Mercedes engine boss says power units will not be dominant factor in 2014
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Oct 2013   |  9:56 am GMT  |  253 comments

Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell says the new 1.6 litre turbo engines, which will be introduced next year, will not be the dominant factor – however he does expect there to be more of a difference between rival power units compared to this year.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will supply units to teams next year, with Cosworth leaving the sport at the end of 2013. The new units, which will have more relevance to road cars, will replace the current V8s.

“I think we could see more of difference across the power units next year,” Cowell told the October edition of the JA on F1 Podcast “The FIA were keen that those who were down on power in the 2008-era were permitted the opportunity to do performance upgrades to narrow the gap. Now there is a chance for a spread in reliability and performance capability.

“However, there will be a big spread in terms of aerodynamics, too, and a spread on the tyres so it will all add up and go into the melting pot. I don’t think the power unit will be the dominant factor. I think they will wrap together and we’ll see varied racing.”

With such a big regulation change, Cowell says it is inevitable that there will reliability issues. “There’s a good chance the reliability will be a bigger factor next year than this year,” he said. “We have got new technology introduced in all areas of the power unit. There is also a change in the sporting regulations where instead of eight engines per driver per year, they will need to use just five.

When asked whether teams will be able to get through a season using just five engines, JA on F1 technical advisor Mark Gillan said: “I will be surprised if it’s achieved. Engine manufacturers have spent a lot of time and money looking at reliability.

“But the teams are also looking at drivability of these cars and looking at them in the simulators to see how to best eek out fuel through the race. They may have different requirements in terms of mapping and that will impact on the drivability and reliability.”

If teams can’t make five engines last across the season, there will be penalties of varying degrees depending on the type of failure. Gillan added: “For viewers, it’ll be difficult to understand the penalty system. A lot of effort has gone into trying to get fair penalties through via a rating system whereby if a part of the engine fails, it might be a two-place grid penalty but if the complete engine fails, it might be five.”

Next season KERS will be replaced by ERS (energy recovery system). Cowell said: “It will recover energy from two sources – the kinetic energy from the car under braking and the heat energy left in the exhaust stream through a turbine wheel into an electric motor.

“The two sources of energy will be stored in a battery pack which is approximately 10 times the capacity of the battery packs we’re using today with Kers. Around 4MJ can be deployed, which is over 34 seconds that it can be deploying. That is a significant percentage of the time when drivers want full power. It will contribute over two seconds of lap time.”

The other key challenge for teams will be fuel efficiency, as they will be limited to 100kg of fuel for the race. That’s a reduction of 60kg from this season.

“The 100kg for the race was chosen as an aggressive target,” said Cowell. “We’ve got a 35% reduction. That’s why we have introduced turbo chargers, which is the single biggest piece which is giving us the efficiency improvement.”

You can hear more Mark Gillan and Andy Cowell in the October edition of the JA on F1 podcast, click play below. It also features interviews with Caterham owner Tony Fernandes, four-time world champion Alain Prost, legendary commentator Murray Walker and FIA presidential candidate David Ward. (Cowell is at 28m 25)

No player? Download the podcast directly.

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I wonder how much using the energy of the exhaust system affects using the exhaust for aerodynamics. May some teams even consider to not use the energy from the exhaust?


Exhaust will not be effective as its beyond the diffuser point with the new ruling.

But in F1 especially with the genius Mr.Newey there will be innovations.

As usual the first three races will be indicative for the pecking order and it will be the usual suspects. Don't think that Marussia will suddenly be in the midfield pack though.

But five engines for 22 races, penalties will be awarded consistently IMO.

One wish for 2014, no Red Bull domination please! Enough is enough. I like Vettel though.


So, erm...

Does anybody know what the 2014 regulations say about the exhausts?


The regulations are posted on the FiA website.

5.7 Engine high rev limits :

Engine high rev limits may vary for differing conditions provided all are contained within a band of 750rpm. However, a lower rev limit may be used when :

a) The gearbox is in neutral.

b) Stall prevention is active.

c) The driver clutch request is greater than 95% of the total available travel of the driver clutch actuation device, used only to protect the engine following a driver error.

d) An engine protection is active.

e) The bite point finder strategy is active.

f) The safety car is deployed or during the formation lap.

Except for the above conditions, power unit actuators may not be used to artificially control the power unit speed or alter the power unit response in a rev range more than 750rpm below the final rev limit.

5.8 Exhaust systems :

5.8.1 With the exception of incidental leakage through joints (either into or out of the system), all (and only) the fluids entering the compressor inlet must exit from the engine exhaust system.

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.

5.8.3 The total cross-sectional area of the exhaust exits at the rearmost point of the tailpipes must lie between 7500mm2 and 14000mm2.

2014 F1 Technical Regulations 24/82 5 December 2012

© 2012 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile

5.8.4 The last 150mm of any tailpipe must in its entirety :

a) Form a thin-walled unobstructed right circular cylinder with its axis +/- 10° to the car centre line when viewed from above the car and between 0° and 10° (tail up) to the reference plane when viewed from the side of the car. The entire circumference of the exit should lie on a single plane normal to the tailpipe axis and be located at the rearmost extremity of the last 150mm of the tailpipe.

b) Be located between 350mm and 550mm above the reference plane.

c) Be located no more than 250mm from the car centre line.

d) Be positioned in order that the entire circumference of the exit of the tailpipe lies between two vertical planes normal to the car centre line and which lie between 30mm and 50mm forward of the rear wheel centre line.

5.8.5 There must be no bodywork lying within a right circular cylinder which :

a) Shares a common axis with that of the last 150mm of each tailpipe.

b) Has a diameter 40mm greater than each tailpipe.

c) Starts at the exit of the tailpipe and extends rearwards as far as a point 600mm behind the rear wheel centre line.


Hamish-baby! The rules do mention the waste-gate. They explicitly state that there shall be only ONE exhaust pipe.

The exhausts from the turbo, ERS and turbo relief valve (waste-gate) must all exit through the one pipe.

You are welcome. 😉


The rules don't mention using the wastegate though...


Ahhh I copied over too much, ignore the engine rev part and skip to 5.8....

The Spanish Inquisitor

There are super materials with shape memory capabilities. When the piece is cold the orientation/position fulfils FIA specifications, but when the piece is hot due to the exhaust gasses a little change of the orientation is forced. I think that RBR uses super materials tech already.


Teams won't be able to use the exhaust as they do today. If I am not mistaken the regulations require certain degrees of exit of the exhaust and have banned using body work to channel it. Again, I could be mistaken, and as always, F1 teams always find a way.


It will not affect the aeros at all.

There will be no aero effect from exhausts.

There shall be only one exhaust pipe,

and it is high mounted. Also, it must

point upwards.


Short answer. None.

There will be a single exhaust outlet that is centered on the car and exits aft of the rear axel. There will be no way to channel that air down into the diffuser but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't try to at least get it to go up to the rear wing or something.


Very unlikely for two reasons. They will need the power provided when accelerating and then the exhaust outlets for next year are very much more regulated to make any aero benefit practically impossible to find.


Its a single exhaust positioned purposefully not to blow the diffuser or rear wing.


i don't think using exhaust for aerodynamics does not affect recycling exhaust energy into engine performance. one thing which affects the use of exhaust for aerodynamics in 2014 is the the exhaust spec is a single pipe out of one side of the car so there will be an imbalance if teams try to use it for aerodynamics perposes.


As I understand it, the regulations for 2014 will only allow a single exhaust and the positioning is also strictly controlled . The effect of this will be to severely restrict the aerodynamic effect that can be gained.


But you can bet your bottom $ that there will be a lot of money spent on getting whatever they can out of it no matter how small!

"F1 - the pinnacle of insane spending on microscopic aero tweaks."


You are right, the tighter the regulations become, the more the teams will spend on less.

I don't know if you have read the Art of War (Adam Parr Williams ex CEO)? Anyway, in the forward by Max, he recollects the time when the FIA first introduced the idea of banning qualifying engines. One of the teams (unnamed) threatened to sue them. Can you imagine, in the real world, if the authorities came up with an idea that would save a business around £10,000,000/season, they would threaten legal action in order to continue spending the money?


Next year exhaust position is even further from diffuser so even harder to get aero benefit so it will probably be a less critical area for performance….. however they said similar last year and look at what RB are doing – they must have enoumous rear downforce / are able to get on the power much earlier than competition


I think that the exhaust has to come out the centre which makes using the exhaust gas very difficult.

However having a fat single pipe coming out the centre does mean that the teams will be looking to exploit the hotair coming from the radiators, engine, and exhaust pipes. Blown diffuser lite, anyone?


There is a 'Single central exhaust pipe exiting 17-18.5cm behind rear axle line and 300-525mm high' (from ScarbsF1), which means that they won't be able to use the exhaust gasses for something useful.


The location of the exhaust which is dictated by the regulations all but eliminates the use of the exhaust for aerodynamic gains.


There's going to be a single exhaust outlet that exits behind the diffuser, so it's not possible to use the gasses for aero anymore.


Like road car. Small engine, single exhaust. I would limit the speed too:) the closer to road cars - the better roi from research.


Think the exhaust position is changing again next year to single output below the rear wing. Unless they get reeeaaal clever with it, might not be feasible to use it for aero.


as the exhaust is now a simple single pipe set at a predetermined angle/position it will be intriguing to see if any of the teams can actually weave any magic out of them?


They might or might not be the dominate factor, but there's no question they'll be a big factor.

And while we're on the subject, I still think it's ridiculous that drivers get penalised for engine / gearbox failures.

They're already struggling to eke out eight engines this year; engines that are tried and tested and much more reliable than they were ten years ago.

Five brand new engines that haven't even been tested in combat yet and that are twice as complicated as the old ones?

Good luck guys.

Next year we're going to be seeing a lot of unhappy faces and a lot of really screwed up grids.

I do like the idea of the new engines in principle, but the rules need a kick up the pants.


We keep hearing it's a team sport and the team wins and loses together.

Therefore a penalty for one of the teams cars, is a team penalty.

We'll have to see if the engines are reliable enough to only make it an occasional occurrence.


People say the team should be penalized for an engine/gearbox change & not the driver.

However what if the damage that caused the change was caused by the driver?

Ay Suzuka Adrian Sutil needed a gearbox change because of damage caused to the gearbox when he crashed in 3rd Practice.

I can also remember occasions in the past where an engine was changed after an accident.

In that case woudl it then be fair to dock constructors points or fine the teams rather than grid penalties for changing components damaged by driver mistakes?


If there weren't penalties, what would a teams's motivation be in only using 5 engines per season?


Agreed there need to be penalties, but I don't think it should be the drivers that pay them.


Cheers Sebee, I'll take that as a compliment 🙂

You're absolutely correct; objecting without offering a solution is basically just whinging.

As for a solution, it has occurred to me that if the teams are only allowed five engines then fine, let them compete using those five engines, but if they blow them all too soon and they need to use more then they should be allowed to do so but on the condition that any constructor points they win from that point on are forfeited.

They'd still incur the extra cost (frankly under the current system they would anyway) but there's the motivation to try to stick to the regulations.

I imagine it might be better for teams to try to preserve / repair or recondition an engine to avoid that penalty and keep winning constructor points than to just buy a brand new one and not win any more constructor points.

I don't think it's perfect, but it's the best I've got right now and at least the drivers wouldn't suffer as much.


Your objection should have an alternative solution. It's one thing to object. It's another to object with a solution or option. It is then you realize there likely isn't a better one than driver grid penalty. It's you Random not some newbee fan, which is why I'm forcing proposals out of you instead if just the objection. 😉


The same was said when they brought in the restrictions on engines in the first place. In reality what happenned was less engine failures than the year before when they were allowed as many as they liked.


Agree is it not a money penalty at the moment for using more than 8 engines it seems that works ok so why punish drivers


The regulations on the power units are so tight there likely will not be huge differences in output. The engine integration into the chassis will play a big part, along with some clever mapping for efficiency. With the new regulations, efficiency gains directly give power gains.


You might be right, Dren, when compareing dyno sheets, but on the track when they have to juggle the fuel consumption just to finish the race, there might be considerable difference!

My guess is that the drivers will be racing with their engines turned down quite a bit from their true output, and we'll see plenty of cars getting slower and slower towards the end of races and where the dominant word in the commentary is currantly "TYRES", (boreing!) next year the word will be "FUEL", (even more boreing!). I'm inclined to think the drivers will rarely be able to race flat out! And that's a shame!



Yes! It will be interesting strategy wise for the first several races, much like the different tire strategies now. Efficiency is king in the new fuel limited formula!



I have to disagree with you. Beside failing on occasion due to complexity, they will not shake up the grid like some are hoping. Aero will still play a huge role.

I also feel these penalties are a bit lame, but I understand their need and logic. How else do you deal with limited engines and gearboxes? Clearly a fresh one is an advantage for the driver and his advantage translates into WCC points too. The only answer to your objection is no limits and thus no savings and once again disadvantage for small teams.


small teams will continue the same... And new engines are allready more expensives that this ones.


Yep not enough engines and gear boxes to race 100%.

I hope this guy is right because there will be a lot of interesting tech to talk about. There will be so many factors, pros and cons.

Lord, Vettel will never get credit for winning a race next year. It will be it wasn't Vettel that won the that there race it was the, lets make a list:









team sabotage

gear ratios


dry track




Tyres again


3 stopper

Tyres yet again


Vettels attitude


You forgot Multi12, applied to DanRic 😉

Oh and Random79 etc, you're spot on about the crazy grid drop engine/gearbox failure penalties.

Imagine if it effectively decided a championship in one of the final races, where the penalties are more likely to apply, depriving everyone of a head to head race!

Docking constructor points would be fairer, though perhaps not for Marussia VS Caterham!


hahahahahaha, made my day


I wonder also how the list will evolve in future when Vettel wins races and championchips in a none Red Bull car, maybe even a none Red Bull that wasn't designed by Newey... But I'm sure they will find a reason why he is not a great driver by then.


You don't like the gear box penalty for drivers but do you have a better solution? The teams still value the drivers championship over the constructors so you have to penalise the driver otherwise the teams would push the limits - particulary at the end of the season if the title is up for grabs.


I think only Ferrari possibly value the WDC over the WCC on account of having a special agreement with the FIA that guarantees them a certain payment. For all the other teams WCC points equals prize money.

However, even Ferrari have hired Kimi to help bolster their WCC tally next year.


I don't agree. If the title was close and there was no gearbox penalty for the driver any of the teams would try it on. Don't just think of the money from the constructors but think of the added sponsorship etc that would come from winning the drivers championship.


Unfortunately I don't 🙁

I do understand why the penalty system is there and why it works the way it does, I just don't like the fact that it's the drivers who are penalised for something that is out of their control.


I agree its unfair but makes sense. I assume that is not a contradiction!!


Comletely agree.

I really dislike the idea of penalities affecting the good racing that the FIA is striving for. I understand that the penalties are there to try and kepp costs "down", but they are penalising the wrong party (at the expense of clarity for the fan).

Why not penalise the team - take away constructors championship points - eave the racing pure... Please.

On a side note - I personally cannot wait to hear and see the new power units - yes they might not be the screaming v12's, 10's or 8's we are used to, but make no mistake, they are and will be engineering masterpieces!


Thing is, they are not. You can pick up any specification from that engine and you will find that more efficient or more powerful versions were already road tested.

I think this is the reason for Andy Cowell's attitude. They are not being pushed engineering wise to build this engine as it is with in the limits of their common knowledge and practice.

I will follow this unification-F1 for as long as it goes, but I would dump it in a flash for a version where teams and partners are allowed to push the limits of various areas.

Cost reduction is just a haze as any other political agenda, considering the twisted world we live in. I would rather have corporations waste billions on research rather than feeding their greedy shareholders.


Think it through Ashes. If driver gets new engine and has no panalty the team still get an advantage in WDC, but only lose out in WCC. Driver wins because he can perhaps turn the engine up longer in most GPs. Suddenly rich teams are turning up the engines and sweeping the field anyway by affording a few extra engines. Those extra engines mean the allowed engines can be turned up longer than poor teams to win the WCC in fewer races, and WDC by allowing driver not to lose any points with extra engines. Therefore, your proposal doesn't make sense really.

Clearly the system can be looked at and better ideas should be considered. At this time, I don't see a really better more uniform and fair idea if you think it through.

Also, as a bonus, it can shuffle the grid and force the driver and team to pick up their game. You see a good car put back on the grid and you see that driver have to work his way through in what are usually great drives. So really, perhaps such panalty eliminates the driver from P1 potential, but not from podium and not from entertaining his fans.

For example, when I think of Schumi I think of Monaco 2006 and Brazil 2006 as two of his greater performances. He didn't win, but he sure as hell entertained his fans. I didn't leave those two races that year disappointed that he didn't win. In both cases his craftsmanship was on full display - complete focus, strategy, no errors, just not letting the circumstance keep him down, fighting through with no surrender. Great stuff.


Don't forget also there may be 21 races next year in stead of 19.


"Why not penalise the team – take away constructors championship points"

Good idea, but not workable. Let's say the teams copped a ten point penalty for a engine swap. Sounds good on paper, but consider a situation like this year:

Red Bull lead by around 150 points, so (assuming they keep winning) they can basically afford to swap ten or so engines with no real down side. In fact, considering that I think teams pay more for entry fees for the following years championship based on how many points they racked up in the previous year that's a scenario where it might actually work out better for them.

And then you have teams like Caterham & Marussia. How you take away points they don't have?

There has to be a better solution than to penalise the drivers, but unfortunately right now we're stuck with what we've got.



"some of them will run out of engines before the end of the season and THAT will be a penalty"

Are you saying that in 2014 if a team blows all five engines in the first five races then they'd have to sit out the remaining fifteen or so races?

Fair maybe, but it won't happen.

At best by the end of the season we'd up with something eerily similar to Indianapolis 2005, and I think I'm fairly safe in saying that no-one wants a repeat of that shamozzle!


I don't reckon they should be penalised at all, I mean if they've had a brakedown and not finished or been called to stop by the team, then that's a penalty in itself! And if they've got to change engines becouse they've found something wrong with it after a race, then some of them will run out of engines before the end of the season and THAT will be a penalty!

Personally, I think there are too many penaltys and many of those are too harsh and don't fit the "crime".



Valid points Random and Sebee.

So maybe the idea of targeting constructors championship points is a flawed one to some degree.

"I think teams pay more for entry fees for the following years championship based on how many points they racked up in the previous year" - was completely unaware of this - can anyone verfiy that? Those kind of facts are what what I love about this site - very interesting.

Maybe the ultimate solution is to bring the status of GP2 right up - have that as a breeding ground for production car ideas, and set the reigns loose for Formula 1. Look at motoGP for example (not a perfect fit for my case, but hopefully it makes the point). I realise even this suggestion is a flawed one, but deep inside I long for a formula that allows for innovation as far as radical new ideas go, as opposed to radical refinements.


This is maybe OT, but since it is mentioned in the article, I'll post my comment. 🙂

“The FIA were keen that those who were down on power in the 2008-era were permitted the opportunity to do performance upgrades to narrow the gap."

We've heard this over and over again, especially from Mercedes, and occasionally from Ferrari too. They rarely mentioned that it was a Renault who was lacking the power at the time, but they also failed to say that they've used loophole in the regulations to up the power from the engine freeze all in the name of the reliability upgrades.

Renault were the only one who actually played by the book at the time and in a year time found themselves some 30-50 HP down.

I can hardly remember any engine failures on either of the manufacturers but Merc and Ferrari still introduced "reliability upgrades" pretty often.


Mercedes then had to detune (is that a word?) their engine, as an equalisation measure.

Now it seems the Renault V8, with its better driveability, and fuel efficiency, has been the best engine to have since 2010.

Squeaky wheel (Horner) gets the grease, no doubt!


Hold the front page, stop the press - a competitor in F1 that plays by the rules! I guess there is a first time for everything 🙂


Honda and Renault both got caught out. Ferrari found early gains through reliability upgrades. Mercedes did the same.


My understanding is that Ferrari and Merc worked hard on peripheral upgrades which squeezed out a bit more power and they were ahead of Renault to begin with in the power stakes.


The 2014 "power units" are already a factor for me. I normally attend one GP per season, Monaco/Spa/Monza, but will not in 2014. No longer worth the time and money, for me, to go see cars powered by 1.6 l "power units". I long for the days of 3.0 l V-10s. What a sound they made; awesome


Forget the sounds. What about those dark rumors floating around that the 2014 car will rival the 2012 car for sheer horrid looks.


I think the looks will be more balanced in respect to the wings, because the front wing will be narrower again (finally rid of the snow-plough!). What happens with the nose exactly, we don't know yet. It has to be pretty low, so it will be somewhat "aquiline". The exact shape will to a large extent depend on the team's aerodynamic philosophy, but I don't exactly know how many different approaches the regulations allow.


Don't be put off 'cos your Focus also has 1.6l. I'm sure they'll all sound sweet when the lights go out.

p.s. Which do you prefer Monaco/Spa/Monza?


Of course they are all different, Monaco is great because sitting on a fifth floor balcony can see most of the circuit, and of course the spectacle of it all. Spa is great because of the speed and the setting, but you can only see what's in front of you. Monza is great because of the passion although the setting is nothing special.

Yea, yea, I will likely go to a race this year, I just don't agree with the direction of the sports regulations. The "power units" are driving costs up when the teams need costs to go the other way.


You're associating power with displacement which, if you're allowed turbo or superchargers, is irrelevant.


My favourite colour is yellow, and I haven't attended a race since Renault changed to the current Lotus black livery. It's simply idiotic that we have all of these red and silver cars and absolutely nothing for us yellow fans.


Yeah, that 2010 Renault was pretty sharp!

I even like Hinchcliffe's green GoDaddy car in IndyCar, or when it was a bright fuschia at the last race.


A bit of sky blue as well would look good. McLaren should go orange and white again.


So the glory days of F1 was the 80's in most peoples opinions

These cars ran 1.5 litre 4 cylinder in line turbos, they sounded fine and were VERY fast.

2014 1.6 V6's will sound just great.

All this negativity about the new engines is just in the mind


Yeah but its the power output and the weight of the cars that are the issues, I mean 80's 1400bhp and 500kg, 2014 600bhp and 690kg, does that sound right to you especially as we're nearly 3 decades later, fair enough you can't increase power forever as of safety and cost concerns but come on we're talking about F1 here not Formula 3!?! Even a WSBK derived road bike will be faster, this is not the pinnacle, with all the talks of technology and fuel saving, have they taken the eyes off the ball as where the main aspect of F1 is concerned? Speed!


Haha nice one Roger but no a ZX10R will not leave a current F1 car behind in a drag race! ZX10R at best in a 1/4 mile 9.5sec @ 150mph on a drag racing strip and current F1 cars with DRS and KERS and no full fuel can probably do the same drag at the same place in 8.4sec @ 185mph even a Moto GP bike can't match that.


Yes I understand lap times are still going to be somewhat faster than the 80's but what I meant was straight line performance as in acceleration, and yes James the power will be 600hp + 160hp ERS for 33secs and I think for these modern F1 cars that is not enough power to challenge the drivers hence why they're all looking for the last few fractions rather than just being happy to keep the car on the road, but anyway 600hp will be 500hp when they're 'fuel saving' and 500hp pushing a heavy near 800kg full fuel car is just too weak and not Formula 1.


Yes but they have a lot less drag too remember


Methinks you're exaggerating rather a lot. Soapbox out...

MotoGP & WSBK bikes have MUCH slower lap times compared to F1, F3, GP2. Bikes just don't brake or turn at all by comparison. I'm not bagging bikes (I ride & follow them too) - they just can't compete with four fat tyres and lots of aero.

The bikes only win in a straight line with their pure power-to-weight advantage. Even a road-registered sports bike (CBR1000RR, ZX10) will leave an F1 car behind off a standing start, but then the F1 will catch up, totally outbrake the bike, easily pass it around the outside in the first corner and then disappear off into the distance.

F1 is all about technology. Today's F1 cars are precision instruments compared to the monster turbocars of the 80's.

F1 laps times are an optimum balance of "Speed!" on the straights & "Speed!" in the corners. Their speed through the corners is what separates F1 from every other motor sport category on the planet.

If you just want "Speed!" then go watch the drags - entirely different, but also totally cool in their own way.

I'd suggest the FIA rules dudes have designed the rules around having next year's F1 lap times being marginally slower than this year with the expectation that they will trend downwards as car development proceeds.


The figures for next year are believed to be up around 850bhp, with ~150 of that coming from ERS.

Nevertheless, next years cars would run circles around a 80's era car on any track, probably even Monza. The 80's cars can barely hold a candle to GP2, never mind F1.

Speed is about more than just peak power. No current racing series is even fast enough to qualify within the 107% rule, and I hardly think that is going to change any time soon (especially if LMP1 keeps getting slower too). No road bike would stand a chance. Even MotoGP are nearly half a minute per lap slower.


No, it's 600 with an additional 150 from ERS, I was told


Right. At the end of the turbo-era in the 80's the fastest laps in Suzuka were around 1m40s. Now cars do 1m30s. And we hear the cars will not be slower next year. I think there's enough speed in F1. It's not about plain peak hp-figures.

Also, the minimum weight was 500kg just for one season. 540kg for a couple of years, and 580/585kg in others.


Seems a tad petulent to abandon a sport because they change a small aspect of the equipment. Surely you love F1 for other reasons than just the sound of the cars?! These engines may be smaller but they are tuned so highly they will still tear up the tracks, sure the sound will be different but it will still be pretty loud.


the early 1980s turbo era were not the glory days, in my view. I have attended F1 since the early 1970s. For me, the best was the 1970s


The late 80's and early 90's cars were aesthetically the best. Especially front on, real aggressive looking. IMO the 1990 Ferrari and McLaren cars had the most 'Formula 1' appearance in all F1 history.



I too am very worried about the sounds levels these engines will Produce. We're already way down on when 22 3.0 litre engines used to thunder down the straight and the grandstand used to vibrate to them. If you didn't wear ear defenders, it physically hurt! Now we're going to have the same engines as you get in hot hatches!

I'll go to a race next year to try it out, but am worried it may be my last time...


If you think F1 cars will be using the same engines as "hot hatches", you need your bumps felt.

The previous turbo era used slightly smaller engines and saw around 1400bhp in qualifying trim. Can you think of a single model of road car that produces that kind of power from a sub 2litre engine?

If 1.5 turbos were good enough for Senna, Prost, Piquet, Mansell, etc, they will be good enough for you. Even the pre-war Mercedes and Auto Unions were small turbo engined, and they were good enough for Nuvolari, Carraciola, Stuck, Von Bauhitsch and many others. Were they also not good enough for you?

Let's hear them used in anger before we condemn them, eh? They might even be an improvement.


Correction - the pre-war German cars were, of course, supercharged, not turbo (although there are more than a few similarities between the two forms of "charging").


Hot hatches have inline 4 cylinder engines though, not two banks of 4 cylinders.


Yeah, I guess the Mclaren's or Ferrari's Senna and Prost drove in the late eighties, 1.5 V6 Turbos, were pretty bad weren't they?


That's the spirit. I'll still be going to the races, thanks.


Lets not forget the engines in early 90's were 1.5 turbos I think?? - they were pretty nifty in fact power was getting up to 1000hp so they reduced them no?


Although they were pretty cagey about releasing numbers, in the late eighties rumour put the BMW qualifying engine at somewhere around 1300 hp from a 1.5 litre straight 4. And yes, not surprisingly that is about the time they started clamping down on engine power.


Stop moaning, you will be back 🙂


really frustrated with the gearbox and engine faliure penalties.. and that it carries over into the races..

it does not reflect driver racing very well.

would it not be better to penalise the manufacture points only? this is after all so we are told all that the teams are interesting in firstly?


anty-NEWEY rules.


Lol Newey Newey Newey, must be obsessed, let me tell you something if Vettel had not been at Redbull for these years and their best driver wad Webber, who in my opinion is just as fast as the likes of Alonso and Hamilton anyway then I think they would have stuggled to win even 1 world title!


Well I don't know about Hamilton but Webber is definitely as fast as Alonso or even on 1 lap slightly faster. Remember Mark was the 'qualifying expert' and pretty much owned Rosberg (something Hamilton struggles to do) and Alonso is prone to be out qualified by his team mates whether its Trulli or Massa especially when they're given the same spec car. From the conclusion alone I'd say Webber is at least as fast as Alonso and even in their respective Minardi debuts I found Webber's quali to be more impressive but Alonso's race performances were better but it's clear Vettel is faster than both you can throw any world champion past or present alongside him but the bookies odds would favour Seb and rightly so but heck I believe Ricciardo might cause Seb a few headaches though more so than Kimi would have given him.


@KRB +1


Vetel is a great driver. BUt not much beter than Alo or Ham, at all.

Was a good car RB8 -2012-or not?

Well, Alo lost the WDC in the last corner last race.

A few team directors have said that it is Alo's performances this four years the key point why people don't recognise the 4 WDC of VEtel as it would be expected of a 4 WDC.

Wake up lord!!!


Do you really, truly, honestly believe that Webber is just as fast as Alonso and/or Hamilton?

Such a statement (if you truly believe it) will say loads about you and how you comprehend F1.

As of the first race of next year, every DWC on the grid will have raced against a DWC in the same team, bar one. Not indicative of anything (well, not much), but a fact nonetheless.


Consider a driver such as Mr V running flat out every second of the race and in race 3 he has an engine failure he gets penalised 5 places on the grid for race 4

Consider Mr B who although fast in the races is aware of the need to keep the engine as unstressed as possible and by race 4 has had no failures, some of this is attributable to a concious decision to drive more smoothly

Does Mr B not deserve his advantage over Mr v on the grid in race 4?

I think he does

Alain Prost was never the fastest driver over a lap but he knew full well how to assess what he needed to do to win the war, even if he didnt win every battle. That did not make him a bad driver.

People need to realise that ultimate speed is not the be all and end all of being a good (the best) driver, there are many different skills to master.


@ MattH, Exactly.. the difference between being quick and being fast 🙂


Exactly right. Senna was the fastest but Prost was the best.


Prost was NOT the best, Senna was just too fast for him, if you combine Senna's speed with Prost's calulating abilities along with Alonso's consistency you get Vettel another interesting thing to take note of is that Vettel might evwn surpass all 3 of their title hauls combined, scary thought and its not only the car Senna only won the title in the dominating Mclaren does that make him not a good driver also from 87-92 Mclaren won more races than Redbull from 09-2013 so if anything Vettel surpasses Senna, he still needs to go to Ferrari and win the title there before beimg accepted into the top3 drivers of all time but I'm a believer now wasn't so sure 3 years ago but no doubts now.


Ah, but which of the two was most exciting to watch? For, me Senna wins that contest.

A colleague was chatting the other day about football(soccer to you?), and he was saying that when a particular player got the ball, you could feel the excitement from the fans in the ground.

Senna had that same quality 🙂


Initially, that was my thought. However, if you think it through there is a snag. Take the 2012 championship as an example. Red Bull went into the final race with the WCC in the bag, but they were still very close in the WDC. In that scenario, what would stop them from bringing a new engine and gearbox for the final race (providing their driver with a significant advantage)?

I think teams would abuse it if it were only the constructor that was penalised for engine/gearbox failures. Still, I agree that it does seem unfair on the driver.


The only exception to that are Ferrari because they get a largest slice of earnings for longest serving manufacturer and also more prestige & advertising benefits from winning drivers title.

Problem you have also is that if a driver wins with additional engine, power unit, or gearbox it is perceived as having gained an unfair advantage & a new one of each could easily amount to 3/10 a lap ( maybe more in 2014). Not the drivers fault I know but still an advantage.


but the driver benefits from a lighter, faster, more powerful but less reliable gearbox/engine, so should pay when the flip side of that advantage occurs...


i am looking forward to the changes as the current sanitised V8's are so yesterday. that said, i am somewhat concerned that once again we are going to see penalties by way of performance [fuel] controls having to be put into place. this year it has been tyres tyres tyres and i am heartily sick of the charade being paraded as F1.

change can be exciting and hopefully it will bring some new challenges to the existing 'F1 mandarins' and we just may see some real racing. would i bet the house on it? no way but the thought is there just the same.


Now drivers will be driving below par to save fuel, this year they were saving tyres....


Fuel controls were used in the 1980s, so hardly a new idea.


I believe it's still "pedal to the metal" to the driver. The engine management system will adjust power/fuel consumption so that the car gets to the end.

The smarter the driver is with fuel efficient driving - eg coasting when saving tyres behind a slower car; he will have access to more power for the remaining segment of the race.

It also seems therefore that the drivers will have a "push to pass button" that maximizes the power from all aspects of the power unit. But those who over use it will find themselves down on power in the last 10 laps, say.

Hence races should be quite interesting from a strategy perspective.


If you've got a gas cooking stove at home, turn the smallest burner on for 34 seconds - that's what 4MJ of enegy looks like! Its amazing how they can covert that into enough power to pass a F1 car going flat out. The people involved in designing these power units are true geniuses (genii ??)


Yes as Glenn says I think you may have misplaced a decimal point in your calculation Alec - 34 seconds from a small 4000 BTU/hour burner would be about 40kJ by my reckoning.

The 120kW that the ERS will be deploying for 34 seconds a lap is equivalent to running 100 of those small burners at the same time, or 30 large gas cooker burners, or a couple of good-sized propane space heaters.


My kitchen gas burner is rated at 10 MJ/hour.

That's = 1 MJ/6min,

or 4 MJ/24mins.


That's a great way of thinking about it!


Red Bull will win this lottery again!


Na Vettel will, mark my word 😉


No skill in winning a lottery - at last, you admit Vettel is just a lucky driver ;-).


What comes to mind with TL's response, is the 7-Minute Abs guy in Something About Mary! haha

"If you're not happy with the first 7 minutes, we're gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That's it. That's our motto. That's where we're comin' from."



I was pulling your leg 🙂

My post was intended as a light hearted quip, in response to you saying Vettel will win next years lottery. A lottery is a game of chance and has no element of skill what so ever, hence my remark that Vettel was (as you had effectively stated) just a lucky driver.

You really should try and relax and not jump down anyones throat who happens to say the slightest thing that you don't agree with - as I said before, take a chill pill - you might even find people take more heed if you stopped shouting at them!


Well the 2 things you said doesn't add up and not related, Vettel a lucky driver? Maybe sometimes but then the best drivers usually have luck on their side and in this era this argument of Alonslow being touted as the best just to discredit Seb is laughable, if Massa, Hamilton and Trulli can often out qualify him and even beat him if there was no team orders then you can imagine what Seb would do to him.


Im thinking that if these new power units go bang, or more likely have fizz pop moment too often, we're all going to be sad if a potential champ ends up 2nd or 3rd after using more than the 5 units allowed and being penalised. After all the talk of tyres this year it's not going to be a good look if the championship is defined by grid penalties next year. Also looking forward to a different winner next year so lets hope this mixes things up a bit, even if there is likely to be more spread front to back. Finally, looking forward to this impressive technology in action - I guess people will not be running out of fuel, rather losing performance if their short on fuel.


They could always do both: Just *make it a "team" penalty by putting the grid place penalty on a driver's *team-mate!

The team could choose which driver to take the hit and that way your precious #1 driver would not be hurt.

Actually this whole argument is silly. Its either a team championship or a drivers'. They should do away with the drivers' championship.


Can someone explain why this is a heat turbine?

"Cowell said: “It will recover energy from two sources – the kinetic energy from the car under braking and the heat energy left in the exhaust stream through a turbine wheel into an electric motor."

Surely most of the energy would be because the exhaust stroke of the combustion engine is pushing the gas out through the exhaust system? The fact that it's hot isn't what makes the turbine work, is it?

Am I missing something?


I think hot gases travel faster than cold gases


yes you are. turbines work by dropping the temperature and secondly pressure across them. temp is drop is the biggest contributor to output.


Effectively the turbo extracts heat from the exhaust gas and converts it to rotary motion of the turbine wheel. The exhaust gas is cooler after it exits the turbo. The difference in heat before and after the turbo is the energy being extracted and used to compress air for the engine and/or generate electricity for the storage battery.


Okay. Time for the simplistic answer:

First, we have KERS. This shall charge the

Go-Go battery!

Now, go start your motor; put your hand

over the pipe. Feel that? That pulsing or

flow of exhaust is what spins the ole'


Okay. Still with me? Now we guide the exhaust

from the turbine to some sort of chamber.

Feel that getting hot? Darn, it is really

getting hot! Take your hand off!

Right. So, this hot gas is expanding; let it

expand over a secondary turbine that is

shafted to an electric motor (A motor-generator;

a.k.a. a 'ward-leonard' system).

This generator also sends a charge to the

Go-Go battery! 😀

Now, we reverse this and send the Go-Go juice

back to the motor-generator. This is geared to

the engine (think of it as the starter motor

on your motor).

Viola! We have an electric motor going all

Shazam-like on your wee turbo V6.

As to the exhaust? After the turbo dregs, and

the waste-gate spew is finished in the heat

chamber of horrors, it all spills out nicely

through a high mounted, central and rearward

biased pipe.

Hope this helps. (Sorry I am not as funny as

Bearforce ... keep up the laughs BF).


I had the same thought. If it's a turbine in the exhaust then they must be harvesting the kinetic energy of the exhaust itself. The fact that it's hot can't have much to do with it. To harness the heat they would have to generate steam with it wouldn't they?

Also, why would the turbine go into an electric motor? Wouldn't it run a generator to boost battery power? The electric motor would then run off the battery. Maybe the turbine is connected directly to the drivetrain somehow.

I'm somewhat removed from university physics!


Hey Andy, go out there and temper expectations to calm the hype in case we get smacked in 2014 after all this "100hp advantage" talk! 🙂

Have you guys noticed how Mercedes is the only engine maker talking so much about engines? They better deliver in 2014, because if these MB AMG engines are failing, well, egg, I'd like to introduce you to Andy's and Toto's face. You'll be living on their faces for a while, make yourself comfy please. Try not to get onto media microphones during questioning, they don't like to get their equipment yolky.


Yep, that's exactly what he's doing. He's setting expectations a little lower after we've all been soaked in this PR nonsense.

Though how anyone with any sense would believe any of it is beyond me. Face it: NObody knows.

And even 30 years later on NObody knows what the comparison of F1 engines was back in the '80's.

Its all rumours started by PR ppl.


"A lot of effort has gone into trying to get fair penalties through via a rating system whereby if a part of the engine fails, it might be a two-place grid penalty but if the complete engine fails, it might be five."

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. We want to be moving towards more clarity in penalties and stewards decisions, not less.


They should have postponed the 5-engines-limit for a season. This would allow the manufacturers to fix any teething problems without the penalties for the teams.


I for one want to see 12 cars starting from the pit lane in the penultimate race!


They wouldn't have limited it to five engines unless they thought it was achievable. Remember they're trying to reduce costs. An educated guess is that, provided the manufacturers know how much work the engine has to do, they can design it to last. The dominant issue is that power is likely to drop off the more miles the engines has to do under full power/revs.


Eh? You're talking about the FIA here. "Thought" doesn't enter into it.


Spot on!


Maybe Andy could have spent a word or two about the fact that the "well informed" F1 press is full of articles relating about an "expected superiority" of the Merc engine for next year.

If anyone knows something secret about this then that particular guy must know precise engine info about 2 different engines at least.

Is it all smoke with no fire?


Its all PR BS.


Why would you put that out there, though? Would be silly to have others get the thought that you're way ahead, such that they are no longer comfortable with what targets they were working with before.

Obviously the debate around the rear tire size for next year, gave some indication of where everyone was in engine development, at least when it came to torque levels.

Torque and hp won't be the whole story anyways. It's going to take half a season I reckon before it's clear which engine is the "best" one next season.


I figure the MGHU harvested energy from the exhaust will directly transfer to the MGUK and bypass the batteries for turbo compounding. So the only energy source feeding the batteries will be regenerative braking.

Because of the 120kw bottle neck MGUK harvesting, the full 2MJ per lap allowed (you can harvest 4MJ but only output 2MJ per lap) will likely never be achieved, even with very high rear brake biasing.

At the Nurburgring ring, there will be a little more than 1MJ available through the 120kw bottle neck, and that is assuming 100% brake energy recovery, which will never happen.

I'm guessing the full 2MJ output will be seen in qualifying, but rarely in the race.

From my guestimates, we'll see around 600hp from the turbo ICE, another 40 to 50hp from the electric compounding, so we're looking at around 640 to 650hp max always available (assuming you have enough gas). Then from the batteries, we'll get the full 750 to 760hp, but that will be determined by how much battery juice is available, and how much max power the engine map calls for. We will never see max engine power for a full race. We will see it for qualifying.


Also, I just realized I flip flopped the 2MJ and 4MJ numbers. You can use up to 4MJ a lap but only harvest up to 2MJ a lap. So only in qualifying teams will likely use all of their ES.


I got tripped up on that too ... but it's 2MJ from the MGU-K only. The MGU-H has no harvest limit.

So teams should be able to do the full 4MJ/lap.


According to me and my collegues your figures are wide of the mark but we shall see...


What are your expectations? And where are mine wide of the mark?


So is Cowell saying that if, say, the Merc is the best power unit, that teams like Mercedes and McLaren might be on top - b/c of better aero - but that the likes of RBR and Ferrari would still be able to beat out Williams and Force India b/c of better aero?

The formula now is 70-25-5 aero-tires-engine (my estimate). If it becomes 40-30-30 engine-aero-tires, then the engine's not a dominant factor, but it's still a big shakeup from the current formula.


That 40-30-30 ratio is exactly what I'm hoping for. The result would hopefully be that there will be definite advantages for particular drivers in particular cars at particular circuits. Should mix things up at the front at least a bit.


Aero will never go down so drastically, unless cars acceleration and speed will drop by the figures you estimating.

Aero is something you can't unlearn 🙂 Unless they take the wings away. But then again if you look at F1 car without wings it is a still aerodynamic masterpiece.


But it's just its weight as a differentiator between the cars. At present, with the frozen engines, and with bhp more or less the same between them all, that's why I only gave it a factor of 5. Whereas aero now is the main factor that separates the teams right now, so I gave it a 70.

Next year, though, engines could be a big factor that splits the teams. Aero will still be important, and teams will still exploit it to the max. But power unit development will also be a big factor thru the year. Hopefully the tires won't be as big a factor. So say 45-40-15 for aero-engine-tires. These are all numbers I'm pulling outta my backside, you realize? 😀


I am as excited as anyone about the new cars

But the fuel management thing is a big concern / makes me nervous

We already have tyres which need careful management, I really hope the drivers can push next year

1/3 reduction in fuel sounds very aggressive


It does if you don't consider the energy harvesting. Massive amounts of energy are shed as heat under braking and out of the exhaust. Harvest just a bit of that energy and 1/3rd reduction in fuel should be quite manageable. It's the way to go to increase the innovation spin offs.


The drivers already have to tippy toe around to get the tyres to last more than a few laps, now they'll have to tippy toe around even more to get the fuel to last until, the end.

I wonder when we'll see the first car finishing the race on electric only, as their fuel ran out a few corners back.


"I wonder when we’ll see the first car finishing the race on electric only"

Good point. Will that be possible?


Dont see why not, for a few corners at least. Just like you run a Hybrid Prius on battery only for a limited distance (and speed).


And thus being disqualified for not having a fuel sample.


Design the car to have enough for a fuel sample. Even after it runs out, like now.


Just as a hypothetical, what if a driver were to basically run out and finish on electric if they could manage to do it without losing position, but still save a litre of fuel at the bottom of the tank?

The car would still cross the line under it's own power, the FIA would still get their fuel sample...technically that might actually work!


Call Dan Gurney!


The point of the fuel reduction is for the enguine manufacturers to design more fuel efficient cars, not necesarily for the drivers to slow down. Although I imagine it will favour drivers who can get the most from their car by adapting their driving technnique to get the most out of their cars without punishing the fuel too much, this is still an admirable skill. As much as I enjoy out-and-out racing, it must take a supremem effort to drive around the technological embargoes thrust upon these guys and I acknowledge and respect that.


I think getting the best MPG is a skill that most people have. Its the racing that we're not so good at, thats why we watch these guys.


I can foresee 2014 being an absolute riot of claim and counterclaim regarding ‘unfair advantage’, ‘cheating’, 'biased rules', ‘benefits of large budgets’ and so forth.

A real feeding frenzy on the F1 blogs will doubtless ensue – much of it poorly informed and badly written.

Hats off to whoever coined the term ‘fan-boy insult tennis’ – pretty much encapsulates the way the majority of the sports’ followers are headed.


yet more prophecy, as raikkonen would put it 'we will never know until the cars race against each other on the track, at the end of the season, we will know axactly what is what.'

the machine for looking into the future has not yet been invented.


The machine exists, it is called The Universe... Sadly it runs in real time and lacks a rewind button.


if this machine of yours is able to predict the future, why do we take part in or watch sport when we can get all the results from the 'universe'?


Can the ERS system be fully recharged each lap? If so, I am presuming that it will not be possible to use all 34 seconds worth each lap without running into major fuel issues during the race. And presumably, drivers will have to get used to holding a button down for almost half the lap!

I will reserve judgement on aural titillation until I have heard the engines but I am not exactly holding my breath. Saying that, the mid-eighties turbos sounded pretty good.


It can, but during a race it likely will not be. I'll be surprised if teams charge and use from the batteries more than 0.25MJ over a lap. The full 4MJ will only be realized in qualifying and maybe after a safety car.


The full 4MJ will only be realized in qualifying and maybe after a safety car.....

I am confused (assuming I have understood your post) what would be the advantage/point of not using the full allocation of ERS power on each lap? Surely that is the point, isn't it? To eke out the actual fuel allowance so as to maximise the 'energy' allowance for each race. Sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick 🙂


They will be able to harvest the full 4MJ each lap. I asked JA this question some weeks back. It was sorta off topic to the thread it was on, so it'll take me awhile to find it. Will try.


The main point is yes, you want to use all of the 4MJ per lap, but you likely will not harvest that much per lap in the race.

The MGUH can directly transfer energy to the MGUK (bypassing the battery) so I'm guessing that's how the power units will operate. It is unlimited transfer between those two. The main turbo engine will make xxx much power. Then the MGUH->MGUK will add to that. That power will always be available depending on the fuel flow limit chosen.

I'm guessing the main thing charging the batteries during a race will be braking. The 120kw limit on harvesting energy through the MGUK really limits how much over a lap the batteries can charge. It isn't much.

The batteries can charge from the MGUH but it is more efficient to directly transfer that energy to the MGUK.


There's so much wasted energy on the cars as they are at the moment that encouraging collection of some of it is not only logical -- it's the responsible way to go.


They don't need to press a button next year I believe; the extra horse power boost will combine with the output from the engine so it just needs a driver to put his foot down.

(i think)


This is my understanding. Could someone confirm?


I think it's a bit of both. Of the 33 sec's of power, maybe 10 or so will be left in the driver's control. I guess teams could change this at any time.


Read the TR. 2014 ERS can harvest twice as much energy per lap as it can expend. Which will further reduce overtaking because a pursuing driver likely will have to be expending his ERS to close the gap to a leading car, while the leading car can be banking ERS, so he will have more ERS power to defend than the pursuer does to overtake.


They can harvest only 2MJ a lap from the MGUK, but they can expend 4MJ a lap to the MGUK. The MGUH energy flow to and from the battery and to and from the MGUK is unlimited.

The difference between the max and min storage of the battery cannot be greater than 4MJ.

Since it is unlimited and more efficient to send the extra "free" exhaust energy from the MGUH directly to the MGUK than to send it to the battery, I don't expect teams to charge their batteries from the MGUH unless they need to charge the batteries fast, like on an outlap before a quali lap.


JA asked a Merc engineer, and they said the battery storage would be a multiple of 4, either 8 or 12 MJ's. This would allow the full 4 MJ "store" to be available to a driver as they crossed the finish line, etc.


why cant the FIA just let the teams and drivers go out and race instead of trying to penailise them every time they do, im sick of watching a race when a slight knock has happened between drivers and suddenly the stewards are up in roar about it and start punishing people for it. Now they are limiting the fuel so drivers are going to have to drive economicaly, its a laughing stock now, f1 the pinnacle of motorsport, my a**


How are the new engine units more relevant to road cars? The number of pistons is where the similarities begin and end. In fact, the technology required to produce 800 bhp out of a 1.6 L V6 must be out of this world. So, the F1 V8's currently in use are probably closer to road car engines.


Motor vehicle manufacturers around the world are tending towards turbocharged, smaller-capacity engines that use less fuel and smarter technology to generate the same power and greater fuel efficiency that traditional naturally-aspirated, larger-capacity units.

That's your connection to F1 - the 'story' is the same (if not the actual technology involved).

Marketing cars (or anything really) to the general population is about stories, not details. Enthusiasts / boffins / geeks in every market know the advertising blurbs are bollocks, but Joe Public neither knows nor cares.


Well, Wade, you are what we like to call:


BTB, here is what I drive:

(I have the better wheels).

Here is what I used to drive:

Owned three from new (I used to be rich).

Turbos. Superchargers, and electrics.

All from the eighties or nineties.

Imagine what the GP teams and manufacturers

are up to?

Wow, son, you shall be driving something

from Williams or McLaren in five years.


If what you say is correct, an engine unit should not cost a couple million dollars, and yet it does. So, assuming you are correct in how 'standard' these engines are, the only possible conclusion one can draw is that F1 teams are being ripped off by many hundreds if not thousands of times what would be a fair price to pay for such an engine. If it was so basic, teams may as well buy a Suzuki Swift, take it's engine and whack a massive turbo on it. Since they are paying gargantuan sums of money to manufacturers for specifically designed engine units, it's probably a little more involved.

If Formula 1 used engines also available in standard model road cars, then the argument of relevance would actually have some traction. I don't know for certain but I do not think there is even a Ferrari road car available that is powered by the Ferrari V8 used by the Scuderia.



Racing technologies trickle down
to road cars. That is the main
reason manufacturers get involved.

The teams are not using current
road-car technology. They are
creating road car technology that
shall be found in five years, and
common in ten.


Please don't attack other posters. If you persist we'll simply delete your whole comment. Thanks - Mod


Well you know ol' 3-car Monte only wants V12's!


Not at all, new 1.6L turbo setup is VERY conservative.


The BMW engines used in F1 during the 1980s used standard road car engine blocks, and they were hardly low on power. Didn't they win a few races?


the old Beemer blocks were actually 2nd hand production car blocks. it was belived that road use had "tempered" the metal in order to withstand the amounts of boost they were running. It was belived BMW were getting 1600bhp from them...and were overfueling them (generating smoke under acceleration) in order to keep them cool enough

Correct me if i'm wrong, but BMW nailed the Champinships with Brabham in '81 and '83 with Nelson Piquet...and they won plenty races


Good ole' Gordon Murray.


No actually getting 600hp from a 1.6 turbo charged V6 is actually quite easy compared to getting 750hp from a N/A 2.4 V8, this is fact ask anyone, these engines are restricted so much otherwise 2000 or even 3000hp would be achievable, with the current engines even without a rev limiter 1000hp would be hard to achieve.


That's what I'm expecting from just the turbo unit, around 600hp, due to the fuel limitations.


OK, argument accepted. What's with the price-tag of these new units then?


Thats actually greed imo.


How is it that limiting the available engines to 5 per year will limit costs. Isn't it engine development that costs the most afterwhich the cost of production of each unit shouldn't be so astronomical.


If you allow one engine per race, the manufactures will continuously iterate on their engines all season long. That gets to be expensive.


It doesn't. 2013-spec Cosworth engines cost €61,000. A 2014 engine lease will be in the neighborhood of €21M. For that much money, a team could buy a spanking-new Cosworth for every time a wheel is turned in anger -- every free practice, every qualy, and every race -- plus throw in an even dozen per driver for track testing, and they'd still be ~€7M to the good of a 2014 engine lease.


Can't wait! F1 is a hi-tech formula.

If I wanted some spec racing, I'd

head south, to The States.

Looking forward to new engines.

Not much of a power loss (for now),

and an exciting sound. Makes me

dream of the good old days of the

early 80's and the turbo scream.

And, the uncertainty of the new

engine and chassis designs might

shake up the grids and results.

Whether due to reliability or

execution. Andy happy! 🙂


lol It may have escaped your notice when IndyCars raced in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal?


Oh. And, as kids? My wee brother and Paul

Tracey played hockey together. Parents used to make me drive them when it was their turn.

Even then, Paul was a fatty.


Funny, that. Did marshalling, timing and scoring, and pit marshalling in Toronto.

Always had the 'hot-pink' passes. These were hot passes; they allowed track access during on track action. Most marshalls do not get them.

You are correct, though. Mind, I only worked those races to be at the F-Atlantic races.

And, IndyCars are an American series.


I'm more worried that the change in regs will end up with one team getting it just right, and then completely dominating in a way that makes Red Bull look amateurish...

Or that the field spread will go back to something crazy like 6 seconds a lap...

Not sure that's what the 'sport' needs. Green credentials are one thing, but people tune in to watch close racing (even if it is behind first place recently!).


Merc and Ferrari are bound to be very close


No matter what pans out, we'll still have Kimi V Fernando!


James a good podcast but you said Prost and Senna became teammates in 1998 when in fact it was 1988. I thought I would point out this little mistake.


Around 34 seconds of boost per lap? Sounds too much but I look forward to seeing it in action next year.


Looking forward to them yeah? Lol they can barely hit 200mph now apart from Monza think what it'll be like next year droning around saving fuel in 500bhp mode.

Valentino from montreal

Even if Mercedes produce the best engine next year, it does'nt guarantee them success ..

It takes more than just an "engine" to make a car super competetive ..

Williams BMW had the most powerful engine in the early 2000's but no title since 1997 ...

Benetton's 1994 Ford engine was'nt on an equal footing vs Renault's engine of Williams and we know who the title that year and it was'nt Neweys machine ..

Aerodynamics is what makes the car win championships ..


Actually whilst Schumacher won the drivers championship in 94 with Benetton, Williams won the constructors title that year.


So if Schumi can beat Newey cars why can't Alonso? I tell ya its a lad called Vettel! The real next messiah, 1 that has Alonso pulling his hair out.


No Jesus is the Messiah.


After much experimentation the teams have found that putting a driver in their car also has some benefit.


Hi James,

Is the new engine still controlled by the throttle? Or is the power now fully controlled by the ECU (for fuel efficiency)?


Drive by wire, now and then.


One thing it will definitely do is shake up the order a bit, with several uncertainties. And after the Pirelli fix post Silverstone leading to a predictable Vettel dominance, I think we can all agree that it's good for F1.

Of course, I also have the reservations about the sound of the engine, sounds too sportscar like, which is not what F1 is.

The Spanish Inquisitor

The 100 litres limit is the key. My prediction is: Ferrari will be at the front of the grid in the beginning of the next season, and will dominate the first four races. After this, Vettel will complain that he can’t go faster due to fuel restrictions. Then the limit of fuel will be raised to 118 litres and he will win all the races till the end of the season.

I'm obsessed with conspiracy theories.


Unless they're all rubbish, the team with the most effective ERS will win the 2014 WCC. Pure driving skill per se will be secondary in importance to ability to stretch a litre of petrol.

With the 100 kg/hr ECU and the 100 kg fuel load limit, there will be few if any circuits where a car will be able to run at race pace for the full 305 km on dinosaur power alone. Apart the ERS gives them the extra endurance, they will run out of fuel before the finish.

Plus, 2014 ERS will account for near abouts 25% of a car's total max horsepower figure, where for 2013 it's closer to 10%. For 2013, KERS only is available for a squirt or two per lap, not even enough for continuous use the longest straightaway at any circuit now in use. 2014 ERS, OTOH, can be available at every corner exit on every circuit or for continuous use over the longest straightaways in F1.

So 2014 will be a fuel economy contest, and the teams that dominate will be the ones that get the most assistance from the motor that needs no petrol.


Areas where RBR is weak at the moment


Were these guys McLaren moles?

I only have one hope: that the massive change in direction means these guy have no idea on how to oiptimize the next generation car design, and by being sat out fully until 2015 will get rusty and not bring too much RBR sauce to McLaren. The awesome RBR secrets must be protected! 🙂

If I was Marko I'd make Prodromou and this other unnamed guy design and redesign the lawn and front gardening layout at RBR HQ for the next 14 months! Give them a budget, have the lawn become the most aero efficient of all HQs! 🙂


"Moles" working on the lawn??

Good one!

Tornillo Amarillo

It's so exciting to see so many variables in the next year Championship, full of new rules, the new 1.6 litre turbo engine, the reliability, the new aerodynamic, and the tyres and... the same Champion 🙂


James, when will the list of teams be confirmed? knowing the consequence of the big jump in cost. Now I'm thinking, is Jean Todt good for FIA? I'm having doubts.


Good question. I'll check


Oh yes, I really hate the idea that F1 is road relevance. C'mon, gives us a break.


I agree, but the problem is that all the engine manufacturers would eventually leave.

On the other hand, Renault have a radio ad saying their F1 engines have something in common with their Kangoo van, so evidently they can spin a yarn whatever engines are in F1.


Yes, I get your point.


Does the turbo contribute solely to electrical energy production stored in a battery by the MGU-H, or is it an additional energy source to capturing the heat out of the exhaust? Seems like you couldn't have both, so these Turbos are not like the old style road car and F1 ones....but perhaps I am wrong!


Apart from no waste gate and the addition of the Motor/generator (MGU-H) to the shaft they are very similar, instead of waste heat being dumped from the waste gate when boost isn't required the generator loads the turbo up and charges the battery, The motor is able to run the turbo up to speed before the throttle is opened on acceleration so there will be very little turbo lag. driver control of these things will be paramount, as I understand it there will be limitations on ECU control. The MGU-K on the gearbox or engine crankshaft will be charging the battery on deceleration and adding to the engine power on acceleration,


You have a turbo engine. Then there is a motor/generator (MGUH) attached to the turbo to grab more exhaust energy. So it's like a supercharged and turbo charged engine. It's turbo compounding. The MGUH can directly transfer energy from the exhaust to the MGUK which adds it to the drivetrain, or it can be used to charge the batteries.


Thanks, Dren 🙂


i loved the 80's, but agree with previous poster that the golden era was the 70's.

What i don't like is that F1 is turning into endurance racing, what with engines and gearboxes that need to last so long, tyre management (else they go pop!) etc. Honestly, i could just as well watch sportscar racing - this year's Le Mans was pretty good!Now we have added fuel management (admittedly also previously part of the regs when they were only allowed 195liters on the turbo monsters of the 80's)

Costs are an issue, especially for smaller teams, but wouldn't it be neat if we had something like a "split" engine formula...the top 3-5 teams to use the 1.6 turbo petrol with fuel limit (100kg), and the minions allowed to run say a hybrid turbodiesel (lower power output, more torque, more efficient..) with a slightly higher fuel allowance to enable them to run harder for longer...or let them run a NA V8/V10/V12...possibly an attempt to lure other engine manufacturers like Audi/VW (who by the way, nailed the WRC championship at thier 1st try with Seb Ogier).

Also James, why can we not allow teams to enter with customer chassis...let's say next year Marrusia et al may run a customer chassis from RB or Mclaren or Ferrari, with thier own engine/ driver combo...

Ah, in an ideal world...engine wars, tyre wars, chassis wars and flat out balls to the wall RACING, instead of Driving Miss Daisy on crap tyres...


Many suspect that the top teams' and Bernie's agenda is the return of customer cars, hence the strategy Group in the FIA/FOM agreement which is just top teams plus Williams and Lotus as the floating 6th team


Until the speed is high, there is a space for downforce. They will use nanotech to change the shape of the body for better downforce. It could be done via electeicity, temperature, air resistance.

We already have for years Head skies with chip inside. Depending on bending they are softer or stiffer. F1 will go further to change the shape for downforce. The pictures of the parked car and running one will be different.

If we don't want that, limit the speed!


If its other than air resistance its a movable aero device and prohibited.


James Regarding ERS, Am I correct in thinking that it will not be controlled by the driver pushing a button as KERS is & will & will instead kick-in automatically when the driver accelerates?

I've also seen it reported that this along with the turbo boost will see an increase in low-end torque which will make the cars trickier to drive exiting corners, If true im looking forward to that.

Also to people who seem to think V6 turbo's will not be fast & won't be good to watch, Indycar now uses the same engine formula & there still doing 230mph at Indy & the racing has been better that its ever been before.


The main performance issue is the fuel flow limit and fuel tank limit.


>>Also to people who seem to think V6 turbo’s will not be fast & won’t be good to watch, Indycar now uses the same engine formula & there still doing 230mph at Indy & the racing has been better that its ever been before.<<

Also instructive to realize Mr Luyendyk set the current absolute lap record at 239+ back in the 90's with a V8(gasp)Cosworth.


I had not heard that but as its 34 seconds per lap, there will be a real art to using it


4 Years back at the IAA in Frankfurt an engineer showed me how to win energy from engine heat with exchangers (not generators). But early models were at 1% useful win, 3-4% would have been needed to make it an alternativ for highend cars and 7-8% to be cost effectiv for mass series i remember.


Artificial rules made by bipedal carbon-based humanoids are no problem for an extraterrestial being who designs spaceships with wheels.

Perhaps ET will pulse the rotation speed of the generator fan in the exhaust. Controlled pulsing of the exhaust gases could manipulate the airstream behind a car?


If nothing else it might help him phone home.



Not sure if it is too late to get your thoughts...

Are you able to explain the weight and performance changes for next year. We seem to be upping the minimum DRY weight by about 65kg, but reducing the max fuel weight by a similar amount, so I assume total weight will be comparable to this year (say upto 10kg more given driver weight issues).

So for the same total weight including fuel (at start of race) the ERS system will make up some of the performance lost from reduction in engine size.

But by the end of the race these cars will be HEAVIER than this year and with both ERS problems (over heating issues, etc in the early races) and fuel shortages we are likely to see much slower lap times for the final laps?


The minimum weight is ex fuel, I belive. If not the increase would not be an increase...


Will the engines be rev-limited?


Yes, of course! *Nothing is not limited by FIA lawyers these days.

BTW JPM back to IndyCars!


Yep, to 15,000 rpm if I remember right.


Yes, but the fuel flow is capped at 10.5k rpm, even though the max rev limit is 15k rpm.


Maybe, but the turbo will spin at around 125,000rpm.


Just heard an audio of the Honda F1 engine on Granted, it was through a Macbook but it sounded a little, shall we say 'chainsaw-ish.'


Yeah, sounds very disappointing. There's no bite at all.

The Nissan GTR sounds much ballsier.


Makes me wonder how the Ferrari engine would sound like?

They (Ferrari) sure can't wait too long with their engine? Especially as their customer teams ought to be designing their 2014 cars right now …


The question is, are you only allowed one exhaust pipe or can you split the pipe at the very end but still only have one exit from the engine (like the 1980's ferraris)

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