Renault boss: ‘Electrification’ is the antidote to ‘complex and heavy’ F1 engine
Innovation
Posted By: Editor   |  16 Jun 2017   |  12:03 pm GMT  |  96 comments

Renault’s Formula 1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has said that ‘electrification’ is the team’s aim when it comes to future engine development as current power-units are inefficient.

Abiteboul also claimed that hybrid power is the future of all internal combustion engines and F1’s future will continue to be shaped by efforts to lower emissions.

Recently, F1 and non-F1 manufacturers, Formula One Management and the FIA held talks about the direction of the motorsport beyond 2020 as the current V6 hybrid power-unit is seen as too expensive and too convoluted.

“We have made a proposition to keep the current engine, but increase the fuel flow and increase the sound,” said Abiteboul.

“And we have made a second proposal, which will be a simplification of the current engine by removing some of its elements but still keeping electrification and fuel efficiency.

“We do believe in electrification,” continued Abiteboul.

“The world is going towards lower emissions, so Formula 1 cannot turn its back to this evolution; we need electrification.

“All cars will be hybrid in the future – we don’t mean fully electric cars.

“It is all about balancing between combustion engines – as this is where the DNA of Formula 1 is – and electrification.

“Maybe right now we have an engine that is too complex and too heavy – and is not producing enough sound and horsepower. But we are open for any discussions in that direction.”

The FIA has already promised to reduce power-unit supply costs by €1 million this season over 2016 and take a further €3m off the price in 2018 with constraints on part weights, dimensions and materials, and boost pressure helping the cause.

However, Abiteboul claimed that cost isn’t a big factor in F1 as “most of the teams operate on a budget of €100m”, citing the FIA’s engine cost estimate of €12m.

“The engine would make not more than 12 percent [of the budget]. Is that really shocking?

“I am not massively shocked. What we need is stability in the regulations – that would bring costs down and enhance the show.”

Instead, he said that the the lack of balance between teams in F1 is a pressing concern.

“We are car-makers and the engine is the heart of the automotive industry, so we believe that it needs to be the prevailing factor in Formula One,” he said.

“We need to find a better balance than the situation we have now, where the pecking order of the grid is basically the ranking of the engines – which is not healthy for the sport.

“So we need a better balance between the engine as a performance differentiator and the fact that a team with a fantastic chassis can also be hugely successful.

Renault will have a new Head of Aerodynamics, Peter Machin joining the Enstone outfit after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Machin formerly worked at Red Bull’s aero department and will join an expanded workforce at Renault.

Toro Rosso and Red Bull are also customers of Renault’s engines and while Abiteboul said that small upgrades will come with every race, he has ruled out bringing one significant upgrade to a grand prix in 2017, ruling out any ‘magic bullet’.

“Frankly, the next big upgrade will be next year.

“Then we will have a completely new concept. That will make a difference – but as I said, 2018.

“Last year we created a huge expectation and we came with an upgrade that had a big impact, but we can’t repeat that every year.

“Now it is all about constant improvements which overall will make a difference – but there is no magic bullet.”

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96 comments

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1

So those coat hanger contraptions can also absorb lightning strikes to provide boost?

2

Somehow you need to make the engine suppliers independent of the teams, otherwise you're always going to have the gulf between factory and customer teams.

3

I've thought about a separate engine championship, where all F1 teams are customers...i.e. the "works" teams cannot get an early upgrade over the customers. Only when the correct number of engines are built, they are randomly dispersed among the customers.

4
Ricciardo Aficionado

So Ron was right?

5

@axel
Now that is an excellent idea👏

6

I am ok with Ferrari renault and mercedes making their own engines but not with Them supplying others. That is my precis version anyway.

7

And/or have a competitive independent engine supplier (as Cosworth used to be)

8

And, before Cosworth, Coventry-Climax, without whom Cooper and Lotus (and, initially, Brabham) could not have competed.

9

But do you believe in all of the truth? The point is?

10

If factory teams (Honda and Renault) with huge resources and knowledge are having hard time catching up I can't foresee an independent supplier being competitive.

11

If I compare Mario Ilien to AbitofBull , Hosegawa-San then I can see an independent supplier backed with Red Bull and McLaren capital winning again. This should be the target an engine formula that allows brilliance backed with 3rd party capital to win. For heaven's sake no more tongue-twisting Frog who promises a competitive product but then delivers incremental improvements while not making up the difference with Ferrari and Mercedes.

12

What if independent engine suppliers (who do not run factory team) would have a bit more leeway in terms of being allowed engine development updates without penalties, and maybe could have a slightly higher-performance formula?

This would make them an attractive alternative to the Mercs, Ferrari and Renault customer engines.

Maybe give the independent engine supplier a 3 yr grace period, and after they'd have to play by the same rules as the M, F, and R's.

Only then would it make sense for independent engine suppliers to enter because there would be a market for them. For the smaller teams it would mean more engine performance just by switching.

But the margins need to be small.

E.g. maybe the battery packs of the independent engine supplier can have more capacity? Or maybe the independent engine could be a 1.7 liter (instead of standard 1.6) and could be allowed to rev till 16.000 RPM (instead of the standard 15k). Maybe independent power teams could have 5 liter of fuel more?

Just only during a 3 yr grace period. Something along those lines.
Because the way it stands... as independent engine supplier.. watching the Honda tragedy... its suicide to enter F1

13

A Ferrari fiited with a Cosworth unit or a Merc fitted with a Honda unit? Doesn't rock my boat ...

14

I'm hugely conflicted as to where F1 needs to be.

I love the chassis competition. I think that being able to extract the ultimate performance from the body is fundamental to the competition.

But situations in which the engine is more than - say - 5% - of total package performance are just cowtowing to the engine makers.

If it's *that hard* to make a modern F1 engine, perhaps some homogeneity for the top tiers, and a "rubber banding" catchup for everyone else is required. The engine is vitally important to manufacturers at present, but perhaps the package should be what's sold through F1.

No refuelling produced a procession at first.
Non-durable tyres mixed it up and made it fun!
Red Bull's domination made it less interesting.
Hybrid engines made it all about the engine power.

F1 should be about the pinnacle of motorsport. But not the pinnacle of any one component for more than a year at a time.

Drivers will exact the most from the package they're provided. If the drivers' championship is considered most important, a return to homologation of engine performance (and/or constant tweaks to aero regulations) might be the best thing in the interest of the viewing public.

15

I agree with this but feel that everything should be opened up.
Until there is a level playing field for engines, chassis and aero, fuel, tires then F1 will continue to be underwhelming.
Use the same points system as today for drivers and constructors but extend to the categories above. Create separate F1 World Championships for engines, tires, fuel, chassis and aero and of course drivers. Allow new companies to enter (particularly tires) but set in a few regulations such they mush supply any competitor with their products. Better minds than mine can create this as long as it is done for the benefit of Formula 1 and not for their shareholders.

16

You hit the nail on the head with your thoughts. I am getting more and more frustrated by the fact that 3 of the five best drivers in the world Mad Max, Honeybadger and the Matador are not able to fight at the front, we as viewers are deprived of beautiful fights because the top notch warriors are forced to fight one-handed because of Renault and Honda.

17

How can Cyril say so much and make so little sense?

18

It is a gift. In my 30 year career I have never worked with someone who could produce this amount of verbal diarrhea

19

@ sebee...On reflection this 'sebee' is now becoming a deeper mystery? Needs further investigation.

20

How can Abiteboul say so much and they still haven't been able to produce a viable competitive engine after 4 year!!!

21

A bit of Bull = French for verbal diarrhea

22

In fact even their 4 championship winning engines prior to the current PU's were duds too, flattered only by Newey's awesome chassis design.

23

@ Sebee...??? Mystery. maybe posting late at night has taken its toll hahaha

24

The little s one is not me.

25

It's a shame blown diffusers were banned as Cyril generates so much hot air Renault would be back in front again!

Although one thing he said was true - "we have an engine that is too complex and too heavy – and is not producing enough sound and horsepower". The Renault engine is especially heavy and underpowered and aren't they still awaiting the promised new parts to fix that since testing? Never mind actually making any major steps forward, how about delivering what was originally promised?

26

How does Abiteboul manage to hold on to his job? Year after year the F1 engine program hasn't been up to the standard it should be. Feel like Renault will continue to be in a rut while he is in charge.

Saying this as a Renault Sport owner and want nothing but success for the Renault brand. Just don't see it with Cyril in charge.

27

Because of this fool, we as fans are being robbed of a 3 team fight and we're missing out on Ricciardo and Max making life miserable for Hamster and Seb.

28

Clearly Cyril is clearly lobbying Renault's interests, and he is entitled to. But he's at odds with what Ross Brawn recently said, in that F1 needs (or not) to split from the road car technology.
In F1 there seems to be a fine line, sometimes, between lagging behind road car technology (as with the passive tyre suspension with 13-inch rims) and showing the way forward (as with the overly complex new engines).
What is best for the sport?

29

I understand the need for hybrid, but it's time to simplify things. 1.5 litre four cylinders with one turbo and strictly KERS. Also, what is with the modern wings? Those are just idiotic. I'm the biggest anorak here and I do not care about the 'turning vanes' and all of that other garbage, let alone all of those tiny mini winglets at the periphery of the front wings. You know, the things that cost a packet in the wind tunnel and are torn off before the first corner?

It is time Ross cracked the whip and stopped the players from wasting millions on pointless goals.

30

Can't agree with the 4cylinder bit but I'm 100% with you on the wings and turning vanes etc. An absolute waste of time and money.
there should be either a control set of wings like in Indy car or really strict regs for simple single plane wings.

OT, but does anyone know why the pit lane always straddles the start/finish line?

31

Shhhhh, stop talking about smaller capacity and single turbos....
A real gpfan wants to hear the scream of a larger capacity, higher revving, light weight, n/a engine in back of f1!!

32

4 cylinders? They sound dreary enough with 6.

33

you're suggesting a 4 cylinder 1.5 litre f1 engine and calling me an idiot! good one man!

34

Who drives a v4 1.5 litre super car in real world? Your idea of simplification will kill this sport.

35

Who said it needed to be a V configuration? Inline is cheaper, lighter and smaller

36

Renault pushed for the current engine formula and obviously don't want to see a return to normally aspirated V8 or V10 engines. As the most successful engine manufacturer in recent years, the FIA and FOM will have to listen to them. I'd not be surprised if both Mercedes and Ferrari don't want to see the multi-millions they've spent on the V6 being thrown away, especially as Mercedes are transferring F1 technology to their road cars.

Apparently LM/FOM are looking at limiting team spending once the current contracts come to an end. Do they expect teams to design and develop a new engine on pocket money?

37

“Last year we created a huge expectation and we came with an upgrade that had a big impact, but we can’t repeat that every year.

James which upgrade is Abiteboul referring to here?

38

Monaco /Canada time I expect

39

@ james...slightly OT but please, could someone within your eminent circle of F1 gurus help collaborate with you in doing an insight into the very truths of the current PU costs. We have been continuously told just how ridiculously expensive these units are but no one ever tells us why!!! The actual costs cannot be in the mega millions surely? R & D costs are an indirect cost and would be a budgeted expense like marketing costs although the latter is a cost of 'sales'. It would be interesting to get an actual breakdown as then we could see justification of the manu's claims. It would also help to understand why independent buildres are reluctant to enter.

40

I think a lot has to do with the R&D costs, each engine manufacturer must have 100's of engineers -all on big bucks.
One man on a drawing board designed the Ford DFV but imagine the team of geeks writing the code to just determine when the MGU-K switches from being a generator spinning off the turbo shaft to instantly becoming an electric motor to spool up the turbo? The costs are in HR not the physical hardware.
Although of course the longer the regs are stable, the more units that are produced from the tooling, which in turn brings down the amortised cost of each engine.

41

I asked pretty much the same question a while ago.
What is so expensive in new engines vs old ones.
Some 10-15 years big teams were using 2-4 engines per car per weekend, plus whole bunch for testing. And still all of these added up were way cheaper than 4 engines they buy today.
How's that possible?
To cast block and heads back then should've been at least bit more expensive (having longer engine with 10 cylinders).
Crankshaft, pistons, rods, valves etc, were also in greater numbers, so must be more expensive. All they have extra today is: turbo, battery pack and couple of electric motors/generators.
All of which cannot be that expensive, no matter what material is being used (be it even a diamond). 🙂

42
Clarks4WheelDrift

In other words the Renault is not very good compared to the works Merc PU and will not be getting much better this year... then for 2018...

"we will have a completely new concept."

Wow, sounds familiar, sounds like what Honda said...

F1 does need PU simplification as Honda and Renault cannot work with the current rules and farcical costs required to come close to Merc, let alone to cut the massive gaps for some sort of competition.

No doubt this simplification needs the green efficiency element for the manufacturers, but it is needed now, not in 2021 when it'll be too late.

So FIA and Liberty, stop sitting on your thumbs and do something as 2021 is a long way off when it has been so fubar with these PUs since 2014.

All the big manufacturers are moving into in Formula E anyway!

What happens if another economic or company disaster happens like with the VW scandal. Look at the LeMans field in 2017, VW Audi are gone, it's just Toyota, there are only 6 cars running in their premier class LMP1!

Simplify F1, increase some form of competition like it used to have where other works teams and customers engined cars had a chance even when one team was on top, and this will allow others to join and strengthen F1 again.

43

There's another reason it sounds familiar - they said pretty much the same thing last year:

"Renault has chosen to introduce a new concept for 2017, which includes an all-new architecture on the internal combustion engine, as well as a second-generation Energy Recovery System.

"The engine is 95% different," said Taffin at the launch of Renault's 2017 challenger - the RS17 - in London on Tuesday."

44

You're right, I remember Taffin saying that. Now I realise why i'm so mad. I just hate that when people can't deliver whether in business or in private life. Until Renault deliver I will not buy a car from them again.

45

No. They should consider V8fication or V10fication instead. It sounds like better idea in many ways.

46

That would be crazy!

....smart.

48

I couldn't agree more with Cyril. The engines can't be wound back to having less electrification now. Louder?...well OK let's do something about that. Cheaper?.....I'm not opposed to that. Less complex?......If that means less electrification then I say let them stay complex. Hybrid is essential in F1. It would be a huge mistake to go back to KERS or just ICE.

49

Why does F1 have to have electrification or be hybrid? Because its a step backwards then why not throw in ABS Traction control in there as well to improve the safety for the drivers. By removing these innovations are we not going backwards as well. Also the environmental damage done by mining shipping etc. involved in producing batteries is equal to or more than just running a ICE.

50

Hybrid is not essential.

51

@ Sebee...I wrote that ? Weird.

52

"All cars will be hybrid in the future – we don’t mean fully electric cars."

All cars will become hybrids in that a move to 48v electrics makes it very easy to add mild hybridisation and gives useful benefits for city driving. But talking to people in the road car industry suggests that Battery Electric Vehicles are the future. If Lithium-Sulphur batteries can be productionised you get higher system power densities, lower cost and much more robustness and safety than current Lithium Ion. Suddenly a BEV becomes better than an IC vehicle on almost every aspect.

53

The recharge times of EV's are still a deal killer for many. And although Lithium-Sulphur does things better than lithium ion it does not overcome that hurdle.

EV's make sense as commuter/daily cars for the average urbanite dweller. But different people have different needs. The IC engine is not going away anytime soon.

54

Odd set of comments - more fuel flow, more horsepower but lower emissions and a simpler and lighter engine. If you can achieve all that then well done I suppose. But does F1 really need more horsepower at this point? That will increase over time of course as the engines improve, but do we need new regulations to increase horsepower? I don't think so...

55

Yeah the comments had me rather puzzled too. Seems like an exercise in pointlessness.

56

Thanks for the engine articles James.. nothing exciting from Renault.. until next year but who can wait. I wonder if several of the teams like Mclaren, Red Bull, Williams could one day as a group pay for a company or manufacturer to make an engine for them. Particularly if said company was interested in making a name in F1. Together it might be a decent sum and the teams like Mercedes and Ferrari might have fewer teams to sell engines to.. it might even out the field somewhat. Then these teams won't be at the beck and call of manufacturers who have greater interests in their own teams.

57

Hmm. The FIA wants to reduce boost pressure and Renault wants to increase fuel flow. That may mean higher revving engines, but stress on the engine is a square law. 110% of the revs = 121% of the wear, and we're supposed to be moving in the direction of one engine per driver per season.
Noise is combination of number of bangs per second (RPM x Cylinders) and how much energy is harvested by a turbo. Small turbo charged engines are more efficient than atmospheric pressure ones, but the turbo takes energy from the exhaust.
He says the engine is to complex, too heavy and doesn't produce enough horse power - which is odd because supposedly they are more powerful than the V10 era engines, the engines are very efficient and without allowing more fuel and more flow I can't see how there will be a great increase in power. If boost pressures are being kept down that means more cylinder capacity.
You could remove the MGU/H to simplify things, but that just means more energy going out of the waste gate, and the MGU/H runs as a electric supercharger when there isn't enough exhaust gas to spin the turbo - so there is no turbo lag and the engines are more drivable.

Personally, I'd scrap the rule which limits the amount of braking energy which the MGU/K can harvest and put back each lap. When I did the sums on some circuits the Kinetic energy dumped under braking in a single corner is more than the total that can be collected and used over a lap.
That would give more power overall and would mean a team with a weaker internal combustion engine could compensate with a better KERS
I'd also scrap flow rate rules and allow any amount of turbo boost. You still only get a fixed amount of fuel per lap, but more freedom in when it gets used, and if you run extra boost to catch/pass you might have fuel-save afterwards. AIUI the FIA don't like the idea of cars potentially having big variations in power over a race so that may be harder to persuade.

58

Red Bull uses TAG engines, not renaults. blame Tag.

59

Maybe now that Carlos Ghosn, the crazy cost cutting boss, is gone Renault can get a bigger budget to deliver the goods.
...
F1 should adopt the WEC formula: internal combustion engine at the back {rear axle} and electric motor at the front axle.
The electric part never breaks
Also electric power traction only at the pitlane..
Also should adopt electro magnetic brakes and the {train} flywheel mass.

60

I do agree that the FIA should have written the engine regs with a view to harmonising them across F1 and WEC. Same ICE but different energy recovery system specs may make it possible for a WEC manufacturer to offer an F1 engine, expanding the engine choice. Red Bull could by the base unit and then add their own KERS etc at a reasonable cost and stop their whinging.
But I don't think you could package up the WEC 4WD concept in an F1 chassis, certainly not without adding more weight, which is already a problem.

61

The current iteration of F1 has confused the masses resulting in a large loss of understanding and interest. We need a period - even if only 5 years - of simplification. Return to excitement - an older fashioned F1. The chassis are now fast. Knock off all those little winglets, multi-plane front wings, vortex generators. Throw out DRS. Keep the current V6 platform, but use gear-driven superchargers instead of turbochargers. That will make a loud, sexy and exotic noise. Dumb down the electrics to a KERS hybrid technology that is simpler, cheaper, more reliable and more closely related to current road car technology. Make tire choice free, but give the teams an equal allotment of qualifying tires. Give all teams a minimum prize fund so the last place team can survive. Give the number "1" to the Driver's Championship winner to keep the fans engaged with the drivers who are the public face of the sport. I guess I got carried away. 🙂

62

I like the "throw out DRS" part best, but also agree overall.

63

I wonder if mclaren have had conversations with cosworth.
I'm sure they could make a competitive engine.
I do think cosworth have been overlooked purely because they don't come with skip loads of money. Mclaren cosworth has a nice sound to it. 1993 all over again.

64

Speaking of Cosworth and perhaps I am caught up in a moment of nostalgia watching some of the Ferrari clips below...Johnny Herbert at Silverstone on a damp track almost 20yrs ago now still sticks in my mind. Apparently not the fastest lap of the day but doesn't he make this car dance?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUgSR0DCaCg

65

No surprise in this considering Renault's involvement in Formula E it wins alot in that so anyway to get F1 rules in its favour its going to of course want

66
Cedric Baumgartner

To me the current engines don't just need to be louder, it's the way they sound that is the problem. The sound has no WOW factor to it.
Instead they're low sounding frequencees makes them sound like they've been turned down.
Listen to the v12 and even v8 engines, they're not just loud, they sing!
Personally my favourite sounding car is the Ferrari 412 T2, I have goose bumps every time I listen to the sound of the engine.

https://youtu.be/5SoZiTxdQyw

Bring back the Wow, the magic factor not just louder engines

67

The old screaming banshee Cedric! So beautiful and yet so inherently evil. Was it 95 or 94 when Berger put this beast on pole at Hockenheim? RIP Hockenheim.

Schumacher also (after a test drive) stated that he still would have won the 95 championship driving this Ferrari!

68

Exactly. Motorbikes are loud. And very very annoying.

69

In 2012 a company called Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees produced five litres of petrol from a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour - that's right, they are literally making petrol from thin air. And since the carbon dioxide is being extracted from the atmosphere, when you burn the fuel you're just putting it back in again. Therefore your fuel is carbon neutral.

With the capability to produce a ton of petrol per day, F1 should buy this company and use it to supply fuel to all the F1 teams. Then you could run a V8, V10, V12, naturally aspirated, simply, loud as you liked, thus satisfying all the purists, whilst remaining carbon neutral and satisfying all the environmentalists.

As far as I can see, the only flaw in this is that the manufacturers couldn't use F1 to market the hybrid agenda - which might be necessary for the mass market.

70

F1 needs to stop with the hybrid BS. It aint gonna save a single flowers life. Some professor once calculated that the 16 biggest ships in the world produce more CO2 then all the cars in the world. You really think those 20 F1 cars doing 20 races a year hurt the environment? Please .. Also batteries are anything but environment friendly if you look at it from a cradle to grave perspective. Just slap a big NA or turbocharged gas guzzler in these cars and hold up your middle finger to the treehuggers while doing your laps.

71

Have you looked at the way it works? The process is hugely inefficient, in no way green at all unless you had a lot of free, sustainable energy to throw away. Environmentalists would see through the flawed maths of that situation. I'm sure any sensible F1 team wouldn't want to associate themselves with it either.

72

It was said that diesel was the answer, Audi did Le Mans with it and made a point.

Now hybrid has been tried on the roads and in motorsport with, I would argue, mixed success.

Are batteries the way forward? The green credentials card always gets played but the life cycle of the product needs considering, from production to decommissioning.

That's why Land Rover Defenders and Aston Martins are amongst the greenest cars as they are still going year after year.

73

Cyril's comments echo those of the manufacturers in 2011/12 and we ended up with the current formula. So his solution to the nonsense power plants we have at the moment is to take us further down the same path. Cyril's ideas will just lead to all electric cars with sound piped out of speakers. Sick of road relevance destroying the entertainment and it's why I haven't attended a GP since 2013.

74

How can anyone take this man seriously?! How is even still in his job? "Next year we will ..."?!? Too bad about THIS year!

Renault is becoming a laughing stock because of Cyril's inability to deliver on his promises. They may not have reached Honda-like levels, but they are trying.

And now Cyril knows what F1 should do in the future? As I recall it, Renault pushed for the current engine formula - has Cyril forgotten that, or does he hope that we have?

Is anyone (other than RB) prepared to bet money on how close Renault get to Merc performance in 2018?

75

The more I think about it the more I understand why Freddy Vasseur had to quit just to keep his sanity. AbitofBull promised Red Bull that they would be able to compete at the front with the Renault engine, the guy is a LIAR.

76

Am I the only one who hates the v6 ? There is nothing to admire about an insanely complex hybrid turbo. Give me a v12 v10 v8 anyday. F1 has gone backwards.

77

It's crazy because despite all that complexity, it's still just an ICE with some electric power. Not much better than just an ICE.

78

Drop turbo and up revs. Sound solved. Simpler and frankly let lemans fuel road car development.

79

Hybrid PUs may be the manufacturers preferred future but the fact that they say it's for lower emissions instead of manufacturing "totally green technology" says it all. It's a massive smoke-screen to keep us from the real truth of the matter.
If the outcome of manufacturing sustainable power units was to be as "clean and green" as possible, we would be keeping well away from electrics and batteries.
Here's why ...
The procurement and manufacturing processes of the base metals and materials, as well as the "disposability" of the batteries and electrical equipment once they are used and no longer viable, will be one of the most destructive things the planet has ever seen or had to deal with. They are as bad or worse than depleted uranium to dispose of ... and they take as long to break down and disappear.
Emissions kill the air we breath and that is something we need to address ... but ... batteries and electrical components kill the terrestrial side of our planet, which to me is just as bad if not worse than emissions controls.
From the mining process which decimates the local environment, to the extremely inefficient and terribly wasteful ore refining process, to the manufacturing process and finally, the extremely toxic disposal and or recycling processes ... these are by far more harmful to our planet than emissions from burning fossil fuels.
People like Adrian Newey and other very clever people at the coal face of F1, but not at the mercy of big manufacturers, are scoffing at the current push for hybrid road vehicles because of this exact problem!
Tainted or poisoned subterranean and surface water supplies and totally unusable soils means less food and water. These are already 2 of the most pressing problems the world is facing, healthy food and water supplies!
If we don't have enough food and water to feed the population in a hundred years or so, we won't need to breathe, regardless of the air quality!!!

80

Spot on.

81

awesome comments Happy Jack. most people don't realize that for the most part, the move-to-green is a marketing, political exercise. my neighbor recently bought a hybrid car and exclaimed to me "and the best part...almost no pollution". the carbon-footprint of these cars at the point of manufacture is mostly horrifying for all the reasons you put so well. thanks!

82

A hybrid locomotive (diesel driven electric generator) has proven itself years ago. A hybrid automobile is merely a political device developed for non-functional purposes.

83

F1 is caught in the middle of technology change. Can't go back, can't go forward.

84
Clarks4WheelDrift

F1 is caught in the middle of a PU complexity mess, that shouldn't be distracted as old engines VS new hybrids arguments.

Simplify these stupid PUs, keep the Tomorrow's World, green marketing fluff, give teams a chance to close the gaps, don't kill off customer engine competition and let's go wheel to wheel racing.

Simplify so teams can come close to competing and others can think about joining.

Simplify in stages if need be starting now for 2018.

85

Hi James,
I had another version of electrification: Kubica will replace Palmer for 2018.

86

As I have said before, F1 has snagged itself between two worlds. The WCC model as we have it developed when any independent team could buy a Coventry-Climax or a Cosworth and go racing. Every British team F1 team that's ever competed in the Championship (except BRM and Vanwall) fits that description. But since the first turbo era (ironically enough initiated by Renault), F1 has wedded itself to the whims and marketing imperatives of the manufacturers.

Hybrid tech is in F1 primarily for marketing purposes, and the cost and complications are obscene. And, as others have pointed out, batteries, from production to end of utility, have grave environmental impacts. But, even granting the premise that battery and electric R&D are enhanced through motorsport, doesn't Formula E unambiguously serve that purpose? F1 need not be in the same space.
Note too that the name of the game in F1 is NOT battery capacity/ joules/ watts etc.: Without exception, the term you hear is "combustion efficiency." In other words, the hardest work (as Honda and Renault have found to their- and McLaren, RBR, and STR's - chagrin) goes into the ICE: That's the growth area, the R&D payoff. So stay on that.

Note that F1 isn't alone in artificial environmentalism: FIA regulations mandate both catalytic converters and mufflers for F3 engines. And these are not production car engines as in F3 of old, but pure racing engines with specifications as tightly defined as in F1.

Unless the FIA harmonizes F1 and WEC regs, F1's present direction is pointless. A more rational approach would have the WEC the province of hybrids, FE focused on electric motor and battery development, and F1 leading the way on efficient combustion.

Who knows? They could even adopt catalysts and mufflers a la F3.

87

He's talking in circles just like marketing ppl always do.
The engine is the "heart" and should be the "prevalent factor" but if the pecking order is determined by the aforementioned prevailing factor then it's bad?
Well then just have everyone use the same engine - maybe Honda's Indy offering.
Then there'd be plenty left over to fund further useless work on road-relevant 200 mph aero.

88

Best thing for the Renault boss is to have real life Scalextric racetrack with all the cars in individual grooves with the drivers using joysticks to control the electrical input. Then have giant hand popping them back on the grooves if they come off the track.
Renault magic or does he prefer "TCR" (Total Control Racing) 😨.

89

I do not understand electrification with these hugely polluting batteries. They are polluting to mine, assemble and discard. Solar capacity these days, some can be diverted to solar fuel creation, like hydrogen. The Honda home hydrogen station is a great example of this. I think I'd like to see the preservation of ICEs for sound and exhilaration. I do not believe F1 cannot make a hydrogen storage tank for racing. It would change this stupid trend of electrification and pollution. Electric cars do not pollute at the car level, but the pollution is being made at the powerplant nonetheless. I cannot believe how misguided the car industry is.

90

When Audi stopped racing at LeMans their newest car was completed and ready to go.
So there was a lot of interest throughout the world to buy these cars from Audi. Even Penske wanted to race with them. But in the end nobody bought them cause the hybrid and ERS were to complicated for anybody but the Audi specialist to understand and maintaine. Even Renault them selfs after 4 yeard still don't have a competitve reliable system in F1.
So i'm completly baffled when he is saying "Electrification is the antidote to complex and heavy engines"

91

I realise that I'm in a club of one, but I don't agree with the idea that engines should be louder. Form follows function, loudness comes from wasted energy and whatever an F1 car sounds like will regarded as cool because it's F1 .I attended a formula student event and there were some incredibly cool star wars like noises coming from some of the electric cars. Or we could use a fake sound box make them roar and crackle or sound like a choo choo train.

92
Tornillo Amarillo

James, it looks like Kubica would replace Palmer after the summer brake, if you read the news from all of the sides and it is an obvious conclusion, except if Palmer scores points in the next race in Baku.
Is it possible Kubica replace him for the rest of the season ?

93

I'd be surprised if he could physically

Sirotkin is another candidate

94

I feel like customers can win
the only problem when it comes to matching up against manufacturers is the development budget and the workforce behind the car

manufacturers can put more men, and therefore more man hours, into the project

I reckon force India would be a multi champion team if they had the budget of rbr, they might be the only example of a team that is well managed instead of well funded

95
Stephen Kellett

Here I say one thing:

"However, Abiteboul claimed that cost isn’t a big factor in F1 as “most of the teams operate on a budget of €100m”, citing the FIA’s engine cost estimate of €12m.

The engine would make not more than 12 percent [of the budget]. Is that really shocking?

I am not massively shocked. What we need is stability in the regulations – that would bring costs down and enhance the show.”

And here I say the opposite:

"Instead, he said that the the lack of balance between teams in F1 is a pressing concern."

Sorry, you can't have it both ways. Either you think costs are under control, or you don't. Abiteboul should make his mind up.

96

Abiteboul talks in circles saying that engines are at the heart of the auto industry and then that engines should be less of a performance differentiator in F1! Well are engines important or not? Should a competition hobble the defining aspect of a competitor?

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