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Thoughts on the new 2013 engines: Fans’ Forum video 4
Thoughts on the new 2013 engines: Fans’ Forum video 4
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Jul 2010   |  5:12 pm GMT  |  43 comments

Formula 1 is set to change dramatically in three years time with a new engine formula up or grabs and this formed the basis of one of the discussions at the recent FOTA Fans’ Forum, powered by Santander.

Talks are ongoing between the teams and the FIA about what kind of engines the sport will adopt, but it seems likely that it will be low capacity turbocharged engines. The sport can embrace the opportunity of a new engine formula in 2013 to produce a new generation of far more fuel efficient engines, which will benefit the motor industry and society in general.

The panel for the Forum, held in London on July 1, was led by Martin Whitmarsh, FOTA chairman and team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and featured Tony Fernandes, team principal of Lotus Racing, Jock Clear, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team, Luca Colajanni, Head of Motorsport Press Office, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Paul di Resta test and reserve driver, Force India F1 team.

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In reality it probably does not matter much but the V6 is probably the smartest all round. I remember the Renaults at Silverstone in ’83 and the difference between the Cosworths of teh day was a great contrast. The remember the Hondas of the late 80s when in Adelaide the scream was increadable as they wound up on Dequetteville Terrace/Brabham Straight. Roll on the high tech nature of F1 and never dumb it down for any reason.


It is time for a change the sound means nothing to me as long as the performance is there, these people need to stop the whinne and complains about it and step up to the game!

WELCOME to the Turbo 4’s, looking foward to the 2013 season!


My view is that, as has been suggested earlier, the teams should be allowed to build whatever engine they want but given a fuel allowance for the race weekend. Free type of fuel but based on some sort of energy equivalent seems fair. If you want a 5 litre V12 fine, if you want a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder turbo fine, if you want some thing in-between that runs on old chip fat fine. To my mind the current engine freeze makes a farce of the sport. It’s getting dangerously close to standardised cars. If you can build it and make it last the weekend on the fuel allowed then you should be able to do it. And, for the record, if youre going to ship teams around the world by air then the “greeness” of the race cars themselves just becomes immaterial. Also the variety of solutions that would come out of such a free choice of engine design would do more for road car technology then any laid down formula could ever do simply by encouraging innovation.


As long as the engines still make a lot of noise and the cars still go very fast it is still formula 1. Formula 1 has always showcased the the epitome of technologies and will continue to do so. If engines are still powerfully violent beasts thrusting forward a sleek and elegant body around a flowing and fast racetrack, we will still have Formula 1 in its most pure of forms.


@Chris from Adelaide.
I can’t see any car company wanting to race with standardized engines. The whole point is to get car companies to put clever people onto getting an engine advantage which can feed down to road cars.

The engine rules we have today have fixed the engines as those that were homologated in 2008 – or something which is compatible with that at the discretion of the FIA.
Those engines were designed in an era of refueling where the weight Penalty of an inefficient engine was divided by the number of stints. Engine makers are NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE MORE EFFICIENT ENGINES.

The way to more efficient engines is to fix the amount of fuel (by carbon output, not weight, so cars can use ethanol, diesel, Petrol) and lift all the other rules on engines.

Keep in mind that the fuel used by the cars in a tiny part of the carbon footprint of F1.
The biggest part is the hundreds of millions of TV sets watching the race.
The next biggest is spectators traveling to watch the races.
Then there is the impact of running the teams businesses – a dozen offices, each employing hundreds of people.
Then there is the cost of making the cars – the foundries which make the engines and the autoclaves which make the bodies, the tyre making process etc.

The simplest way to cut carbon emissions is to have FEWER RACES. It’s in the commercial interests of the teams to have Bernie flogging GPs to anyone who can stump up the money, whether they have any motorsport background or not (Bahrain, Turkey, Singapore all spring to mind) – and the carbon footprint of building a circuit like Abu-Dahbi must be well up there. Cut 15-20% of the carbon by scrapping these trophy races. Of course that is not in the teams’ commercial interests …


Don’t forget the carbon footprint the planes and other transport used to get the F1 teams to the races around the world, the home again!



Yes and if you follow this logic to the end you would scrap *all the races and close up shop. Then F1 would be *completely green!

Just make all the race-goers carpool and you’d save tons and tons more than anything you could do with “technology.” F1 could do this right now.

And they will *never allow such a wide choice of fuels and engine designs! Simply because there is a chance that *one competitor will make a breakthrough and totally dominate them all, making them and their sponsors look silly, inept, weak.


In addition, I think they’re *afraid to allow diesels.

They’re afraid Audi would just cut the fenders off the R10 and kick their asses!


They should give the teams a limited amount of fuel per weekend, like a tyre allocation.

Teams should be able to build any spec engine that can last the weekend on the fuel allocation.

This will also allow direct benifits in the current world climate, and put savings in all our pockets!


Is football relevant to anything? Nobody seems to be bothered by that.

Chris From Adelaide

I like the idea of the turbo motors coming back into the sport. One idea I had was each driver is allowed to run 30 seconds worth of extra boost each race, this way they can hit there “push to pass, turbo boost button” along with there KERS button if they get stuck behind a driver. James, do you think the teams with come up with this “Global Engine Platform”? or will each manufacture develop there own new motor.


It is true that fuel efficiency is a very small part of emissions from F1, but the point is that by developing at F1 levels then the technology can be implemented on millions of road-cars, which will have a huge impact.

As for racing, well I don’t really care so long as we get to see some competitiveness in the engines. I don’t know what a small turbo engine will sound like, but I can’t imagine it will be good if the rev limit stays low.

Martin Collyer

Owen, if you are worried about the sound of the engines in a turbo formula, and I would imagine that we all are, take a look at post 3, specifically Harvey Yates’ description of the 1985 European Grand Prix.

Turbo engines only revved to about 12,000 rpm, I think, the power came from boost rather than revs. They won’t sound like 18 or 19,000 rpm screamers but they can have a highly significant sound.


Efficient road car engines are *way ahead of F1. Because why? Because they’re not petrol engines anymore.


None the less the technology introduced will be much more beneficial than the current one.


OK, I apreciate it might be good to be seen as green, but in reallity just one of Tony Frenandez’s planes probably uses more fuel in one flight than all the F1 cars use in a whole weekend of testing and racing! (And I wonder how many planes he has, not to mention how many planes are flying in the world 24/7). It strikes me that there are more of our energy resorses used just getting the F1 circus to and from the different countrys they race in, than what the F1 cars use. And now Burny’s talking about introducing more races still, seems contradictory, maybe Burnie could contribute some of his income from F1 towards developeing more economical planes and ships!! Yeah, right!! I’ll bet!!



I don’t watch F1 thinking about the environment, it’s getting silly now. I watch it for the excitement the roar of the engines the skill of the drivers. I do not care about anything other than my couple of hours every other week, god cant we leave alone for once.

What next recycling our body waste if we go to the race track to power the lights, or what about health and safety getting involved and the driver are no longer allowed to drive the car as it may be dangerous, our what about every driver getting on the podium as we don’t want to make then feel like they have not done a jolly good job, do we???

I never ever thought social engineering would be part of F1




I think having the turbo back will be great for the racing and HOPEFULLY it will help with the overtaking in terms of one driver using more of the boost whilst in the slipstream of another car.

Alternatively a driver could possibly (albeit probably unlikely now given how much a driver does behind a wheel now as it is) make a mistake whilst adjusting the boost and ergo the following driver can take advantage of that.

It certainly should allow for more possibilities to overtake which is what people would prefer rather than overtaking happening left, right and centre. It would make overtaking almost “worthless”.

From a society relevant point, it’s also a great idea given the number of road cars these days have turbos in them to help with efficiency so F1 having the turbos again alongside the Le Mans cars will be relevant in the teams developing these turbo units.

As for them making the engines seemingly “twice” as efficient, yet as powerful. It sounds mad! BUT it would be amazing if they managed to carry this out. Imagine this filtering down to the road cars where you could potentially go the same distance on half the tank!


When will the engine formula for 2013 be decided ? I’m assuming the manufacturers must have a few years notice to design, test, and build the engines. Will there be a lift in the engine development when the new regulations come in?


This is purely as a way of persuading the big car companies back into F1.

Which will just take us back to the days of big companies spending big and then leaving when they can’t afford it.

A new engine formula will cost an absolute fortune.

This adds nothing for the fans. We don’t want castrated engines just so Honda or BMW can sell road cars.

The FIA needs to leave well alone. Fuel efficiency has no place in Formula One. The average fan doesn’t know how mpg Lewis Hamilton gets and don’t care one iota.


I disagree. I think a lot of fans would be interested to see what the MPG is over a race distance. Give the teams Group C style limits, where there is a maximum allowable fuel usage over a race, and let the engines be open for design (with perhaps a few limits like 17,000 rpm, maximum boost, etc).


I prefer watching motor races rather than economy runs.


It would be nicer to have a transcript/audio instead of a video that shows me how many people have iphones, ipads and laptops when Martin or Tony are talking.


Brandon, I took a live transcript from the sessions.


Can we get the full audio as a podcast of sorts?


These guys are not really saying anything at all, when in my mind they should already have a clear idea being implemented.

Im not a Mosely supporter at all, but he was right when he said if left up to the teams they will never agree on anything.


No one is asking “hard” questions.

No one asked “if you *really want to reduce carbon emmissions why don’t you just *require attendees at the races to all carpool, or use public transit?”

Engineering a technical solution to the problem is an easy cop out and you can blame somebody else for its non-existence.

The biggest gains would be seen from “social engineering” but that would require actual change from real people, wouldn’t it.

No, this is useless, disingenuous PR BS.


blame the attendees


Don’t Indy cars run on relatively green fuel these days?


There is nothing green about ethanol! It takes 95% of the resultant energy to create it – the vast majority of which is anything but green. Add to that the acres of agricultural land that could otherwise be used for food and ethanol can be seen to be obscenely damaging.

The only reason it is produced is because misguided governments choose to tax it less than crude oil derived fuels.

On the other hand biodiesel can be a secondary use for used cooking oil and requires only 10-15% of the resulting energy – which could be from biodiesel generators.


Actually I think its Methanol, not Ethanol. And they’ve been doing it for decades.

But not for some feel-good BS reason. They had a couple of major fires and decided gasoline was too dangerous.


Rich, the old days (b4 IRL) of Indycar/Champcar racing, the fuel used was Methanol, (as you said), but when IRL came along they initially used petrol, then they thought they should do something “green” and changed to Ethanol, probably 3 or 4 years ago.



Yeah, Ethanol, made from renewable scorces, (corn etc), which is not too dissimilar to Methanol.



I really like the idea of turbos coming back to f1. The only thing I worry about is hearing 3 or 4 cylinder engines in f1.

That sort of noise is for fiat pinto championships 😉

I do agree with the previous comment that the link between f1 and road cats is pretty tenuos now (other than on top end sportscars).

The day I see carbon brakes on a Clio, that will be the day 🙂


Yes, for god’s sake dont make them sound like a bunch of little girlie toys!


James, I dont know if this matters to those who decide but i think its very important that the new engines are able to retain the current sounds, it was a shame we lost the v10’s but it wouldnt sound like F1 if the cars sound dreary like gutless F3 cars


I was at the European GP in, I think, 85. It was at the start of the Honda dominance in bhp and at the time of the 1,500bhp qually BMW engines, and all out of a stock block.

The noise at the start was quite dramatic. One of the chaps I went with took a load of earplugs with him and sold them at £1 a throw (oddly enough, in packs of three). And he sold out. Even then there were those complaining about the good old DFV days.

Despite wearing earplugs, albeit cheaper ones than my friend was selling, a bit of wax was dislodged in my ear by the vibrations. Now that was sound. I still had ringing in my ears on the Tuesday.

It was like a wall in front of you. It felt as if it was forcing you back.

I doubt we will get that back but I liked the turbo years for all sorts of reasons and the sound was up there near the top.

Martin Collyer

Harvey, I too remember the previous Turbo generation sounds, there was one particular year when the Renault V6 Turbo sound got right inside you and rattled your insides about!!!

We have got to hope that the new generation turbos will not be so strangled that those sounds/experiences cannot be repeated.

People also got to recognise that a turbo-4 or V6 will never sound like a V10 at 19,000 rpm, they can have a very decent sound though.


Yes it’s a big part of the experience. It’s the *only thing I like about NASCAR: the massive noise of 40 big V8’s going flat out at the start.


I agree. Sound is very important

Zobra Wambleska

I know it’s tempting to think of F1 as strictly an entertainment and therefore to assume it can ignore the real world, but the fact of the matter is that the real world will stop supporting our play thing if it fails to give back in any meaningful way. So, it’s in our own best interest to go down this path. Interesting that Ferrari had nothing to add to the discussion.

George TheCar

Racing no longer has any connection with production cars.

It’s just entertainment and we should have entertaining engines and that means on the edge and blowing up about 30% of the time

THe more professional racing becomes the more processional it is!

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