A glimpse into how F1 will change in 2014
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jan 2013   |  3:08 pm GMT  |  301 comments

More spectacular racing, with F1 cars having more power than grip on corner exits and an opportunity to showcase technology and innovation, putting F1 back at the cutting edge – these are the likely hallmarks of Formula 1 as it will be under the new formula in 2014, according to experts who are building the new engines.

A visit to AMG Mercedes High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth today yielded some fascinating insights into how F1 is set to change and what fans will see next season. And we got the chance to see one of the new generation V6 turbo engines on the dyne and to hear its sound.

It is noticeably less of a high-pitched wail at peak revs, as the maximum is now 15,000rpm, rather than the 18,000 previously. But through the upshifts and downshifts it sounds very much like an F1 engine and there is a sweetness to the sound which is distinctively F1. And the turbo, which revs to a maximum 125,000rpm will also be audible.

The 2014 V6 turbo unit

We also saw a V6 engine block in the process of being built up; as you’d expect it is shorter than the V8, has 15% less moving parts but seems quite tall, so doesn’t appear much smaller than the existing unit when both are near each other in the engine build room.

With the new generation hybrid devices, the power unit will produce far more torque than the current V8s and this will lead to the cars stepping out more at the rear as they exit corners. Getting on top of that will be important, but so will the efficiency of the power units themselves. The pressure will be on Pirelli, if it retains its F1 tyre supply contract, to produce tyres that can cope with the increase in sliding.

At its heart the 2014 revolution aligns the mission of race engineers and road car engineers; both are looking to get power and efficiency while using less fuel.

The package which extracts the most performance from fuel energy will perform the best. Getting it right will be vital to competitiveness next year; the manufactures have agreed to homologate the engines on March 1st 2014, so they have until then to develop them. If one manufacturer has a clear advantage over others, they will be able to enjoy that for a while but discussions will inevitably ensue to allow some retuning, as happened when F1 switched to V8s after 2006.

The driver will have a maximum one 100 kilos of fuel in his car at the start of the race, rather than 150kg today so the engineers need to find a 30% improvement in efficiency compared to today’s engines, while maintaining the same power output. The 2014 engines will use Direct Injection, pressurised to 500bar. It will make F1 a thinking driver’s formula, perhaps?

One of the key areas of development is the energy recovery systems (ERS) and we were given an insight into these. Rather than the single KERS system used today, which gives around 80hp boost for 7 seconds per laps, the 2014 units will also harvest energy from an electric machine connected to the turbo and a heat converter, all of which will boost the output to 161hp for 33 seconds per lap. The unit can store 10 times more energy than the current KERS units and harvest 5 times more energy at the rear axle. Current thermal efficiency is 30%, the target is 40% next year.

This aligns the sport far more with what is going on in the road car world and AMG Mercedes HPP MD Andy Cowell says that he is having far more conversations with his opposite numbers in Stuttgart on the road car side, who are also covering the same ground and are looking to transfer the learnings from F1.

As the driver on average demands full power for 50 seconds per lap, this means that the hybrid aspect will be a very significant contributor to lap time.

There will be a single exhaust, exiting down the centre of the engine cover, onto the rear wing. This will make exhaust blowing into the diffuser a huge challenge, but as the gains are so great it will be fascinating to see how the aerodynamicists manage to channel the air.

One important aspect of change will be to see the power unit as a whole entity, so that each driver will have 5 power units for the season (currently he has 8 engines). So if he has a failure of ERS, turbo, an exhaust, battery or control electronics failure you will have to use a sixth power unit and incur a 10 place penalty. Today it’s only the engine itself which attracts a penalty.

Whereas today’s engines need to last for 2,000kms, the 2014 units will therefore need to last for 4,000 kms, which interestingly also makes them usable in the Le Mans 24 hours race.

Mercedes plan to supply two customers from 2014 onwards, in addition to their own works team based at Brackley. Currently they supply McLaren and Force India. There is speculation about what both teams might do in future, but if they are going to change in 2014 they will need to do so very soon, as the engine manufacturers are on the point of sharing the data on size, weight and fittings to their teams so that they can get ahead on the design phase.

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F1 is sht now, 2004-2005 was the fastest years. Might as well watch go karts or Lemans coz the cars r so slow, nxt year theyl ban engines & thn tyres & they will be flintstone cars. Bring back downforce refuelling, fast cornering speeds traction control n bridgestone tyres! Pirelli needs to go! F1 fans dnt care about environmental partners & technologies relevant to road cars, thts what makes it supreme, its f1 specific only. Attracting the wrong partners. v10s &v12s wow! the sound is gone n F1 is gone. RIP


Give me a break! It's amazing enough that Merc has opened the doors to let us see this much. No-one else has...

Credit to Merc for being open with us today


Have Mercedes been able to give an estimate of the cost delta between the 2013 and 2014 engines? Thanks


F1 engine manufacturers guard everything.

I was in the BAR garage at a Silverstone test when one of the cars was wheeled in with a blown engine. I spotted a few tiny pieces of the block casting on the floor and picked them up just to feel the density of the metal. Two Japanese Honda guys literally ran over and took the pieces off me in seconds.

There is far too much secrecy in F1 and it harms the interest of the dedicated enthusiast. When the 2014 engines are homologated and therefore the basic design is fixed, full details should be revealed including photos of the internal components. It's then a level playing field so why not ?


Quite agree!

As an engineer, I watched F1 as much for the technological factors as I did for the racing. There used to be a time when most of the technology could be seen and an idea of what was going on would come from that, now it's more secrecy than makes sense (except to the teams) and I really don't get the insight I used to.

Along with being sold out by the BBC to Murdoch's mob and hence losing full coverage on an FTA platform, this is why I've stopped following F1 other than reading a few web sites every now and then.

Bring back full information in the public domain, or at least ban all the gadgets used to block our view and I might overcome my lack of enthusiasm again.


One limitation will be penalising the current engine manufacturers if a new one comes in, for example in 2016.

Future engines could be an interesting case of getting around homologation. Audi competing in Le Mans could develop an engine. Then Porsche does one, then Bentley and then the fourth generation is the VW F1 engine in 2018, all while Ferrari and Mercedes are stuck still with their initial interpretation of direct injection combustion dynamics.

I don't know what will happen or what the rules are - I'm just guesing.




Possibly because the engines are owned by the teams, developed at huge cost the have the right to choose not to share it with the dedicated enthusiast?


Great information and very much appreciated! Any chance you could share some of the FIA thinking regarding imposition of a 10-place grid penalty where auxillary parts of the engine are concerned? Specifically, why this should affect a driver/team so heavily when they are customers of an engine supplier. It is easier to understand that a driver may have some control over the abuse of an engine and cause a failure of that piece of the power unit. Thanks again.


It's the only thing that will add some excitement to F1!


A small auxiliary component failure on the engine unit will incur twice the penalty of a gearbox failure.

Seems fair to me! I also believe the stewards are never biased; always get it right and both Red Bull drivers have the same status.


if they use an engine, and the alternator fails, and they are going to incur a penalty, then there is no incentive for them to only change the alternator. they might as well change the whole "power unit" and take advantage of the power and extra mileage of a fresh engine.


@Will Tyson - That doesn't make much sense. If the team have to take a penalty then why not change the whole 'power unit' and start with everything fresh? Replacing the component that failed and retaining the other parts that have already run some distance would be foolish when the consequence is the same for all new stuff.


No!! If I'm thinking correctly, a failure involving one of the parts under the "Power Unit" e.g. ERS, turbo etc. then a penalty is issued. The whole engine isn't replaced (unless that was damaged) but the thing that was damaged is replaced, therefore the engine lasts it's maximum mileage (unless damaged) before a new one is put in.


So James, if I understand what you are saying correctly. If on the first race the Red Bull alternator fails, (stranger things have happened), then the whole engine unit is swapped out even tho' the engine is probably capable of running another four races.

Emm.. Look how green and environmentally friendly we are making formula 1.. Not!!!!


Agreed it's unfair on the Driver, but I guess the Team has to ensure they go with the best /most trustworthy Power Unit (Manufacturer) as a whole now. The best power unit manufacturer will be awarded with the most credit for reliability, hence filtering down to sales of 'domestic' road cars that you and I drive!


Does this mean that a Power Unit is considered a single unit, or can the turbo from one unit be combined with the engine of a different unit? In essence, do teams get 5 turbos, 5 ERS, etc, or 5x (turbo + ERS + engine + ...)?


It's just that rules now say that if you need a 9th engine you get a penalty.

New rules for 2014 don't talk about the engine, they talk about the Power Unit and that comprises the other parts. If you need a 6th Power Unit you get a penalty. So the failure can be outside the engine itself, but still yield a penalty.


There's no pleasing some people! 😉


No detailed technical drawings revealing trade secrets so that I can build one too, James!? For shame...




I am sure the boys will give you a V8 block after this season ends.

Every man here knows that every wife loves to have an engine block coffee table in the living room, bed end tables made of used race tires and a RBR front wing as a bed backboard. Some lucky men here have wives who get a set of fluid measurement beakers for tea sets and temperature tire guages for baking. Buy those lucky few are mostly F1 mechanics.


I know. I'm kicking myself that I didn't nick a cylinder head to share with everyone

Marcus in Canada

Absolutely, I was astounded that you got a pic!


I would ask the F1 drivers, what machines would they like to drive and how? Vote and implement it.

I would not limit the number of drivers by those who is driving now, but asked all who ever drove join the discussion.

I would also ask them what they like the most on different racks and built that ultimate track too.


Well said. Currently f1 is all about generating immense cash in flows. Its sad but the wealthy make all the rules, to suite themselves only. I do think the importance of advertisement is planned obsolescence on a fan base; large fan base is proportional with exponential returns.


Wayne - go jerk off to days of thunder whilst playing your scaletrix, you don't know what you want, nice words but what you're actually are against would take us back to the mid nineties, which were crap. Fast cars on full limit with no run offs, sound like indycar racing on an oval, go and watch that and leave f1 alone because its the best it's been in decades


what about that turbo you can clearly see? what good is a picture of engine with all the covers on? hardly at risk here. all the engines will be close in terms of power and torque output.


That particular engine looks to me like a naturally asperated v8.

It doesn't surprise me that Merc wouldn't want currant pictures of their 2014 F1 engine circulating around the world!



Here Here Wayne HERE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well said Wayne


Well said. But they won't listen will they


Me too, there isn;t another writcle out there with this sort of detail that I can find.

On the subject of f1 being a a more thinking man's game in 2014 - I'm really dissapointed if that's the case, it's already leaning that way because of the comedy tyres, to go further down this route is not what I personally want from F1.

Mercedes are also on record as saying that fastest laps may not equate to the fastest race - well great!

This is the world's premiere motorsport formula right? Should we not expect to see these guys drving their cars on the limit as much as possible, that's where their talent lies isn't it? I love strategy and intrigue but F1 can and will go to far - these guys should be racing above all else.

I want to see the fastest drivers in the world driving the fastest cars in the world on the limit. I want tyre squeal, smoke, the risk of running wide without run-off areas larger and smoother than the deck of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier.

I want fire and brimstone, sweating brows and nervous moments of incredible tension. I want F1 drivers to be allowed to overtake without consulting an overbearing rule book, booking a slot on the track a week in advance, pressing a button a pulling alongisde in a carefully choreographed move.

F1 should not be out to save the world, I don't give a rat's ass about the emissions of an F1 car while they are totally overshadowed by the logistical costs of flying to empty circuits in parts of the world that care nothing for F1, purely for cash. Hypocritical does not even begin to describe it.

F1 will end up as an immaculately presented excercise in spin and PR, clean, sterile, contrived and false. I don't want the motorsport version of American wrestling!

Dear God will someone listen! I do realise that the entire world revolves aorund money, and people will do anything to get more of it that they can possibly spend but F1 has history and heritage, F1 is a SPORT (or was depnding on how far gone you think it already is).

The Bloody FIA and BE need to just STOP. Take a breath, relax for a year and think on what F1 should be.



we should just skip 2013 and move on to the EXCITING stuff.

Wave your magic wand BERNIE and let it be so!!


I just want to know the power output of these engines, if not including the KERS and ERS they only produce 550-600bhp im turning off the sky subscription, F1 cars are slow enough these days already but getting slower and slower is not what the sport should be about especially when the rest of the world is getting faster, what is the point of being the pinnacle of motor racing when other series like indy car, moto gp and even ALMS le man cars are all quicker??



1. None of the stated racing series are quicker than F1. LMP1 cars are slower even than GP2 for christs sake. MotoGP is slower than the GT500 class of Super GT around the only circuit they have shared recently; Sepang.

2. The total power output will be similar to today; 700-750bhp. The torgue levels will be higher though, which is a good thing.

That includes ERS but that shouldn't even matter.


Yes you do make some good points and you are right about the new aero rules which produces slightly less drag I did forget about that, and on lap times F1 should always come out on top if not there would be no point.

You make a good point about F1 not being top on top speed for a while and I agree but at least make it respectable like 240mph on the home straight of Monza would give the commentaters something more proud to talk about but its not the biggest issue, the biggest issue is acceleration and although it doesnt need to outdrag a dragster F1 cars should at least out accelerate circuit or road vehicles 0-150mph e.g. Moto GP bike, a road car like the Agera R or even a rally car


These V6 turbo's will have similar power output to the current V8's but with more torque. The current V8's can already top 210mph (fastest in 2012 was 217mph). The increased torque and decreased drag means the 2014 cars will be faster than the 2010 ones in a straight line, even if slightly lower than 2012 ones due to more restricted DRS usage.

Besides, top speed isn't everything. F1 has not been kings of the straight line for many years, probably not since the days before aero became involved (at which time Can-Am cars - such as the Chaparral 2J - were probably faster around circuits).

Top Fuel dragsters reach 300mph in the kind of time MotoGP or Formula 1 reaches 100mph. F1 destroys every other series around a proper circuit though, and THAT is what makes them the pinacle.

PS, if you had been to an actual GP, you would not be calling the engine noise 'weak'.


Its not all about lap times and straight line acceleration and to a less extent top speed matters, the bragging rights goes to the moto gp bike fans and how can you call f1 the pinnacle when you will see a 550b 630kg car cruising on the monza home straight at about 180mph?? All this with weak noises? Its going to get laughed at in all honesty.


Nah, they need time to backtrack!!

They always seem to do that with these wonderful Decisions For The Future! (What happened to the 'running-on-electric-only-in-the-Pit-Lane' intention?!)


Thinking about it do you reckon that this stunt by Mercedes was to preempt any such "back tracking" rumblings?

It is a bit "accessible" of Merc considering the secrecy of the other manufacturers.


Thanks for the analysis JA - interesting as always. Given all the investment for 2014 and relatively stable formula for this year - do you see this as more of a drivers/tacticians year rather than development? Or will the development battle carry on as always? (and be focused on aero?)


I think you'll see a lot of development on exhausts again, other development where there is carry over into 2014


James, I know this is off topic but what do you think about Pirelli's decision to be more aggressive with tyre compounds for 2013? Could you do an article about what this could mean in terms of how this could affect car design , please?

Stephen Taylor


Once we've seen the new tyres in action at testing - yes


Some question to the 2014 rules:

1) Is the single exhaust exiting in front of the rear wing a result of the single turbo, or would the regulations disallow splitting the exhaust behind the turbo and letting it exit on the sides, where it is now?

2) Will we see the low noses in 2014? I heard they did reverted the planned 2014 rules for the bodywork to the 2012 rules in most of the points, does that include the plans for low noses?

3) With a turbo engine, technically you don't need an airboy anymore, but just a roll hoop. Will we see an airbox anyway?


I was wondering the same thing about the airbox.

I remember being distressed when I first saw the '89 cars, especially the Lotus 101, because the car just looked like one ugly giant airbox after the sleek turbo Lotus designs. But you get used to anything. Now I wonder if they will look odd going back to a roll bar.

If they do, it will be bad news for the sponsors as the surface area of bodywork will be substantially reduced!


In regards to the low noses, if they are too low then we could see a car rear-ending another, and the back car going underneath the one in front (as opposed to on top like previously).


Hi Wanja,

with the airbox, the aerodynamicists will be trying to take cool air from as neutral position as possible. The airbox location is good in that regard, but it is high and longer path adds weight, so a better solution may be found elsewhere. The ERS is likely to involve a fair bit of heat, and there may be an intercooler somewhere in the mix too. So picking the right spot might be tricky.

I haven't checked the rules for your Q1 and Q2.




It would look like the old F1 turbo era. Which would be nice, as they looked ever so much better than the current cars.


I really hope it's not just a roll-hoop, it would look like indycar!


Oops, my bad.. there's "did" too much and instead of "airboy" I meant to write "airbox".


At least one team is sure to come to testing with a way to refine use of the exhausts and start a new development race. That is F1, I doubt the great minds have spent the last year and winter without coming up with something to change. Hopefully the first team gets some benefits and causes everyone else to jump.


Yes and it will involve a Romulan cloaking device.


I thought that engine makers were already sharing data with their customer teams. At least that seemed like a reasonable assumption, given that for weeks now we keep reading about F1 teams splitting their design resources between the 2013 and 2014 cars.

Bearing in mind the whispers about Force India possibly flirting with Ferrari, could this give an early advantage to Mercedes' own team, compared to its customers?


33 seconds of KERS per lap...

On some circuits that's a whole third of the lap with your finger on the KERS button.

Do you think teams will be allowed to automate the use of KERS? It just seems an awfully annoying thing to have to do lap after lap.


33 seconds of ERS per lap, with 160hp going into the system.


But not every lap. If I remember correctly, the rules have been set up so that you can only gain a half charge on the ERS every lap rather than a full charge. This is where the "thinking mans formula" comments are coming from as drivers will have to think about how they make use of ERS to make the fuel last.


quoted from above

"The unit can store 10 times more energy than the current KERS units and harvest 5 times more energy at the rear axle."

so half of the energy comes from the rear axle, potentially the other half from a generator off the turbo and a heat converter.


Don't you mean 12,500 rpm James?


No, I mean 125,000 rpm!!


Oh I've read it again . It was the turbo being referred to .

I also have a question which is how will the V6 turbo cars compare to a now ancient pre 2006 V10 powered car around Monza?


Badly. Some idiot thought it was a good idea to peg the turbo units back to the level of the current V8's which are 4s per lap slower in qualy than the V10's were (pole 2004 was 1:20.08, pole last year was 1:24.1)


Bare lap times don't tell the full story, especially if you simply use 2012 vs 2004 when trying to compare the V8 engine itself.

Don't the much more liberal use of the kerbing at the 1st and 2nd chicanes in 2004, and same goes for the exit kerbing of the 2 Lesmo's. 2010 pole lap for example was a 1:21.9 depsite these track restrictions. The 2010 cars - in particular - the RB6 - are just as fast if not faster than the 2004 spec cars at the majority of tracks.

Yes the V10 was powerful, yes the first season of V8 engines had a rev ceiling of nearly 21,000rpm, yes todays engines are gutless.

Furthermore on top speeds, the V10 era cars did not REGULARLY top 230mph. The record is 232mph iirc yet the majority of the time the cars were not acheiving more than 5mph faster than current era cars (check any video on youtube with the speeds on). Though had they not been confusingly geared to sit in 7th gear for only a couple of seconds at the end of the longest straight this might have been different.


@Wanja. That is very true at most tracks, however we are talking Monza were top speeds of the 2004/5 cars was topping 230mph, 20mph more than current cars and given the mid to high speed nature of Lesmo 2, Ascari and Parabolica reduces the effect you mentioned. There's no doubt that the V10 engined F1 cars would be much faster around Monza than any car since.

@Robert. I would disagree with that. Yes, straight line speeds were very high and the change to 2.4 litre V8's was made in the name of safety, but they were still some way down on the turbo mosnters of the 80's (the Williams Honda could do 195mph at Monaco of all places). Most importnatly, the 2006 cars with their smaller engines were and shorter gearing actually produced more downforce due to a better air flow over the car and were fa rmore efficient so their cornering speed were far higher than the previous year, which to an extent would make them more dangerous.


That's not idiotic...the V10s were simply not safe on many tracks. That was the problem then, and unless F1 wanted to stop running at Monaco and other older tracks the speeds had to drop. The new engines can't very well restore those speeds without the same problem. That is F1's biggest problem IMHO - the need to keep the older, historic tracks has become the limiting factor in speeds and technology. Don't get me wrong - Monaco is my favourite race, followed by Spa. But if we accept that these great tracks are essential to the genetic makeup of F1, then we are also accepting that we will not see the absolute fastest cars or the absolute best technology. I can live with that, but a lot of newer F1 fans seem to continually wonder why speeds have dropped.


You're thinking of peak power, but you're forgetting the torque and the improved power curve - it's average power that counts. Which means that if they're coming out of a corner for a straightaway, the cars will have more power in the low revs and whilst the accelleration will decay earlier, it will also build earlier, so even though the normally aspirated V10s might give you more top speed, the average speed down the straight might actually be even higher.


The need to ride a more snap-happy car out of the corners appeals to me as a Hamilton fan. If F1 is 'going to be a thinking man's formula' in 2014, hopefully Hamilton will have upped that side of his game as well (he did show sings of it in 2012)!


don't underestimate Hamilton. He used KERS better than Button in the races. DRS, too. It played a big role at Qualy, how you use KERS & DRS.

Remember Hungary race where Hamilton kept the Lotus, wich where faster for 20 laps behing by the clever use of KERs? He let Kimi come colse at the trurns, but saved up some KERS for the straights to get out of DRS. Also. how he overtook Vettel at THe US-GP. betton himself did not always make the best use of KERS. Remember Brithish GP how esily Gorsjean overtook button, because he did not save some KERS?

Remember Korea 2011, how Hamilton kept a much faster RBR behind for nearly 1/2 of the race with clever driving?

IMO Hamilton will have no problem with saving fuel & using ERS


You can eliminate KERS as a factor in Hamilton holding off the Lotus in Hungary. It's a track thing same as in Monaco.

Unless you have an absolute grip advantage in Hungary, even better engine will make it close to impossible to overtake with the way corners pan out on to straight there.


You underestimate him by confusing what he does on the track with his off-track adventures.

Wasn't it on here that JA posted a Mercedes article on his creatively effective application of KERS in 2011 (his very same worst season ?).

I saw him questioning Alonso in Malaysia this year prior to podium ceremony re:driving/tyre use that allowed Ferrari race pace advantage over McLaren-all towards trying sort out tyre issues.

Also remember his first time drive @ Suzuka when he was conferring with P dl R -test driver @ time on how to approach aspects of the track, during practise -Many public instances of problem solving towards winning can be pulled up by those who pay attention(a million more examples cld be given from behind scenes were McLaren so inclined) even before we mention his entire 2012 driving approach(& 4 me Valencia was not his fault & positively compares to alonso japan leaving him joint best driver of season).

Mercedes move was a much needed change so now he can go back to relentless competitiveness minus political oneupmanship & media hounding.

Note general lack of acknowledgement of how he changed his driving to accommodate the tyres/technology or how good a job he did with regard to the Tyres this season compared to tyre-whisperer teammate -Spain,Canada & even Singapore showing the extremes of this.

There is only this grudging ackno of how fast he is as though that is his only asset.

Strategy on the cuff has never been McLaren's strongest area(helping create current impressions)_ I'm hoping for Mercedes to up the ante race team wise esp if car is not at top level. Fingers Xrossed for the synergy between quick witted race engineer and an exceptional relentless driver

If Merc can provide an inspired race team I predict we will see something special from Lewis & Merc but also predict "thinking driver" accolade will still not be conferred on him


Good post Agree most people still somehow still underestimate him. I think he was a wisker off Alonso though and I dont think there was much between he & Kimi also.

I completely concur on his Mercedes move- I ve been wanting him to leave since midway through 2011. Too much bullshit politics and operational& strategy errors in Mclaren- despite building the fastest car in 2012.


Worse driveable cars and thinking man's formula look like Alonso's game to me.


Thinking man's game, definitely Alonso! 'worse drivable car?' that sounds more like HAM to me.


Hi Wayne,

Personally, I think this is a bit misguided - Lewis is happy with a car that is unstable underbraking as it helps him counteract the normal tendency for cars to understeer and it helps him rotate a car for his relatively tight mid corner apex. Button wants his car to be on rails to maintain momentum. All of this has nothing to do with corner exits, which have nothing to do with the brakes.

If you're looking for anything, look at wet weather races. All the drivers are able to adapt to the reduced traction. The speed in the wet still comes from the braking point to the corner exit. But if you are looking for a driver who has demonstrated unintuitive throttle usage for a possible performance edge, try Vettel.




.....Jenson's... 🙂



Could be Narain's too, you never know. Being a bit slow may help not to over-kick the accelerator and get a smooth line out of the corner 😀


You must be kidding. Jenson is almost unbeatable when the car is perfect, but when he doesn't like it, he is damn slow.

We will see who will have the upper hand, but from what I can remember at the begining of 2012, Ferrari were sliding all over the place on corner exits, therefore Alonso and Massa should have plenty of experience :))


Jenson's? 'Worse drivable car' and JB do not go together at all!


Very interesting insight. Is the energy from ERS going to be deployed in the same way KERS currently is; because you mention an electric machine attached to the turbo, if the energy drives the turbo would it not become a supercharger?

Also James, are any of the customer teams developing their own ERS or do they purchase the entire power system from the manufacturer because I know Williams currently have a KERS department and supply Porsche and others?


It has been mentioned (by Renault) to use the motor as a way of eliminating turbo lag, by running up the turbo to operating speed in advance, thus in effect sort of but not really, supercharging.

Ironically I don't see the HERS actually utilising the heat very efficiently as it is driven by exhaust gas pressure rather than temperature, that is unless some use of the gas contraction can be made as it cools. It seems to be wasted in F1 whereas if you have a 3 stage steam engine you use practically every BthU.

MERS recovery at 5 times the current level will certainly be noticeable to the driver and a very much greater difference in engine drag between harvesting and not harvesting.


I think the turbo will be driving the electric device, aircraft engines have used the power from the turbo drive shaft since God was a boy. There ain't much new in the world it's just better sorted these days


Yeah, the turbo compound piston aircraft engines were being developed when jet engines took over commercial aircraft. It was always a good idea, putting turbo power back into the crankshaft.


I believe there's a degree of choice in the way that the ERS systems are set up.


Customers get everything from Mercedes, simpler that way


This year, we saw the Delta Wing in the LeMans. Would it be possible to see F1 cars (not only their engines) in that race?

Perhaps the gearboxes should follow the same rules as the power plants. Each driver should have a set quantity instead of it having to last x races.


F1 engines arent eligable for Le Mans, and since the winners do over 5000km there anyway, and F1 engine would only last 18 hours.


Hi Andrew,

It wouldn't surprise me if Le Mans engines had a significant amount of oil consumption in the race under the new engine regulations. Reducing losses will be key to maximising power. The fuel going in and the revs are limited so that puts a theoretical limit on power from the engine. So reducing friction is a key step, so keeping the piston rings gliding on an oily surface is a key step. So if the regulations allow it, topping up the oil, say every six hours, would potentially save a few kilos of effectively dead weight. Two litres of oil could be added more quickly than a driver change.

Just on reliability, mean time between failures can use different failure distributions than just the normal (bell curve) if you have enough data to come up with a better estimate. The Colin Chapman idea of a car falling apart as it crosses the finish line is not feasible as there are random events.




I haven't looked into it but Le Mans cars probably use a dry sump meaning they can have large on-board oil reserves if they want. Really high G forces make standard oil pickup systems problematic, even with a gated sump.


I'd have to check specific rules but I don't think thats possible, no ones allowed to work on the car whilst the fuel goes in and after that only 4 people are allowed to work on it. I suspect the rules would state that you have to remove bodywork to replenish fluids as well. The problem is that in LMP1 you have diesel and petrol engines and in LMP2 it's purpose built race engines and road derived engines. I think we're reaching the limit of what I know about engine design (i.e not much) but as a regular watcher of sports car racing I can confidently say that no team has replenished oil during a race unless they had a car problem.


Being a bit ignorant on Le Mans, but I imagine that the cars try to just have oil top ups during the race. I'm guesing that F1 engines are allowed change the oil between events.

I haven't studied reliability analysis of F1 engines, but the normal starting point is the assume a mean time between failures. As this is a point on a distribution between between 0 and infinity, you need your engine/power unit to have a mean time between failures that significantly exceeds the four races and 4000 kms proposed to be confident of avoiding a penalty.


Interesting information on the reliability analysis. At Le Mans, I've never seen a team perform an oil top up unless they have a problem with the car. It's long been regarded that the best way to do the race is to spend as little time as possible in the pits, ideally that means coming in for nothing but fuel, tyres and driver changes and in the case of the GT's a brake pad change at about 2/3rds distance.


And f1 engine could last 24hrs if you run it at lower rpms.


Forget my last answer, were talking about the new turbos. That might be true, even if you include the morning warm up and 4 hour thursday qualy session that the race engine has to do. But it would be pointless as a Le Mans engine is built to run within a small percentage of its full power for the entire time, just like any race engine is.


True, but most of the power and torque is at the top of the rev range with the V8's, so they'd be pretty gutless in such a configuration.



Part of the changes to the Technical Regulations in 2014 encompass gearboxes. Instead of 7 speeds it will be 8 and early draft of the sporting regulations I saw talked of the ratios being homoglated so once they had been chosen at the start of the season only one further change could be made.


When ratios are chosen at the beginning of the season teams get to chose 30 ratios (I think it's 30, could be wrong). The teams then can't use any other ratios during the season; they are not limited to 30 gearsets, only the fractional ratios, such as 18/34 or whatever. They can change gears and use any of the chosen ratios, but cannot add other gear ratios. If there is talk of homologation it may be that only gears from some manufacturer might be used. The regulations now limit how thin the ratios can be physically.


Daft question, but do they have to use all 8 in one race?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that a turbo engine could technically get away with less gears as the power band is wider.

If that is the case then might it be worth running overlapping ratios, especially top and bottom? The gearbox software could be programmed to only use the ratios appropriate to the track.


Wow, 8??!

To me 7 seems one gear too many already... oh well.


ZF are already making 9 speed transmissions for road cars:



Nice piece, love this kind of technical insights!! Thanks James!


James, could this result in the Mercedes team having a larger budget approved by Stuttgart as a kind of R&D endeavour for their road cars?


Very good question. And if that's the case, then maybe more manufacturers will come in, Honda is never too far away!


Which raises the question: can a new engine manufacturer enter F1 after the homologation date? If so, how will development be controlled?


Didn't Cosworth rejoin F1 after the freeze?


I'd imagine Toyota may be more interested than Honda. Afterall they've dev'd a EV race car which went around Nurburgring with a lap time comparable to today's race cars. Plus they have a series of road cars that already run on hybrid. I think Toyota are more advanced in this technology than Honda which put them in better position.

But yeah it'd be good to have Honda back! F1 can never be short of manufacturers joining the grid whether just simply to supply engines or as constructors.


4000 km doesn't mean that the engines are fully suitable for Le Mans, the engine that does the race also has to do warm-up and the Thursday qualifying sessions (at least). Add all that together and the mileage on that engine can go past the 6000 km mark.


What makes you think these engines would go there totally unmodified?


Audi, Toyota and Porsche, as factory teams, will most likely run bespoke units that have very little in common with the F1 engines. People running customer cars generally have engines which are basically off-the-shelf units from racing engine builders, in particular engines like the Judd DB V8, and if anyone is likely to fit an acquired F1 engine in a LMP1 car, it would be a non-works team. And buying the engines off-the-shelf means that the only modifications that the engine receives concern installation in the car.


maybe not the whole F1 engine, but i could see a company taking another block and then adding the F1 turbo or KERS unit... it would be easier to stretch a component liek that, than the whole engine for use at Le Man.

It would be awesome to see other F1 marques enter Le Man now that the LMP1 category has been reduced. Imagine, audi, toyota, porsche, merc, ferrari, maybe even a McL entry all fighting it out. Might even give Bernie a sleepless night!

Also, VW are still in the 'will they / won't they' camp in regards to F1 and are waiting to see how the F1 rules finally shape up, in regards to becoming a F1 Enging supplier (- last i heard anyway).


I do not think that it is totally out of question that Ferrari, Renault and Merc could lease slightly modified F1-Engines as "off the shelf" units for endurance championships. They've spent major cash for the development of their F1 engines, that would probably dwarf the amount of extra they would need to make these more stable. An bit of extra cash can't hurt them, as long as the factory has the capacity.


My lord! 125,000 RPM Turbos! Is that reliable? What RPM are some of the higer performance turbos spinning up to in production cars? Who has best turbo products? Is it that non-F1 participating VW/Audi group?


Hi Sebee,

The 125,000 isn't necessarily a limit on the turbo but a limit on the generator that will hang off the turbo under the regulations. The generator can drive the turbo so that lag is eliminated.

Your maths on 5000 km/h seems right to me too.




Just for fun...SR-71 speed record is 3500km/h, so take that super stealthy awesome Blackbird!


I think that you will find road car turbos go at least that fast even on disels


@Sebee, Agree

The new formula sounds to me like a very challenging scenario where you have to manage the amount of energy spent like a diligent accountant. While at the same time, ensure full power is always available at the driver's disposal.

The old days of V10 and V12s are long gone now. They were some of the most beautiful engine tone F1 has ever produced.

I've never heard of the TDI LeMans in real life (there are no LeMans in Australia). But on TV, I am not able to hear anything exciting.. 😀


First of all, yes it is normal for turbo to run at such high RPM.

Regarding direct injection limited to 500bar vs 3000bar diesel. These two can't be compared because diesel injectors must have high pressure to produce fine droplets so that the fuel will auto-ignite. Moreover, diesel fuel also acts as a lubricant for so that it is possible to inject at such pressure.

For the F1 v6, petrol is injected and 500bar is sufficient because there engine is spark-ignited, the fuel atomise and vapourise much more easily. AND petrol do not lubricate like diesel so the injectors will be damaged running at very high pressure.


Thanks for that JB.

I thought it was down to fuel type technical requirements and limitations. But that clearly explains why big numbers are not needed in petrol engine.

I am looking forward to the new formula. But remember those 20000rpm V10s fondly. Have you ever heard these TDI LeMans cars? Darn things sound like they are idling under full power. It is a fun experience to hear a car at full racing speed fly by at such low db noise level. More of a swish than a loud vroom.


125000rpm isn't really that fast for a turbo. That's basically normal operating speed for a production car turbo. Garrett claims that their turbos rev up to 280000rpms! http://garrettbyhoneywell.com/turbo-fundamentals/how-a-turbo-works/


Well I hope some of this turbo technology gets transferred onto road cars, because lets face it turbos are a bit a weak spot on your average turbo diesel.


Is my calculating correct that if this turbo fan has a diameter of 10cm then at 280K RPM tip of the blades travel at about 5000km/hr?

It slices. It dices.


Holly whiplash Batman! 4667 times per second. Insane! It's not a Turbo it's a particle accelerator. Of course it breaks the sound barrier right? Probably comes close to time travel at 4667 revolutions per second. Amazing that such mechanical things exist.

With 280K RPM production turbos and 2000bar TDI engines in Audi LeMans cars though, this isn't exactly cutting edge stuff for F1, and that has to be disappointing.


Well, air is light stuff and it has to be thrown off the impeller into the diffuser of the compressor as fast as possible to get the best pressure increase as it slows down in the volute.

As long as there is adequate cooling and lubrication the turbine can use all the heat and energy it can get...


Does anyone remember what the Audi LeMans cars direct injection pressure for the TDI is? I think I remember readin it was something insane like 2000bar. Is that right?


Most diesel engine road cars (with Bosch Common Rail diesel systems) run at about 2000bar - so 500 is for wimps!


That's a diesel, F1 will be direct petrol injection which is quite rare at present


I asked Mr. Google. Indeed, the TDI is 2000bar. So a little fun for you boys and girls of JAonF1.

F1 car injects fuel at 500bar. That's at the same pressure as you would feel at 5km under water. Anyone remember that scene in the Abyss where the dude gets crushed in the sub after going over the cliff?

TDI engine at 2000bar, which for us North Americans is 29K psi is of course 20km under water. Which doesn't even exist as the deepest part is 10km deep Marian Trench.

Now repeat that injection reliably and constantly at amazing precission to an engine running 15000 RPM and you see there is some really impressive engine technology out there.

Scuderia McLaren

Wow. Thanks for that post Sebee. Pretty amazing tech. The manufacturers must have some special metallurgy people.


Thanks James, great insights as always.

So apart from the braking it will also be the turbo and a heat converter that will be charging the ERS, but any idea about their relative importance to charge the system? If the braking would still be the predominant 'charging factor', isn't there a risk that we might see some cars that will be braking before their ultimate braking point in order to optimally charge the ERS?


correct me if i am wrong, but i thought the energy is recovered off throttle - engine braking - rather than via the pure act of braking. i.e. driver with foot on the brakes.

So depending on the car an set-up you may find people 'coasting' to the corner a little more. Which helps conserve fuel and brakes, as per enduro driving - it will loose lap time overall. But things like that will be down to the bias of the brakes on each car, recovery rates of the KERS pack etc....

What will be equally important, even more so than nowadays, is driveability. With all the recovered energy to deploy, tyres will be getting hammered if the driver cant get on the gas quick enough without loosing traction, especially on the lowest speed corner.

And lastly, all these energy recover systems will have to be so robust, especially if the whole lot is considered as part fo the engine. If anything fails and its all part of the one unit, then Mark Webber will be getting through 20 'engines' a season, given the luck he has with KERS. And if a KERS pack fails, you can drive around it at the moment, in the future it sounds like it will be the race over with given that it will add a decent amount of lap time.

All in all, will be interesting, but may not always translate to good viewing. Time will tell.


My gut feeling is that you'd never be ahead by braking early and losing time to recover more energy. The basic concern is that the batteries will overheat in gaining and losing charge too quickly. The notional capacity of the ERS is 33s and we know the longest full throttle application in F1 is La Source to braking zone on the Kemmel straight at ~ 24s. So there is probably no point at a fundamental level. If the system cannot handle the heat levels, reduce the harvesting a bit. An engineering solution might be to use supercapacitors to take the initial hit of charge and then these would discharge into the battery more slowly.

To lift off earlier would also result in more energy being lost to aerodynmaic drag and rolling friction, so less would be available for ERS havesting than if braking at the limit.


A more practical idea (than breaking earlier) would be to use more throttle than normal in a situation when the driver isn't applying full throttle (low and medium speed corners, for example) while using up part of the generated power to recharge... in effect, the car will act as if you press the throttle and the brake at the same time, except of course it won't be the actual brakes that are used to slow the car.

This would of course burn more fuel momentarily, but it would allow for a full boost of ERS later in the lap, when full-power acceleration is needed.


Sorry to be a pedant here. Not picking on any individual; it seems to be several people. When you're talking about slowing things down rather than smashing them up then it's "braking" not "breaking". Thanks 🙂


No offense taken... but English isn't my first language so please be gentle!


And have a slower lap time? Think about it...


I could see this used in quail. In the race I suppose a faster car following a slower car but unable to pass might put this idea to use too.

Steven: yes passing is done under braking but you need enough overspeed to get alongside in the first place.


Exactly, if you're being followed and brake earlier to charge ERS its going to allow driver following to out-break you and have a better line on corner exit that's going to negate your extra ERS.


The trade-off would be to break earlier/longer in order to gain optimal battery for usage later on in the (next) lap, they would obviously only be doing it if the time benefit from the optimal battery would outweigh the time loss due to early braking...


In the past very much so, but since the introduction of KERS and DRS there is relatively less 'overtaking under braking' and relatively more 'straight line high speed overtaking'. In fact, already today we see a lot of situations where a driver is 'delaying' a possible pass in the braking zone until he has reached the straight line (DRS) zone in order not to be immediately countered on the straight line. My point is that the more important a mostly-by-braking-charged KERS battery becomes, the more likely we are to see that kind of overtaking manoeuvre.


The maximum energy that can be harvested from braking is dependent on the change in velocity resulting from braking, not on the time you have your foot on the brake pedal.


Most passing is done under breaking....


but what does it all mean for Lewis? will he be back to his best crashing all the time or do we have to endure the agony of him actually trying to drive?


James, renault camp claimed that blown diffuser is not possible for 2014 earlier.


Yes, I heard that too, but engineers I met today said never count anything out with the brains of F1 engineers on the case!


And the FIA have since backtracked on most of the aero changes for 2014.


James, aren't you overlooking the new rules for exhaust location in 2014?


I see. Also they claimed that the engine would only rev 12,000 most of the time in term of efficiency.


New engine gonna makes car oversteery....good news for kimi =)


The engine torque is irrelevant here - that is corner exit. What drivers care about is corner entry, which about chassis balance. Having greater levels of energy recovery under braking may not be appreciated by anyone who is trying to use the brakes to adjust the turn in attitude as there may not be the same feel.


James: What does the sound of the new V6 compare to? Is there anything that sounds fairly similar that we can listen to on Youtube?


From my understanding they could end up sounding like a cross between the current indycar turbos and the World Series Renault engines


Either way... it's funny how people are worried about the sound. Nobody complained in the mid and late 80s about the 4-cylinder, 1500cc, 1000bhp (about 1200bhp in qualy) in the backs of Senna and Prost, did they?


Nobody complained but I think most would agree that the v12/v10's of the 1990's were a far greater sound


That's because they had a great sound, hadn't they? People are just scared that the cars will sound like the pretty silent Diesel engines that they know from LeMans. Fear is a bad consultant. The Formula-2 turbo engines were nothing like that, I like their sound very much. Go listen to them on youtube and just imagine they were a bit louder and higher revving and accelerating harder. This is how I imagine the Formula 1 could sound in 2014.


yea, we are talking about 750bhp over here


A bit like the existing units at lower revs and in acceleration, but without the high notes

A little sweeter than V8 sound in general

Sounded fine to me, no issues


Hopefully a nice turbo whine...


im looking forward to hearing some audio. Any chance of hearing one soon?

And did they give you an indication of when there will be on track testing of these. Or not till the end of the year?


Hi James

Great piece as always, would have been great to have been at Brixworth for this.

Only one small thing I noticed, Andy Cowell mentioned about the exhausts blowing onto the lower beam wing when in fact the beam wing has been omitted from the most recent draft of the Technical Regulations:

3.9.2 No bodywork situated between 30mm forward of the rear wheel centre line and 150mm behind the rear wheel centre line, and which is between 100mm and 355mm from the car centre line, may be located between 150mm and750mm above the reference plane.

Alberto Martínez

Incredible stuff James! You must feel so privileged. Finally some light about this exciting new F1 which is awaiting us just around the corner.

Could you share some more info about the other constructors? Things like which one is best placed currently based on deadlines, how many resources work on these projects, Who is the best placed in the Turbo sector and so on.

Thanks a lot for sharing with us such great articles!!


Good article. Although I'm sure the reg's have since changed from the single exhaust to a twin. Not sure a beam wing is current in 2014 reg's either.


The V6 engine feeds into a single turbo, so it's definitely a single exhaust pipe.

If the rules allow them to split it into two exits, it'll be a minefield to use for performance gain because it will either lower the exit speed of the gasses or they will exit through the pipe with the least air resistance, meaning the car could start lurching all over the place if the feed switched direction.


The rules do permit more than exhaust exit:

5.8.2 Engine exhaust systems may incorporate no more than two exits, both of which must be rearward facing tailpipes, through which all exhaust gases must pass.

However the common perception that the exhaust would exit through one outlet still baffles me as the original draft of the 2014 regulations also permitted 2 exits:

5.6 Exhaust systems:

Engine exhaust systems may incorporate no more than two exits and the final 100mm of any tailpipe must be cylindrical.



It could be that one exhaust feed will utilise the wastegate and so be fed out of the rear of the car for a different aerodynamic effect at different engine coniditions.


Optimax, maybe one cylinder won't feed the turbo??


Ok, two are allowed, but since they would both be fed by the same pipe, I can't understand how they could control the flow through both of them with any surety. It's not like the current setup where each exhaust is fed by a bank of four cylinders.


I noticed in an earlier atricle that McLaren were to make the formula E engines, does this mean that they'll use that knowledge to make their own 2014-F1 engine or buy from mercedes?


I think they will stay with Merc, at least for a few years


Great piece, James, brilliant.


Nice article. I was getting very excited until I read the part of homoligation on March 1st next year. Doesnt this mean we'll effectively be racing under a frozen engien spec again, only this time with potentially bigger differences between engines? What a complete cop-out.


You have to homologated to control costs but there will be permitted developed TBD


Great post James and exciting times!

So frustrating seeing another written article describing the 2014 engine sound without us being able to hear it for ourselves.

My suggestion would be record yourself making an impression of it and upload to youtube. What's the worse thing that can happen, it goes viral!?


Oh come on, everyone... Senna and Prost had some nice-sounding turbos in '88, didn't they? And these were 1500cc, 4-cylider engines... OK, they produced quite a bit more power but even so, how bad can the new V6s be, really?


I think you might find Senna and Prost had V6's in 1988. And they did sound half-assed compared to the v10's they used 12 months later, not to mention the v12's they used in 1991. In anycase, I'm sure these new v6's will sound fine.


Oops, thanks for the correction.

It's hard to argue that ANYTHING might sound anywhere near as good as the 3.5lt V12s... including the current V8s, of course. But with the latter as a starting point, I'm not too worried about the new V6s being too much of a problem.

One thing, though... I really hope the safety car doesn't sound better when it leads the bunched-up field, at which point, presumably, the turbos will be turned down!


Kazoos at the ready...


Great stuff James!

Firstly it will be an enormous relief to fans that the sounds will still make people want to attend races.

Secondly, this may be hard to answer James but you mention the new formula being a case of more power than grip. My immediate thought is that drivers like Lewis and Kimi who are at their best when they can make a car dance on the edge of the limit will be suited best. Would you agree?


Hi Nick,

My view - which quite easily be wrong - is rather different to James'.

If we look at wet races, it is the braking and corner entry where time is made, not usually on the corner exit. The total power unit has more torque than the current engines, but part of this is under the driver's thumb, not his foot, so this will tend to be deployed on the straights.

At low revs the engines could be tuned to accept more fuel through longer duration squirts from the direct injectors and more air by increasing the turbo boost at low revs. If the compression ratio is not an issue then you could have a constant power engine across a wide rev range, with a rapidly decreasing torque curve. I doubt this is going to happen and there is probably something to prevent it (even if only the 100 kg of fuel limit). Excess torque is wasted fuel and potentially increased wear on the times, so drivers and teams will be managing this and so there is unlikely to be a large problem.

On specific drivers, the handling preference is about how a car gets to the apex, not its characteristics accelerating away from it. The real effect of interest will be the ERS harvesting under braking. Will it give drivers a feeling they are happy with and can the ERS braking be exploited to adjust the turn-in characteristics if the driver wants it to. Locking (to a degree) the rear wheels to promote turn-in oversteer in a car that otherwise understeering (something we used to see Lewis do in 2007-08) reduces the harvesting effect. Entirely locked wheels would generate no electricity.

A point of slight note is that in GP2, when the car was given an inherent aerodynamic oversteering balance, Hamilton in general struggled in qualifying compared to every series prior and since. For cars that oversteer, the only way to be consistently fast is to force them to understeer, which is what Alonso was doing in the Renaults (Michael Krumm in Driving on the Edge talks about this).

If the regulations kill any exhaust blowing effects or greatly reduce them, then to me the 2014 regulations could remove some of the avenues Hamilton exploited in 2012 and earlier. One thing that Hamilton particularly did was to get the car to oversteer on turn in and get on the throttle early to exploit the exhaust blowing to settle the back end and accelerate away. This gave large gains in short slow corners such as the last sector of Abu Dhabi. The requirement to harvest much more braking energy could remove one avenue for setting a car up for a corner and exhaust blowing effect being reduced would leave the driver with need to slow the car further before being able to get on the throttle.

I'm not saying that Kimi and Lewis won't find ways to be quick, but the key will be braking phase and what feel and control they have relative to other drivers, not anything relating to the right pedal.




Yes. It will suit drivers who can deal with oversteer


Not completely sure about that. Remember when traction control was banned? We were told then that cars would be sideways everywhere - didn't take long to get them back cornering on rails did it? Still think that this will suit JB, as even though he doesn't like an oversteering car, his ability to be gentle on tyres should shine through. Hope so anyway,



Would have to disagree as Jenson is lost at sea generally with oversteer but it all depends on Pirelli producing the tyres to cope with it

Tornillo Amarillo

If power units will be considered as a whole entity and you can get a 10-place penalty because of a component, so Ferrari would have more excuses to drop its 2nd driver behind the 1st...


A simpler solution to the "Massa gearbox" issue is for that penalty to be 4 or 6 grid slots so other drivers don't change side. Would also of course apply to this 10 place penalty



You might like to think about that again. Only one driver is moving back, so either 4 or 6 drivers move up one spot each and all change sides.


Ooops, yes, you are correct. Thanks,



True, but this will require the 2nd driver to qualify ahead of the 1st... a point that a lot of people seem to have missed this year...


If the power output of the new engines (including the ERS) matches the current ones, then presumably that means the torque advantage of the new engine will be just the right amount to be completely negated by the longer gearing they will need to run because they have fewer revs.


James, in the engine picture, what is that big black thing on the top that looks like a normal cars air filter assembly?


I'd search around the web and see if you can learn something about the intercooler location. The teams will want a source of cool air to cool the hot air that comes out of the turbo. It may be in this box before the air is separated to the six cylinders.


That's the airbox!


It's probably just a vanity cover over where the air intake will be. I think the current Mercedes V8 has a similar lid when out of a car.


Air box, thats where the intake on top of the driver leads.


Great article James. I'm sure Lewis is rubbing his hands together with excitement (provided the Pirellis will hold together).


Not sure how all drivers are going to make do with 100kg of fuel - sounds like there will have to be significant periods of fuel saving in many races. Could be some significant changes at the end of these races.....



Where in the regulations does it state the maximum fuel tank size of "100 kilos" as James states?

I've read the 2014 regs front to back and the only restrictions on fuel is the pressure (500bar) and flow rate. There is no mention of maximum tank size or amount consumed during a race.

Are there updated regs not published online that you are privy to?


Interesting - Wikipedia gives James Allen on F1 as the reference for the 100kg of fuel!



They've got an Energy Recovery system that's charged by more than just braking and can be used more often. The point being, clever drivers can use it to either accelerate on straights or overtake without as much throttle, meaning less fuel will be burnt.


Hi James. Do you think that Mercedes would benefit in only allowing customer teams the KERS and Engine as I am trying to understand the advantage they would have in allowing a rival team such as mclaren all the same components. (I supposed they are getting paid for it)

I was wondering if you could tell me what advantages mercedes would have over their customer teams (inside knwoledge of anything) in making the engines.


One possibility is understanding the reasons behind the location of all the bits and pieces for aerodynamic reasons. Lots of parts of the car will require cooling air. Brackley would tell Brixworth that we want the batteries in spot X. McLaren will know where, but will have to guess at why as to what is upstream or downstream that gives this packaging. A shorter or longer wheelbase could change various characteristics.


Even if its McLaren that wins the team is called Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, so Mercedes-Benz can say that their engines are winning, publicity... Remember China 2012? Nico won the race, Jenson 2nd, Lewis 3rd, Norbert Haug was up on the podium posing for pictures and he pointed at the Mercedes logo on all 3 drivers.


A bit of a headstart on knowing the size, mounting etc of engine and ancillaries. But team engineers tell me that there won't be a significant effect from being a customer



Is the ERS mapped to the throttle pedal or is it still an on/off button like it is now for KERS?


We asked that. Still a button probably, but it is being discussed the best way to deal with it



Thanks for the reply 🙂

I would have thought they would have that ironed that out by now in the rules.

So if it's an on/off button then they are going to be in a worse situation than they are in now. My understanding is that they can't deploy KERS till they are in 3rd gear to avoid massive wheel spin which would fling them off the circuit. I can't see how the Mercedes guys comment about wheel spin out of corners can be right unless ERS is mapped to the throttle pedal. With a button (now the electric motor is bigger) they won't be able to deploy it until maybe 4th gear(???), and so I can't work out what he meant.


I wonder if in the case of it being mapped to the throttle pedal, if regulations would allow it to only engage under 100% throttle. Aside from getting maybe a slight fuel saving, I imagine you wouldn't want to waste your precious stored energy until you were hard on the throttle. After all, anything less than 100%, if you want more power... apply more throttle.

That said, with it still being a time-limited affair, I imagine it would make more sense for it to be something independently controlled by the driver.


Great article James, thanks for sharing with us.

Sounds like a really amazing technical era is about to begin in F1. I am thinking 120kW of electric power for 33 seconds per lap, for use at a drivers discretion will lead to some incredible moves.


...not if the driver in front is using his ERS at the same time....



...unless the guy in the back has tricked him into using it up earlier in the lap. Granted, with thirty seconds of it on tap, in some tracks (Hungary, Monaco) the time the drivers spend on full-throttle is so little that there will be little chance of ERS running out!

On the other hand, Monza might get interesting.

The key issue is this: will drivers manage to harvest enough energy from braking, heat and other available sources to be able to have all this extra power, all the time?


Agreed, I can see that even after testing and practice drivers won't know just exactly how it will work out until the first race itself.



I think renult and ferari will be worried that mercedes are so far ahaed and showing off there new baby to us allready


With all due respect, the others could be ahead but have chosen to keep it under wraps for the moment. We just don't know...

We'll just have to wait until they are put into cars and start doing lap times against each other. And even then, the aero trim levels will be a factor in the top speeds on the straights so might not be immediately obvious which manufacturer has done the best job.


I would love to hear the sound of the 2014 engine!

Is there a soundclip somewhere available?


Sound clips allow for an awful lot of analysis by the competitors. Don't expect that to happen anytime soon.


James, I know this article is about the engines, but can you write an article on the changes to the cars for 2014? Or are there no changes to the formula other than the engines?


They were big changes to the aero but these were recently scrapped, shame as the cars were going to be losing their snow plough front wings for pre 2009 levels


Very concerned about the engine freezing being that the engines are brand spanking new in terms of development. I'm worried there will be a large performance gap that can't be erased with minor tuning during the allowed period. We don't want to be watching a race knowing some teams have virtually no chance of winning based on their power unit supplier.


Agree 100%. The similar performance of current engines contributes a lot to the great recent racing. Frozen engines with significant advantages of one manufacturer will potentially allow those cars to dominate races until changes are allowed. The prospect of 2/3 of the grid being uncompetitive is not very appealing.....



Hi James, a quick question about how the drivers will drive the cars with the new turbo engines in 2014. I have read/heard that back in the 1980's when f1 cars last used turbos, that ayrton senna and a few other drivers used to "blip" the throttle to allow for better acceleration on corner exit. I am wondering if this is true and if so would this style of driving be of any advantage to driving the 2014 cars?


In my view that driving style will not be applicable. The engines will have an electric generator hanging off the turbo, which reduces the turbo's max RPM, but can run in reverse to drive the turbo to eliminate lag.

The boost levels would be much less anyway, and the increase in downforce means that the corners are effectively shorter with less transient time before the drivers are anticipating a big smack of torque.


Blipping the throttle was done to keep the turbo fan up to speed, so the engine would stay responsive when exiting the corner. If you're harvesting energy from a turbo, then you're basically installing a generator on the turbo fan, which is nothing else than an electric motor, hence you could keep the turbo up to speed on lower revs, by using electric power. When stepping off the gas, on the other hand, in the 80s they had "waste gates", which were valves that opened if the pressure got too high. This is because the turbo was still spinning high, generating pressure, when the driver was already off the throttle. This could overpressure the system and blow it into pieces - hence they used these waste gates to get rid of the excess (the short whistle that you can hear, when downshifting in a hot turbo car is the wate gate releasing pressure). Now with a generator attached to the turbo, I think it could be possible to forget the waste gate alltogether and slow the turbo down fast enough by harvesting energy from it. So I don't think that drivers will have to blip the throttle or use any turbo specific driving technique.


I know it's been a long time since this article (very good and complete, by the way) was written, but now that I've just read it again a doubt has arosen to me.

Will 2014 F1 engines have waste gates?

I have read the full Formula One Technical Regulations text, but there's no article that says waste gates are forbidden. Now I see that you think they could be excluded given that the generator is attached to the turbo, but according to the F1 Regulations this attachment is mechanical:

5.2.7 The MGUK may only recover energy from or give back energy to the car via its mechanical link to the drive train. This mechanical link must be of fixed speed ratio to the engine crankshaft

and may be clutched.

5.2.8 The MGUH may only recover energy from or give back energy to the car via its mechanical link to the exhaust turbine of a pressure charging system. This mechanical link must be of fixed speed ratio to the exhaust turbine and may be clutched.

So it seems there could perfectly be a waste gate, but your comment has confused me. I can't understand your suggestion that a waste gate may be unnecessary.

I will hugely appreciate any answer that clarifies this doubt, since it is puzzling me and taking too much time to think about it!

Thanks in advance,



I'm looking forward to the first wet race with the turbo engines.


Yup, I really hope Monaco has a wet F1 weekend in '14... actually make that every year!


James, just had to say I'm blown away, again, by articles. I think you'll be hard pressed to match this one over the winter. But keep trying. :>)


Awesome article, great read for a frigid Friday evening in Edmonton. Looking forward to 2014 with interest. Sounds like the brain trusts in each team are going to be working overtime to get these new power units optimized.


Hello James,

And wow! Such detailed information. Thanks! Having the possibility of more reliability issues with new technology, will the FIA offer some extra lee-way before penalties are issued?

Also, which of the current drivers excel with throttle control? (i.e. balancing/adjusting the car with the throttle). Having more power than grip, I expect those drivers with good throttle control to adapt well to the new cars.

Oh and one more, will more pre-season testing be offered? Or is that too much to ask! 😉


James did you see the engine? Or just hear the sounds? I think the picture looks a little fishy from Mercedes. I think they are hiding what the engine really looks like.


Saw the engine on the dyno, saw one being built up in the build shop, heard a recording of the noise from a dyno cell, so the sound was a but muffled due to extractor pipes on exhaust


Quick question, the picture showing an engine with an exhaust pointed at a large tube... presumably that's a current V8 engine, or is it a V6 with the turbo removed?


So a flat battery = complete change of the whole "power unit" = potential grid penalty ?

Gee, you'd hate to be using a supplier who had a history of problems with alternators or similar.


The battery isn't going to be charged with an alternator though.


So ERS powers-up the "normal" battery to cover electronics, ignition etc etc as well as powering-up as the ERS storage unit ?

Me = confused !

Scuderia McLaren

I am really trying to be positive about this engine formula, but my heart remains with the 3.0L V10's that eventually revved to 20,000rpm. Completely irrelevant to car industry, total waste of money, way too much power for the cars and yet absolutely marvellous!!! Miss sticky tyres, epic corner speeds and drivers with big balls who could coax another tenth or two from simply having more courage to do so. In particular the year 2000 quali battles between Schu and Hakk were the pinnacle for me. I don't want a "thinking mans" formula. I want a formula for those with supreme talent, mated to big sets of balls, belting the bejesus out of their cars.


I believe the 20000 rpm was the first of the V8s. Cosworth was the first to talk about it anyway.

I guess the current car can require some unusual throttle applications going into corners, but Schumi was doing this in the old days too, as a form of ABS, so is what they are doing now any different? I think you'll find the corner speeds are faster now too, in qualifying, but well off in the races. As noted elsewhere, Monza is about 4 seconds off the record even with DRS, but elsewhere engine deficit is still there but compensated for with faster cornering.

Scuderia McLaren

Oh and the corner speeds, especially high speed corner, are slower. Much slower. This is not just engine though, but the aero pre 2009 was epic and the tyres, despite grooves, were providing huge grip through out whole races. Oh and refueling was still present so they could be very quick in opening stints also.

Scuderia McLaren

No no, 20,000rpm was hit in the early 2000's first by Renault after they abandoned the 111deg engine and went back to the traditional 90deg. They had done a lot of work on valves and even experimented with electro magnetic valves to reduce friction from the accepted pneumatic valves, another Renault invention.

Amazingly, Toyota was reported to have come next and then Honda. Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes (McLaren) engines, despite being / supplying the main protagonists, were hovering around 18,000 and 19,000 in quali. Eventually they were all hitting 20,000rpm in quali come the change to V8's.

The final iteration of the Renault V10 was said to have hit 22,000rpm in quali.


I'm not saying you are wrong, but I can't find anything to support those RPM figures. The Benetton B201 from 2001 for example neer revs above 18k RPM on onboard footage. The Renault R202 is no different.

And the 22k... The highest I can find for any V10 F1 engine is 19k which includes that of the Renault R25.

Again not saying you are wrong, just I can't agree or support it.

If modern day cornering speeds are much slower, and with weaker engines how are they just as quick as the V10 era cars? Genuine question; how?

2004 and 2010 share the vast majority of qualifying records, with 2006 nabbing a couple, that speed from the V8 cars must have come from somewhere.

It came and still comes from cornering speed.


Am sure there are more engineers reading this blog at this time of the year then there are normal fans.


There are always a lot of engineers reading this site. They pick me up for things when I see them at races, so that's how I know!!


This will make formula 1 to complicated, i still don't understand it


The fastest car and driver combination usually wins 🙂

Fundamentally all that is changing is that the drivers will have more (K)ERS energy available at their discretion. The rest isn't very different.


Great bring on 2014, like the comment regarding nervous rear due to torque increase, should suit ham and Kimi. Seb and jenson seemed to struggle in past races when back end not planted.


Maybe we can see more antics in the Red Bull garage then. Webber was able take the batton and run with it early 2012 until Vettel came to terms with the car mid season.


James you lucky man!.. That must be a very memorable experience. Im very disappointed that the FIA are slowing down their ultimate pace F1 should be faster mo slower.In no way do I want to see F1 comparable in speed to Indy cars. Also surely The FIA will consider telling Pirelli to produce bigger wheels to compensate for greater torque !


Getting the name of the company right would help. It's Mercedes AMG HPP.


James, you stated that the cars will produce much more torque than the current V8's consequently, seeing the back end stepping out a lot more.

It will be interesting to see how JB goes in 2014. His smooth driving style will play as a massive advantage surely!?


On a seperate note, it is interesting to note mercedes's recruitment policy has involved getting bob bell, the winning designer the last time engine rules were changed and Lewis Hamilton ,who is probably one of the two top drivers next year's car will really suit. I think Mercedes are putting all their eggs in this big basket hoping they can pull off a red bull style domination.


Bob didn't design for Renault, he was the TD, co-ordinator role.


Great stuff James!

Talking about 2014 regs, I remember reading that the aero changes were postponed, does this mean we'll see large front wings and tall, narrow rear wings in 2014 as well?


James, any news about changes to tyres for 2014?


I think Pirelli will renew their contract. They will need some insight to design the tyres to cope with the sliding


Thanks. How about Pirelli's old idea of switching to a more low-profile tyre design? Is this being contemplated at all, either for 2014 or some later date?


Re - Martin's point above: well that's the point, isn't it? Aerodynamics and tyres: that's all we've heard about F1 development in the last few years. The 2014 engines certainly are a refreshing technological topic, in no small part because unlike minute (or not so minute) aero gains from exhaust-blowing, etc, engine technology is also related to our own cars!

F1 tyres, on the other hand, are definitely NOT related to the round, black stuff that our cars have near each corner, not since the 80s, or even before that. Other formulas around the world manage to have road-relevant tyres AND suspension... why not the pinnacle of Motorsport?


I believe the teams are trying to discourage Pirelli as then the teams would have to design suspension that absorbed bumps rather than letting the tyres do it.


Paul H ruled it out. The high sidewall is too valuable as PR space.



Thanks for this insight James. I for one am really looking forward to 2014, not just because the cars will be animals with these incredible powerplants, but as a lifelong fan, F1 really does need to bear a relevance to roadcar technology for it to remain relevant. The days of 'race on Sunday, sell on Monday' are of course long behind us, but for years F1 has seemed to connect more with the aerospace industry than the automotive. So as the auto industry looks more towards small, efficient turbo units and energy regeneration, F1 will finally begin to look like what it should always be - the very pinnacle of automotive technology being driven to it's absolute limits by the best drivers in the world. Since the late 90's and the standardisation of the V10 units F1 stopped being all about the engine but let's face it - they're cars! It's all about the engine! True, they will sound different, but different isn't necessarily worse, and if they slide around as much as you reckon they will, who cares!


So then I wonder when or if we will get to see the Renault and Ferrari engines, I know it's hard to predict but which teams do you think will be at the top James? I'm hoping Merc as I'm a huge Hamilton fan.


They are obviously confident!


Thanks for the response, so Merc will run away with 2014 great news! 😀


Great article, thanks. I only hope that "More spectacular racing, with F1 cars having more power than grip on corner exits" is not cancelled out by even greater reliance and thus development of aerodynamics.

I can just imagine any one of the leading teams, "This race we're introducing a new 0.02mm wing and flap to give us an estimated .001g extra grip. And it ony cost us £2m to develop."

More power, less grip, no aero!


Hi James could you see other car companies like Honda or BMW coming back to sport after they see the results of the engires and how Formula 1 copes with the change?


Possibly. But it will depend on market conditions and strategic objectives. Car sales are pretty dead in much of southern Europe at the moment, for example


Hi James,

Interesting stuff, as usual.

Given the 33 sec per lap availability of ERS, its much more significant power, and the fact that drivers "on average demand full power for 50 seconds per lap", do you think we will see teams increasingly trying out slipstreaming as Ferrari did a couple of times in qualifying last year ?

The benefits in lap time would be quite a bit more than we've seen previously. In the right circumstances it could be quite effective during the race as well.


I'm disappointed that they are going to homologate the engines again. The engine should be a key performance differentiator in F1, and it hasn't been for quite some time.

I understand it is to cut cost and improve reliability but I can't see the value in teams spending countless millions to get milliseconds of improvement with aerodynamics compared to squeezing a few more bhp out of the engine, achieving the same thing but is far more applicable to the real world and interesting to your average punter.

Interesting that the distance they are required to last for would allow them to complete the Le Mans 24 hours, hopefully this will attract a few other engine manufacturers, namely VW/Audi to get involved.

A couple of guys above mentioned that the 10 place penalty applies to the "power pack" rather than just the engine itself. Surely then if someone has a Kers, clutch or alternator failure then they may end up binning a perfectly good engine. If they are getting the penalty anyway then a team (certainly the richer ones) will 100% put in a brand spanking new motor.

Looking forward to hearing some sounds, I have always hated the sound of these V8's even more so since they capped the revs. Bet they will still be nothing compared to the 2004 - 2005 V10's, they were unbelievable!

Tornillo Amarillo

James, could we put our profile pictures in our comments this new year?


There were pictures of the Renault unit in f1 racing magazine last month too when they were also predicting more engine failures than currently. Did merc comment on those lines at all James? Great article as ever, exciting times!


James - Are the cars going to be more prone to breaking down with these new 2014 components. Meaning, compared to the current situation where a car can still run without a functioning KERS, will they be more liable to grind to a halt due to, say the ERS system failing, for instance. I'm assuming something like a turbo failure, will mean having to stop on track.


No, I think they will iron out problems pretty quickly. Reliability will be more important if you only have 5 power units a season, won't it?


Thanks for the great article James!

I was wondering about how the new 'Power Plant' concept affects costs. I am a Mcclaren fan but I would like to see the smaller teams having a chance.

The engines now need to go twice the distance with 30% fuel efficiency. Even a top third team like Mercedes had many mechanical failures.

Won't these rules changes translate in higher costs to get that reliability. So we'll see small teams dropping out or a vicious cycle of power plant failures leading to grid drops.


Any idea when the first V6 will hit the track in the back of a test car? heard Alan Prost was lined up to test drive for Renault. Only then will we really know what it sounds like, hopefully sounds good enough to shut Bernie up for a bit!


Dear James,

Brilliant article thanks. Do you think with the introduction of turbos manufacturers like the VW Group through AUDI or Porsche can come to formula one given their success in Le Mans?



Audi has repeatedly said no. But never say never


James, I have (yet another!) question: the new engine/power units have quite a bit of external plumbing (almost all of which is missing in this photo). Obviously the packaging of the engines will stay a closely-guarded secret for a while... so what I wonder about is how this will affect aerodynamics around the rear of the car. Cars in recent years have had very 'tight' rear ends... will this continue?



Hi Sypros,

You've basically answered your own question. The current engine manufacturers fully understand the packaging benefits and will be aiming to do as good a job as possible. The aerodynamic principles won't change in regards to wanting a tight waist. Besides anything to generate downforce, this reduces drag.




Hi Martin,

Thanks for the detailed reply. I had already seen the Renault engine, but I only considered the size of various things... the change in exhaust gas energy didn't occur to me!


It's a given that the tighter the packaging the better... my point (perhaps poorly expressed) was that various mock-up pictures of 2014 engines show ducts and other bits of 'plumbing', so substantial in size, compared to the simple overhead airbox we had until now, that we have to ask:

Will aerodynamics have to be compromised because of the new engines, even though the engine, the main part of the power unit, has now become a bit smaller?

If so, how crucial will this compromise have to be, given the emphasis we have seen in the past decade on tight, clean bodywork (which, in turn, allowed for such things as exhaust blowing)?



I notice Martin, below, believes there will be much less exhaust effect to play with, but we could look at it another way----- Turbo engines flow heaps of air volume and I would assume a smaller turbo engine would flow approximately similar volumes of exhaust compared to a larger naturally aspirated engine of similar BHP output. Also in 2014 the cars will only have one exhaust pipe so if the same volume of gas exits one pipe instead of two then we can assume there will be a fair amount of velocity to play with dependant on the diameter of the outlet.

I do apreciate the 1600s aren't required to produce the same bhp as currantly because of ERS so there will be slightly less total volume of exhaust flow but I think there will still be a considerable amount. The fact the exhaust has to go through the exhaust turbine housing won't reduce the volume of gas, but it will dampen the pulses so there will be a smoother flow and don't forget on the overrun the turbo will be still working due to the electric motor driving the turbo shaft so there should still be gas flow to work with when braking and turning in to corners.



Hi Spyros,

If you look at this:


you have what looks to me to be a reasonably complete schematic. Basically the only new parts are the turbo and intercooler at the back and front of the engine respectively in the schematic. The plenum chamber will be smaller than the V8 version as it is servicing a smaller volume of air due to the boost pressure. The only bits that to my mind are likely to affect the packaging are the the turbo and the pipe from the turbo to the intercooler. The turbo air intake and the air flow to cool the intercooler would probably come from a similar intake to the current airbox intake.

In most cars the turbo will be a bit ahead of where the exit air vent is on the engine cover. So the physical size of the turbo probably wont be the problem, more the heat that it radiates and making sure that heat has airflow to carry it away.

Red Bull were unique I believe in putting the KERS batteries around the gearbox as it didn't want to raise the fuel tank. The heat from the turbo, may make this impractical, or depending on the weight distribution rules, the weight may have to be further forward anyway to counterbalance the heavier power unit. The batteries (or supercapacitors if anyone tries them) are also larger for 2014, and the greater movement of charge will generate more heat, especially with batteries and this will need to be cooled.

The exhaust gases are going to have rather less energy than currently, possibly as little as a third. So this will limit the effect of blowing the diffusers. This is just my thinking based on a. the cars are going to use 100 kg of fuel, not 150 kg, so that's 67% and then there has been suggestions of achieving 40% efficiency with the extraction of energy from the turbines, so assuming losses in generation of electricity, storing it and recovering it, approximately half the exhaust energy would be consumed or lost before exiting the exhaust pipe.

I suspect that the reduced effectiveness of the diffusers would have a much bigger effect on lift to drag ratio than the increased drag from slightly larger components around the engine. Cooling air is probably a bigger problem for packaging, but if carefully directed helps to deliver high pressure air behind the car, helping to reduce drag there in compensation for compromises further forward, potentially such as larger and higher radiator inlets.

The teams will come up with clever solutions to these and many things I haven't thought of, but hopefully that gives you some idea.




Now that Red Bull are Renault's "factory" team, we could see significant differences between engines in this area I think. I'm sure Adrian Newey has the Renault engine development team on speed-dial. I wouldn't be surprised if they came up with an engine with quite different packaging as a result.


Surely the drivers should be skilled enough to handle the extra torque?

I agree the biggest issue will be slightly higher tyre wear, but I feel this will be because of lots of small movements that we cannot see on camera rather than big dramatic slides


Thanks Wayne, single best comment I've seen on this.


F1 was at its best when cars relied more on mechanical grip and substantially less aero, had excess power from the engine, had NO DRS (blue flag type) overtaking and had wide chassis designs...

Anything that steps away from these fundamentals of racing turns the sport into a bore fest...

Driver skill should be central to F1 - DRS, which is just another blue flag passing system, has completely turned my stomach in F1...

Lets see if F1 can get something right in 2014 - I won't hold my breath.



I'm getting so desperate for the F1 season to start I'm making my own F1 2013 preview videos!!!


2012 was a great year even if Seb wasn't the guy I wanted to win.



3.8.5(a) of the 2014 regs reads "Single apertures either side of the car centre line for the purpose of exhaust exits." etc

Could it not be that the single exhaust from the engine will drive two actual exhaust pipes, one on each side of the car, and thus diffuser blowing, the Coanda effect and so on will be part of the black arts of F1?


Thanks James,

I think this will be interesteing of various reasons:

1. F1 needs to be on the front edge. Todays car performance goes towards leaner and greener cars - F1 needs to do it.

2. People who can handle oversteer and also tyre management (JB the latter) should benefit from this

3. Remember a few (>10) years ago, when the engines could stand still in the pit for more than 30 secs. Nowadays, we have great performance, and reliability.

4. If V8 are 4 secs slower than a V10 - doesn't really matter. What matters is nice and tight racing - on the edge. I believe that regardless of a central exhaust, some engineers (Newey)could do magic with downforce - they'll find a way!


Hi James,

Thank you once again for an excellent article.

And here is my take on the whole engine noise argument... I only saw my first race last year in Monza. I sat at the first grandstand at the first corner. I experienced cars accelerating out of the pitlane and seen them barreling down the straight and braking for the corner with downshifts that sounded like one continuous detonation... Experiencing that audible assault for one and a half hours was enough for me. I had ear plugs, but even they didn't help much later on. Impressive as it is, I for one would not mind having the cars sound a little quieter. Especially since my next time will most probably be the 2014 Italian GP.


One of the better people in this world just died. RIP Aaron Swartz. The US govt. can’t chase you anymore. Simply a man trying to liberate information to make the world better, and for no personal gain. Everytime you use an RSS feed, amongst other things, you can thank him.


I hope they sound better than the new Indycars which sound very disappointing.


161bhp of KERS, that's sick. Bring on 2013!


I'm looking forward to F1 come 2014. The current Formula has been a tad static and stagnant for a bit too long for this life long observer. A change could be a lot better than a rest. Hope so. Bring it on.


Great article - thanks very much for this.


161 bhp and about 750 bhp for engine itself or combined?! That would be sick, 900 bhp total?


Great report James and the first insight so far on these engines.

Do you see the new engines moving development away form the exhaust blowing? I think it will be near impossible to predict the gases as the turbo will be taking first grabs on the energy and the turbo will be working hardest on corner exits when downforce is needed most for traction. Have you heard of any new ideas how teams plan to overcome such issue if it happens?

Looking forward to loose rear ends stepping out.


I don't know about the rest of you, but the idea that racing is a spectators sport is plain crazy. We all want to drive one of the new cars out of the showroom or on the track. I agree with Wayne and most of all of you, although the controls that the world thinks in our best interest is absolutely apothetic when we all know that there won't be enough gasoline in the future to race these cars anyway. We wont be using gasoline for any vehicle on the road or track and that means everything that is done today for fuel efficiency is a lie.


Just a relatively simple question " in the current regulations "can engines be repaired, and just as importantly is this allowed by the FIA?


Not if it means breaking the seals


Why don't the FIA just say

1) Thats how long the car has to be

2) Thats how wide it has to be

3) Thats the Engine

4) Make it go round a track as fast as possible.

Let the teams use Ground effect and T/C and other aids. Let them manage the engines from the pits.

Stop all this nonsence about making the damn cars slower.The teams know how to make the cars safe for the drivers.

Bring back proper racing.

That's it, Rant over.


F1 should be about man and machine not computers.


I would like to ask the F1 drivers, what machines they would like to drive and how. Vote and implement it.

I would not limit the number of drivers by those who is driving now, but asked all who ever drove join the discussion.

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