in another dimension even though it is oh so simple.



yeah - spec ECU - engine freeze - 18k rev limit - common wing elements - mandatory tire compound use - qualifying on race fuel - can't change a gearbox - can't change an engine....

yeah, we REALLY need to make sure that doesn't get emasculated.



I agree, offsetting the entire F1 circus for a season seems like a monumental task - and the validity of offsetting is questionable at best.

Comparatively, driving 26 cars for several hundred miles every two weeks produces a fairly low amount of carbon - surely the best initiative would revolve around finding some way to use green energy/fuel efficiency as a means of transporting all of the teams/equipment? If instead this were pursued it would have a real and far greater effect upon the environment and preserve the spectacle that we all know and love.

Then again, last time I checked there wasn't an 'FIA' in 'common sense'...

P.s. The blog is great James - please tell me you'll be doing more of the same for the off-season/next year?


If they *really want to reduce this idiotic carbon footprint thingie, all they have to do is simply cut in half the number of people each team takes to the events.

Half the ppl producing that ghastly CO2, half the transport trucks producing whatever they produce, half the airplane loads of tools and tires and god-knows-what!

So, they're not really serious about it.

Unless... maybe this is a plot to reduce the number of fans interested enough to go to the races, thereby reducing the races' CO2 impact?


I heard that the current KERS units used by the likes of McLaren and Ferrari are not green. Is this true?


That's true, I saw a piece about the McLaren KERS unit on TV and it is in fact black.


I seem to be the only one that agrees with the 'engine efficiancy' proposal?, i dont see how this will adversly affect the spectical as long as an f1 engine is still sickeningly powerfull them im happy! It should introduce another demension to the racing abit like the old turbo days, imagine if a car could do the first half of a gp with 1000hp then turn the wick down and cruze to victory with 600, add in another more efficient engine that could run higher bhp for longer and then chase down the leaders. Moto gp runs the same principal. Just to add, I was however discusted with the 'engine freeze' that was introduced a few years ago. Just imagine if they had introduced that 20yrs ago, most of the inspired technology we see in modern road cars was derived from an f1 engine and if development hadnt advanced then we'd all be driving round with carbs and hopless rust buckets, abit like they do in America! If development of the combustion engine is allowed to continue who knows what it will become in another 20 yrs? Remember, the earth was flat once!


"power per unit of energy" based formula? FABULOUS! I've been hoping for this for years. Bring-on the exotic and innovative engine designs.


So is this another one of those FIA (Mosely) directives without FOTA input and agreement?

I would be very interested to know if the teams even knew about this directive that has just landed in their inboxes.

And how exactly James will these dramatic changes (completely new engine designs from what I can make out) effect the supposed budgetry constraints?


Well said Rusty, this is just more waffle from Mad Max, desperate to create a "legacy" he can rant on about, destracting attention from the vile farce of his FIA tenure and the stink from Bernies 100 year contract. More Billion Dollar posturing from a crazy old man who it appears actually believes he is doing something worthwhile. All he is doing in fact is yet again forcing F1 [and now others] to go down a crazy, unproven but Politically trendy route so he can brag about all the good he had done in his career, but again, at a cost of hundreds of Millions.

How much money was burned in total over Max's vain posturing with KERS ? Now we are to have it banned, as McLaren have the best system, and the whacko Williams version that has not yet run, given the mandate.


Seems like we're all trying to get the most out of dwindling oil supplies.

I would rather see Hydrogen promoted as the fuel of choice.

The advantages are zero emissions and is actually lighter than standard fuel, also it tends to burn instead of exploding (like standard fuel) in the event of a crash.

I can see storage and transportation as an early issue as it must be kept frozen to remain in liquid form but teams have had freezers in the pits before right? Also,making hydrogen from water pours tons of oxygen into the atmosphere. I think some of the oil companies like BP would get behind it.

Yes, it will be expensive to begin with but when other forms of motor sport and the auto industry join in - and they will, it will get cheaper.


Well the sport will have to move to either alcohol based or hydrogen based fuel eventually, as will the entire world. It may be as little as 10 years away...depends on what really happens with the oil resevers. So they might as well start now. I think the F1 fuel mix already has some ethanol in it doesn't it? about 10% or something?


Standardized KERS?


I hope this is the last one before mad max finally leaves once and for all!


I see this as potentially a very good thing. For years now, F1 technology has gone down an increasingly specialized path that largely has no application beyond racing. Of course there are exceptions, but even some of the exceptions are not widely available to consumers and/or are cost-prohibitive for mass production. Pushing the constuctors down a path of efficiency potentially has huge payoffs for non-racing applications. The devil is in the details, however.

One possible positive...if the cars were to be slowed a little, perhaps we could get rid of some of the chicanes that have emasculated tracks.

As for the whole carbon neutral issue...I just have to laugh when they're also pushing night races. That's a massive amount of energy consumption (and carbon output) to offset.


Let us for the moment ignore the arrogance of suggesting a major modification to the rules by a man who has, thankfully, just two days left to ruin the sport.

Fuel efficiency formulas have come and gone. Something similar was tried before during the turbo era. The spin on it was different of course, but in essentials it was the same. Who can forget Mansell running out on the slow down lap of the 87 British GP?

This is, presumably, set for 2013 so is little more than posturing at the moment given that, whatever happens at the election, by then Mosley will be long gone. Neither Ari nor Todt will be at his beck and call. However, two points spring to mind: costs and more costs.

Continual tinkering with the formula is one thing, but massive changes cost the teams so much. Engine manufacturers have suffered over recent years due to the continual pointless modifications to the fundamental design. Yet another change is really not the way to go.

The other cost implication is for the new system. My understanding is that the quest for more power out of a given amount of fuel was the most expensive exercise undertaken in F1, leaving only Honda able to afford the hyper-expensive research and development necessary, let alone exotic materials, to grab the initiative. Who can forget the gap to third at the 87 British GP?

And I feel that biofuels is not the way to go. When the world is starving, stuffing vegetables in your tank would seem a trifle insensitive.


Gloabal warming or climate change, a great way to sqeeze more money from the tax payer.

i want to see cars flat out , driver go at it like mad men, getting paid millions of $$. Teams coming and going, the political fights, the hatred between teams and drivers. thats what i want to watch at midnight( kiwi time) not drivers been given bottle tops as trophy and been media puppets for green peace..

god when will we get a backbone, against hippies.

Final rant what is the carbon footprint for the English premier league each week, i think it blows F1's out of the park.


I don't mind what they do with the fuel, I just want the FIA to revert back to 2008-style chassis designs minus bodywork appendages.

Am I alone in feeling like the 2009 cars still look pathetically lame? I actually think it's detracting from the sport.


It has taken a while, but I no-longer find the 2009 cars as aesthetically repulsive as I first did; then I see a clip of a pre 2009 car and it all comes flooding back.


I think the cars look the best they have since 1997...


The interim cars they ran with the normal nose, no bodywork appendages, and the new rear wing looked ok I thought.

I really miss the curvature of the front wing, throughout 2005-2008 they really made some wonderful sculpted designs.


There's a reason most F1 fans wish we were back 20 years ago listening to V12s around fast and sometimes dangerous tracks.

Trying to make cars go fast overall on one tank of fuel thorugh greater efficiency will lead to less aggresive racing by the drivers.

This is F1, not Le mans.


Do most fans want that, really? How do you know? Many people think the best times were the turbo days when they had to get the car to the end of the race on one tank of fuel and fuel saving was a key part of the race tactics...


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

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.


"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)


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!.


James, any news on the Donington bond scheme?


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.


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.


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).


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.


"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 ?


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

Top F1 engineers seem to like it.


Rotary power is inherently more efficient...still say they should embrace 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.

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