F1 set for electric only in the pit lane?
F1 set for electric only in the pit lane?
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Apr 2011   |  11:11 am GMT  |  253 comments

There’s a very interesting story on Reuters featuring quotes from Williams chairman Adam Parr about the 2013 engine plans.

Will F1 cars be under electric power only when they pit? (Williams)

In light of recent comments from those who are against the move away from V8s towards a ‘greener’ engine, including Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo, Parr says that there is no going back on the direction of travel.

He also makes a point I’ve not heard before that with the 2013 engines, when the car is in the pit lane, it will be running on pure electric only, a very interesting step and quite a message, if you think about it.

Criticism of the 2013 plans centres around the lack of noise, but also the notion that it is an empty gesture, paying lip service to sustainability – a ‘greenwash’ in other words. Running on electric only when the car is in the pit lane, would be a big step for the sport.

Parr said the new engine would be turbocharged and turbo-compounded. The KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) will be four times as powerful.

“It will have one fan generating electricity to super-charge the engine, another fan to recover energy from the exhausts which will recharge a battery and then be usable,” he said.

“You are going to have a powertrain generating well over 800hp from four cylinders. I think its going to sound fantastic. It’s going to run on pure electric in the pitlane,” said Parr.

“You’ve got cutting edge technology, I mean really the future of road cars, you’re going to have a very powerful message about environmental performance and what technology can do. And the racing will be just as exciting, if not more.

“Formula One is ultimately defined by its technology and Formula One’s constant reinvention of itself, whether it’s on the chassis side or the engine side, is fundamental to the nature of the sport,” he said.

“The people who don’t want things to change are the people who for whatever reason feel they have an incumbent advantage by not changing things.”

Featured Innovation
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

It's very dangerous in my opinion.

Silent F1 cars travelling down the pit at 80kph is a recipe for diaster. We've seen a few near misses in the pits in the past and I reckon we not might be as lucky if they introduce this in 2013.


They could add artificial noise "Brum Brum" when the electric motor is switched on!


The drivers can go brum brum as they go down the pit lane.


Thats the answer. I heard Jenson Button does that anyway.


Dont some pit lanes make a large noise anyway when a car is entering the pit? Could still go along that.


I have been lucky enough to be in the pitlane one time at the Nurburgring during an F1 weekend: the reality is that it is so loud you don't hear when a car is coming at 80mph down the lane itself. Also, people are not walking about in front of the pits during the race; it's not allowed.

With battery use on the drive-in to the pits the sport would not be made any more dangerous than it currently is.



I was going to post about how no one relys on their ears to stand in the pits.

Quite frankly, cars come in oneend and go out the other. People currently look and will still. THe only reason having sound would help is if you are standing in the middle of the lane and not looking at all, in which case you would hear cars coming. On the other hand, if your stupid enough to stand in the middle of a pit lane looking the wrong way then you probably aren't in F1.

If the cars are coming out of garages then you can't tell anywya. You could be standing outside Kobayashi's garage and if you hear an engine fire up to come out then you can' tell if it's Alguasuaries or Buemis or Perez' (Perezes?). It just sounds loud coming from somewhere near by. Again, you should be on the pit wall side or inside a garage. You can't tell standing there who is coming out until you see them, so unless we are going to give them sounds like pokemon to tell us who is coming out then you might as well keep on looking.

Residential streets are a different concern as kids play and balls go on the street for kids to fetch, no ball rolls onto the pit lane and I'm yet to see a 5 year old run out after the cricket ball into the pit lane of a Gran Prix.

wait... what's that... pika pika chu.... that must be Kobayashi's engine...


Surely the engines will still be running, you'll still get a growl of the engines, they couldn't switch off the engines as I presume there wouldn't be a starter motor. They won't be silent.


Kers is due to be a 250bhp starter motor.


I think you will find that:

A) All cars must run a treaded tire (no more slicks), as per 2009 guidelines. To accommodate point B)

B) They will fix a playing card via a rubber band to the body work of the car so that during races where the cars are running intermediates and wet tires it will create the noise of an fmx bike. thus making the pit crew aware of cars approaching when under alternative power sources.


I don't mind if the cars are silent in the pit lane!!!

Purely because how awesome will an F1 engine sound bump-starting at 80km/h at the end of the pit lane and accelerating hard when fighting for position?



Or another idea could be a recording of a NASCAR V8 to be switched on by the driver when entering the pits! Oh , that wouldn't work because all the spectators would crowd into the pits and there wouldn't be room for the cars! Damn.



With the torque that a 240hp electric motor would produce, it wouldn't be that hard to bump start the petrol engine... buy you're probably right, makes more sense to leave it in idle


The starter motor will be the electric engine I guess


Running electric in the pit-lane, what a bright idea ! Do they have many of those stupid idea ideas in store. I've got one : all the F1 engines should be painted in Green.

Then what if the electic engine doesn't work. They have to stop. As for Mr. Parr, he should stop fooling around and look for the basics such as aerodynamics. Besides, we're not sure he or his team will be around in 2013


Dinosaur? Perhaps the sport we all love and want to continue watching in to the future needs and has to evolve. If you want it to be relgated to a club sport where with rose tinted specs we all rave about the good old days and four star fuel then you do that. I want to keep watcing the pinnacle of motorsport for many years to come, why are so many people against new engine technology which if not adopted will render our sport an out of date and useless investment?

Manufacturers have to justify the money they spend and they have to relate it to road cars which has started with KERS and will only continue with the new rules. Have you looked at new cars recently? They all have smaller capacity forced induction and F1 has to reflect this or it will die.


Valid point but I am sure they can device a simple system to make some noise just like electric road cars have been fitted with.


still don’t understnad the point.

A pit lane is very simply, cars come in and come out. They enter from one end and exit out the other occasionally going into pit box’s or directly into the garage.

If you want to walk past, look. People do it anyway. I’m pretty sure you’d notice an F1 car travelling down the pit lane without hearing it.

The only time cars wouldn’t be coming down from one end and out the other is when they come out of the garages. ANd if they are doing that then you’re not about to be able to pick up an F1 engine from Kobayashi’s car over that of Algusaurie’s car.

If you are standning in the lane, and I’m sure James could say something on this, you can’t hear the difference between different cars coming out or cars coming out over the sound of a car warming up.

I can see on a small residential street with a hill on it and a blind corner why you might not here it with children running around, but in a pit lane where you expect cars to be coming from garages and travelling down the pit lane no one is relying on sound to help them. Sight yes, sound no. You struggle to hear one over the other let alone which is closer.


If you want to be green, start by not developing this system. They could easily turn the pitlane "green" now, by just making a rule to coast into the pitlane and use KERS to pull out. I'm sure cars mostly coast in now anyway after the speed limit line.

And did everyone forget that F1 engines don't have a starter motor? So they have to keep running, which by virtue creates noise at minimum rpm. Idling F1 engines - not very green at all either. All the while we use further un-green short life batteries to supplement energy already being wasted by the idling F1 engine.

F1 - take on the challenge of secondary air propulsion if you want to be cutting edge and contribute with your engineering powers. Could you imagine if teams were given unlimited ways to deliver the "KERS" boost and someone developed a light weight air pressure based system?

I bet the petrol companies that sponsor all the teams and pay the bills wouldn't like it though - and F1 can't pee in it's own pool.


I am still uncertain how much this 'green' KERS system is applicable to everyday cars. I noticed the danger posed by high voltage of the system requiring mechanics to wear insulated gloves. Would ordinary drivers want to be subject to strong electric shocks using their road cars and may be have a heart attack as a result? Can somebody enlighten me on this?


You could make the argument that they do now have starter motors. KERS is a starter motor..kinda. It's just they don't actually use it to start the car. They probably could though with some small changes.


I think the new regulations are a great step forward. If the engineers in F1 really are the cleverest and most innovative in the world then let them turn their minds to developing something of real use to the rest of the world rather than just spending all their resource on making tiny aerodymanic improvements.

The racing will still be good. As for all the arguments about it not sounding the same, does it really matter? The sound of F1 engines has always changed over the years and nobody is going to stop watching because the sound is a bit different.


Try telling that to the millions of NASCAR followers, Phill. To them they see F1 drivers as a bunch of girls blouses now, so what will they think of a 4 cylinder with a hair dryer on it?



I see them as a lack of technology. Carburetors? cmon now. What technology is there. Their aerodynamics is putting a fin on the side of the car.


Yeah but they sound GOOD, don't they? I've got a feeling that if the "good ole boys" were racing/driving 4 cylinder cars, they wouldn't attract anywhere as many spestators!



Yes, they use Carburettors, and pushroded V8s, and 2 valves per cylinder- but they can still rev them out to 10 000 RPM! Nascar may be many things, but they are no less advanced technologically than F1, it is just in a different way.

Here's a good link for a comparison between F1 and NASCAR engines, and the results may surprise you:


Now I personally don't particularily care for NASCAR as a racing series, you cannot deny the technology that goes into one of their cars.


Ever been to an F1 race?

If you have point taken, but not agreed with.

If not, you dont what your talking about.

Sorry to be a grumpy old bugger, I just like the sound of a proper engine when I go to a GP.

Not against progress either, but please a 4cly turbo. Its not touring cars folks


Fair enough if the engine noise is what does it for you. Personally, close wheel to wheel racing is what I'm interested in from an excitement point of view. Each to their own.

However, you have to appreciate that if F1 is to remain the pinnacle of technology then it has to move with the times and remain relevant. Hybrid solutions are where the world is heading right now and to keep the big automtive manufacturers interested then there has to be a strong element of transferable technology to road cars.

In 15 years time we'll probably be having similar arguments about moving away from petrol/electric hybrids to hydrogen fuel cell powered units. The point is that if F1 doesn't move with the times then it will quickly become a niche, historical activity of no relevance to the man on the street, no relevance to automotive manufacturers or current technology. Sure the 'purists' would love it, but without mass appeal the sport will wither and die.



I think I didnt get my point across very well.

An engine change is good, hybrid technology is good, 4cly turbos are not.

The question of relevance with the 4cly engine is stretching it a bit. Why not a 2ltr v6? Some blokes called Head, Williams, Brawn, Stewart and Whitmarsh thought this would good idea. Ha, what do they know. Wether its 4,6 or 8 cylinders does not matter, the direct injection technolgy is still the same. As is turbo tech and hybrid tech.

Not against progress just please be sensible and give us a vee engine that can make some bloody racket. It will all still have a strong element that is transferable to road cars.

Us old buggers want NOISE and the right bloody NOISE.


To be honest the Renault engine sounds odd now. Also I read somewhere that someone had listen to the sort of noise the new engines should produce and said it wasn't particularly different. Furthermore which engine noise do you count as being the true noise as the noises they make appear to change season to season.

I quite like the idea of an engine championship not sure if it is realistic or viable.


The engine, whatever it is, has to make a noise which makes the hairs stand on end. This v8 does not make a noise like the v10's but it screams and sounds good, cus it a vee engine.

My track car is a 4cly turbo with loud exhaust, sounds great until a vee engine is started.

$ cyl engines cant defy physics.



F1 has to move with the times. More than that -- F1 has to lead! Whatever happens, F1, don't fall in to the trap of greenwash -- it's transparent; blatant, cynical PR. Set a real example of what a technological pinnacle F1 is by coming up with real, solid, ground-breaking innovation that has wide application.

BTW; the latest 'green' news on the Today programme this morning was the mention a new sort of battery construction that allows very rapid charging. It's in the early development stages but they're suggesting it will take a 90% charge in just a few seconds.


The days of 'all-electric' F1 have just got closer. Roll on, I say.


Born 50, you've gotta be joking!!! Something tells me you're over the hill, with comments like that!!! Maybe you should be following some other sport/game.



Born 50, actually I was born a few years b4 you, but I'm a serious follower!



Hmm. Time will tell, my young friend.


This year has shown that a set of good regulations that can be interpreted within a narrow band are great for the sport.

Swapping the engine should not change any of this.

Here is a suggestion... make it more worth while add an Engine championship should to encourage other suppliers to join the grid.


I agree with you to a point but I do hope they come up with a solution about the noise because if you've ever been to a race you'll know that the sound of an F1 is incredible and is one of the top highlights.


That kind of noise is a highlight for about a minute, and then you put your earplugs in because it's so ****ing loud which makes it sound a lot different anyways.

And let's not forget that the average viewer has never, and WILL never attend an F1 race in person (nor any other world class racing for that matter), so their only experience of that awesome sound is crappy track side recordings made by microphones which can never fully capture the true sound, then made crappier by the broadcasting process (the incredible volume of which by necessity has to be lowered so the commentators can be heard),and then rendered crappier still through the average television's little speakers. This "sound is so important" debate is nonsense.


I love the sound of a powerful engine as much as the next guy but it really has nothing to do with the racing, and nothing stays the same so given time people adapt. However, having no combustion engine wouldn't mean silence. The wind noise one downhill racer makes by skiing by at 80mph is surprisingly loud, so 26 cars punching holes through the air at 200mph would be anything but quiet, and it would be easier to judge who is on the limit by how much noise their tires were making.



Whoa, picture that: a F1 car racing at high speed with no sound. That sounds very sci-fi! 🙂

As for the pitlane. F1 could have a little beeping sound when coming in the pits. Like trucks have.


btw speaking of commentators, Martin Brundle is awesome. Great insight and analysis, interesting stories, and he's a comedic genius.


Exactly my sentiments...


Exciting times James, do you think we will ever see the return of ground effects cars on these new ultra smooth tracks?


I hear they are looking into that for the 2013 regs


Ground effects + Smaller wings = Less drag for similiar speed.

250bhp Electric + 600 bhp Petrol = 850bhp (100bhp more than currently). Use the turbo as a boost button like before.


Ground effects? How about sound effects!


Will they be delivering milk as well? 😉


The pitlane is about 500m long...

so 500m of 4 wheels on electric power?

Where is the message?

I think to environmentalists it will send the message: "here, take the crumbs!"



Responding your comment on mine. I don't see 'Reply' there.

They are not trying to replace or to show that they are running more electric than fossil fuel. Its a message. Just like the earth day, where everyone turn off the lights for 1 hour. It doesn't actually save much compare to the other hours throughout the year.


Thanks for correcting me. But I think what wanted to point out is, its not just 500m that is being saved.

Though I agree more can be done in F1 in the regards of fossil fuel vs alternative energy.


If we look into more than just 1 car, and for the whole weekend.

500m per car per pitstop. 3 x practise sessions, 1 x 24 cars in Q1. 1 x 16 in Q2. 1 x 10 in Q3. 1 x 24 cars in race.

For the sake of easy calculation. These are my assumptions.
3 pitstop per each practise session: 3 pitstops x 24 cars x 3 sessions x 500m per car = 108,000m
1 pitstop for Q1: 1 pitstop x 24 cars x 500m = 12,000m
1 pitstop for Q2: 1 pitstop x 16 cars x 500m = 8,000m
1 pitstop for Q3: 1 pitstop x 10 cars x 500m = 1,000m
2 pitstops for race: 2 x 24 cars x 500m = 24,000m

Total = 108,000 + 12,000 + 8,000 + 1,000 + 24,000 = 153,000m = 153 KM.
These are of course rough calculation.

Yes it is small, but 153KM on pure electric per weekend. 19 races x 153KM per race weekend = 2,907KM
From 0KM to 2907KM on pure electric is a good message IMO.


17 cars are in the 2nd round of Quali, not 16.


compared to how many laps on fossil fuel and mobilizing the entire F1 community from race to race burning fossil fuel...?

that is still crumbs.

Let F1 cars drive be equipped with High Performance Hybrid Engines.

The technology is already in road cars... but the "High Performance" part is still lagging behind.

Make the race format as such that races are run one part on electric power and other on fossil fuel power. Say initially 30%:70% (electric:fossil).

Make the rules for the fossil part of the engine extremely strict, but allow the electric part of the hybrid engine very very free. So that engineers will see that developing that part will be the way to gain most on track performance.

If F1 is afraid to have slow races.. during the "electric mode" allow cars to have supersticky tires during electric mode. To maintain certain on track performance.

Now that would be a big statement of F1 towards Green.

The technology is already there. So why not?


F1 is the pinnacle of Motorsport. I think conception of functional/insightful Green technology is the main point here. It might seem like token technology in F1 cars but R&D subsidiaries, partners and branches associated with F1 teams like Williams Hybrid Power Ltd can adapt these "crumbs" into viable road car technology. Look at KERS, the energy storage system has already been incorporated into the new Porsche 911 GT3R hybrid, by Williams and Porsche teaming up.


>F1 is the pinnacle of Motorsport.

Sorry, no. Its LMP.


Come on what would you prefer? A complete overhaul to some 'green' technology (that could be far worse for the sport) or a slow integration of new efforts (that if make problems, will make with minimal impact). It seems you petrol heads need to be wheened very slowly into any new directions.


Well Bej, I'd say a complete overhaul. I.e. reduce wings to a minimum, increase ground efects, tyres that last the whole race, reduced electronics, as much fuel on board as they want, any engine configuration, plenty of wheelspin, exiting corners sideways, one type of mechanical limited slip diff for all cars, and numbers that you can see. I.e. go back a few decades to the times when we saw exciting DRIVING!


PS. they're going on about passing, but that's only one part of it, skilled and spectacular driving is more important as, of course, is the music, (Noise), and variety!



I am not a petrol head. In fact I would like F1 to lead automotive technology into Green.

But if do it then do so with some real conviction, instead of parading over 500m on electric power, doing what? 80 kmh? Not even accelerating!

The world is not waiting for 500m with an electric car doing 80 kmh, in virtually non-acceleration mode 😀

If we want sporting performance with electric power then at least bring something that will exceed the Tesla road car.

Now that would be interesting to watch. Or if F1 is not ready for it let the FIA create a formula ford on electric power. After 3 years of such a series.. the question would go around: why not in F1?


I believe that Adam Parr should leave the visionary stuff aside for a while and concentrate on making Williams a technologically prestigious team again.


Williams collaborated with Porsche to incorporate the energy storage system developed from KERS into the new Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid, not too shabby I'd say.


And this (flywheel) technology has been racing for a couple of years now, in it's own special class.

So there's a vast fleet of them on the road now?

Oic, nobody *wants them.


And yet they're struggling to beat Lotus in F1!

Joking aside I think you've hit on a good point - teams like Williams, McLaren and Ferrari are already incorporating "green" technology into road cars. I don't think it needs to extent further to the sport as a whole however.

F1 will attract criticism and cynicism whether it goes green partially or wholeheartedly - at the end of the day the F1 circus still burns fossil fuels aplenty.

I'd prefer them to allocate an amount of fuel for the race and let the teams use it as wisely as possible by whatever means. The only issue with that is the cost implication!


Webber will have to retire because his car will never make it out of the pitlane!

I am very pro the development of electric, but to get development of this technology, should they remove the rules limiting its power?? I can imagine a 400hp turbo, with a 800hp electric boost..!

hybrid tech + F1 power war, the development would be astounding! And make practical contributions to our future roadcars.


You hit the nail on the head there I would say, nothing drives technology harder than war. In the abscence of war sport takes over.

I am all in favour of road cars being a bit greener (so save my wallet taking such a battering if nothing else) and I realise the best way to develop the necessary technology is to race it. Looking back lots of now every day items on cars have came from racing, disc brakes, flappy paddle gear boxes, radial tires (could be wrong on that one).

What will not help is the undoubted rules that will crush the life out of all innovation. My rules for F1 would be:

The proposed 1.5L Turbo engines with unlimited KERS

Tyre allocation at start of season (say 1000 sets per car)

Fuel allocation at start of season (say 10000 litres)

Allow them to squeeze as much power out of the fuel as they can (this is the true definition of efficiency) (i.e. no power limits on engine) allow testing, bearing in mind the fuel and tyre limit which would be low enough so they cant go mad with the testing, but high enough to allow useful tests to be performed.

My bug bears are that, the actual F1 cars being greener will make virtually no difference to the sports so called "carbon footprint". This annoys me but will no doubt keep the green lobby happy. Electric only in the pitlanes in another example of this.

The only way to drastically cut F1s "carbon footprint" would be to chop a couple of races off the overcrowded callender, or to make them all use electric powered rail for transport between GPs. Or even scheduling the callender better so they are not hopping around across the world.

Sadly all these new regs do is give the impression of green-ness rather than actually being green. The saddest thing is that giving the impression of green-ness seems to be good enough. A token effort I think sums it up.


I wish that we didn't have engineering rules, i.e. make any engine so long as it has exactly 4 cylinders, turbo, 1.5L. Instead we should have engineering challenges for our rules, i.e. you have to race with 150 lbs of fuel, do with it as you wish. That will push green engine technology. Who knows maybe Mazda will bring a rotary engine so we can compare...

This year's racing is showing signs of being successful because the car performance is asymmetric. Let's clamp the aero (so that we don't have run away budgets) to something simplistic and make the investment in mechanical worthwhile.


Agreed!!! The problem with KERS currently is that they can harvest more energy per lap than they need and so the only development is in weight. Unlimited KERS would yes coat money but would allow the greatest minds in engineering to find ways to harvest more energy and so create either more power or longer boosts. Currently while good, KERS is not being used in a ay that pushes development.


Surely if they run on electric only in the pit lane it will only be a matter of time before Jake Humphrey gets run over in the pre race build up when he doesn't hear the car coming!

On the subject of exhaust I agree that while they are only 4 cylinders they will make a heck of noise when squeezing out 800 bhp.


Look on the bright side, it might be Eddie Jordan. 😉

...No! that's a joke. I actually find the guy entertaining.


Me too. He managed to get a lot done with Jordan and that was a great era for the sport with some memorable drivers and awesome cars & tracks. Any chance of RBR bringing the A1-ring back haha?


With the cars making almost zero noise in the pitlane then Jake Humphreys is even more likely to get run over.

I do wonder how stop/start will work on an F1 engine though. I guess the electric motor can turn over the crank prior to ignition -- much like a starter motor in a road car. Or, will the engine be ticking over, just disconnected from the driven wheels?


This is a vey bad message as it says to the world that it is acceptable to continue to waste time money and resources reducing CO2 output, when in fact CO2 is not a problem!

All they while there are real problems in the environment that go unaddressed. This is not a green move at all this does not help the environment at all!


I'm sorry?! Please explain how CO2 is not a environmental problem??


Well CO2 is a natural gas that is a) harmless and B)vital to plants for photo synthesis. Further more CO2 is heavier than air and is found mostly in the lower atmosphere close to the surface of the earth. And while CO2 has been linked to the earth's natural and ongoing changing climate, it has been established through ice core studies that CO2 atmospheric concentration levels rise in response to warming periods, although trailing them by 800 years. For example the current increased CO2 levels are a consequence of the well documented medieval warming period, a time that saw shipping find the 'Northern passage' route through the North pole and vineyards established in northern Britain. This 800 year delay pattern is clearly seen many times in the earth's history going back as far as the ice records can show. What is commonly not understood is how little all of mankind's CO2 production is in comparison to nature. For example when the volcano erupted in Iceland a while back, in just 4 days that one single volcano released about the same amount of CO2 as all of mankind would release in an entire year. Of course Volcano's erupt all the time, there are over a hundred eruptions each year and what CO2 volcano's release is insignificant in comparison to what the ocean's release. So driving down the pit lane using electricity is quite ridiculous, as if all industry in all the world was stopped tomorrow, the earth, from a perspective of CO2 concentrations, would not notice. So how 20 F1 cars will make a difference Heaven alone knows!


Moderator I agree that this debate is old, however it does directly effect our beloved sort of F1. For no other reason on earth are we going to have 4 cylinder engines forced onto us and the team of Ferrari for one are highly opposed to this along with many fans.

Historic records quite clearly show that at no time on earth has there not been climate change. Whether or not the change we are seeing now is cause by human activity or not is THE debate that is about to effect F1 hugely.

I note one thing: The people who are telling us we are in danger from global warming are all getting money from it!


Seems like the moderators will let you make your long convoluted climate-sceptic post -- which is completely off-topic -- but will not accept my short reply, Peter. They disappoint me.


Sorry if that's the case, but we've had enough of that debate and you've had plenty to say - Mod


Yes I agree that we have an oil and energy crisis, but adding a pointless tax to CO2 and governing by lies is not the solution. ~But I am all for the Tech, I saw a video on a 2 cylinder 4 piston diesel 2 stroke engine producing 300 bhp while using less than 3l/100km of fuel in real world driving conditions! And the good news is this type of engine could run on any fuel!


It's all to do with how f1 uses technology. I read that in the beginning of kers 90% of the tech was coming from road cars but now it's the f1 teams giving 90% of the tech to the road cars. This leads to faster progress through the early generations of new tech.


While I agree the threat to our childrens lives by CO2 is vastly overstated, oil is getting more expensive, it will continue to do so while we use a lot of it, and I want to see electric vehicles developed for this reason.


CO2 not a problem? Please stick to the subject, Peter, and refrain from using the JA site as a platform for climate-sceptic propaganda. I hope the moderators take note.


I find it amazing that you object to what you say is using JA as a propaganda platform but have no problem labelling me as the equivalent of a middle age heretic, a "climate-sceptic"! What is a Climate-sceptic? A person who thinks for them self, listens to some actual science as well as uses some common sense to spot a political farce when its staring one in the face?

Does it not bother you that F1 is being used in such a fashion, never mind rebuking me for "using" JA?


Interesting thoughts. Fact is that the vast majority of F1 is watched on TV and not seen live so I think the sound issue is not really relevant.

The very high torque potentially available with electric motors combined with turbo charged engines could make some blistering fast starts and overtaking. Probably need better Pirellis if this happens!!

None of this will happen anytime soon and with the story in The Times today of speculation that Ferrari/News Corporation and the worlds richest man, Slim of Mexico want to buy out F1 would lead to a whole new set of design parameters that would be in the Ferrari mode, ie loud, fast, furious and spend as much money as you want.

Interesting times on and off the track in F1.


F1 is all about getting viewers to watch sponsored laden tracks, cars, drivers and needs vast numbers to watch to get those sponsors to stump up the money. Trying to get less viewers to stump up on pay per view to make up the money that sponsors will not pay due to the drop in viewers will be very difficult if not impossible.

Personally if F1 went down pay or subscription only, well I guess James will be where I get my F1 fix until I then lose interest, bit like cricket, football, rugby......


I guess there would be No oThER way theN. Everyone would lose ouT.

Read the capitals...... 🙂

In all seriousness though I don't know how it would taken, Bernie was found as much money as he can out of F1 so I'mnot sure if there is much more to make and hence they only way would be through TV which I can't see working over all the countries.


Agreed. 😉 Thats how I watch LaLiga




It would be very bad news for most F1 fans if Murdoch got involved. Yet another sport would dissapear to Sky and there isn't much left to start with!

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Murdoch and Simon Fuller in F1.

It would be the worst combination since Corden and Horne.


Nothing was worse than that. That show made me want to cut my head open and scrape out the memories.


some of us have to watch on sky already


Same, Paul C.

Cricket is fairly popular in Australia.. infact bar the two weeks or so in January around the Australian Open, the cricket is Australia's biggest summer sport. Cricket seems to represent especially to many Melbournians like myself boxing day test match.

However, the cricket world cup which was for the most part played too late/early for most and bits on pay tv, no one really cared and most didn't know it was on.

If it was Richie Beneau (spelling?), Mark Taylor etc... on 9 at proper hours.. yes it would be massively followed like The Ashes, but it wasn't.


Same situation in New Zealand, F1 is only shown on the country's sole pay TV station.

Interestingly, when cricket switched from free to air TV to pay TV in NZ interest amongst the general public plummeted.


Trying to work out what's worse... on pay tv only or on free to air by delayed by 4 hours so it runs at 2 or 3 am in the morning monday.

To add something else to this, Australia currently has ONE as a 24 hour free to air sports channel owned by TEN. Due to some reshufffling and buying of shares and such TEN is changing ONE to more entertainment and it just so happens that FOXTEL (PAY TV) gets more sport then, which is owneded in a large part by the new comer to the TEN board...

Now I can't remember by Packers from my Murdochsand whoever right now, but it seems to appear atlrast like a well thought out global policy rather than just an idea to throw out to test the waters.


Some of us cant watch the races at home at all because the exclusive rights have been sold to our country's only pay channel.

(Posting from South Africa)


It is a global sport...


It is a global sport, but how many viewers will be lost if it becomes subscription only, or even worse, pay per view? Because that is what will happen if Murdoch gets involved.

Not all of us can afford it, or wish to pay to watch adverts even if we could afford it. Yes, remember adverts in F1? No thanks.

I already refuse to buy his rubbish and have lost touch with a lot of sports because of it. F1 is my favorite sport, has been for over thirty years, and the last sport I care to watch on terrestrial tv, but I won't pay Murdoch or anyone else to watch it and I'm sure I'm not alone.


Murdoch? No, thanks.


Murdoch is bad news and I think even the public are wise enough to see that


Does Global mean only Sky then? That's a nonsense comment to make James, I am surprised at you for that. Or, and I have to ask despite it being a bit rude, are you hoping to cover F1 on a new Sky Pay Per View broadcast to 800k fans?

James, watch an IRL race as broadcast in the US, because that will be Murdoch's F1. A lot can be learned from the IRL guys, but broadcasting aint one of them.

Sky would be a disaster. Not for Sky, or F1, but for the ordinary fan. And as per usual, that tiny little detail gets lost. As long as every one is making a nice tidy profit, the ordinary fan can get lost.

...cos its a "global sport", what ever that means.


Wouldnt bother Murdoch, he'd just use the sport worse than tin pot "democracies".


Does it really make much difference running on only electricity in the pit lane? I'm not sure what that'll do other than as a gimmick to show environmental credentials. I voted as a good message but they could do more to improve that, such as how often they fly around the world. That would be much more effective.


I don't think that reducing the CO2 output for F1 is the goal. The goal is to have F1 teams and engineers work on solutions that have real world applications for reducing the emissions and fuel consumption of the billions of other cars in the world.

In the grand scheme of things, the F1 show is a very minor polluter, but it does have great potential as a development platform and as a showcase for environmentally conscious motoring.


Considering the trouble Redbull have with KERS I think they might have to push their cars down pit lane if they introduce these changes.


I personally think it's a bad idea. I'd even go as far to say that media and politics are brainwashing the world when we talk about a 'greener future'. The only reason we are forced to make renewable energies and less harmful ones is down to the fact the worlds oil supply will not last forever. As for Global Warming - if you look at two opposing arguments, it's easy to derive that it's flawed given the Earth's temperature and C02 levels have been far higher in the past when humans lived long before the industrial revolution! It's just a shame that only one argument gets pushed down our throats.

Football accounts for more C02 pollution than F1 when you look at it. I don't see why we can't keep the current engine regulations. The sound and the fact they scream at 18k revs is all part of F1's brilliance.

Also, a point to consider was the issue Mark Webber had with his KERS unit over the weekend where they feared the car went live (not sure if it did or didn't) With KERS becoming 4 more times more powerful, is it not a danger for the mechanics and drivers??


Couple of points:

1) it's the rate of increase of CO2 (which is unprecedented) in the atmosphere that's the problem and not the amount of CO2. Species can't adapt quickly enough and are under stress or going extinct.

2) Surely KERS can be made as safe as re-fuelling was in the past! We saw several incidents of burning cars in and around the pits, but it took a long time to get rid of refuelling (which was done on the basis of the show, and less so on safety).

F1 needs to remain at the top of technology while providing entertaining racing that puts the driver under tremendous pressure to perform. This now includes the use of electric drivetrain technology. Otherwise F1 runs the risk of being outstripped by the regular automotive industry in this regard, and I think that would take away some of its appeal. (There are already several electric supercars on the market or in the design stage.)


>Otherwise F1 runs the risk of being outstripped by the regular automotive industry...

It already has been.

Grandma's Caddy has antilock brakes, variable suspension, traction control, rear-wheel steering, an automatic rear spoiler, better-looking wheels, a killer stereo, a radio that always works, and a place for golf clubs.

Then there's also 4-wheel drive, run-flat tires, on-the-go adjustable tire pressures...

No, the only "technology" F1 excels at is 200 mph aero, which ofc is extremely useful in a road car.


The rate of CO2 increase is no where near a historical peak, its been 30 times the level of concentration we have now in the past, the ice core records do not lie! Further more the rate of climate change is also quite normal, historically speaking the earth's climate is in a very mild state reaching neither the considerably hotter or colder periods of its past.


BurgerF1 The graphs on those sites look like a dream come true for a global warming scientist collecting large grants from governments.

Consider this article and look at the difference in the records your guys produce for the 20th century along with their source compared scientists recording CO2 levels records for botanical reasons. http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202007/True_CO2_Record.pdf

Alos look at this extensive analysis, particularly where what computer models have predicted and what has actually been observed...


I agree about the up coming oil crisis, so saddling us with CO2 taxes while spreading lies and fear is making things worse.


What data are you looking at? Wrong on both counts. Check out the CO2 graph here: http://www.progressiveu.org/blog/73-understanding-global-warming-atmospheric-co2 which goes much further back then the ice core data.

Regardless, oil is not forever and will only get more expensive (too expensive to burn in an engine for sport), and F1 is a great platform to bring forward new technologies for the automotive industry as it necessarily moves away from the internal combustion engine.


Interesting concept, time will tell how many of Parr’s comments are based on the Williams crystal ball and how many make it into the rule book.

In particular I like the idea of increasing KERs power although to a lesser extent running on electricity only. Can’t wait for the LED daytime running lights!

Sooner or later someone will present the idea to qualify on electricity then race on hybrid power. Not sure how this electricity only approach will work alongside Bernie’s water sprinkler system. Track marshals will have to be kitted out in space suits to protect them from high voltages as well as the battery acid.


Interesting idea but seeing cars stopping on pit exit will hurts a lot...

This technology should be 99.999% reliable first.


A good idea, no doubt. I recently tried out a fully electric car (wrote about it on me blog) and it was FANTASTIC! Totally cool; very pleasant feeling, great acceleration and all. The only problem is the limited range (150km, then you gotta re-charge yer batteries) and the price tag (3 times of a normal car), but maybe with the help of F1 they will come up with better solutions and develop this technology even further.

Stuff like this or the EV Cup is alright. I think F1 should take this route. Ferrari complaining is not new; I've no idea what a typical Ferrari car buyer wants from their cars: V12 or V55 engine that consumes all fuel in 20 minutes but honestly, I doubt anyone here, apart from JA, can afford a Ferrari, so why bother? We're all driving some mass production cans on wheels; F1 will move on, with or without Ferrari's ambitions. Ciao, 20th century...


Sounds like a Ferrari. 3 times more expensive than a regular car and only has a 100 mile range before it burns through all it's fuel. (joking)


3 times? Where do you live, man? Here it's like 10 or 20 times? If I knew where to buy a brand new Ferrari for 30,000 euros, I'd be off to live there!


"and the price tag (3 times of a normal car), "

Yes and very probably released 3 times the amount of CO2 in it's manufacture than that of a normal car.

It is far more ecological to carry on driving your current old banger than to buy a new hybrid or electric car. The manufacture and materials sourcing alone release more CO2 than making of and a lifetime of driving a petrol engined car.

Still I suppose we are almost in the vegetarian argument here, the most CO2 is released by cows, not cars or planes and until the kangaroo gene is implanted in them worldwide this is unlikely to change, thus the veggie route is more ecological. However with the northern icefields (which were previously under permafrost) melting, the methane being released at an ever increasing rate will render the CO2 argument a drop in the ocean by comparison. The main consideration then will be the elevation of the track above current sea level plus 4m-20m (depending on what you read). Personally I shall have wet feet by then being only 4m above current sea level.

NB:The Kangaroo does not produce gas when it eats grass.


Also the kangaroo tastes bloody good!


Also the thing people seem to forget about these electric vehicles is the electricity has to come from somewhere (except KERS energy). While we'd like to think our electricity comes from green sources the chances are your electric car has been powered by coal or gas. When you think about the inefficiency of burning a fossil fuel to drive a turbine to generate electricity using some form of dynamo (the effective inverse of a motor), just to drive a motor elsewhere is all seems absurd.


Yeah, I know. In smaller countries in Europe, like Portugal, we got our electricity coming from multiple sources, alternative energy is one of them and also quite significant. The problem is, it won't work in bigger countries with dense population. Even a 5-year old can work it out, but I still like the way a fully electric car behaves... I'm on a highway to electric hell!

I think these new regulations will turn F1 into a version of The Running Man, the mechanics already have to wear stylish rubber gloves, maybe Arnold will become the next US president and will open the race track in Texas, should it ever come to life. Red Bull may as well become Electric Bull. Electric Lewis?


I'll be honest with, I've no idea about the whole assembly process of electric vehicles, etc., all I'm saying is that I liked driving that car (Peugeot iOn, I hope it doesn't count as PR for the marque, I'm driving a petrol Renault anyway). If they had a well developed network of stations where you can charge an electric vehicle in Europe, even in distant rural areas, I'd go for one. It's nicer to drive and it's a fun toy.

The whole CO2 thing sounds suspicious to me anyway, it's a good tool for everyone concerned to make a bit of money out of it; politicians can gain some popularity points, etc.. The technology has got to be affordable to make it work, maybe F1 can push it to the limit and come up with something better, enough to take it to the next level? No idea. Worth trying in my opinion. I'm not interested in going green here, I don't even recycle, I don't vote and I don't watch the news; I like new toys though...

Paul Summerfield

Bizarre idea, but is it wrong for F1? I don't think so.

As for 1.6 turbos being quiet, I recall the 1.5 turbos of old, and they were far from quiet!

All sounds good to me.


I think seeing the cars whizz silently down the pitlane before exploding in noise onto the pit straight would be pretty cool.

On a related note, I don't know why F1 doesn't call KERS 'hybrid', if it's trying to be relevant to the public.


One or two of the teams do seem to be favouring that term.


... Yet Formula 1 teams fly all across the globe in aircraft that burn monumental amounts of fuel.

A 10 hours flight in a Boing 747 uses 150,000 liters of fuel - that more than an F1 car will use in an entire year.

So the quickest and cheapest way to reduce F1's carbon footprint is to get rid of 1 or 2 fly away races, for example, Australia and Japan.




Exactly - they could improve things a lot without changing the venues - just run the races in 'geographical order'.

So, for example, Japan, Korea and China would run consecutively.


Even better is to stop large numbers of fans making large, carbon-footprint-heavy journeys to races.

In that sense Turkey is doing its bit 😀


Ironically I went to the Turkish GP last year!


I said it before and I'll say it again - I would really like to see F1 develop air powered system of secondary propulsion. If they could do it for coal locomotives 100 years ago, they can do it to a 700kg race car. An that woul truly be a game changing revolutionary way to apply all that engendering brain power. Could you imagine if the result would be an air powered compact production car? World changes instantly.


It would have been investigated by the teams, as well as flywheel KERS was developed by Williams, but in the end they have all gone with a battery system. My inclination would be to a flywheel KERS personally.


So the car will be powered by KERS in the pits only? which means all cars will have to use KERS and get it reliable....

I still don't see the point of having to lug about batteries, generators etc which ultimately cost fuel efficiency (esp if its not going to work all the time), for the sake of giving a weak 'green' message.

If you want to be greener - don't send the whole pit lane to Canada whilst in the middle of a European season and do it on route to Singapore or Japan etc... i bet the offset in carbon would out-weigh the whole season of races and what you get back from KERS.

And are there any other motor sports that are looking at hybrid power? surely Le Man would be more applicable than F1 for green technology.....


I think it's an excellent way to develop the sport. If we can keep the on track action we have this year so far it will work well given the power figures stated. I have had the pleasure of hearing the V12s, V10s and V8s, awesome!! Will just have to get used to the new sound provided it comes with plenty of on track action. I know the purists will object as they always do, but F1 has to appeal to the masses and not just the less than 10% purists. It also must be relevant to current and future car trends. It will not survive if kept stuck in a time warp.

Christopher Snowdon

James, thinking of Mclaren here more than other teams, but it could apply to any team, doesn't these new regulations make it easier for a team to build it's own engine?


Good question. I don't see why it would be cheaper or easier than it has been in past. It's a very expensive undertaking


Do you see any signs of McLaren going down this route? The clock is ticking on their Mercedes partnership, and I belive to fulfil Ron's vision they will do that.


Maybe. Also Red Bull need watching, but it's such an expensive thing to do unless you spread the cost by selling to other teams and you need to prove it first. I'll look at it more closely


Depends on how it is done. The aero is about developing more advanced quickly, more efficient, more effective as quick as possible. The engine before the freeze was about as much as light and to a certain extent burning less fuel that more as possible.

If the KERS is able to be developed and we can see lighter units vs heavier with a bit more power, or units that can hold more but take longer to dispurse the energy etc... THEN we will ahve seen electric power properly in F1.

But while KERS is just something that you stick on like a steering wheel (which ironically actually has developed quite a bit), or the DRS, then you can't really call F1 green.

For F1 to be green it needs to allow teams to develop green energy solutions just like they develop the aero or engines.

I propose a basic method of keeping costs down.

Any unit may be bought by any other team for use in their car just like the engine for $/pounds XXXXXXXX. That way there is no way Mercedes or even Ferrari will go and spend heaps on a system for which a team using their engine can go out and ask for that same exact system for that set amount.


One more thing - I would really like to know how wasteful or green KERS really is. How good are the batteries - how many charge cycles at this high speed cam they handle, how are they made - from what green materials. I'm not a greenhead, but if you're going green you'd better cover all the details an be fully transparent - it is what this green audience demands.


I would be surprised if the batteries lasted more than two or three weekends. And no they are made of very ungreen materials, rare and very expensive limited supply metals and chemicals that you would not want in your sandwiches.


That last paragraph is very poignant, if Williams where at the performance level of Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari, I think he would be signing a different tune.


The pit lane should have a combination of Electric + Bernie's Sprinklers + dancing/Pom-Pom girls. That ought to do it!


No jumping castles and donkey rides? How about a man dressed in a suit giving each driver a rabbit out a hat at the end of the pit lane? The driver with the most bunnies gets the Champion Bunny Hugger trophy, thus incentivizing coming into the ubber-green pits...?


It may come as a surprise given my recent negative remarks, that I actually believe this will be a positive step for Formula 1.

I'm not sure how it will impact the racing itself, if at all, but I do believe it is positive for F1 to lead the way with some authentic green innovations. Giving up the noise is, to me, mere chicken feed.

More traditional front and rear wings, if they were to arise, can only be a good thing too!


No doubts, engine roars are an important part of the excitement of watching any motor sports. It makes your heart bit faster, grabs your guts and the like. On track side it can let you know if a particular engine is encountering trouble. It is from this point difficult to imaging a noiseless engine being as exciting. That being said, what now seems unthinkable will someday be the norm. How long from now I don't know. But it will naturally come. That F1 wants to take part in the chase to the future, seems natural if not obligatory. While I am of two minds as to the actual electric engine being a green engine, I have little doubts that someday such engine will come to exist. If the sport I love can help in it's creation, the better. We can also imagine that for pure enjoyment, the noiseless engines used in racing could come with a sound box to keep the fans happy. As for the racing, it still will be the same. 2013 is as good a year to start in that direction as any. Motorsports have evolved over the past century and so it will keep on that path alongside the progress in the development of our own motor vehicles. Marc


Hi James,

After the race at the weekend it's going to be harder to say whether the idea put in to place would be a bad for the sport!! it was fantastic...

My immediate concern would be for safety, if you have silent cars moving about at 60mph there is a big risk of someone getting clipped by a car, if they lower the pit speed limit then it will have a huge affect on strategy from the time penalty!!

Saying that, might give JB more time to work out which box to hit LOL


Hi James, that is quite interesting. When we were doing the circuit at Silverstone we worked closely with the TRL (Transport Research Laboratory)whose environmental department had been commissioned, by an F1 team, to study the pollution levels in the pitlane at F1 events. Whether this related to Engine mapping or Health & Safety assessments we don't know, but there is definitely data on the subject.


To me, F1 has always been about pushing the boundaries of technology. It should be the driver of technology, not stuck in the past. It should be the cradle of innovation. Ultimately, switching to all-electric future for the sport is inevitable. It needs to be embraced in order for the innovation to flourish.

Currently the formula is about innovation only in terms of aero packages, which is why I can understand Ferrari's discomfort in participating - they're not being allowed to design the most powerful engine possible, which is what they've been bred for.

As long as the sport remains entertaining and spectacular, I don't have any concerns about which engines are used to drive the cars round the track.


Am I the only one thinking that a smaller engine generating the same power as a larger one will be less reliable? How long did those turbo-era engines last? One race?


It isn't that long ago when atmospheric engines were changed after every race and 'qualifying' engines were used as well.

Define the rules and the teams will work to the limit.


They will be running at 12,000rpm rather than 18,000rpm so in theory should be more reliable. Of course, the additional turbos and superchargers will be less mature technology so will be more likely to be prone to failure, but the basic engine part should be far more reliable due to the reduced engine speed.


If Parr is correct about the KERS being four times as powerful as at present, then the petrol engine would only be 500hp out of that 800. The old 1.5 litre turbos made 900hp in race trim and lasted 1 race, so by that benchmark the new 1.6 litre engine would be effectively "detuned" by about 50%. With the added benefit of 25 years of technological advances, I can't see them needing any more than one of these new engines per season!


Not surprised Williams is so happy about a completely different engine format.

Williams Honda F1?

The tie up between a Japanese manufacturer wanting to re-enter the sport as an engine supplier with the proposed engine format and a constructor like Williams is almost too perfect. Japan’s been doing 4 pot turbos forever.

The noise factor, I think, is a pink elephant because Ferrari doesn't want to build an engine that will have no bearing on their road car development, or not as much as a V8.


I voted "Other", because those who make the rules too often get it wrong.

KERS 4 times as powerful? Why not let the engineers shoot for the maximum that they can extract, rather than having them pit their ingenuity against coming as close as possible to some pre-ordained artificial limit?

Fundamentally, I have no objection to electric propulsion in the pit lane; it's the implementation of the related rules that worries me.


I must admit that the sound issue does worry me. I'm use to standing on the pit roof at Granollers in the winter and the sound is one of the best experiences I have ever had. I remember the last test that BAR used the V10 in winter. 2006/7 I think? Jenson did an exploratory lap with the air temp at 3 degrees. We were making slides on the garage roof it was that frosty. The sound as he came along the main straight was unbelievable and made the hairs rise on my neck. And we were suppose to be use to it having stood in the same place on many a winter test.

However, I do think any sport or competition needs to be current.

And if a 4 cylinder engine is going to throw out 800 bhp isn't the sound going to be similar. Surely there must be some logic that sound is proportional to power or am I just being fanciful.


The sound is all related to the cylinders, think of them as trumpets. if you have 4 trumpets instead of 8 its not going to sound as good.

Anyone who wants an idea how it will sound just needs to listen to a GP3 car.


I am very excited that F1 is finally going to be a leader in engine technology again. There is no advancement being made with spec frozen V8's; anyone can make a V8 fast.


I think this sounds like an intruiging and exciting step. With every major rule change, we always take a while to get used to the "newness" of things. Remember the wing changes going into 2009? We all thought the cars looked very strange, and now we're used to it.

I started watching F1 in 1986 as a 13 yr old (first race, Spanish GP, Senna just beating Mansell - can still remember how exciting it was, even on a black and white TV in my bedroom!) and that was the era of 1.5litre 4-cylinder turbos. Its part of the nature of the sport - to say that F1 should only have high-revving normally aspirated monster V8 or V10 or V12 engines misses the point. The history of F1 has seen a huge variety of engine sizes and types.

What is F1 about? Well, for me its about the best drivers on earth racing each other in the best cars on earth. Its the pinnacle of motorsport, and a huge part of that is the technology, the feeling that these cars are at the cutting edge of automotive development. I want to still have that child-like sense of "Wow!" when I look at F1 cars, and appreciate the technology under the skin. Personally, I don't want standard, simple cars - otherwise we'd all be watching GP2.

This will be an exciting development that takes into account trends within the wider automotive field and we should embrace it and encourage it.


I agree completely! It's really sad that the "technical" development race has disappeared from F1. It has been all about aero development for the last decade. Gone are the days where new technical breakthroughs and innovations where common, like seamless shift gearboxes, active suspensions, different engines...

Reintroducing development on the engines will be a step into the right direction.


I'm with Parr on this one, I think the new engines will sound great and people are wrong to assume they're going to sound like milk floats. Bernie in particular should know better.

The truth is, 800bhp is going to make a heck of a noise whichever way you generate it. The characteristics of the sound produced will change, but not necessarily for the poorer.

Change is good and Formula 1 cannot afford to stand still. Just look at some of the series' that have failed to innovate and are now a shadow of their former selves: WRC, Indy/Champcar, BTCC (the racing is still decent, but the attendances are a fraction of those in the 90s). The winners are the series that have continuously pushed the boundaries and made changes - F1 and NASCAR being the best examples.

Wait until you actually hear the new engines in action before passing judgement. You might be pleasantly surprised.


F1 and Nascar are examples of championships that havent changed in respect of technology.

Btcc did change its formula a decade ago and it still hasnt recovered. The reason it struggles these days is down to the fact the cars are unspectacular compared to the 90's.

Change is not always good if its misguided.


Yeah Nick, "spectacular" is the word we should be able to aply to F1 racing, but when drivers are driving around at 7.5 tenths so as to conserve tyres and fuel, I can't believe it will ever be "spectacular"!



Probably one of the more dangerous places on the race track is in the pit lane. The silent nature of electric cars is already a concern on the roads. Do we really want F1 cars, in electric only mode, hurtling down the pit lane and in close proximity to team personnel, while hardly making a sound?

Just A Bloke (Martin)

See how hard and expensive it is for teams to get the KERS working properly and I don't see this being practical. They say racing improves the breed but does it really is having all these lithium batteries such a good idea?

Has anyone done an analysis of the lifetime costs of lithium based cells in terms of extraction, processing , recycling and disposal?

I think alternative fuels are the way to go, hydrogen, bio diesel, recycled chip fat whatever. Battery based technologies, at least the current ones still have sustainability difficulties, alternative fuels should be more sustainable in the long term I think........


I'm an F1 fan, bring on this new technology! Look what kerrs did to this season already! It brings new ways to compete and stretches the technology in race conditions. Besides, how many fuel related accidents have we avoided by banning re-fueling? This just takes that further. My only fear is that a kerrs powered launch out of the pit box would be faster than many might expect, remember all the torque is at zero rpm.


"The people who don’t want things to change are the people who for whatever reason feel they have an incumbent advantage by not changing things.”

Well normally that would be Ferrari of course, it is a great tradition that they always have an advantage over other teams even if it is only financial, but just at the moment their car is not working and they are in rather a pickle!

They will probably threaten to leave F1 again soon if they cannot keep the current engine, Bernie is supporting them and was meeting with team principles to try and coerce the FIA into reversing their decision.

It would be very nice if the FIA published the new regs in advance, we had to wait until well into the season this year before they were available on the FIA website.

From what Adam Parr was saying the engines will be supercharged not turbocharged. The idea of using exhaust gas to drive a turbo is somewhat different to using it to drive a shaft powering a generator, the speed is all wrong and varies far too much, I foresee some electrical explosions.

Re-starting the engine at the pit lane exit????


It`s very interesting, i think. Soundless car in tje pit lane, but thanks to this solution, we can hear the sound of tires working much louder, than before.

Today we don`t have a fuel flying out in all sides and burning , if something goes wrong, So from this point of view, little will change.

I wonder what will happen in case of breakdown . we cannot hear that.


Visionaries in any field have the ability to solve problems in a simple, elegant manner. That's something sadly lacking in F1 where solutions involve bolting this to that and adding something to replace something else - then forgetting to take that something else off. Change is a good thing, but all this feels like the kind of change Microsoft comes up with to plug a security hole in windows. It fixes the problem but does it advance the sport?


Wonder how the oil company sponsors like PSVDA, Petronas, Total, etc. would view the introduction of hybrid engines in 2013?

Sounds like hybrid turbo engines would actually be more expensive for teams to run?

Personally, if they are going to introduce fan technology they should re-look at Bernie's Brabham BT46 fan car...how about KERS boosted downforce...


When entering the pit lane the cars have to slow down to walking speed: then a pit girl with big cow bell walks in front of the car so people take attention and when arriving at the box she smiles and shows the right box to Jenson.

Joke byside:

If the car has bigger KERS and batteries, it would be easy to add sound tuning by adding big loud speakers on the F1 cars: perhaps playing the V16 from Autounion race cars?

I think electric street cars are forced to have a noise system already,


what kind of benefit should that have? limiting specific track to electric only is not going help the anything.

I am either missing point or this is complete nonsense.

and re. Parr saying "those having advantage don't want to change", I think it's rather Williams being really desperate for anything that could mask they are complete joke now.


I thought F1 was trying to save money... these changes are drastic year after year and will cost a ton to develop. Who wants electric slot cars?! F1 barely test anymore, they are no threat to "green" and I am someone who is into green tech, but this is racing folks, enough of the expensive gimmicks.


Two quick points:

1) Electric motors are not silent. High powered ones make a huge racket.

1a) Cars are likely to emit a buzzing noise from the electronic circuitry. We shall have some serious voltages and currents involved which will be far more lethal than the current setups. However I expect the rate of energy flow to be limited as it is now, but to be usable over much more of the lap.

2) But cars could coast down the pit lane anyway on their "in" run.

3) (I lied) Electric shunt braking on all four wheels is needed in order to capture energy from braking.


This is all complete rubbish!

Parr / williams are eager beavers for the 2013 engine changes in the hope amajor engine manufacturer will be drawn into the sport and inject cash into their team.

Like anyone else in F1, Williams have an agenda.


Yes they do. Just like Ferrari, McLaren redbull etc....


F1 has become laughable since this year and they insist on making it a drawn out unfunny comedy movie it seems.

It isn't about building things to be fastest anymore.

No, it is about being the gimmickiest (hey DRS), giving in on performance to be flashier through a hundred meaningless overtakes per race (hello Pirelli), greenest (whatever that means with the highly toxic way the batteries are produced, 4 cilinder with turbos being hardly less polluting than v12s without), etc.

F1 has become so politically correct that it has become politically correct to talk about it. Perfectly run propaganda campaign by the FIA.


Well said - I agree 100%!


I ask that you save this and re post it ten years from now.

You haven't seen anything yet.

Enjoy F1 noise while you still have some.


I have a company that builds high power electric traction drive systems. I know that very few people realize the incredible power and torque that electric motors produce. By 2013 and beyond, you will see more and more power come from the electric drive system on an f1 car. Give it 10-15 years and the question will be, why should we keep the petrol engine in F1. The only reason they will keep it, is for the sound.

Let the lid off electric development, stop holding it back. Allow it to be used off the line. Allow teams to decide how much electric energy they want to use. Allow 4 small motors to each wheel instead of sticking it to the gearbox. If you think the lap times are fast now, wait until you see what a 4 wheel electric traction system can do off the line and out of low speed corners. If F1 lead the way in showing that sustainable racing is not only possible, but better, then F1 would stand for forward thinking and world leading technology that shapes the car industry for the better.


Yeah this is my thinking - I'm really looking forward to fully electric cars in F1 - the pit lane thing is a bit pointless, but why not let people enter electric F1 cars if they want?

It would be fantastic to see a battle between the petrol and electric driven cars.


F1 does lead some innovation. If it helps with modern road technologies without destroying the sporting spectacle - why not? If the sport can show some environmental credentials it can't hurt. Yes, all motor-sport cannot yet be a fully green endeavour, but that doesn't mean it can't try. Until they end up with an all hydrogen fuel cell pushing 800bhp near-silent engines - which will then be rather spooky!


They will have to put those European "be-boop" police sirens on all the cars for use in the pits!

If F1 were serious about being green like a frog they would simply require everyone going to all the races to arrive by foot or carpool or mass transit or bicycle or horse!

This is just more PR BS.


I'm loving it !!!

I miss new technologies in F1!


This is good step and if it works, will at least be an honest 'green' aspect and no more.

Perhaps one thing that F1 does badly is conveying the links and benefits back to road cars over the years from technology originally developed in F1 and motorsport.

Engine management, electronics, tyre development, lubricants, braking systems and use of carbon fibre technology in road cars can all be traced back to F1. As will KERS and other regen power that F1 develops.


"a very interesting step and quite a message, if you think about it..."

The message I get is electric is only good enough for the Pit Lane in F1 🙂

Seriously, I know we need to find other ways to power our cars, but I can't see electric is the answser. It's mostly generated in the UK using very "Un Green" methods and also the batteries are quite a hazzard to dispose of too I believe. 800bhp sounds good though and I personally love turbos.


Pitlane Limited Engine Bypass System (PLEBS).

On a slighly more serious note (but not much), there seem to be an awful lot of conservative (small 'c') views about F1 and its future in this forum and yet F1 is anything BUT conservative. Imagine the uproar there would have been if this sort of communication had been available when someone took the engine out of the bonnet and put it in the boot!

F1 is about innovation - the Constructors' championship is there as a measure of that innovation.

I can see a day when, with far more efficient electrical and energy harvesting technology, F1 cars will only have a very small 'fuel-powered' engine to drive a supplimentary generator.

So roll on the PLEBS and the next generation of F1 - I can't wait to see what happens next!


James, can you explain "Turbo Compounded" in a future article ?

“It will have one fan generating electricity to super-charge the engine, another fan to recover energy from the exhausts which will recharge a battery and then be usable,”

Made me go EH ??

We'll have a turbo and then a turbo drive kers-charger ? And brakes driven kers-chrger, and an electric supercharger instead of one driven directly from the engine ? Can't decide if that is Ultra-Hi tech or Heath-Robinson. And to answer "what if the electric isn't working", 10 second stop at the end of the pit lane as a penalty for using the Petrol. The silent-car problem is easy to solve - a noise linked to the flashing limiter light would do just fine.

I'd say try it. It's an easy rule to scrap if it turns out to be a bad thing.


Turbo compounding is used quite a lot in diesel industrial engines.


See attached link or google search it and there are lots of compounding entries.


I'm not 100% sure on the numbers but I would think getting to and from all the races around the world accounts for 90% of F1's carbon footprint. All this going green business is mealy marketing.

However I do think it is a good idea to have electric pit lanes motors... why? Because F1 tech has been coming into road cars for years. F1 is where all these new and exciting ideas come from and I would like to see my road car having all sorts of measures of recouping energy weather its from the drive train exhaust or breaks. F1 needs to continue pressing the envelope!


In a sport where thousands of ton's of freight are air lifted across continents so that cars can go around in circles, I do not understand this push for going Electic on environmental grounds.

I am not convinced about the second argument, which is that this push will have a relevance to road cars. Has there been any technology which made it to the road cars from F1?

Getting really concerned that "Bean counters" in F1 teams pushing the sport in this direction to satisfy their inner fantasies...

This being said...if all this change and expenditure from the F1 teams (mostly the manufacturers) is a flop...we can still go back to the good old I.C.E in a jiffy....


What tech has made it from F1 to roadcars? carbon fibre and all other composites, crumple zones in the car design, ceramic brakes, electronics such as engine management and braking systems(abs), traction control, 4 valve heads, over head cams, Direct fuel injection, high rev engines, sequential pedal shift gear boxes, computer controlled suspensions, launch control, rear view mirrors (nascar) and much much more!


I agree it is but a drop in a pail. But just like not keeping the faucet on while brushing your teeth, every small step in the right direction is a good one. f1 today, intentionally or not is greener than what it was 10 years ago. It is but a natural course to make cars, racing or else better in their use of resources. Marc


Why is everyone so concerned with the engine sound as it relates to pit safety? People in the pit lanes surely wear hearing protection, so they probably can't hear the cars now until it is too late. Also, isn't there a sort of siren that sounds when cars are running in the pit lane (maybe not during a race though).


If the cars really will provide 800hp+ then I'm all in favoure, particularly if the aero does get cut. I'm not sure what the point of having the cars run on electric only in the pitlane is, the engines will still have to be on as theirs no starter motor.


Electric Power would be a disaster.... what next... pedal-powered cars???

Keep the V8's!!!


I think any changes are good, as long as they lift any engine development restrictions, i think that is the most important thing. Engine power has been frozen for far too long.



i think they shouldnt force teams to build a 4 cylinder engine. they should give a maximun displacement in total per engine. for example

4 cylinders x 1600cc = 6400cc.

but you can also make a 6 cylinder x 1066xx = 6400cc.

etc.. perhapps not 1600cc but 2000cc


I agree with your sentiment - back in the 1.5 litre turbo days, there were 1.5l V6's as well as four cylinder engines. Though the V6's didn't seem to have an advantage, as the most powerful was reckoned to be BMW's four-pot. But realistically, in F1's current "cost control" climate, that's not going to happen. I don't see the FIA moving away from the current practice micro-managing the engine design.

By the way the 1600cc capacity refers to the total displacement of the engine, not each cylinder.

Michael Prestia

The FIA wants to go green but we have allowed tires that last 12 laps which means more tires per team and driver than ever before... more rubber to recycle etc... Exhaust Blown Diffusers vs banned winglets that were common in 2008. Consistently changing the rules and regs so that manufacturers are constantly redesigning instead of just modifying. Cutting costs and going GREEN is just a PR stunt and it is pissing the fans off.


All that tech does translate into road cars. I don't think its PR PS. Look at KERS, it got incorporated into the new Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid courtesy of Porsche and Williams Hybrid Power Ltd. Lets not forget there are a number Tech intensive R&D Companies capable of adapting and developing these tech ideas from F1, given the increasing scrutiny on the evils of fossil fuels.


Good idea and am fully behind it. On the flip people are complaining about quiet 1.6 liter engines and I'd like to ask if those people have stood close to an uncorked 600cc motor-bike at full chat?


Yeah. Sounds like a motorbike ie. not a screaming V.


Absolutely right, it's about keeping/making f1 relevant to real world motoring and if green tech can be exciting as it would be in the f1 vehicle then fantastic + the best engineers pushing us into a better place.

Boooooooo to Murdoch, can u imagine how much we would have missed in China with adverts every 15mins - disaster...


To be honest this is what F1 has been waiting for for the last 10 years, something that can be properly developed. The current cars and engines are so far refined now that no new innovation is going to come along and if it does then the FIA stamps on it after one season. Hopefully the KERS side will be able to be developed unhindered, there is vast scope and potential for new ideas. I hope that supercooling will be allowed, vhf switching and multi phase storage. Of course the Williams flywheel may be allowed, theoretically it's both far safer (electrically) and simultaneously vastly more dangerous. (Mechanically)

The F1 intensive development of KERS could give the motor industry a huge leg up in their road versions. Audi already claims to have it, but we should pay homage to the NSU Prinz, the first car (I think) to have a combined starter/generator, unfortunately it ate brushes at a pair per week and always had a flat battery but the thought counts.

Back in my early car electrical days we used to say and often proved, that you can get quite a good fire going with less than 1Amp. Here we have huge potential (literally 🙂 ) for thermal events and even fast thermal events.

Of course there are the engines to develop as well, hopefully there will be several engine manufacturers and some real competition to get the most power/longevity out of them.


NSU were not the first, Jonrob, a good friend owned a "bull nosed" Morris Cowley back in the 60s with a starter/generator, it was probably built in the 20s or 30s and it was probably not the first either!



There, I though someone would know. In fact I only know about the NSU Prinz because my neighbour had one and I often had to give him a push start, the brushes wore down remarkably quickly and failed to charge the battery, so more often than not it was flat. A shoe salesman he was, in a posh shop in the west end of London, (we lived in Strood, Kent at the time) sell his own grandmother, for a fiver, lovely bloke, geezer!


I voted other. I don't understand why they want to limit everything to this electric stuff. If they want to really be green and push road relevant technology they should open up the engines completely. Give them an energy limit for the race. Yes it will be expensive, but so is KERS. Correct me if I'm wrong but they trash the batteries from KERS after every race right? Not very green.


I think the FIA/formula one community must believe we are all morons. The only relevant thing between F-1 cars and the cars we buy is that they have four wheels. The only way for the sport to be truly "green" is to shut down. Stop. There is more energy being expended and greenhouse gasses being emitted by getting people to one race than the sport consumes and discharges in a whole season. When will they stop pandering and just get on with it?


I gave this one a bit more thought (after my initial reaction) and I think that there is a role for F1 to make a leading contribution to the development of high performance electric engines (HPEE's).

But it would involve changing the rules and formats of races. For example it could be made mandatory that all cars become "hybrid cars".

So a car would have a fossil fuel engine + an electric engine.

A race would have to see an initial usage of 70% fossil fuel engine : 30% electric engine.

How the teams spread this over the race... is free. So teams could start the first 10% of the race on fossil and then complete a 30% on electric and do the remaining 60% on fossil.

Now here is the Green development incentive:

- the development rules for fossil engines would be extremely strict... discouraging development of those engines. fixed rpm ceilings, etc etc.

- the development rules for the electric engines would be very very loose.

Engineers off course will see that races will be won/lost by the performance of the electric engine and its components.

Now people might think that electric engines are not yet high performance... but check out Vannina Ickx who recently tested a Citroen SurVolt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tn4hYIy3LM)

Imagine differing race strategies where cars switch from fossil to electric... I can imagine the electric mode will be slower... and one would have to wait till the end to see which strategy worked best.

Car electric engine manufacturers the stakes will be high. The winningest F1 cars (as the electric variable will be quite high...) will most likely have the best performing electric engine out there.

Maybe this will be a Renault, BMW or Honda or Toyota engine. All these manufacturers are into Hybrids these days. This will make it very interesting for them to have their R&D departments develop HPEE's that eventually will become road car technology.

And this was F1's role once in the days of it being the pinnacle of motorsport.


So why not:

open the rules... make Hybrid F1 cars mandatory... freeze the fossil fuel engine rules... leave the electric engine rules free...and let competition make F1 Green.

If F1 cars in the past had 6 or 8 wheels... if they had hidden ventilators to suck the car to the ground... why not have cars with 2 engines?

I only see winners here... the only loss might be.. that sexy sound.


Well, *that car isn't going to sneak up on anyone in the pits. Do they *all come with all that loud music??


this video is actually better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef5amwo0fzo&feature=related

But surely F1 can push the "electric envelope" to stratospheric heights.

Plus to keep performance (and compensate): when in electric mode during F1 races, the cars are allowed to take the superstickiest Pirelli tires (2 secs per lap faster than the fossil fuel Pirelli tires)


Ive never been keen on these ideas to make F1 "green" - There are other ways to prove how "green" F1 is. With he amount of energy used to transport 24 cars across the globe for 19 races, 24 2.4 Litre V8s going full pelt for an hour and a half isn't going to have a major impact.

I know F1 needs new sponsors to keep the sport going, and they will only come on board if its seen to be "green", but I think the teams and FOM/FIA can make changes outside racing.


Ultimately, doing away with F1 altogether wouldn't make a major impact either. The energy used to transport the F1 circus around the globe is itself a drop in the ocean. The only way it can have a significant effect is if it encourages the uptake of green transport technology by ordinary consumers.

When you consider it in terms of a marketing campaign for green technologies, it makes sense to splash the green paint on the bit of the whole enterprise that gets the TV coverage.


I think they should make all the drivers suit up in armour. This would be the limit for me, they could keep it after that.

F1 can never be green, when it's biggest contribution to the green cause is to cease to exist. Do they really want to appease to groups that have absolutely no interest in the sport existing, or do they want to severely poff the current fan base into looking elsewhere?


If I am not mistaken, one flight from Europe to US consumes more fuel that the entire F1 season...so what is this all about?


James, any ideas why Adam Parr is getting involved with this? Is this to aid Williams Hybrid Power, or the views of VW/Porsche??

Personally I'd like to see the FIA World Engine installed in the car (preferably making a good noise) combined with any form of clean hybrid technology. Each year the boost of the main engine could be reduced to maintain an overall power level whilst keeping the competition to reduce emissions. Yes that gives the potential for it to be just a spending competition, but the current engines were standardised to reduce cost and all that happened is that the teams spend crazy sums on front/octopus/blown exhausts that have no relevance to anything else except F1.

Making the cars use KERS is the pit lane would make it a true performance element of the car (how much Torque it can generate) and also make it more acceptable for supercars to be Hybrid, helping the technology be more acceptable in road cars at large.

How anyone can think silent cars are too much of a danger is beyond me, when we've seen near misses by most of the BBC team from the noisiest cars on the planet. Maybe they should be painted in only in Hi-Vis colours in case people can't see them properly....


Can anyone explain why batteries are considered green? Aren't they made of lead and acid and limited lifes?

Moving from fossil fuels to putting more load on the electricity supply, which necessitates more power stations just seems like one big joke.

Hydrogen, which burns to emit water, surely is the way to move forward and call yourself green?


Yes batteries are made of lead and acid. Lithium-ion is just a Chinese brand name.

Why bother with fuel cells when we can just burn hydrogen in a V12 and turn it back into water.


The biggest problem with hydrogen is generating it.

Oh, sure, we're surrounded by it. Seven tenths of the planet is covered in water, after all, but that doesn't make actually getting at it a particularly "green" process. The problem is that fundamentally, hydrogen and oxygen are buddies, and it takes an enormous effort to separate them.

First of all, I'm assuming that we're not talking about using reformation to generate hydrogen from fossil fuels. That's not a green solution - it consumes fossil fuels, and some carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide is generated in the process. It kinda defeats the purpose - you're often more efficient just to burn the fuel in the first place.

The main method for generating hydrogen (presumably from seawater) for fuel would be through electrolysis. The basic principle was discovered something like 150 years ago - you pass a current through water, and you get hydrogen at the cathode, and oxygen at the anode. Capture the hydrogen, release the oxygen and you're set.

The problem is that generating any meaningful amount of hydrogen this way requires vast amounts of energy, and the end result is typically a net loss. It takes more energy to crack water this way than you get by burning the hydrogen you collect.

That means that the system isn't self-sustaining. You can't power a hydrogen=generating plant with some of the hydrogen you've separated earlier, as you need more hydrogen to run the place than it can make.

From that, it's fairly obvious that you need to supply such a plant with some other source of power, typically in the form of electricity. You could burn coal, oil or gas to generate the electricity, but you'd likely be more efficient cracking the oil into a motor fuel and using it directly. Additionally, generating hydrogen this way just shifts the problems of consuming fossil fuels and their attendant emissions problems from the car to a power plant.

You could go nuclear, but that's probably a dead end for decades now since the Fukushima accident. Fusion doesn't exist yet - here's hoping that ITER makes some important discoveries once they get up and running at the tail end of the decade.

If you really want to try doing this in a green manner, then you're looking at powering such a plant either by wind, solar or geothermal generation. Wind and solar plants take up a lot of space, are comparatively expensive to build right now in comparison to fossil-fuelled power stations, and they don't operate 24/7.

Geothermal generation has always had great potential, and is vastly more ecologically sound than burning fossil fuels. It's not infinitely sustainable (it's thought that we'd only be able to power stuff for a couple of thousand years) and it's not a zero-emission process (you drill a well, and stuff leaks out of the earth's crust, plain and simple), but the emissions are a tiny fraction of those from burning stuff, and as a bonus, geothermal plants tend to use much less water, too. The downsides are a higher initial investment (primarily in drilling the wells in the first place, some of which will fail) and the risk of geological instability (subsidence, small earthquakes, etc.).

It basically comes down to how to generate electricity in a sustainable fashion. Solve that problem (and we're going to have to fairly soon) and a lot of other problems are solved right along with it.


"That means that the system isn’t self-sustaining. You can’t power a hydrogen=generating plant with some of the hydrogen you’ve separated earlier, as you need more hydrogen to run the place than it can make."

I'm pretty sure the laws of thermodynamics guarantee that for any closed system.


True, but it's worth explicitly pointing it out, lest someone think they can get perpetual motion out of one of these things...


F1 cars silently trundling down pitlanes?

Most of the energy will be saved when millions of people around the world switch off their televisions.


I think Parr is spot on. Formula one is about Technology or speed. If it wasn't, it would be like IndyCar.

Cutting edge technology in that industry is moving towards electric/hybrid.

I understand why people are upset about the lack of noise from a lower powered engine or none at all in the case of an electric engine. But that shouldn't detract from what F1 is all about.

If Ecclestone or di Montezemolo have issue with that then maybe they both need to re-evaluate what F1 is about. What F1 has always been about. Pushing the boundaries of technology and speed. In F1 they go hand in hand. They always have.


F1 has always promoted itself as developing the technologies of the future,so why not. Does anyone remember the turbo ira?

The other aspect is this could bring a lot of manufactures back to the sport after the GFC, they would see a long term benefit from investing in the development of technologies for the future. Williams are keen to do this because they can see this is what will bring long term investments from the big car manufactures.


The very concept of F1 being "green" makes zero sense whatsoever. The change from 8 to 4 cylinders and the drop in displacement won't affect a thing in that regard.

The argument could be made that a smaller engine could reduce the weight of the car, resulting in better efficiency, and I believe the minimum weight of car + driver drops to 540kg in 2013. However, I've zero doubt in my mind that if the current 640kg limit were reduced, the teams wouldn't have too much difficulty in getting the cars down to that weight in very short order with the current V8 powerplants.

And besides, regardless of weight, the vast majority of the energy required is needed simply to get the car up to 200 mph or so whilst overcoming the drag from the downforce-generating aerodynamics, not to mention the open wheels and cockpits.

No powerplant tweak is ever going to change that - the energy input required is colossal, and the only way to reduce that is to either make the cars more aerodynamic (realistically either by shedding a pile of downforce or enclosing the wheels/cockpit) or by forcing everyone to run more slowly. I'm not sure F1 would still be F1 if you did either of those.

I'm not necessarily arguing against the new engine rules as such, just that any talk of an 750 horsepower engine (regardless of displacement) at full throttle being "green" in any sense of the word is simply ludicrous. It's smoke and mirrors, especially when you compare the amount of fuel burned by the cars during the race with the amount consumed getting everything *to* the race.

As for KERS, bring it on, I say. The wisest thing F1 could possibly do would be to throw away almost all the current rules and let the teams have at it.

If they want a system that can run for more than 6 seconds per lap, then let them find a way to shoehorn more battery capacity into their cars and come up with a more efficient way of harvesting energy. If they want a more powerful motor, then by all means, but don't forget to deal with the cooling problems, plus the higher demands such a system would place on the battery. If a team wanted a system that was more than just a pushbutton and delivered power in a more variable way determined with the driver, then let them go ahead.

For that matter, if a team wanted to come up with a way of harvesting braking energy from the *front* wheels, then I'd let them have a go at that if they felt like it. Weight transfer under braking dictates that's the sensible place to do it, rather than at the back wheels.

Throw away some of the rules, and I'd bet we'd be amazed at some of the things the teams come up with...the modern equivalents of 6-wheeled Tyrrells and Brabham BT46B's, no doubt.



First of all, I would like to congratulate you for establishing this forum.

To be true, I am sick and tired of the constant green slogans raised by people to introduce green technology in F1. Most of these people are delusional and should follow some other sport. Please leave F1 alone. First FIA got rid of V12s, then V10s, now V8...wots next V2s....the green parade should follow the new electric car racing series that is being planned by the FIA. The very reason Williams is not doing well is the philosophy of Sir Frank Williams. He has to realize that he is living in 2011 and not 1980s anymore.

Cars are no longer as challenging to drive as they used to be in the past. Even with V10s drivers used to think twice before taking Eau Rouge on full throttle, but with V8s...many fast corners became a joke. Compared to the past, we have very young champions now. One of the reasons is that the power differential between F1 engines and feeder series is no more as big as it used to be. The only teams who are in favor of green tech are those who are yet to start engine manufacturing or are mass manufacturers of cars a.k.a Mercedes and Renault. I simply don't see V4 or even V6 as a motivation for a team like Ferrari to stay in F1.

DRS in my view is artificial way of over-taking. Overtaking has always been minimal in F1. I would like to see drivers push like hell, lap after lap...just to be able to overtake someone around pitstops ...but now overtaking is a joke...


Isn't 'Green' about using only what's needed with little to no waste?

Well, don't they THROW AWAY the battery packs after each race?

Aren't batteries (all of them) very toxic to produce?

Seems there's lots more waste messing with the 'Green' stuff.

If you want 'Green', then give them half the fuel they have now and let them develop an engine to use it most efficiently.

An MYT engine comes to mind....


I met a young English man at Sepang, while we were discussing about the current rules and at one point we came to almost a whisper "**** we don't want F1 to be green".

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I can't help feel that Parr is grabbing at straws in order to please the new Williams shareholders.

This green stuff just doesn't sound genuine. I'm sure that Parr would change his tune if Total decided to switch over from Renault.

With a new formula of engines he probably feels that this will level the playing field and give Williams a new lease of life.

Without some engineering and sponsorship miracles, Williams seems settled to remain a midfield team.

F1 is about the noise, the sex, and the gladiatorial atmosphere. F1 in 2013 will be like taking away the rock music from Glastonbury and replacing it with Celine Dion or Chris de Burgh.


"F1 is about the noise, the sex, and the gladiatorial atmosphere. F1 in 2013 will be like taking away the rock music from Glastonbury and replacing it with Celine Dion or Chris de Burgh".

Mike, you could be dead right about this.

The Yanks know a thing or two about pleasing spectators and they aren't planning any dramatic changes to NASCAR to please the green lobby ( Who don't go to races anyway ).

I'm all for technology but four cylinder 1600cc engines ? At the very least they should be testing the format in other race series first.

Is there any reason why a new 3 litre V12 can't be just as high tech ..... ?

Think about the customers, engine manufacturers : I for one would never buy an M5 or an AMG Mercedes with a 12 speed auto box and a 1600cc turbo engine.


I think the smartest thing the F1 guys can do is test this engine formula elsewhere prior to trying to get Formula 1 to be the test bed. If this becomes a disaster,then the impact to F1 will be catastrophic. Whereas, they can test the engine formula say in GP2, or F2, or the likes, and see how it affects the racing, the noise and the likes. If it works, then they can bring it to F1. Otherwise it would just be a disaster to have all the teams gear up for this for 2013, spend all the money required to do it, then turn up for race 1 and it turns out to be unwanted by the fans. What will F1 then do for a whole season? Loose fans interest, and eventually sponsors. How can they then recover?


No, What's the point? How long is the dash in and out of the pits? Less than a minute...All the extra batteries and weight just adds to fuel consumption right?


Nice! Hope to see EV F1 soon!


I am all for it. That is what F1 is all about. F1 is the test bed to develop new technologies that can and do trickle down to road going cars in the end. And this formula of electric running is brilliant! I cannot wait for 2013 to be honest. I want to see what marvels the engineers can come up with. The thing is, F1 needs this more than anyone can imagine. F1 was and will always need to be the fore front of technology. If F1 stays with naturally aspirated V8's, they run the risk of loosing their place at the pinnacle of technological advancement and therefore will become some obscure racing series were reruns are shown as a gap filler at 3 in the morning. All the F1 "purists" are up in arms about this, but if they were real purists, shouldn't they welcome this technological change? Isn't that what F1 is about? Using and racing technology that no one else races with? Isn't F1 all about taking a certain set of rules and creating something amazing within those confines. Isn't it exactly what the F-Ducts, blown diffusers etc are all about in the end? Now I hear everyone say what these developments have to do with a normal road car? Just think about it, if a fluid switching device like the f-duct can be used to create a car with less drag, then that would have been worth all the development time the teams spent on it. All the aero developments and knowledge gained in F1 has it's place on the real world. It will make cars in future have better drag coefficients and therefore make these more efficient. The same is with KERS and 1.6 liter turbo charged engines. Just imagine what kind of impact this massive development within F1 will have on the hybrid technology of today's cars. That way is the way of the future, lightweight small and very powerful engines. And to imagine what this little engine will sound like when the turbo is screaming like a bat out of hell at 18000rpm's at full throttle... I am sure the noise will still be sufficient to raise those goose bumps and make you shiver with delight.

Just imagine the engine capacity restrictions would never have been changed since the 20's... They had 20 liter engines back then... Then the racing fraternity began with developing lighter, more economical engines for racing out of which F1 was born. These days you get more power out of a road going 1.6l engine that uses a fraction of fuel the old behemoths used. Just imagine were we will be in 20 years time thanks to the development happening today in F1. I think to embrace this change in F1 is the most "pure" way of being a true F1 fan.

F1 forever. 🙂


Technology doesn't trickle down from F1. Complete myth. Look to the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 series for where the next road going technology will come from.

A 1.6 turbo doesn't scream either - it's too gruff and quiet in comparison to proper V NA engines.

As for F1 being at the pinnacle, it's a hollow notion. People tune in to watch racing. People go to races to see the spectacle. People don't stop watching a racing series because they suddenly decide it's outdated. If F1 becomes too gimmicky or the spectacle is ruined, it suffers.

Imagine if 2013 was a technological marvel. But the racing was crap and there was little spectacle because of the feeble noise.

People will look back at the days of 2007 - 2011 and wonder what went wrong.


Technology does trickle down from F1. Maybe not the night vision and pre-safe and massage chair technology from the BMW and Mercedes S-class but it is all rather hidden technology. I am sure that carbon ceramic brakes and clever adaptive suspension all have their roots in F1. But, opinions may differ... So suit yourself.

Naturally aspirated engines are stone age technology, do you want F1 to continue clinging on to an outdated mode of propulsion just for nostalgia's sake? Look at Nascar, they still use push rod carburetor engines!! That kind of technology was outdated 40 years ago! Do you want F1 there as well?

On the noise side of the whole issue... If the noise is so important, why do people wear hearing protection to muffle the noise? You might as well tone the noise down to the level were hearing protection is not necessary...


here is an idea: why not let the cars drive electrical to the pit, and on gasoline out of it? that would be a compromise i could live with, also, if the starter fails the car would bi in the pit, not cluttering the end of the pitlane...( safety )

or is this a political comment towards Red Bull, who seem not to stick to the agreement on kers 🙂


As long as the green energy is developable that then it good to go for F1.

In F1...

Aero is highly developed
Mechanical parts are highly developed
Parts used to make the car are highly developed
Engines until the freeze were highly developed

KERS is just a bog standard stick it on and unless you put it in a hot cramped place (see: Newey's cars) then you don't hit problems (see McLaren's or whomever)...

In F1 everything is about development, for F1 to have a green component then it needs to be developed too.

To stop too much money being spent the rule should be
'Any team can buy the system for use on their car at the maximum cost of $XXXXXXXX'.
That way Ferrari or Mercedes wouldn't spend massive amounts just for Torro Rosso, Sauber or Force India to go and stick in on their cars for a fraction of the price.

Any development means that it has been integrated into F1 rather than just a stick on thing.


Thanks for your comment. Sorry about your posting issue. We're looking into it.


No problem. Understand. Part of it was as much about others who maybe aren't checking this site as much as I and are missing posts too, and a bit myself.

But thanks anyway!


I have a greener Idea. Why not employ people to push the cars out of the pitlane. The engines may be turned off when they enter the pitlane. This way it will surely be greener (perhaps reduce the capacity of the Kers battery)

The people who push the car get to touch an F1 car and is good exercise for them!!


that would be priceless! I'd even subscribe to sky sports to see that...


Why are they doing this?


Electric cars are NOT green: due to the battery's required for a Toyota Prius which are not only assembled all over the world but also require nasty chemicals it is actually much greener(read environmentally friendly) to buy a second hand 1968 ford mustang. And that is without considering where the electricity comes from. I say yes to increasing kers capacity, but no to running pure electric and NO to 4 cylinder engines. A better idea would be to double the number of cylinders allowed and limit the amount of fuel allowed for one race.


It isn't any cheaper but a new formula shift in engine format allows a new manufacturer not to be as far behind in development as coming into a mature v8 format.

Vw etc wouldn't fancy coming into f1 and try to outdevelop a v8 from mercedes (ilmor) or Renault.


When the quickest car of the grid is the one with the "worst" electrical system (KERS) speaks volumes of how gimmicky these green technologies are. Formula 1 fans are not your average dumb sports fan, they know that batteries are anything but a "green" component. These ideas will end up destroying what Formula 1 is and turn it into something different.


The engines should be 4L v12's that run in the pit lane with only electricity. Best of both worlds.


I dont want F1 to go to "Greener" engines. Its taking everything out of F1. Its about the speed, the noise ect, Losing the V10's was a stupid move but to then go on and get rid of the V8's just cos the world wants F1 to become a greener? No, other forms of Motorsports maybe, but not F1. Using more environmentally friendly fuel and other little perks like that should be enough, but turning the engine down to me is just wrong.... Its not what F1 is about... the Engine just wouldn't be enough for the pinnacle of Motorsport, GP2 would become the pinnacle of Motorsport. Not to mention that many F1 fans wont bother watching it meaning audience levels will drop.


Any measures to make the cars more efficient is absolutely laughable in the context of the massive carbon footprint associated with dragging the teams with all their kit and people around the globe.

The whole thing is utterly cynical.


F1 is about speed, sound and thrills. If they want to show off the hybrid/electric stuff, why dont they start a new series for that. I assume they could try not to race and try to rank the winners based on the least fuel consumption/maximum mileage like the hypermilers.


no offense ofcourse to the hypermiling. I myself ocassionally hypermile, with 25 - 30 kmpl on my car.


Oh please bring back the V10s, god I miss those days!!


I'd rather they just ditch KERS for now because like Anthony Davidson said during the practice coverage at Shanghai, I don't think KERS is really ready to be run in F1 yet.

I was kinda in support of KERS back in 2008/early-2009 but as 2009 went on I changed my mind. I don't think KERS really adds anything to F1 except bring in more problems.

I'm fed up already after 3 races of hearing constant radio messages from various teams/drivers about how KERS isn't working or that its only working intermittently.

The 2013 engine regs Im undecided on right now. I like the idea of going back to turbo's but am unsure about the 4 cylinder formula.

While to me the racing is most important, I also think the sound the cars make is important. If the cars don't sound fast or really impressive I feel a series loses something in terms of its appeal.

As an example, In the US Rolex Sportscar series the Mazda RX-8 is very popular amongst fans simply because of the sound of its Rotary engine.



Why doesn't f1 organize the calendar to save on the energy used to travel the globe. Eg. Have Canada, Texas, and Brazil back to back instead of having to fly to Canada then fly back before going back to America later in the year.


In this regard you ccan just plug in and charge and then knock around town for an hour or two,

but it really, really want one. This car has two motors;

aan electric motor, that used by automakers like Tesla in its electric cars,

scaling back projected volume car battery hack to a mere 100 battery-powered minicars.

And, car battery hack this has resulted in gasoline,

as well as used ford car dealer Dale Ford in Australia.

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!