Mercedes on target with 2014 engines
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Dec 2011   |  5:26 pm GMT  |  116 comments

Before Christmas break I had the chance to visit the Mercedes F1 engine factory near Northampton and I posted on their analysis of the 2011 season. You can read that post HERE

But the final part of the visit was forward looking, with an eye to 2014 and we got a sneak peak at what lies ahead as the engine builders prepare to run prototypes of the new engine on the dyno for the first time in 2012.

The new generation of F1 engines for 2014 are small capacity single turbo V6 engines. They will turn the page as far as engine technology is concerned and will re-introduce engines as performance differentiators, at least to start with.

However great care has been taken by both the FIA, the manufacturers and the teams to ensure that the new engine formula doesn’t turn into a spending war. Many areas of the engine architecture are fixed, such as the bore size, the crankshaft height, the single turbo and so on. The key to building a great engine rather than just a good one will be getting power from the given fuel flow.

“The engines are high revving. You don’t get the maximum fuel flow rate until you are above 10,500rpm, and the maximum revs are at 15,000rpm, ” Mercedes engine chief Andy Cowell explained.

The regulations are aimed at reducing fuel consumption, with savings of 35% on the current fuel usage, which will save around 55kg of fuel per car per race. But the rules also allow the engineers some freedom to innovate, with certain key parameters controlled, which seems like a good compromise. Another important point is that with the engine architecture fixed, it’s easy for teams to switch from one manufacturer to another if they find they aren’t competitive. This will keep the engine builders on their toes.

KERS will be dropped in favour of ERS, which will store and inject 120kW of power back into the engine, which will make a huge difference. Whereas KERS isn’t that noticeable, ERS will make a very significant difference to lap time. Heat recovery from the exhaust is part of a system which will harvest five times the energy KERS does currently. And when the car is running in the pit lane, the car will run on electric power only.

As for many fans’ fears that the sound will be disappointing, Cowell disagrees. With a rev limit of 15,000 the engines will scream and with
six exhaust pipes going into one turbocharger Cowell believes it will sound “very nice.” He’ll find out soon as Mercedes are shaping up to do their first run on the dyno in the coming months.

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Thanks James!

- is this the former Mario Ilien operation?

- will McLaren be using these engines as well?


Yes to start with at least - deal is to 2015 I believe


James, please ask Mercedes to publish an audio recording for the fans to hear what the future sounds like?


Nice idea, but I seriously doubt they will do that considering all the sound analysis that other manufacturers could do.


Smart guy! Couldn't agree more 🙂


Havent ever heard a good sounding turbo car, not when you remember the old v12s.

But hoping to be proved wrong


Am I the only fan who doesn't give a hoot how the engines sound - I just want good racing.


Nope. I really don't give a monkeys how they sound. Loud exhausts only matter in Tescos car park as far as I'm concerned.


with you there. Never been to a race, so don't quite understand all the fuss by fans about the noise. Of course might change my mind if I actually went to a race.


All F1 fans should at least experience a live race.

The sound is truly awesome, a V8 F1 engine zooms by when you're only eight to ten feet away will blow and change your mind, believe me.

For those who have experienced the V10s and V12s, I envy you.


Sound is also not important if you are not watching because it is only broadcast on SKY.


But it might be more important if the only live coverage you have access to is Radio 5 Live!


Hear hear! (No pun intended)

I haven't been to a race since the mid '90s and I can't hear much of the engine noise on the telly, so I really don't care about the sound. I would much rather the teams started to innovate on the engine side again, instead of running round with slightly detuned, almost ten year old, screaming V8s.


YouTube a quali lap from 1995-2005, then do a lap from 2006 onwards, especially a proper track like Silverstone/Spa/Monza... noticeably better IMHO. If in doubt, go to Goodwood and hang around as they are starting one up...


Yes. I think so, at least if you've watched it live


Er, you can still hear the engines on TV. A crap turbo engine will still sound crap on TV. The only difference would be that you'd think twice about going to a live GP.

Hopefully they'll still sound decent though.


ODD reason they go hand in hand...the cars of 2011 sounded like crap off throttle...IMO


Yes, you are!


No I agree. The sound matters when you're there but like 99% of fans I'll be watching on tv and the sound is less relevant. Some engine innovation and differences will hopefully make the racing exciting and the sound will be dipped behind commentator voices anyway. It may disappoint those at grand prix but I can't afford to travel to them anyway.


I think its superb that they're running on electric power in the pit lane. I'm wondering, though, what about warm-up? Will they do that in the garage beforehand?

And will the cars produce a synthetic noise for safety reasons when running under electric power?

I guess another advantage will be that a car can limp to an area of safety after an engine blow up (though that seems to be quite a rare occurrence now).


"a synthetic noise"

They will need to in order to cover up the snickers as ppl laugh at the scene.


Presumably you also wish electric trains made "Chu Chu" noises artificially as well to hark back to the old days. Noise is massively important, almost as much so as progress. Listen to the latest Audi's at Le Mans and its just as impressive...


The ones in my living room always made those noises! ;D


Very interesting post, James. Thank you.


The regulations are aimed at reducing fuel consumption, with savings of 35% on the current fuel usage, which will save around 55kg of fuel per car per race.


I hope this isn't some lame excuse by F1 claiming to go green when the big wigs hypocrites in the sport are flying all over the place in private jets.

Or could it simply be business as usual in that Bernie & Co want to save & spend on themselves the money they would have used on those 55kgs of fuel.

Please, let this lame PR move be the last change we see in the sport FOREVER, we have had enough of one team getting to grips with new regulations then running away with it.

Having said that, I think ERS will rock, I will just keep my fingers crossed that the races won't be decided on who has the best ERS for goodness knows, we shall not hear the end of it.


It's probably less to do with being green, more to do with saving. Yes, granted that the money being put into the new engine formula will outweigh the fuel savings, but this in the long run will be saved once similar technology filters down into road cars a few years after.

If it helps your pocket in years to come, it cant be a bad thing?


They have always changed up the formula when it becomes stale.


you think last season was stale?


I think F1 should move away from the massive focus on aerodynamics and more towards engine development. That's not only more relevant to actual cars, but for tech- and engineering fans like myself, it's also more appealing.

Aerodynamics should be more restricted and standardized, customer chassis should be allowed, maybe bring back the ground effect, all to reduce costs. On the other hand, engine development should be much more open. Instead of a tight formula, why not just give everybody a fixed amount of fuel and let the manufacturers develop the engine that gets the most out of it a 4 cylinders, 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder car with 1, 2 or 3 liters displacement and as many turbo- and or super-chargers as they want.


I agree, I think the best change would be to bring in a fuel limit for the whole season. Let them do as much testing as they want as long as they stay under the fuel limit. It will drive engine development as well as being "green". As far as engine configuration and size goes they can suit themselves.

Say for example a team goes for a very frugal engine, this will give them more testing time which means they can sort their aero better than someone who goes for absolute power. This could give an interesting scenario much like it did early 90s where you had your massively powerful V12 Ferraris which handled like lorries and had to be man handled round the track by men with balls of steel or the lightweight V8 Bennetons with a great chassis (not to mention secret electric gismos 😉 but much less power.

I was watching some Le Mans vids from the late 80s, the range of engines was huge, you had a 5L Turbo V8 in the Merc, a 7L V12 in the Jag, a 3.5L twin turbo Flat 6 in the Porsche, a rotary thing in the Mazda and that was just a few of them! Despite the differences there wasnt that much between them (I say this as a good thing because obviously you dont want one kind totally dominating) but for the spectacle and sound its far better a differentiater in performace than who has a slightly better turning vane on their bargeboards that weekend


Nothing should be "standardized" on these things!

And with any machine capable of 200 mph aero will be dominant. If you diddle the rules to restrict it they will *still spend millions to maximize it.

The only solution would be to do away with wind tunnels. Then ofc they'd spend it on CFD! So its a lose-lose proposition at best.


This is not the first time small capacity V6's are used. Just look at the 80's, Ferrari used 1.5 ltr turbo V6's. This being the modern age of bombproof reliability, BHP per ltr and with added forced induction of a turbo; 750 BHP plus shall be easily achieved with the new regulations.

I do have one rather large niggle; electric power in the pits?! This is not invalid carriages for the old, it's F1! F1 cars and engines are exciting, dangerous, little bit of primeval fear telling you that you are listening to an essentially a caged animal, an animal that spits and bites your head off you if show a lack of respect.

If I want to watch an electric vehicle I will go and visit the ponce's go about their business in Islington with their nasty G-Whizzes, paper bags Prius', The Guardian flapping in a breeze, resting on a ethnically centralised coffee shop table, whilst Mr Vegan Sandals smugly sips a skinny latte!

What I'm trying to say here in subtext, I will not be treated like an idiot by the green "movement". Electric motors in the sport of F1 (lets not forget it's a sport) is like pissing on a oil rig fire. Not the slightest bit of difference will be made to the emmisions of the sport. Transporting F1 all over the globe is the biggest emissions generator. Leave this eco-garbage to governments and faceless corporations. If they want to save the planet, they can use their own time and money. For honest hard working people like myself who do not wish to be subjected to limp wristed, lefty warped ideologically views on how we should live our lives without the fear of guilt, retribution and the ludicrous green tax, well they know what they can do.

F1 like all motor sport is essentially sex. Dressing it up in vegan sandals is the wrong route. It's about as sexy as living in a cave. Think again FIA


Not sure that 750+ BHP will be achieved. As far as I know the engines will continue to run on blue printed pump unleaded petrol. Back in the 80's the massive power outputs required a special brew that was nothing like regular petrol at all. It was approximately 85% Toluene and 15% nHeptane and it required pre-heating before it would fire the engine. Without using special fuels I think that 650 BHP is about the limit, especially given the fuel flow limitations as well.


Alistair, couldn't agree more, until I read your post I thought I was a lone voice, crying in the wilderness! We all know that transporting the cars, the people & all the gear, is by far the largest consumption of resources and that driving Hoovers in the pitlane is nothing more than a silly gimmick, a mere gesture of no practical significance whatever.

Regarding that, will the engines be stopped before entering the pitlane and re-started as they leave, or will they be allowed to idle, using fuel? If the former, I can see a few reluctant starters upsetting the race order.

I'm not against the new engines in principle, it's time we started to harvest the heat energy generated by the engine (and the brakes?) and the new rules will allow the engineers to do a bit of engineering again, at least until the FIA notices.

I do wonder about the future, though. I see F1 (actual) converging with F1 (video game). The level of graphic detail in the latest game is already remarkable, just think what another 10 years development - and in 3D - will bring. Bearing in mind that most us of only view the races on a flat screen, it won't be too long before it occurs to the FIA, under pressure from the greenies, or Bernie, that running the championships on video game is just as realistic and much less costly all round. (Don't worry about Bernie, if he can't take F1 with him, he's not going).


A vegan wouldn't drink a latte as that would contain milk!

I do agree though that there is little point trying to dress this up as green in an F1 context. All the private jets and yachts not to mention the shipping cars, staff and parts, etc around the world are easily the biggest use of fossil fuels and cause of emissions.

However, if the engine technology can be adapted for road car use in everyday cars then it will have a positive impact. Even if you don't believe in climate change or that it is man made anything that saves buying fuel at the crazy prices we pay these days has to be good!


You are missing the point here with the green aspect of F1. The technology they use and develop to have the car run with electric power in the pits can be easily transferred to road going technology. Wouldn't it be nice if cars driving in a parking garage can all run on electric power? Or standing in stop start traffic. Just imagine all the applications this simple technology can be used for. It has been long been criticized that F1 technology is not transferable to road going cars... Well, here is something that definitely can be used. The savings of greenhouse gases in the long run will make any development work worth it in the end.

And about the cars entering the pits silently and it being a safety concern, I recently saw on a review of the F1 season that there is a guy in the pits blowing a referee whistle every time a car enters the pits (can't remember which race this was). I think that even when under their normal power the sound of the cars going by on track drown out the sound of the cars in the pits. So I do not think that that will be a problem.


Active Suspension is still around & you can get it in a number of Mercedes cars. It is called Airmatic. As usual for innovations that appear in Mercedes cars, it eventually filters down to “mainstream” cars. Sometimes, it just takes a few years. Many people rubbished air-bags when they first appeared. Look at them now. MotoGP bike riders even have them fitted to their leathers.

You all remember the Moose Test & how the new Mercedes A Class famously rolled over when tested by some Swedish journalists doing this test. Since then, they have tested many more cars, to see which is the fastest. To see the results, just search for Moose Test in Wikipedia. There is a link at the end of the article that has the results. Guess what car is the fastest? It is not a Porsche or a Ferrari or even a Nissan GT-R. It is a Citroen Xantia. An ordinary family car is faster in the Moose Test than a Porsche 996 GT2 (& by a reasonable margin too). What is special about a Citroen Xantia? It uses Activa technology (which is Citroen's version of Active Suspension).

It just goes to show that technology from many sources can be adapted to do amazing things. Teflon was invented for the Space Race in the 60’s. The inventors probably never thought it would be used on fry pans. Same goes for electric vehicles. There are many applications for electric vehicles, especially in confined spaces or other areas where fumes are a problem. You just have to open your eyes.


"You are missing the point here with the green aspect of F1. The technology they use and develop to have the car run with electric power in the pits can be easily transferred to road going technology."

Great, another overpriced and impractical technology to transfer to <1% of the cars sold on the market (the EV share). Sounds like active suspension to me. I don't think Alastair is the only one missing the point.


"Great, another overpriced and impractical technology to transfer to <1% of the cars sold on the market"

That is what they said about airbags, traction control and ABS when it was first introduced in road cars as early as 1979. Every technology needs a test bed to evolve and become feasible. With F1 it won't take as long though...


F1 has been at the forefront of several technologies that are now fairly common place in regular passenger cars. Computerised Engine Management Systems & Drive-by-Wire throttle systems are two that come to mind. Their adaption in F1 has quickened the pace of adaption in passenger cars & resulted in significant reductions in fuel usage & pollution. Much greater that any usage by the cars themselves or related infrastructure.

While energy recovery systems & electric drives are not new, their adaption by F! means that the lessons learnt will be passed back to normal passenger cars. That is not to say that all F1 advances will make it mainstream vehicles. Pneumatic valves are one example. Not aware of any road going examples.

This is one of the attractions of F! (Being at the forefront of racing & automotive technology).


Well said. I want F1 to be at the front pushing new ideas ahead of them; not at the back clinging on to the past.


That's a very impressive post, Allistair, and I couldn't put it better myself! With all the funny ideas that are appearing in F1, one certainly wonders who's responsible for them as they appear to have drifted off the track and got bogged in the kitty litter.




You have lost the logic completely for the electric addition.

You are correct that it cannot actually be about saving much Carbon from running (or attending) F1.

It IS about the new technologies being developed to gain huge fuel efficiencies. Note that Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Honda, Infinity and maybe Chevy are all lusting to build these new engines.

Something is required.

Adapt (evolve) or loose our lifestyle (someday).


"You have lost the logic completely for the electric addition."

No he hasn't. The EV is still a monkey evolving nowhere fast. EVs are so energy dependent on gasoline engines today (ie, hybrid "technology") that the pure EV is practically a myth obtainable by only the super rich and still highly impractical.

And it's hardly a new technology, first introduced in the 1830s and failing to evolve into something useful since (if we leave wheelchairs out of the equation).

And the electric component will only add cost and weight to an F1 car as an unnecessary secondary system. How is that a useful evolution?


Your rant sounds rather ideological to me.

F1 lives in the real world and it seems that the sport's authorities want it to be at the pinnacle of technology. Well done them, I say.


I suppose no ideology stands behind your opinion.

"Pinnacle of technology" isn't the electric car. As I have said elsewhere, this technology from the 1830s has failed to produce a useful, acceptable vehicle for the majority of us in its long life for the same old reasons that aren't going to be evolved out tomorrow. I believe that Alastair's ideology represents a great deal of reality.


You are missing the very basic point that electric traction was never going to be developed while cheap, 'easy' oil flooded the market. Now cheap oil is disappearing (to be replaced by difficult-to-access, expensive oil) suddenly the possibility of electric traction is very interesting. So it's not surprising that F1 wants to explore what can be done with it.

In the long term, fossil fuels are dead. Why do people find it so difficult to accept that alternative fuels will soon be the pinnacle of technology?


"invalid carriages for the old"

Sadly, you are wrong: it *is!


Read today that electric motors only save about 2% of energy over a combustion engine over the course of their lifetime. Manufacture and disposal costs mitigate any savings made through the power plant's use.


KERS replaced by ERS??? So another short lived technology then, surely not good for the teams or the image of F1?


No - it proves F1 is all about conservation and savings: see - now they have done away with the 'K'!

Just think of all the savings on computer keyboards wear and tear, ink when printing F1 articles, commentators time in using the shorter acronyms, the savings go on and on... 😉


ERS is essentially the same thing as KERS but with an added motor/generator attached to the turbo.


Do you know what ERS is? The change is simply a de-restriction of how the energy can be recovered, as right now it is limited to the rear axle only. In the future it'll be harvested from both axles, and also the exhaust which it will no longer simply be KINETIC ERS.


It's just a name. They can't keep the word "kinetic" because they are now also recovering energy from the hot exhaust.

"ERS" is a catch all term that won't need to change.

......Oh! unless of course they start using big batteries that they recharge in the pit lane in a pit stop. I can't see that happening for a long time though.


Not really. Its essentially a more powerful KERS system, but since it harvests power from multiple sources the K has been dropped from the name since its more than just a Kinetic recovery system.


Can someone explain to me how the technical operation of ERS will differ from KERS that so much power can be harvested from ERS & currently not possible with KERS.


I think you'll find that 'ERS' is a logical development of KERS -- and technological advance is what F1 is about.


Woha! Six pipes into "one turbo", then logically there is only one exit and one exhaust pipe unless the "one" can include "siameseing" which would produce two exhausts.

Is there a copy of the engine regs online?


Yes, the technical regulations for the new engines are online. A lot of the engine is controlled, as James says. 'V' angle, bore, cylinder spacing, CG, weight, materials, valves, RPM, fuel flow, fuel pressure, etc. At least there seems to be a bit of room for innovation, but sadly not much.


"engine regs online?"

Probably not. While all the competitors know them, it is no doubt a big secret from the public, for fear of it falling into the 'wrong hands!'


Yes, check the FIA website.


Ok folks, found it here:$FILE/2014_F1_TECHNICAL_REGULATIONS_-_Published_on_20.07.pdf.

Note that the capacity is to have a maximum of 1600cc with a bore of 80mm thus the stroke is also fixed, unless anyone wants to make an engine with a smaller capacity. However:

5.1.6 Pressure charging may only be effected by the use of a sole single stage compressor linked to a

sole single stage exhaust turbine by a common shaft parallel to the engine crankshaft and

within 25mm of the car centre line. An electrical motor generator (MGUH) may be directly

coupled to the same shaft.

It does not say that all exhaust gas must pass through the turbo, nor does it define the exhaust exit points other than to say that the last 100mm must be circular in section.

It is known that teams were already experimenting with blowing the rear wing in the last few practice days this year. The other conclusion is that the MGUH can drive the turbo ie it can effectively supercharge the air inlet whilst providing extra exhaust exit flow. (presumably using an air wastegate to dump the pressure from the inlet whilst throttled down.

So anyway it is disappointing that we cannot have a proper engine contest with the basics being so restricted. There is emphasis upon the turbo being a "Heat" energy recovery system, this by having a motor/generator on the shaft of the turbo, though to my mind this looks more like energy recovery from the gas expansion, than the heat, although the two are linked much in the same way as in superheated steam. (should I dig our my old Calendar's steam tables? We did a LOT of steam in my OND and not having been in the navy I never used it)



It's an MGUH which is Motor/Generator Unit Heat. Hence my comment re suercharging and completely separately blowing the exhaust on overrun. This is independent of the throttle and as far as I can see not excluded in the regs.


I think you are correct, it is not recovering heat at all, it is recovering gas pressure expansion that was not recovered by the engine pistons.


Since it is a generator, not a motor that will be attached to the turbo. It will use the turbo to create electric energy to recharge the ERS, not use electric energy from the ERS to drive the turbo.


How much revenue does engine supply generate for Mercedes in a season per team?


I for one cannot wait for the new engines. These won't be soccer-mom hybrids put-putting around, but tesla-coils on wheels -- they will sound fantastic!

James, you mentioned that engines will be performance differentiators, "at least to start with". This implies that, once again, the FIA will eventually play kindergarten teacher and let the slower engines catch up and develop to the detriment of the faster units.

Is this the case? Or will all manufacturers be allowed to develop (within the given parameters) for performance outright (rather than having to mask their upgrades as being for "reliability's sake")?


As James stated, the ERS is going to be a huge boost, literally. It will likely be the main performance differentiator, not the actual ICE. Engine geometry is all regulated, the fuel flow is regulated, turbo pressure is regulated and the revs are significantly decreased. There should not be a large difference between ICE output and efficiency between manufacturers. The ERS efficiency and controls could vary though.


I forgot to mention...I am not very well versed on the fuel regulations. Fuel choice could make a difference depending on how tight the regulations are, especially since they are using turbos.


There was an interesting piece on here with Shell and Ferrari running road car fuel in an F1 Ferrari. I can't remember the results be they were surprising regarding consumption, mileage, torque and HP.


Of *course they will stifle engine innovation - its what they do. Its why FIA probably has more lawyers than engineers.

You see, as a pinnacle you cannot have a few standouts because then obviously *some of the competitors are *not the pinnacle and will reflect badly on the sport.


its not so much because of that, its more to cap power levels to prevent speeds getting too high.

i know many of us fans want crazy powerfull, super fast cars with limited restrictions however this is not exactly safe & if speeds go too high the cars could become unsuitable for some circuits.

just look at the group b rally era, the fans loved it but the cars were too fast & they were banned.


As much as I'd like to believe you, I just can't believe that any limits on engine development will be for safety's sake. They say it's for cost-control. I'm inclined to agree with Rich and believe its more so for commercial reasons.


One would imagine in time that development will be restricted.


Thanks James great info.

Hmmmm, running on electricity down pit straight..

I can see that being a safety issue, as well i wonder how many teams will have troubles when switching from engine to electricity.

Also it sorta forces the back markers to use the Technology.. I wonder if they will be able to afford it?

Is ERS like KERS, where they use there own unit?

Or does ERS come with the Engine from the manufacturer? What if new teams cant figure it out? Or afford it?

I hope we can get more info on the matter..

Thanks again James.


There are plans to enforce artificial noise on road going EVs. There was an article on BBC radio the other week, some record producer had been commissioned to devise SiFi type sounds for both in and outside of the car. Clearly this commission had not followed the normal motor industry channels or bodies, the results were ludicrous. (There are very well established types and frequencies of warning sound for motor vehicles ) Sadly the Charging Point no longer allows comment, thus my rant here.

I do not see a problem in the pitlane, there will still be the warning klaxon and crews will watch. The only loss of warning will be the rev increase just as a car leaves it's pit. Then maybe each team will have a hooter too, to be sounded when take-off is imminent. This can be made directional by choice of frequency and speaker/transponder.


Amazing the technology invested so far now for the future, progressive and very forward thinking by Merc! LONG LIVE F1!!


Really can't believe that F1 car will run in electric in pits.

What is this? Some guys just gone crazy.

I think these guys in FIA will bring HYBRID F1 cars in future.


They banned V12, V10, V8 then made "Freeze" in engines. Banned refueling.

Keep on banning everything good thing things people like. I think one day they gonna stop watching this sport.

This sport is going in wrong direction, with some idiots making their own rules and thinks everyone would embrace it.


Cars using gas engines driving at the pit speed limit, or electric engine driving at the pit speed limit. Yet one of these 2 options is crazy to you?


You didn't understand my whole point.


“KERS will be dropped in favour of ERS, which will store and inject 120kW of power back into the engine, which will make a huge difference”

I’d like to see teams have an option here. Use ERS to inject kW into the engine, or use the ERS as a fuel efficiency gain. That is, the ERS powers the engine to same kW as normal, so a team could chose to run less fuel and be faster on aggregate. But I suppose that idea only really works if refuelling is allowed, and it isn’t.


I'm quite looking forward to the turbo-boosty-ness returning, albeit a lot more restricted than the originals, but being f1 someone is sure to find a workaround to crazy hp numbers


O.k., that is the first time that i heard ERS rather than KERS. How does this system differ from the other? Is ERS somehow harvested through the turbo, then converted into electrical energy, then stored in batteries?


Gday. KERS harvests engery from the force of breaking only (hence the Kinetic bit). ERS harvests energy from multiple sources. The heat produced of the exahust (the temperature don't confuse the turbo charging) runs through a heat exchanger converting the energy to electricity. This along with the electricity generated from the braking is sent to a battery for storage.

I hope that helps.

Ps. I wonder if other sources could be used? Say an air brake with a turbine or solar panels


An air brake with a turbine would be a moveable aero device, so it would be illegal unless the rules are changed. But it's an interesting idea. Of course, a turbine would produce far more turbulent air than wings or chimneys or turning vanes, so that might be an added impediment to overtaking. Not to mention there's always the risk of failure with any moving part, so a stuck air brake turbine could mean a sudden loss of braking force.


Very good point. Im very curious as to where this technology goes. I find it all quite fascinating. Personally id like to see the ERS less regulated. Let the teams harvest all the energy they can squeeze out of the system then use it for as long and for as many kilowatts as they see fit. If the FIA were to demand reliability criteria in the same way they do the internal combustion engines the racing would be very interesting but probably not fair, as there would be too much variance in the performance of the cars at certain (and unpredictable) times.


Does driving in the pits on electric power only mean that after many many years F1 cars will have an on-board starter?


Yeah, engage the clutch or use the electric motor.


What it means is that given smaller capacity, single turbo, lower max RPM, the engines will be high pressure with lower BHP than the current engines. - The deficit being made up by the ERS I understand. I wonder if we will see more engine failures due to the pressure induced high stress initially. Of course a properly design engine would be beefed up where necessary to take account of this, but F1 being what it is and always on the edge it remains to be seen if any manufacturers under cook it initailly. I don't mind at all, a few engine blow-ups adds to the excitement.


When F1 last had turbo V6 engines the exhausts would spit flames on overrun, with the fuel restrictions on the 2014 engine regs does this mean we are going to be denied this spectacle?


The 1.5 litre turbos were by no means tame, I can still remember the twitter of pop off valves. Didn't Keith Duckworth propose a fuel flow formula in the 80's?


I doubt the sound will be a huge issue to be honest, I expect them to make some hell of a racket. I for one welcome our new ant overlords...


We have too much government interference in everything! If FIA is gonna make it a 1.6l V6, they should free up rest of the restrictions. Let manufacturers decide whether they want a single turbo,bi-turbo or go the supercharger way. Free the restrictions on materials used,rev limits etc. Now that would be pure F1..the best innovaters producing the best engines in the world. Its a shame that with 4 different engine makers on the grid, they still cannot lobby and make FIA free the shackles from regulations.


I'm not so sure they weren't consulted. James, did the engine working group consult the manufacturers about the rules?


"Its a shame that with 4 different engine makers on the grid, they still cannot lobby and make FIA free the shackles from regulations."

i doubt any of them could afford the expence that a less restrictive formula would bring.

worth remembering as well that the engine regulations were not something the FIA came up with. It was FOTA in co-operation with several engine manufacturer's which put forward many of the proposed regulations including the restrictions as neither teams not suppliers want what they call a "spending arms race".


I can't wait for the new engine era. If the development freeze is lifted (within the regs) we'll see some great battles for absolute power before the homologation takes place.

James, do we know when the engine homologation will take place, how long do they have to develop before we see a freeze?

Thanks for the book btw, great read and much needed over the Christmas break.

All the best everyone!!


Forgive my ignorance, i don't really remember "the old turbo days" but the current breed of F1 cars won't have WRC style turbo whine will they?



I just read through the new engine regulations.

Some fool clerk forgot to put in the regulation specifying paint type, colours, and scheme!

This is critical, and *must be corrected asap!!


G'day James.

The current engines are very complicated to start up. Requiring different oils and parts to be at certain temperatures before the (external) starter motor can fire up the engine. Does this mean that the v6 engines will require on on-board starter motor with the capacity to cold start? Or will the engine be brought to temperature and started in the gararge only to be turned off as the car leaves and the re-engaged as joins the race track. If the second option is how it will work there is so serious safety concerns for the formation laps. Everyone running around the pits will need full hearing protection while silent cars come hurtlin out of the garage and down the lane at 80kmh. That's scarry..... Eg, A home sick mechanic who's been up all night changing an engine forgets a spanner and runs to get it. While crossing the pit he forgets to look left. Meanwhile rookie F1 driver gets an instruction to adjust his diff settings as he leaves his gararge. He takes his eyes off the road for a second to adjust it when suddenly............


you wake up with a hangover.... realizing, with horror, that you went on the internet while drunk!!!


Alas not drunk. But by 12:22 am I was, why were u on the Internet at that time NYD??? I spent 6 years in the army spending alot of time with armoured vechiles and watching the pit stops always makes me nervous as there is no margin for error. My point is that silent cars are dangerous if people have hearing protection on! Is that reasonable?

Ps. Probably bet stop using my iPhone for replies, it's hard to proof read. Happy new years mate!


With the 2014 engine regs this is probably the closest you will get to their sound right now -


Dunno about your point, but I love that video!

Imagine this: a driver skilled enough to actually shift up, and *down with a stick!

And to control just that tiny bit of wheelspin without electronics! Amazing.

Bet you won't see *that in 2014!


I'm deaf. If I can cross a busy road, F1 mechanics can cross a pitlane.


No. As a padestrian your not under the same stress as a mechanic or camera man.


I heard a rumour that Honda are considering a comeback as an engine supplier, given this new engine regulation. I wouldn't be surprised if they do come back to F1, they were very dominant in the "Turbo" era.


If ERS is much more powerful, I would like to see DRS removed, as I think ERS and Pirelli are big enough to encourage overtaking without becoming too artificial.

There's much more tactics strategy in ERS deployment as well which I prefer to the on/off DRS, which also takes away from the art of defending.


Definitely looking forward to the Turbo Era returning. I'm sure that they will sound as good as they did in the 80's. The only thing that I'd change is running electric in the pits, leave that to Formula EV. The cars sound awesome revving in the pits.

Here is a video onboard of Johnny Dumfries in the Lotus Renault V6 Turbo from 1986 in Adelaide:



with the 2014 regulation, from the race conditions when entering pitlane, engines are turned off at all or they are allowed to idle?


I know a good way to save fuel, put all the drivers on one bus! And yes the sound is important it sets F1 apart from other motor sports, if you go to a BttC meet once the cars have all gone by the crowd chat about the weather until they come round again, frankly a bit dreary. You don't have that problem in F1. I once saw Damon Hill do one lap of Brands Hatch in an Arrows( before it broke down!) and it got EVERYONES attention (same at Goodwood). I'm a mechanic and the sound blows my mind!


I see alot of comments on the concern of safety for the F1 engineers and those in the pit lane. I understand that whilst they maybe under stress to ensure the car is turned over quickly, or when the car is in the garage to ensure it is prepared. However if that stress overtakes the engineers sense of common sense and self preservation then he/she should not be in the pit lane, often when i watched the coverage on BBC i winced at Jake Humphreys as obviously he did not take that element of danger seriously. The engineers are warned whenever a car enters the pit lane by a large air horn which sounds, when in practice or qualifying all engineers should either be on the pit wall or in the garage, i don't see why an engineer should be out and in the path of cars unless it is a pit stop? Maybe getting a better view of the incoming cars perhaps?

As for the 'experience' being lost when the cars are running silent in the pit lane, i also don't see the point that people are trying to make. To me i like to hear an engine screaming as it touches 18,000rpm, bouncing of the limiter or rapidly downshifting as they enter the corner. Listening to a car idling as it runs at 80kph down the pit lane doesn't give me excitement.

As for the electric motors in general? I quite like the idea of introducing another element for the designers to handle when packaging the cars, the introduction of that motor is no doubt going to effect car balance massively, not only that but we are going to see a race to see whom can fire that engine and make it run most efficiently so that the power recovery systems are focused upon the ERS instead. It adds an entirely new dynamic which will given 5 years will be shown in road cars. Already road cars are looking into switching to electric power when stopping at traffic lights, why not allow F1 to advance it in stop start traffic flow around towns as well? I can only see benefits from this for the general population and to be brutally honest think that those opposing for the above reasons have no solid foundation, much like anything in life, people do not like change. Whilst those people would think that the 80's/90's were the golden era of F1, the generation previous would most likely not agree. Evolution in nature relies on change to the environment around them, it should apply to ourselves in technological evolution as well.


Running silent with electric motor in the pitlane rule was dropped, wasnt it?


Guys Piston engines are prone to letting go in extreme ways I mean exploding so piston engines are not the way to go I suspect that the RX 8 Renisses engine is the way to go as there are no pistons to come flying out of the top of a engine when it explodes and the engine can be sealed and can be returned to Mazda for servicing and then returned to the racing team for re-instillation into the car for the next seasons racing. nuff said.

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