Renault unveils its 2014 hybrid turbo; draws line with road car range from Clio to F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jun 2013   |  8:37 am GMT  |  147 comments

Renault Sport F1 unveiled its new 2014 F1 engine, dubbed the Energy F1, at an event in Paris on Friday.

The timing was rather unfortunate, as the F1 media was on red alert waiting for the announcement of the verdict in the Mercedes Pirelli Tribunal hearing, but the significance of the Renault announcement -particularly the message it contained – is not to be ignored.

Following on from Mercedes, which presented its 2014 engine to selected media at the start of the year, Renault pulled the cover off an engine which – it clearly feels – aligns F1 more with the direction of the road car industry. For this reason it has chosen to align the branding of the F1 unit with its road car range “Energy”, so consumers can draw a line from the humble Clio right through to Formula 1, as it explained at the launch,

“For several years, Renault has used its racing know-how to develop fuel efficient engines for road cars, notably its Energy range,” said the Renault statement. “The objectives are clear: maintain or improve driving pleasure, vitality and acceleration with downsized engines to achieve lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“Renault has employed these principles in developing the F1 Power Unit, creating a complete, and genuine, circular development process between road and track.

“For these reasons, Renault has named the F1 Power Unit series ‘Energy F1’; clearly illustrating that the F1 Power Unit shares the same DNA as its road-going cousins.”

The launch comes after talks between Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn and F1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone, where Ghosn communicated frustration at the lack of promotional opportunity for his company in the way F1 is set up currently.

As for the technicalities of the engine, it is a 1.6 litre direct injection, single turbo, fitted with ERS, the energy recovery system which replaces the unloved KERS units of today. ERS will increase efficiency by
harvesting energy dissipated as heat in the exhaust or brakes. Currently KERS gives a 60kW boost, ERS will provide double that – 120kW (160bhp).

The 2014 engine has two energy recovery units, one which harvests heat exhaust energy from the turbine shaft and another which recovers energy from the crankshaft under braking.

The engines will rev to 15,000rpm, compared to the 18,000rpm of the current V8s. To hear the new 2014 style engine, listen here: Renault 2014 engine sound

Drivers will be allowed to use five units in 2014, the idea being to drop that to four in the subsequent years, to keep costs under control; the initial cost to teams is high, as the manufacturers pass on the cost of development, this is something that has been subject of extensive discussions behind the scenes to try to find a way to cushion the financial impact to teams.

The new engines are remarkable; the maximum power of the new Power Unit will be greater than the
current V8 F1 engines at the same time as fuel efficiency will be significantly improved. Only 100kg of fuel is allowed per car for the 300km Grand Prix, compared with 150 kg typically today. So the new units will use 35% more fuel efficient.

“From next year, one of greatest challenges in F1 will be to maximize energy efficiency and fuel economy while maintaining the power output and performance expected of F1 cars,” said Renault Sport F1 president Jean Michel Jalinier. “Renault has pioneered this technology in its road car engine range with the Energy series. Naming
the Power Unit Energy F1 creates an unbroken range, from the Clio through to our competition department.”

According to Renault’s Axel Plasse the packaging of the engine into the chassis is more complex than with the current V8s, which could more or less be swapped between teams. This hints at the advantage that works teams will have in the new era, where they are able to work with complete co-operation and transparency with the engine makers to optimise the chassis design; teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull initially, with McLaren and Honda fitting the same mould from 2015 onwards.

“The Power Unit is much more integrated and central to design, for example the turbo overlaps the gearbox so it intrudes into the space where there was a clutch or a suspension part,” said Plasse. “The energy store is also much larger, which has an impact on chassis length, fuel volume and radiator position, amongst other items.”

The new F1 engines will change the balance in F1, instead of tyres being the limiting factor as they are today, it will be the engines. The drivers will have to go as fast as possible, while using only 100kg of fuel for the entire race.

“The question then becomes where to deploy the energy in the lap, ” says Renault’s Naoki Tokunaga. “This season, KERS is used only a few places in a lap. But from 2014 all of the energy, from fuel and battery, is so precious that we will have to identify where deployment of the energy will be beneficial over the whole
lap and saving will be least harmful for lap time – we call it ‘power scheduling’. ”

Featured Innovation
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

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

You entered an incorrect username or password

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


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Most likely for road cars, Renault will introduce a small turbo engine ala Ford's 1.0 litre Ecoboost and fit it across the range. They can then claim its derived from a single bank of the V8 they race in F1.


They already have, it was launched a while ago and they were playing up the f1 connection even then.


Interesting to see the footnote in the Renault promo about the engine sound. As an avid fan of 3 cylinder motorcycles over the years I do love the (albeit muted) sound of my Ford 3 pot. As a company driver, I have gone back to petrol for the first time in 15 years. Great on cold mornings!


Yes, they could make it a 3-cylinder 800cc, and market it as 'F1/2'. You heard it here first!


You left out the Renault sound clip James. It sounded slightly muted and very smooth to me.

What we will see later is how the teams treat the exhaust after the single turbo outlet, since presumably they can choose a single or twin final exhaust pipe, though I cannot immediately see any advantage in splitting the flow unless it is to utilise coander effect as per this year.

The regs are slightly different next and would make the original Lotus and Caterham exits illegal.

Biggest problem next year will probably be the energy transmission and storage, electrical overheating and fires. But we may see some spectacular turbo fires as well like in the old days. (Remember when the Harrier blew the trade stands and tents over at Brands, that was the last turbo era)


Yeah I was there! Not too sure about this new era though, last time it was unlimited fuel, unlimited boost and unlimited power, this made it spectacular inspite of the crap sound they made(BMW engine had 1100 hp or more! Turbo bigger than a football)


1300 bhp actually, but there were fuel limits, hence several races were drivers ran out of fuel.


Next years exhaust outlets will be too far back for coanda or other diffuser effects. Except if exhaust pressures are harnessed to suck air over relevant parts instead, but that will have a much weaker effect than currently. If fuel efficiency is added to the 2014 exhaust exit positions, then that makes any diffuser effects totally undesirable as these effects are powered by higher fuel consumption.


Please, please, PLEASE can the drivers be given enough fuel to push as hard as they can for a significant portion of the race. Fuel saving in F1 has always been around but I'm concerned by the last part of this report which makes it sound like driving to lap deltas for most of the race will continue in 2014. Only this time because of fuel and energy restrictions rather than tyres. I want to see drivers on the limit!


Yeah, this past few seasons, racing has been dumbed down with funny tyres.

I find the new F1, with drivers each given a cup of fuel to finish races on much more intriguing. This time the uncertainty is firmly whithin the teams control, as against a 3rd party tyre supplier. Having 3rd parties controlling racing factors can easily lead to manipulation (real or percieved).


I agree, I find the new engines fascinating and am looking forward to next year, but I hope the races don't turn into a fuel saving exercise!


Those turbo specifications are hardly anything above Amateur Level of Tunning enthusiasts.

The only high tech part is the KERS unit. But I would have no clue about it's relative advances.


To be honest its hardly fascinating not like the V10 technology of the late 90's and early 2000's, to get an engine to produce 950hp from 3 litres naturally aspirated were unbelievable back then, next year's engines only produce 550-600hp depending on the fuel saving options and the fuel consumption has only improved over the V8's by 35% but the power output has also been reduced by about 30% and thats hardly impressive, maybe 1000hp from the engine with these fuel consumption would be impressive.


Sounds to me that you want the tyres to be better, that is the limiting factor which stops the drivers being on the limit 🙂


The FIA should make the rules for F1 and WEC more similar. Currently F1 limits teams to 5 engines per season, and some teams still struggle. In WEC however there are 24 hour races where the engine covers over 5,000 km without a break; the equivalent of 17 Grand Prix! Pretty close to an entire season on one engine. OK you need them to cover testing, but it's still an improvement.

Audi's engine man Ulrich Baretzky said early last year that he would love to do with gasoline what they have achieved with diesel. I would love to see Audi develop an F1 engine.


WEC is boring and slow.


FIA should drop WEC since it is nowhere near in line with their "road safety" program! It constantly gives the perfect bad example of "safety".


Not that simple, if an F1 team wanted to make their engines last longer they could but they choose to compromise the reliability of their engines for performance.

20, if someone has a non-functional ERS next year, they might as well retire the car, right?


Normally, yes.

Unless of course it's Lewis. I believe he can drive around problems better than the rest. I read it here so it must be true.


How do you drive around being 160bhp down on everyone else?

The ERS units are twice as powerful as KERS, but their overall effect will be even bigger, given that the basic engine is getting smaller.

Also, remember that from next year most of the torque on turn exit will be coming from the electric motor, NOT the engine... and presumably, the engines will be mapped accordingly (i.e. for torque biased towards medium and high revs).

So, without the electric (literally) torque in the low end AND the extra power in the high end, an ERS-less driver coming out of a slow corner onto a longish straight, would be quite likely to use one or two expletives, as everyone else zooms past...


Its a wind up, Hamilton when just slightly low on fuel or tyres slightly degraded is miles slower even than Rosberg, everything needs to be perfect for him and the car for him to have a good weekend, after all he is only human, no driver can do supernatural things, with no ERS he'll be fighting with the Caterhams if not worse.


Raikkonen continued after being set on fire in a pit stop in 2008. His brake pedal went straight to floor last race at Montreal & finished 9th. He was the second fastest guy on track with a severely flat spotted tyre that eventually tore his suspension off when he was at Mclaren. He's driven in eras where tyres lasted and now with tyres that don't last he's the best on them!--in terms of managing a problematic car for a whole race- I would suggest he is the best


These new ERS engines appeal on many levels, but they are turning F1 into 'test' racing - always reigned in because of some arbitrarily set of rules - where's pure racing gone ?

It will be interesting to hear how these new engines sound - any chance James, of using your contacts to get a recording, to play alongside a current engine ?



If you want to see 'Pure' racing watch F3, Indy cars or WRC at least they can drive to the limit all the time!


...or go karting. Great fun, testing IS allowed and it's quite unusual to hear complaints about the tyres...

28 missed BTCC ....much much more entertaining.


i dont understand why you would show all the other teams what your engine looks like!!

i would of thought it would be kept secret up in till the last minute

i know its probably to late for anyone to copy anything and that the parts that matter are inside but still why give away anything ???? even the smallest thing i would of thought could be something some else has not thought of or to a expert looking at it parts it might give away clues to sum of the features the engine might have


Its only PR - a mockup, or maybe an artists concept done with CGI.


Who says they're really showing it with all the bits they will eventually use, packed in the way they will eventually be packed?


With the engine rules so strict I doubt showing the engine will give anything away to another manufacturer. The location of the turbo is fixed by the rules, as is V angle, bore, piston center distance, center of gravity, fuel pressure, RPM, materials, ECU, fuel flow, fuel quantity, weight, engine mount locations, etc. etc.

It's also probably much too late in the game to change much. The engine is built as a harmonious unit; adding a bit here or there because another manufacturer has it won't improve it. If an engine isn't working now the manufacturer has a huge problem.


i think they know what they're doing. mercedes revealed there's many months ago. i think they know that their secrets are safe and what they reveal are noth worth copying because they're standard issue spec.

kers will be much more reliable and the thermal energy recovery system has to be bullet proof throughou the season. this is where the team which tests the most number of hours will have that advantage.

ferrari are silent with their engine developments.


Thank you James - a positive F1 story!

These engines will give so much more for everyone to work on. It amuses me that so many have complained that the new engines will not sound right and hark back to days of uncapped development.

More power and less weight (I do not know how much the new units weight but I would guess less but with 50Kg less fuel) should give some exciting times. The weight of the car will vary less during the race. With 3000 rpm less, less capacity and exhaust energy used to drive the turbo there is a lot less benefit to be found tinkering with exhaust exit routes - do we know what boost the turbos will deliver?

The limits of physics are being explored more and more. I would like to know more about what this means for the tyres - more extreme power delivery makes them more critical than this year...


The new engines will weight considerably more than the current V8. From F1 Fanatic:

The complete engine unit for 2014 will be heavier than the current design, as director of programmes and customer support Axel Plasse explained:

“The current V8 is 95kg, 100kg if you add the weight of the MGU. This increases to 120kg when you include the ancillary parts, such as the radiators and other cooling devices. With the 2014 power unit, the V6 turbocharged engine will be a minimum of 145kg, plus 35kg for the battery. At 180kg, this is a 80% increase over the current units, plus a further 20kg for the ancillaries such as the intercooler and other radiators.


Ok - I have done my homework now.

I would suggest you re do your sums! If you add the current 35KG KERS battery to the 120KG you get 155KG. The new total power unit inclusive of greater capacity batteries is 145KG. In other words the complete power package will be very little different to the current units - and certainly not 80% more!

More importantly there is no mention of any change to the total car weight. At the moment they are required to complete the race above 620Kg plus enough fuel to run and give a sample(raised from 605 Kg to encourage KERS). This means at some races this year the cars must be hitting 780Kg. With next year only allowing a fuel consumption of 100kg the cars will be starting as close to 720 Kg as they dare.

At the very least this is 50KG less fuel carried for half the race distance. The suspension geometry will not need as big a differential capacity - although with aero loadings this is far more complicated than that. Early and late race lap times will be less varied - and may be as close as in the refuelling era.


The min weight (dry- no fuel) of the car in 2013 is 642kg. Given it takes 2-3kg to complete a lap. Means the car must be 645kg when they finish a race! Not 620.

Given the cars will carry-55 to 60kg less fuel it pretty much cancels itself out. Also the new power units will have more torque so it will manage heavy start conditions a bit better. What will be super interesting will be how they handle, aero packaging,suspension, heat management and yes you guessed it tyres.


Jonathon, did you see the quote marks? I simply quoted the director of programmes for Renault. Tell him to redo his sums.

The complete engine unit for 2014 will be heavier than the current design, as director of programmes and customer support Axel Plasse explained: (see above).

Also, minimum car weight from the 2014 regulations:


4.1 Minimum weight :

The weight of the car must not be less than


at all times during the Event.

Wilma the Great

Very interesting insight. Thanks! (and btw very refreshing after testgate)

Couple of questions here:

1. With the max power and torque greater, why does this change the balance towards the engine as the limiting factor? Shouldn't it be the other way around (unless the tyres get much more 'durable' to overcompensate this change?

2. As to the last paragraph: is the ERS energy limited to a certain duration over one lap? Or can the driver use all that's in the battery? I would find the latter much more natural, cause it's a battle of technologies and the outcome would in fact be applicable to road car development in the form of more efficient power trains.

I find it intriguing that after shortening the available fuel by a third the manufacturers come up with stronger engines. Illustrates that F1 does not any more apply up-to-date technology.


My understanding is that Pirelli wont be messing with the tyres for 2014. They believe that the teams have enough on their plate without the need to unravel tyres. I read it somewhere but don't recall where.


After all the BS they've had to catch this season F1 will be lucky if they stay.


1) Unless Pirelli are allowed to develop the right compound tyres, they will still be the limiting factor. But it is likely (if they are still the supplier) that they will make them to last longer. However without the use of current vehicles (of still much less torque then will be used next year) it is going to be very difficult. May need to be bigger sized wheel/tyre next year. May need big change after season starts.

2)Take a look at Appendix 3 in the 2014 Tech regs. This is a diagram giving all the answers.

3) The engine is used less, but more efficiently, as energy normally lost in exhaust gas is used to drive the turbo and high speed MGUH will be used to recharge the "battery" This is in addition to the MGUK we already have.

Wilma the Great

2) If I understand the regs correctly, you can apply a maximum of around 33 sec of 120 kW per lap from the ERS (if the other constraints like battery load etc. allow to do so)

3) I understand the advantages of the new engine construction, I'm just saying that the new engines are far more efficient or the old ones are extremely inefficient by todays measures (b/c the rules didn't allow efficiency in the form of turbo/ERS, etc.)


Thank you James. Have you heard anything about Ferrari's power unit? When should we expect this to be unveiled?

And finaly, now that Renault unveiled their power unit, how does it compare to the one Mercedes have?


Easy. Following Renault's logic in reverse, there's already a Fiat Panda with a turbo-charged, 800cc engine. Put another bank of cylinders next to it, re-work a single turbo for both and hey presto, you're done!

No wait, that fiat engine only has 2 cylinders... nevermind!


the mercedes engine looked a lot slicker, neatly packaged. the renault's looks a mess compared to the merc's but the performance may tell a different story.


I agree the Mercedes unit looks more compact but also significantly taller. This might be far more important when it comes to centre of gravity on the Renault unit.


a taller engine can have a lover center of gravity simply because its mass concentration is lower. the box on the engine block is mostly plastic. am sure they'll all stick with the regulations anyway.


Per the 2014 regulations, Section 5.4.2:

The centre of gravity of the power unit

may not lie less than 200mm above the reference plane.

I would wager a huge sum of money that every one of these engines has a c.g. at exactly 200mm above the reference plane.


Why do they need an airbox, unlike the 80s F1 cars??


they want to get the air from the lowest temperature possible.

if i was an engineer, i would point the air intake vertically upwards to catch the coolest air.


Ah - now I understand! You want a different definition for vertical. You want a vertical air inlet that has a lower front edge... which most of us would take to mean it had a cross sectional opening when viewed from the front. A bit like a current air box opening once refined...

Formula one cars want cool air for many things including brake cooling ducts, water and oil cooling radiators and once even for "f ducts". All air entry points want cool air, and all are optimised for the most gain from the least cost in terms of drag. I very much doubt current cars would have their air boxes where they are if it were not for the requirement to have their roll over hoops.


good morning jonathan, i am sure I'd ask you if I wanted anything from you.

the air box for f1 cars has not always been in the position it is and until recent years, aerodynamics has been severely scrutinised, air from the air box opening wasn't used for cooling. break cooling became crucial when with the use of carbon discs and pads. take a look at pictures of older cars and you will notice the difference.

these turbo cars have a roll hoop and their air boxes are not in the same position nor do they have cooling vents for their brakes. the brakes are fully exposed with very little to obstruct them from head wind.


I made no suggestion that ram pressure from the air box was great enough to do away with the turbo - but it is a positive pressure as opposed to a negative pressure created by a vertical intake. The turbo and intercooler only increase pressure - starting from a naturally high pressure will always help. The last thing any sensible engineer would do would be to start with a deficit!

Taking air from under the car would only be a problem as Rich C points out. If the air was clean it would work well by increasing the pressure differential and, therefore, increasing downforce.

Whatever the chosen solution the number one priority is to deliver sufficient cold air to the engine. If vertical inlets were the best all cars would already be using them ... and I haven't seen them since they started using covers for rear engines.


we have all seen f1 car engine air inlets at the highest point on the car because that is the best position to get the coolest air. if the regulation allow it , a vertical intake with a lower leading edge would supply the engine with the coolest air.

you have every right not to accept a concept you may not understand.


That would be disastrous! The air box helps drive air into the engine. A vertical air intake would be like a spraygun - in other words it would suck air out of the engine! It might help aerodynamically but an engine without air is going nowhere.

I have actually been wondering if there is any benefit in taking the air intake from under the car as this would increase downforce. There is a lot more to learn about fluidic switches .

Even with a smaller capacity the turbo will need more air than current units (except when it comes to the lower rev limit). Cooler air is about getting a greater mass into the cylinders which is why turbos have intercoolers.


Taking air from under the car would probably suck up lots of plank dust and marbles!


if the ram pressure were as high as you suggest, then the engines will not need a turbo charger. fact is, the turbo chargers such a lot harder than ram pressure. the cooler the inlet air the higher the end mass of air entering the engine after negociating the turbo and intercooler. the higher the mass of the air the more fuel can be injected for combustion.

a vertical inlet will therefore not be dissaterous as you put it.

taking air from under the car will be disasterous for engine performance.


Sounds like a household mixer grinder that's grinding cummin seeds at different speeds...really not that cool 🙁


Would have been nice to hear it through to downshift, be interested to hear where the turbo vents with all the ERS.


I sincerely hope not but thanks for the link Jarv.


terrible. There's no high pitch! :((((


Oh dear, hardly musical is it? Okay, it will be loud but it doesn't really sound exciting does it?

I can see the new engines being a disaster for F1 in 2014, forget tyres - the drivers will be fuel saving and driving to lap times from the start, only if we get a safety car will the cars be able to race nearer their potential.

I am also really concerned that one of the three power plants will be significantly better than the others, relegating 2/3 of the grid to a second division, and the extra costs will push some teams off the grid.

The current engines are pretty equal over the season and have served F1 well over recent seasons.



I totally agree I think these engines are completely pointless and sound awful, the signature sound of high pitched F1 engine is a thing of the past, also only 570hp from these things? Its like a kids toy compared to the past formulas, more yawn moments next year when fuel saving becomes the norm.


The more I read about this new era of F1, the less I like it. I think there is a market for a rival series that goes back to 1997 technical regulations using current technology speeds could easily match current F1 speeds at a fraction of the price. This power scheduling idea is the straw that had broken the camels back for me. I have been to Monza twice, Monaco, Montreal and going to Silverstone next week, and a VERY large part of the experience if the engine noise. This Renault engine sounds like a Le Man LMP1 engine


Have you heard the Toyota engines (Both on the TS030 and the Rebellion Lola's), they sound glorious.


Ah yes... and bring back the full 2 metres' width we lost after 1997, too. Those extra 200mm made a big difference around Monaco, didn't they?


they'll soon recover engine from the sound of the engines rendering them mute.

kinetic energy recovery system plus

thermal energy recovery system plus

sound energy recovery system.

with engine capacity reduced to 1litre.

that will be more like it.


These engines are not advanced. There's nothing new. They're simply reacting to the trend of smaller displacement turbo units in road cars. They might be closer to a production engine but whether they can actually get any benefit out of that is doubtful -- difficult thing to market for Renault too, bandying the term "Energy F1" around isn't going to do much.

I'd guess that F1 has looked at Audi's success in sportscars and wants something similar. Only issue there is that prototypes are always going to be more road relevant (not something F1 should be interested in) and promoting individual technologies can only work when the competition is using something else!

This is an expensive change that seems ill-thought out from start to finish.


I don't know what you're expecting. The combustion engine hasn't changed since it was invented. Yes it's a reaction to road going small turbo engines, but it's a fact that they'll nobody to make F1 engines otherwise. It's not an altruistic act.

Anyway, I understand these engines use some tricks re. turbo lag that could be relevant to road engines.


It's not a question of expectation, I'm well aware that scope for genuine advancement of ICEs is small -- albeit Koenigsegg's "free-valve" system sounds groundbreaking -- but the change for 2014 is of huge cost to the teams and what for?

Yes the ERS from the wastegate sounds interesting but the possibility of turbo lag on a V6 revving to 15k makes me question the turbo design, why not just use a supercharger? Audi have raced their VTG design at Le Mans and transitioned it to their road cars, I don't see this ERS doing likewise.

I'd prefer seeing them switch to hydrogen ICEs; no emissions for PR, not expensive to modify the engine block and could help develop the technology e.g, hydrogen's lack of lubricating quality.


@iceman, Koenigsegg have a Saab 93/95 demo vehicle that proves the technology, the issue is cost. Given that engine's are getting more and more electronically controlled, free-valve makes sense -- chuck in the potential for forced induction via the pneumatic system and I think that it's worth talking about.

I mentioned it here because F1 already uses pneumatic valves and free-valve sounds 100% more interesting and forward thinking than the 2014 engines.


I'm not sure what's groundbreaking about Koenigsegg's valve system. Lots of car companies have done work on camless valve systems, but they have not made it to production so far. Which as I understand it is exactly where Koenigsegg’s camless system is too.


That way F1 accidents will not just be spectacular but 'explosive' too..

I do however agree that with this change, at least for now, F1 may have to learn a bit from road car engines before it being the other way around.


I hope "power scheduling" doesn't turn into drivers cruising half the race to save fuel and power, rather than actually racing...


In reality this announcement from Renault is much more important than the faux justice supposedly being dispensed by the FIA tribunal upon Mercedes, a short distance away in Paris.

Despite a lot of negativity within Motorsport generally about electrification of drive trains, like it or not vehicles with batteries as key components of the drive chain are here to stay and be more prevalent in the future across a wide range of vehicles, from refuse trucks and city buses to small private EV's and outrageous hybrid supercars.

So from an engineering perspective Renaults commitment to electrification and hybridisation is highly commendable. While the link to road cars is very important with regard to promoting true sustainable and energy efficient behaviour across the general population.

It's a pity then for Renaults sake, that the perception of their brand from all the key attributes necessary to invoke passion, engineering excellence, innovation and quality is so sorely missing from their current range of cars.


They do make quite a few direct-injection diesels, though... and in terms of outright energy efficiency, you do know which one actually wins (hybrid or diesel), right..?


Hybrid diesel (he says watching Audi winning Le Mans again)?


Now that was obvious, wasn't it..? 😀

To be clear, I'm not against hybrids, in fact I'm quite happy with the new regs, because after blown diffusers, DRS and all the other stuff that can't possibly be of ANY relevance to road cars, this is something that 'might' one day be useful to you and me...

Not unless we see another revolution to battery technology, though. Ultimately, that is what this and Formula-E are all about.

Bring Back Murray

Now that is a seriously nice looking engine.

35% improved efficiency but with more power than this year? That level of technological capability is what keeps F1 ahead of the game.


More power than this year? Are we sure about that? OK the ERS produces more power than KERS (and for longer), but how much power does the actual combustion engine lose, compared to what we have now?


I think its been stated the power units (engine+ERS) will have at least the same amount of power as what we currently have, and with more torque at lower speeds. I think it was one of the goals that the cars aren't slower over a lap than this year.


I think Spyros has a point there. The 33 seconds of ERS is less than the time they currently spend on full throttle even at Monaco, and not much more than half the full-throttle time at Monza. With the lower rev limit, the increased crankshaft torque is not going to be seen by the wheels unless they gear the cars for considerably lower top speeds.


They will have the same (or more) power than this year, WHILE THE ERS IS DELIVERING POWER. That will happen more often than this year, but not over the whole lap. In full-throttle fest tracks like Monza, expecting lap times to stay at current levels seems unrealistic to me.

I really hope I'm wrong, though...


You can listen to the engine's sound on their website:,2630.html?lang=fr


It might not be the brightest idea, given how many people have owned Renaults road cars and cursed their risible build quality.


I'm sure watching Senna "Power Scheduling" his laps around Monaco would have been inspiring. Can't wait for next year, it's going to be great!


Like many other fans, I am being slowly put off the sport by the continually increasing technology bans in F1. However, I do have a positive suggestion to re-direct some of the hard-won sponsorship dollars in ways more meaningful to both sponsors and fans alike.

It seems to me that the bulk of the dollars spent by the teams goes on aero development, most of which can only be seen at close range,and also has little relevance to most sponsors. I would suggest getting rid of ALL the current aero rules, and replacing them with a single rule that says

"The total downforce exerted on the car, at any speed and in any configuration, shall be [insert a figure here] kilograms."

I would suggest a figure equal to the maximum weight of the F1 car for the particular season. This level of downforce should be achievable pretty well straight off the drawing board with the curent level of knowledge of most teams, and stop the hugely expensive aero development currently done by all teams throught the season.

It should save a great deal of money, which could go towards development of the various parts of the cars which have much more relevance to car manufacturers and other potential sponsors (and fans), and the re-introduction (un-banning!) of many technologies not currently allowed. With the reduced downforce also giving reduced drag, there would be less disturbed air upsetting the car behind, giving the drivers more chance to overtake, without the rather ridiculous "blue flag" drs rule currently in vogue.


It doesn't seem like you really understand how aerodynamics work. Your suggestion also doesn't prevent teams from spending a lot on trying to gain aero advantages at lower speeds. And on top of that, do you REALLY want slower F1 cars?


This wont help

Teams will still send money on aero development. They will send up on making the aero more efficient. Less drag same down force.

Better if the rules get rid of all the aero appendages on the car. 1 plain front wings, no gills on rear wings. get rid of all the suspension aero. Make the care look clean again


But then F1 cars would then probably be even slower than they already are....and we have enough complaints about that aspect!


Well, we know you have limited technical knowledge.

Downforce squares with speed and since F1 cars don't travel at constant speed it makes your suggestion completely unworkable.

This also shows how little most peolple about know about aero. It's not all about how much downforce, drag or turbulance that the cars make but the way it's made. I've often said if F1 switches back to ground effect it would make for better races whithout unecessarely simplifying the cars. Of course the problem is preventing the cars getting dangerously fast as the amount of downforce that could be produced would be rediculous.


Regarding ‘how little most people know about aero’ – which is what I think you meant to say:-

1. I guess what KenJ meant to say was the “maximum down-force exerted, regardless of speed”.

2. It’s amusing how many times small ‘important’ pieces have broken off the front wings of competitors’ cars with little or no effect on their lap times. Even the experts’ knowledge appears to have its limits.


Hi Andrew- re. your first sentence, yes I would be the first to admit there are many things I do not yet know, and sadly, many I

never will know- with the best will in the world, life is too short to learn everything- but I can assure you I have been giving it

my very best for the last 64 years.

Your second sentence, first statement. Yes, it does indeed follow a square law- in a perfect world, Lift (in newtons) = Cl x

1/2rV^2 x S, but of course it is much more complex for an F1 car due to all the bits hanging in the breeze from the basic lifting

body which affect the air flow in an exceedingly complex manner.

The second statement- yes, F1 cars do not travel at constant speed, but that in no way invalidates my proposal. It is a trivial

matter to establish the appropriate maximum speed of the cars, add a margin for error, then use that as the test speed in a wind

tunnel to establish the total downforce on the cars.

Re. your comment on ground effect- like the current wings, etc, it does make for fast and furious racing, but it also has the same

problems as the current aero development. The development of aero has a quite narrow market when it come to sponsorship and the

marketability of the data. The main thrust of my idea is to enable development to be channeled in to areas that are more marketable

to sponsors by being relevant to their day-to-day business.


Something tells me Phillip Morris don't sponsor Ferrari so that the team can help them make better cigarettes. I'd say the sponsors don't give a toss about the marketability of aero data or suspension kinematics, nor do any of the team members give a damn about the day to day core business of their soft drinks sponsor.

I want development to be channeled into making cars go faster, the essence of Formula 1, and if the teams want to find a way to apply and sell off any of their accrued knowledge, practices, techniques, technology or whatever, then they can do (see McLaren Applied Technology).

My suggestion is aimed at improving the spectacle of F1 without dumbing it down to the level of a spec series.


“The total downforce exerted on the car, at any speed and in any configuration, shall be [insert a figure here] kilograms.”

Very sensible.


Just doesn't sound like F1 to me. YES I KNOW they used to use turbos back in the day. But that Renault engine sound given just leaves me feeling a little hollow to be honest.


I agree. Sounds droning and boring. Sounds like a GP3 car or something.


Quite like the way that sounds, Kinda similar to the current Indycar V6 Turbo units although the F1 units will rev higher & have the ERS.

Also bear in mind that the sound was recorded on the dyno, When out on track actually been driven it will likely sound even better.

I think we will hear a lot of bitching from people in early 2014, But once the racing starts Im betting a lot of that will die down. I remember the same back in 2006 when the V8′s came in, It was the death of F1 & people were never going to watch ever again because of how crap the cars were going to sound.

All that talk soon died down when the racing started & now some of those same people think the V8′s they protested about 7yrs ago should remain.


I didn't like the V8's when they were introduced and I'll be glad to see them gone. They may have 750hp but they have minnimul torque (I think in the region of 200nm, road car levels) making them gutless, something that the turbo's will definitely change.

People will complain, it seems to be the only thing some fans like doing these days regardless of what happens.


Based on the power figures Toyota admitted for their old V8, torque at peak power would have been 277 Nm. Some sources say peak torque was 290 Nm. The current engines will be a bit more I think, despite the so-called engine freeze.

The upper limit on torque output is pretty much set when you choose the displacement, aspiration and fuel. Changes in number and configuration of cylinders will make minor differences.

A really good 2.4l normally-aspirated road car engine might get you something like 250Nm I would think.

It would have been the same with the 3.0l V10s, they would have made something in the order of 25% more torque than a good 3.0l NA road engine.


+1 Andrew. Agreed!


Torque will definitely increase, but most of it in low revs will come from the electric motor... unless, of course, the ERS package has a malfunction, in which case you might as well park the car.


What's the engine size of those Indy V6s?


2.2 litres.


The pitch is a tad lower and less agitated (shame), but we'll get used to it.

Take note though, that the sound Renault released is purely synthetic, they wouldn't want other teams locking their nerds and cloacked spooks in dark rooms doing audio analysis to reverse engineer their hard work.

Stephen Taylor

James what will a team do if one or both of their cars has non functioning ERS?


If that actually happens, the ERS will be coming from the engine supplier...think about it 🙂


Wait until that Felix bloke rolls out the safety car, and hope you're faster than him.


The engin sounds terrible like tuned japanese production car! has it on their site. With all the technology available surely they can make V10 engines cleaner and more fuel efficient!


I suppose then, unless it is a wet race (where the lost of the ERS may not be so problematic), they will probably just pit the cars and call it a day. This will save the engine/gearbox and the rest of the car from undue wear.

What do you think, James? I suppose they could continue to run, treating the race as an extended test session.


I dont know if the sound of this engine on the links is genuine or not but it does not do anything for me, far too "normal" not earth shattering like the current engines. I really hope that when the teams put their pipes on they can do something that not only improves the power but the noise too.


I concur, it is not F1 at all. Ask ANYONE who goes to a Grand Prix and they will ALL tell you that the screaming, earth bending, ear bleeding noises of an F1 engine is one of the major reasons for their attendance.

If the engines are going to sound like that preview we've seen, we should all take a chair and go sit next to our local motorways and we'd get just as much enjoyment out of it.


I go to Drag Racing only to see TOP-Fuel cars taking of the line. I would recommend this experience as a must have in ones live.

Same applies to F1 cars, otherwise they become impotent toy cars, what the IndyCar is right now.


Any truth in the rumour that Pirelli will ditch F1 for Le Mans next year?

And that they plan to call it Le Mans 2.4 hours instead, to compensate for the tyre degradation?


Don't worry, Pirelli makes tyres for other competitions and have no problem making them last. Which is why it's so weird that they're not leaving F1!


Can't blame Pirelli mate, Formula 1 has treated them like absolute crap! I wouldn't be sticking around if I was a business like Pirelli.


Me neither. It would be 'fu F1, and the horse you rode up on."


I just hope the limited fuel does not put drivers off pushing and attacking hard because they could face the prospect of running out of fuel before the end. I think we have all had enough of seeing drivers race to a lap delta that is set by the pit wall to manage the tyres, I hope they can push like hell, or alternatively, have 10 extra kg of emergency fuel and add a pre-determined amount of time to their final race time for every 100g of extra fuel they burn. Would add a great strategy twist. Would be fun tho.


A lot of you seem to be worrying about this, but what you are forgetting is that right now they don't start with enough fuel to actually finish the race at full speed, meaning that they already have to go into fuel saving mode at some point during every race (usually during a safety car).

Fair enough in 2014 they'll be starting with less fuel, but with any luck these new fuel efficient engines will eliminate the current fuel saving so that they can go racing...but we'll have to wait and see.

Frankly right now the tyres are still the limiting factor.


Call me old fashioned, or just old, but to my ears this engine sounds like a mildly souped up 1970s road car. A F1 engine it 'aint.

Bring back the Matra V12, I say.

You haven't lived if you've never heard one of those at full chat along the Hanger straight !


The 1st time I live heard a F1 car as a child I remember tears were coming out of my eyes and instantaneously I was a F1 fan, after listening to the new renault F1 engine I was crying again...... 🙁


‘power scheduling’. Great, so if we're not managing tyre degredation, we're going to be managing a very limited supply of fuel and battery power. I heard an interview with Allan McNish this week, where he thinks that the endurance cars are being driven flat out more than f1 cars are. Something is very wrong here people.


Next it will be my "nap scheduling" ... yawn


I'd like to see BMW make one of these babies

Scuderia McLaren

I have not jumped on the "it'll be terrible sound" band wagon, mainly because it was Bernie E that introduced such a silly notion. Because I always assume everything he does or says is for potitcal manoeuvring I just disregarded any nonsense about the new engine sound losing F1 fans from him or media on his payroll.

But I must say, that sound clip of the Renault engine sounds really terrible. It's ust not F1. No urgency, no ear trauma and I don't anticipate ear trauma live to be frank. There is no aural sensation to overwhelm me.

I don't think it's the displacement or configuration though. I think its the rev limit maybe. The 80's turbos were great, the V12 atmo's were great, the V10's of the 1990's early 2000's were just spectacular. There have been various engine formula's that were captivating. The V8's today are pretty good too.

I hate to say it, Bernie might be right. Maybe give them more engines over a year so they can really turn them up and flog them more at closer to 17,000 - 18,000 rpm. Make them quicker reving. And let them use the fuel they need to get them going. I really think its the revs.


"So the new units will use 35% more fuel efficient." This sounds incorrect ?


James, from news I read smaller teams are are very concern about the rising cost for the turbos. Do you think there will be less teams and the 3 cars per team which was mentioned before.


That looks like the agenda of some of the larger teams. I hope not, because diversity is good and the standard of teams like Marussia and Caterham is very high. I've seen it from the inside recently and they do a great job.


James is right : the work put in by Caterham and Marussia is of a very high standard and they should be congratulated. The problem for them is that the established teams set such a high standard it's almost impossible to break through into the big league. If Williams can't get back to the front, what chance have the two new teams got ?

Sadly Bernie has made it very clear that he only wants 10 teams and has adjusted the financial package to do everything possible to drop the 11th team. This is now looking increasingly more likely to be Caterham than Marussia.

That's a pity. We really don't want to see Ferrari running three cars.

The problem with Ferrari having three cars is that will then have even more opportunities to use team orders to gain an unfair advantage for Alonso.

Obviously only two cars could count towards the Constructor's Championship so we can be sure that Ferrari will cynically use a third car to enhance their chances in both Championships.

We only have to look back at the Schumacher era for the evidence. In those days Ferrari used every trick in the book to gain an advantage including using their special relationship with Bridgestone to manipulate the tyre spec to suit their car and driver.

That rather puts their protestations over Mercedes 2013 tyre test into perspective, doesn't it?

I'm not sure that McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull would be that keen to run three cars but they would have no choice but to follow Ferrari if it were allowed.


Yeah because Vettel has "never" used his team to help get him across the line. :/

Stephen Taylor

How long will drivers be able to use ERS for?


So they will not be going as fast as possible, they will be driving around conserving not only tires, but also fuel and battery life. Why not also remove the water bottles from the car, that will save weight and fuel and promote human evolution of more water efficient drivers. Then they can drive around conserving human energy and sweat emissions also. After that they can introduce a combustible human exhaust gas recovery system and feed them only soybeans, which will further reduce team costs.

Ezekiel Nasser

This comment was pure awesomeness. +1


The Renault engine sounds nothing like the current F1 engine more like a wasp. They seem to be determined to wreck every aspect of F1 racing with duff tyres now we have the exciting sound of an F1 engine about to be a thing of the past if your sound byte is correct. This is engine manufacturers using a supposedly "sport" to develop road car engines. Will not be worth watching at all before long.


Agree with you, but on hindsight we witnessed Ayrton Senna at his peak during the turbo era. Just hope racing will even be better and maybe we'll have to get use to the wasp.


software employed by branders to "manage" drivers


James, you've heard the 2014 power units from Mercedes and Renault now, can you tell an audible difference in their sounds? If so, which one do you prefer?


I don't know what you're all moaning about, I think it sounds great. Ok not as great as a V10 or an old V12 but anything is better than those horrible horrible V8s we have had to endure for the last 7 years.

I am concerned to read how much the engines are regulated though, looks like they will all be various shades of the same colour as they are now, no doubt all making exactly the same noise, I miss the days of being able to identify a car by its sound.


The unique sound came more from them all having different numbers of cylinders, different firing orders, vee angle etc. You'll only get that again if it goes to a free-for-all which isn't happening anytime soon!

I'm going to wait until the engines are running in a car at full speed before making a judgement. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Audi/Peugeot diesels at Le Mans for the first time about how effortlessly brutal the silence was as they went past, made the Corvettes seem like little shouty ants!! Yes I do mean a brutal silence!!


Fuel flow is fixed and cannot go higher after 10.5k rpms. The ice power curve from this point to the 15k redline will be almost flat, slightly decreasing due to mechanical losses increasing. Due to this, I will be surprised if any engine will ever see the redline limit. Also, teams may actually have to use engine braking to charge the batteries rather than overrun the ice since the fuel weight is capped.


Hi James,

in recent years we've seen Redbull aligning themseves more closely with Infiniti, do you think we could soon see them with an Infiniti motor instead of a Renult?


You should be a part of a contest for one off the most useful websites on the web.

I'm going to highly recommend this site!

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

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

You have Successfully Subscribed!