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Haas chief on F1 engine future: “We cannot go back to something like a V8”
Posted By: Editor   |  06 Sep 2017   |  1:16 pm GMT  |  184 comments

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner praised Romain Grosjean’s performances this season and the direction of Formula 1’s “high-tech momentum” after the Italian Grand Prix.

In a recent interview with Formula 1, the Haas chief called this year’s midfield battle “gruelling” as the American team sits a point above Renault in the constructors’ standings and five behind Toro Rosso.

Though Romain Grosjean finished 15th and Kevin Magnussen finished 11th at Monza, Grosjean’s recent seventh place finish in Belgium particularly impressed Steiner.

“Who would have ever thought that Williams would be behind us in Spa?,” he said.

“That should have been their track, as it is a high-speed track.”

“We had no problems keeping them behind us and I am sure they will think ‘How did that happen?’”

Steiner stressed he wants no repeat of the second half of 2016, when Haas picked up just one point from the last 11 races of the season.

“The second half of last year was disastrous in terms of points.

“And before this year’s summer break we had exactly the same amount of points we had at the same time last year and we had to get the monkey off our backs somehow – and in Spa we did.

“Now we want to keep the momentum…we want to keep the position and try to better it if possible.

“But there is also always the chance to lose the position – the midfield is gruelling.”

The gulf between its two drivers is apparent, as Grosjean sits 13th in the drivers’ standings with 24 points and Magnussen sits 14th, with 11 points.

“I think that Romain is just a little bit more mature and he’s known the team longer. And he took advantage of that, obviously.

“But then Kevin has 11 points and he could have more with a few less mistakes from us and one less from him.”

“We can look back, but should not go back”

F1’s engine specifications post-2020 are continuously being shaped as manufacturers and the FIA met in June with more talks planned for the future.

The Haas chief is content with F1’s current direction but cost control and parity are still two glaring issues for him, with Steiner having cited that Haas spends 20 percent of its overall budget on engines.

Steiner maintained: “Formula 1 has to keep its high-tech momentum.

“We cannot go back to something like a V8. Those times are gone.

“We can look back, but should not go back.

“The engine manufacturers are challenged with coming up with the best ideas – having a firm eye on where the road car market is going. From the side of a private team, it would be great if the costs were under control.

“Of course [equality] has to do with the engines, but I would say it mostly has to do with the aero side, the size of the team and the budget involved.

“Liberty Media is working on it, to make it a more even playing field, I was told. Can you imagine if we were to have five or six teams that were able to win races? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

“Right now the battle is in the midfield – and we are very honoured to play that crucial part right now – but can you imagine a whole championship with fights that you right now basically see only in the midfield? The fans would love it.”

Could McLaren pair with Renault?

Outside of Haas, McLaren’s partnership with Honda is said to be at risk with the relationship between the two strained due to Honda’s lack of power and reliability.

Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa wants the partnership to remain, as he told Autosport, “I’m still trying to make good performances to convince them but I’m not sure it will be enough.

“Honda [will] never give up on keeping this collaboration.”

Both McLarens retired from the Italian GP with Fernando Alonso suffering a gearbox issue and Stoffel Vandoorne stopping due to a broken MGU-K part, after Honda claimed that engine upgrades would be implemented and Alonso took a 35-place grid penalty for the race.

McLaren may announce its split with Honda – and possible alliance with Renault for 2018 – soon, but that leaves Honda in the lurch.

If Honda cannot find a manufacturer to pair with, the engine manufacturer may be forced out of F1.

Toro Rosso has emerged as the team that may pick Honda engines for 2018, and an announcement on that partnership is expected soon.

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I find this idea that engines should only represent a small portion of a team's budget to be strange. The engine is a pretty integral part of a racing car - what's the logic in it representing five or ten percent of the car's budget? Perhaps what we should be asking is why does the chassis development and cost take up so much of the team's budget? We can amply see that over the last few years you can spend whatever you like on the chassis but if you don't have a powerful and reliable engine then you are nowhere.

Perhaps it's time to adjust that balance?


I would like it at 25%. That's fair. Life ain't tho.


The engine is over half the costs.


Jdr. Read the article, it tells you in there that Haas spend 20% of their overall budget on engines. I assume this pleases you....


You raised a good point about the price of the engine. The issue is hypocrisy here. FIA has been feeding the media, fans and manufacturers about cost cutting for decades now. And they didn't see the crazy high price of these v6 engines compared to the v8s and v10s in the past!! So, of course the price should be very small based on the cost cutting agenda set out by FIA and all the teams.


Gunter stated the power unit accounts for 20% of the teams budget not the budget for the car.


Yeah I bet Ferrari cuts them a break. They all do that but shouldn't have to.


“We cannot go back to something like a V8. Those times are gone.

“We can look back, but should not go back.

I'm pretty sure that’s the opinion of most if not all of the current F1 participants.


I doubt many manufacturers share that view, and ultimately, right now, they are calling the shots with where the engine formula for 2021 is headed.

For me ICE with turbos single or twin & unlimited Ker's is the likeliest and cheapest option.

The heat recovery is the most expensive part of these power units.


Heat Recovery isn't some Star Trek like magical material that absorbs heat and through use of dilithium chambers of some sort to turn it into electricity.

It is a fan, being spun by exhaust gases. That fan spins an axle with coil/magnets. That's it. It's not some fancy thing, it's actually not that high tech at all. Heat recovery is in fact using the motion of the gas flowing out, not the fact that it's hot. That is what I understand from everything I've read. This is also the reason why sound energy is muffled.


I have wondered if waste heat could be used with some sort of Stirling Cycle motor to power an extra generator but if anyone tried it I expect the FIA would ban it.


Yup. It's just a secondary turbo, but connected to a generator rather than directly to the intake manifold (the primary turbo does that). The energy it captures (from the exhaust gas, or an over-spinning primary turbo) is converted to electricity via the generator and can be deployed in 3 main ways: store it in the battery, direct it to the MGU-K to drive the rear wheels, and/or keep the primary turbo spinning to prevent lag. I think the reason it is so key to the performance of an F1 car is because of how that energy is controlled, and because the energy it deploys is not limited in any way by the regulations. I think it's a big part of the performance differentiation between the various engines. Probably one of the reasons they want to get rid of it.


Your explanation and the reason you had to make it just goes to show how little knowledge there is about it. Why is it there in the first place? Max Mosley used to harp on about teams spending hundreds of thousands on some hidden part nobody cared about - not much has changed. All most people know about the MGUK is that it's the reason the driver they have paid £200 to watch is starting at the back of the grid.


I suppose it depends on whether they want to win races. With a V8. formula Haas would have a lot more chance of the odd win that with current hybrid technology . The playing field suffers from severe undulation!


I'm still struggling to find out why the powers that be decided that F1 needed to be "road relevant". It historically never has been... it was historically an extreme sport. I remember reading a comment once, possibly by a member of this site that went along the lines of this:

"If the FIA had called their[Renault and Mercedes] bluff [re: pulling out of the sport if the new v6 engines weren't implemented] and lost, we'd be left with a field full of Ferrari and Cosworth V8s. Would that be such a bad thing?"

I certainly don't think it would have been a bad thing. And it'd probably have been fair to assume that with Merc and Renault out of the way, a few of the smaller engine manufacturers may have fancied a go.


If Renault and Merc had pulled out and F1 had stuck with V8 engines I'm sure that it wouldn't have been long before Ferrari and Cosworth were joined by other engine manufactures who would be, by now, competing at the front of the grid. As it is, F1 is in a situation where any engine manufacturer would be crazy to try and build one of these hybrid F1 engines. If Renault and Honda, both of whom know a thing or two about building successful racing engines, can't build a competitive hybrid F1 engine, who can?


I agree entirely, F1 should be all about the spectacle and to be honest over the years it has become less and less of a spectacle. The constant aero developments have meant that overtaking has become almost impossible and they have had to introduce crap like DRS. At the moment the car positions in F1 are 80% car and 20% driver hence why you see Merc, Ferrari and Red bull cars always appearing as the top 6 most of the time. This should be the other way round so that the top 6 would be the top 6 drivers.

As far as I am concerned they should leave all the electric power nonsense to Formula E and let F1 get back to being the fastest, noisiest and most spectacular formula.

Why not look into running engines on hydrogen, as I am not convinced that electric is the way forward as it involves too many weird chemicals that go into batteries that have to be shipped around the world. I am pretty sure if the super brains at F1 applied themselves to V8, V10 or V12 engines burning Hydrogen directly they could make clean engines who's only output is water vapour, that make a great noise we would all benefit.

Also if they could simultaneously crack how to produce hydrogen in a non-polluting way, then we would have green cars that made a great noise and no worries about range and recharging. The existing petrol station infrastructure could provide refuelling in the same times as existing petrol and diesel.

Heck I am pretty sure all existing engines could be retrofitted with hydrogen tanks like is done with LPG and every car on the planet could be converted to run Hydrogen and job done! Why are we messing about with Electric!?


Its allready possible to produce hydrogen in a green way only using water + electricity/electrolysis (from windmills).


So why the f@ck aren't we doing it and why is the industry going down the stupidity of electric cars?


I agree 100% with your comments about changing F1 to use directly hydrogen burning engines - and drop the electricity recovery nonsense.
Hehe and the MGU is allready considered a joke because of its complexity and unreliability.
But at the moment problem is that a lot of prestige is invested in the electric car and it will take some years before people realise that this was a blind alley - and the only way for future cars are some kind of hydrogen fuel.
Because nobody want a car where you constantly have to watch the battery level because it takes eons to top it up.


@BrunoB, I just wish the world would wake up and start using hydrogen, if like you said higher up, it can be done greenly, then why would we be shipping the chemicals for batteries on supertankers from China which are probably running on diesel.

I do wonder where Elon Musk's GigaFactory that is going to be producing billions of batteries will be shipping the raw materials from. And how it is being transported? What is the true cost to the environment.


I'm afraid that hydrogen isn't the wonder fuel some make it out to be. It takes energy to create hydrogen from water. Most methods are less than 50% efficient (and there no simple way to improve that). Pretty much all the hydrogen used now is actually made from methane, giving off CO2. And you can't store it for long, as the molecules are small enough to escape any enclosure. Then the act of compressing it takes a lot of energy. And the energy density per litre is very small, so it needs more compressing than, for example CNG, which is used as a fuel in Japan, for example. Finally, as the hydrogen is at such high pressure, the fuel tank has to be made from carbon fibre. And it's still much larger than an equivalent petrol tank. So it's not green and it's not cheap...


A detailed, largest data analysis of F1 results to determine best drivers in terms of their contribution to success has put the driver at 10% currently. I would argue it is even less now.


Sebee. 10% of what?


The primary reason the car/team is ten times more important than the driver. The Mercedes Benz AMG Petronas team is awesomely well run and bristling with talent, but so too are Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams et al. The Mercedes hybrid powerplant is however, still a cut above the rest. It offers a competitive advantage that has produced the most sustained period of absolute dominance in racing history. what this huge analytics effort above concluded.


Sebee. Its three years out of date.


The new JC. A field full of Cosworth and Ferrari V8s would have been a bad thing if you had the Cosworth. Would it have been that great? Would it have brought close racing? The engine is only one part of the package, Manor had the Merc engine and were nowhere.


And like the customer Merc engines, the safety car has a Merc engine and it goes nowhere also...


f1 tech trickles down to a lot more than just the road industry, it is that relevance that is being mentioned in road relevance but for laymen on a commercial level it would be remiss to communicate that f1 is technologically relevant when the dots are too far to connect.

as for the v8's not coming back, you are witnessing conservation of energy in action, there won't be any f1 in 30 years if we stick with naturally aspirated engine tech as there won't be energy for the cars.
I'm waiting for the diesel revolution in f1 myself to be frank, would be startling to hear the high tech whispers of diesel turbo power pounding around an f1 circuit.


@The new JC; if F1 were to return to naturally aspirated v10s it would no doubt turn some manufacturers off, but it would attract others. I've heard that Aston Martin would be interested in entering F1 with a V8 or V10. Also I've heard that the complexity and high cost associated with the current hybrids is what turned off Porsche from entering F1 in recent years ( although I think Porsche would prefer a turbocharged engine formula)

At the end of the day you can't please everyone, and there will always be automotive enthusiasts who get turned on by sports cars and high performance roadcars and there will always be manufactures like Aston Martin and Ferrari to cater to these passions.

It is also these passionate motoring enthusiasts who are more likely to watch Motorsport and F1, so I really don't buy into the theory that if F1 went back to NA engines the sky would fall in.


That's because it's a business too but then again how many Marcs sold now have anything to do with current F1 tech? I guess they have to find some way to test batteries for the new rules about to hit Europe. It won't happen in the US because of range. Its an infrastructure problem here.


The argument about road relevance is now in the past. We just have to accept the fact that Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone have paved this path do new generation F1. I'm with you on this. F1 never needed to be 100% road relevant in the first place. That's one of the things made F1 so unique. These F1 cars are too similar to the Hypercars and Supercars for a lot of our likings. But the investment has been made, path way has been laid. It's now the job of old the highly paid officials to evolve/fix what we have the right way.


I struggle with this as well. Yes F1 has had technology trickle down from F1 to road cars but then such technology was banned ie. Traction control ABS etc... Carbon fiber has taken much longer to trickle down and only usually in high end sports variants. No new carbon fiber like technology has been developed and its still an arduous process not much ground made there. If something that is developed can help road cars then fine but to be sole purpose makes no sense. Can someone explain why the 6 cylinders is preferred over other variants? Also with cars becoming electric and autonomous and another gadget to people rather than something they control themselves. What is going to inspire the younger generations to be drivers when people are no longer driving or care to drive? Once cars become autonomous how is F1 going to be relevant to road cars? Will we see drivers playing in the simulator and an autonomous car driving according to their inputs? My question is will kids want to be race car drivers when you see more prius like cars roaming the streets in silence as opposed to cars that make kids jaws drop like Ferraris etc do when they pass by a minivan. What got you guys into Motorsports and will those things still exist to draw in future generations?


@ J...I think that you'll find that 'traction control' was an invention first used on Chrysler cars in the US mid '50's. That might be wrong but thereabouts. Trickle up...just like disc brakes!!!


James - Sounds like it about time to do an article on how F1 impacts road cars today and the general motoring industry. Highlighting its relevance not only as entertainment but innovations?


6 cylinders wasn't the preferred choice, 4 cylinders was. Upping it to 6 was a compromise.


4 cylinders would have been pathetic. It's not the Golf GTI Cup.


@Simon - the F1 engine manufacturers always wanted 6 cylinders. It was VW who pushed for 4 and when it wasn't accepted, they went off to fiddle with their diesel ECUs.


"Can someone explain why the 6 cylinders is preferred over other variants?"

Originally the FIA wanted to introduce a V4 turbo, but Ferrari vetoed it, as a V4 wasn't relevant to them, so FIA reverted to a V6. Personally I would prefer that this wouldn't be so over regulated, why can't manufacturers choose between a V, flat or inline 4 or 6 cylinder.

I think in time we may see some of the engine technology trickle down to road cars; constantly spinning turbocharger, TJI etc. But the majority will probably end up in high end sports cars.


This reminds me of that scene in the 2005 film The Island, where Ewan McGregor sees an old motorcycle scream past and hears the beautiful sounds of that ancient technology, and says "I dont know what that was but I want one".


Well that may be the answer ban carbon fibre. Well the survival cell could be made from that. I heard Dallara doesn't charge too much for that.

Well hack a Tesla is made ought of aluminum. Batteries along with electromagnets and non magnetic metal can probably stop a car as carbon fiber.

Your right that stuff is costly and will be for a long time.


I'm not at all convinced by the argument that going back to a v8 or v10 necessarily means violating the high-tech philosophy that F1 seems to be so fond of persuing at all costs lately.

For starters, the term "high-tech" is a very nebulous concept, and it might be more useful to think in terms of good design instead. And I think I'm not alone in thinking that good design is means fulfilling a purpose in the simplest, most economical fashion. And for F1 that means engines that are cheap, simple, and above all, light.

So if a V8 or a v10 fulfills that purpose better than any other type of poweplant, why not make use of it? After all, I don't see people complaining about a teaspoon or knife and fork being low-tech and how they need to be replaced by something more high-tech. They do the job perfectly and there is no need for anything else. Likewise in f1 the v8 and v10 ( especially V10) engines did the job perfectly and there was no need for anything "higher-tech" in the first place.


Does anyone know why they insist on V6 being high tech and why the number of cylinders makes a difference? More fuel efficient? Why not then make a v10 super efficient and have that trickle down to a v6 or 4 cylinder engine?


@J; because certain people within the FIA got a bunch of paranoid ideas into their heads -- ideas about F1 now being compelled to present an image of sunshine and lollipops and love and light.

But, at the end of the day it has turned out that these ideas are just that; ideas, and what's more, these ideas seem to be at odds with the harsh practicalities at the core of everyday life.

That's why I suggest that they stop thinking about nebulous concepts such as "high tech" and about images and impressions (which seem more imagined than real) and start thinking in terms of good design.

Imagine if F1 were currently governed by regs that were similar to what we saw during the early Colin Chapman years, and teams were given a free choice between a V10 and a hybrid. How many teams would willingly go with the hybrid? None; they would have to have rocks in their heads to choose something so complex, expensive, massive and heavy to power their cars.

So maybe that's what they should do. Instead of sitting there and debating about abstract philosophies of "high tech" they should just allow the teams to pick a power unit that they feel would be the most practical from a cost, maintenance and speed/performance point of view and go with that. In effect, allow the Darwininan-like forces of free choice to determine the best solution.


Frikken NAILED IT!

No one on the grid would choose this PU over a V8/KERS or V10 if given a free choice.


If there was a choice to have a V10 regulation co-exist with this PU regulation, would the V10 cars have to carry 122kg of extra ballast to match these hippo PU cars?

You want to bet any manufacturer advocating for PU would argue for weight parity/penalty on the V10, even though they don't need that extra 122kg of junk.

I have a sneaky feeling that Bernie wanted to do exactly that - introduce a parallel engine specification to these PUs. BUT, a buyer was available, and at that point CVC and him already moved out all the furniture. What purpose would it have served to disturb anything at that point? Let the new buyers deal with it.

I still full expect Bernie to pop up somewhere with a new series for 2018. Formula 1 is so hamstrung, it's like a window has been built into the regulation to allow a new series to start up!


Just when I was trying to get Team Haas a 20,000 rpm 3.5 l. v12 !


Not to worry, I hear Alonso is interested 🙂


This F1 engine saga is ridiculous.
Let's go back in time.
The closest think to a Cosworth DFV is Nascar engine that can produce +750hp and last 3 races at a cost of usd 35k~50k.
They can be refurbished it keeping the block and cranckshaft.
So at max. 10 engines at 50k could make a F1 season at a grand total of $500k.
Then add the cost of the hi-tech gearbox.
So taking out the pride and prejudice, we can have a great and balance F1 championship w/ NASCAR engines.
The NASCAR engine is currently more eco-friendly than F1 powertrain as it consumes less natural resources to build and is E85 [ethanol] fueled.
Bear in mind that if all cars go hybrid, there won't be enough Lithium for all those batteries.


They weigh around 200 KG plus gearbox and won't fit in a F1 chassis. The COG is horrible and the cooling demands horrific. They would kill the handling of an F1 car stone dead. They would need somewhere around 200 KG of fuel so they would have to bring back in race car fueling.


good question, why doesn't Haas use good 'ol US technology . . . . . . . . hmmm


Deweberis. How much does a Nascar engine weigh?


We are the FIA. Resistance is futile! Your N/A motors have been assimilated!


It's no secret that the modern day F1 engine is the biggest talking point from the technical side. What I don't understand is that why can't FIA put a set price on the PUs. Also why don't they give any new comers full technical freedom (with no penalties) to develop the engines including their first year in the sport. That will neutralise the competitive advantage of the manufacturers that have been in the sport for a while.

Tornillo Amarillo

FREE SAINZ ! You see Max, Ocon going up the ladder, but Sainz is just stuck.

So what is the freaking reason Kyviat is still there? Money from Russia?
Like Honda is there because of money from Honda? Why Toro Rosso keep Kyviat in 2018? Can you explain that?


>> Go to V10's instead

>> Have Nitrous Oxide Boost (a fixed amount of Nitrous in a canister) instead of DRS which allows the drivers / teams to be tactical about when they use it.

>> Simplify suspension elements - make a standard component

>> Simplify Front Wings (specific number of elements in the wing) and also have the wing sat between the front wheels similar in width to that used on the MP4/4 McLaren.

>> No grid penalites - financial or Constructors points penalties instead

I've basically solved all of F1's current problems with "Engine Sounds", "performance", "Cost Controls"....whilst ensuring great entertainment and some variability due to Nitrous oxide canister.


Hack what about radial air engines or jet engines? Who cares as long as these grid penalties get fixed.

Right now I would be happy to have that. I can see it sometimes but not like it is. Its not any incentive to control costs.

It IS going to take a while to figure out. In NASCAR one outfit decides this per what they think fans want. F1 needs similar because no fans no F1.


Simplifying with even more rules is not working.


I've never heard anyone suggest Nitrous Oxide before! It would be quite fun!


I agree with Guenther Steiner, the V10s (and to an extent V8s) were amazing in sound and power, but F1 cannot go back into that. It's nice to look back at such a time (as it was fun to look back into the turbos of the 1980s in the 1990s and 2000s), but these Hybrid V6s are the way forward (I've come to accept that) -- the sound isn't so bad anymore, but Liberty still needs to capture it better for television/media.

Motorsport fans always get nostalgic on past eras. So 20yrs from now, F1 will have probably evolved again, and we would all look back to this time and likely say, "damn. Those V6 Hybrids were something!" (just look: back in the 2000s people were complaining about how F1 had launch and traction controls and were so aerodynamically advanced; but look up videso from that era in Youtube and you would now see people from commening "look at him fight/struggle with the car in the corners!").

If anything, the FIA simply needs to free up the regulations and stop with all these cost cutting measures and penalties for component replacements. I mean Jean Todt pushed heavily for this technology to enter the sport -- V6 Hybrids will forever form a part of his legacy; so why limit the further development and potential of something revolutionary?

Also, FOM/Liberty media needs to cough up more cash and revise the prize money awarding system towards meritocracy. Enough with the privileged payouts to "novelty teams". I mean, teams will come and go, and fans all over will miss them but then eventually forget about them. I mean, these teams will come and go as they like depending how F1/the economic situation suits their needs; so F1 can do likewise.

(It'll be catastrophic is a team like Ferrari leaves, but only in the short/medium term. People will eventually get over it some 15 yrs down the road. Trust me on that.)

As for Honda: if we are to examine the Japanese manufacturer's modern history in the sport (since 2000), then we would come to the conclusion that they are simply incapable of competing (yet alone succeeding) in 21st century F1.

I get the feeling they actually want out. And are just forcing McLaren to pay them off.


Oh man and I shouldn't be talking about how I wish they were. One thing I know is Toyota sells more naturally aspirated Camrys than hybrid Priuses or however it's spelled.


I agree. I'm a bit torn, the V10s were so fast, loud and impressive and (could be) cheap. But they are in the past. A NA engine is basically a thing of the past now anyway, most new cars have a turbo.

What does need to happen is for them to open up the regs so they can actually develop the engine. Even though they got rid of the ridiculous token system they are still constrained by the fuel flow rate and ridiculous 4 per season rule.

Would Honda still be miles behind after 3 years if the regs were open? I don't think so. The engines are the same as the aero, the regs are so tight that the teams are chasing decreasing gains, and as he gains get infinitesimally small the cost gets exponentially higher. I mean they are spending gazillions chasing a couple of bhp from a slightly different turbo shaft whereas they could gain many bhp by trying something radically different, but they're not allowed to.


If you open up the regs with unlimited development, the cost of the power units would be higher to the teams, and we will have costs spiralling out of control.

Some cost restraint are necessary, let's argue about what that should be.

As for going back to v10 or v8's, been there & done that. Let's move on.


No grid penalites - financial or Constructors points penalties instead

Is Mercedes short of money?
Mercedes has won the WCC by 300 points last 3 years. How many "free pass" penalties is that?

There is only one way to eliminate the penalties. Raise the component use limits. This is sprint racing. Penalties were hardly an issue in V10 era, right? Why? Because you could have a fresh one every GP. Only in last year of V10s, as they tried to slow them down, they dictated that each V10 has to be used for 2GPs.

If not, the current stupid penalty system, is actually the most fair way to police this mess. Can you believe the loophole to take multiple PUs each weekend was only closed this year? Actually...was it really closed?


"having a firm eye on where the road car market is going" Is a big point. F! has nothing to do with road cars, that is DTM and NASCAR. Stop confounding the engine rules with this erroneous road relevance concept that has brought us these outrageous engines.


Re: Honda

Clearly from recent feedback and what Honda chief said, there are issues around the automation of the engine map and modes that create confusion on deployment of various functions as the Grand Prix progresses. Things get out of sync to where the car is around the track basically. Whatever the situation, this seems to be a big issue. It could result in fuel consumption issues for Honda as well and is perhaps the reason why they often seem to retire the cars close to the end, as if to avoid them being stranded without fuel out there.

But what I think plays a role in here is culture and recent Honda history. Honda is a car company, and they can't be seen doing the needed shady stuff in F1 to win. It's against the brand and against the culture, especially after that airbag scandal and extra sensitivity to brand damage. And Formula 1 is all about bending the rules and potentially actually cheating secretly to beat the other guys. Honda stands no chance to be competitive if they want to keep the PU on the up and up. They have to start burning oil or aromatics or baby Hello Kitties, hiding more electric power in the ERS, something...anything. I think Honda has realized this after it entered the sport, and now kinda wants to find a way out. This could also explain why Honda wasn't successful in the previous attempt, as they weren't willing to accept pushing beyond the spirit of the rule book. That would not be honourable. Frustrated McLaren quoting Honda is a good out for them. And one has to wonder why Honda would want to stay in with Torro Rosso. They may say they will to help the McLaren thing end, but once McLaren chooses to end the relationship, Honda is free and clear and can go on selling fantastic cars to the world and growing strong without Formula 1. Let Formula 1 sort this PU mess itself.

As a side note, Honda just launched 2 electric cars for 2018. One just for the booming Chinese market only. One for Europe.

Time to end this Odyssey, Honda. Once your Accord with McLaren is ended it is your Civic duty to forget all this PU Jazz and focus on your sales, which are Fit and Amaze. Honda, you'll be Freed!


It was mentioned here before that Honda were somewhat deceitful towards McLaren with regards to pre-season engine progress. Has the air been cleared or are there still lingering doubts that they are now being completely forthright about their progress?


Apparently what they were seeing on their dyno was not transferring to the power units supplied. McLaren is having to rely on what Honda was promising, and making public statements accordingly.

I suspect when it dawned on McLaren that what they were been feed was bs, what little trust existed between Honda and McLaren collapsed.

And it has not recovered.

Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

If the all the engineering skill at Honda can't make a good F1 engine, there is something very wrong with the engine spec.

Get rid of all the hybrid nonsense, have a turbocharged inline 4 (single turbo), lighten the cars, go race. Simple.


"If the all the engineering skill at Honda can't make a good F1 engine, there is something very wrong with the engine spec"

Since Mercedes can make a decent F1 engine I'd argue instead that there's something very wrong with Honda but yes, the engines do need to be simplified.

Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

Imagine that you're Porsche or Toyota or Ford or BMW - you look at Honda's embarrassment - why would you risk that for your company?! The current engine spec is strangling the sport.


As I already agreed, the engines do need to be simplified for that and many other reasons, but the bottom line is that if one can succeed there's no reason that the others can't also.

Sure the engines are complicated, but Honda's embarrassment is due to their own failure.


Everything's rosey because Mercedes can make a great engine, the rest should be ashamed of themselves. How long would you carry on for until someone else wins a championship? Based on your logic?

And forget Honda, granted they are useless. Ferrari and Renault haven't won any championships in this glorious hybrid era either.


I want to see some ultra-hi rev twin turbo hybrid...kinda of like an Indy car only pumping out 1000hp.


Exactly. The V6 was only so they could crow about fuel saving. Except nobody has mentioned that since 2014 and they even quietly upped it by 5l.


There's no point people begging for the Naturally aspirated V8'/V10s it won't happen Non Manufacturer's I know of make non turbo v8 road cars in and only Audi and Lambo make cars with naturally aspirated v10s (the Lamborghini Huracan and Audi R8). What I would like to see is a simplified versions of the v6 hybrids maybe with an extra turbo an MGU-K which I like and would certainly keep but no MGU-H as the MGU-H is a thing we don't really need at all in my opinion as it makes things confusing for fans. James how would there be any noticeable difference in overall performance in terms of both power and efficient without an MGU-H.


Could it be that this push away from N/A is happening because N/A V10 would put the PU/Hybrid/Turbo message to shame speed wise, simplicity wise, cost wise, sound wise, fan experience wise, extremeness wise and there is a push that doesn't want to make F1 the tool which makes these Hybrid/Turbo engines car manufacturers try to pedal look bad?


Formula 1 has to keep its high-tech momentum.


Will the technology make the racing better? In my opinion, over the last 30 years, technology has pretty much done nothing but reduce the wheel to wheel racing. The most competitive part of an F1 season is in the winter, the battle fought by the engineers, behind closed doors. And this is where the majority of any team's budget goes as well.

Does absolutely nothing to enhance the sport. Keep progressing in the current direction, soon technology will demand for driverless cars, because as an opporator, humans just aren't good enough.


In violent agreement.
If you want to stuff up "racing", introduce size/volume limitations to the PUs so manufactures spend gazzillons on running them beyond their limitations and aerodynamicists are forced to configure cooling intakes to marginal levels so cars can't follow another for any length of time... Exactly like what the FIA, powerful teams (and perhaps Bernie) have done to this point. Drive up costs & make passing harder (unless under those ridiculous blue flags). Suits the big teams... doesn't suit me the a viewer of the spectacle.


Well F1 was never just about wheel to wheel racing. Indy or supercar races are more wheel to wheel than F1 has ever been. The problem here is that the current F1 technology is the wrong direction and vastly unpopular due to cost and sound.


@Formula Zero, correct, I do agree that F1 is not solely about wheel to wheel. I'd be lying if insaid I want to see cars side by side every lap and passes into every corner.

I guess my point is that, in my opinion, F1 design philosophies for the last, i dunno forever, have focused around building fastest time trial car possible....and then for fun we put the time trial cars in a traffic jam. We're then surprised that these ubber technical, ubber aero dependent machines can't race for crap.

Look at Monza. What was more exciting? Saturday or Sunday?

What if the last 20-30 years of development had focused around making the best RACE cars possible, instead of who can be fasted on Saturday, high tech, road relevant....none of that crap has anything to do with pure racing.

We keep talking about road relevance. What about race track relevance?


Technolgy = reduction of human input and human error.
Reduction in human error = less drama, action, cleverness.

If your PU is bailing you out on driver inputs, throttle inputs, brake inputs, is that helping the man to man battle or taking away from it by turning man vs. man battle into software vs. software battle?

Jason Blankenship

Why not go back? It would be cheaper and less complex. Give teams V8 specs, allow them to do what they can to meet the mandates and go from there. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.


Manufacturers don't want it. That's why. The trend is towards hybrids. That is what they are willing to invest in, and in which they see future sales.


Oh well, that is Mr Steiner off Sebee's Christmas List.


He will be upset 🙂


Torchwood Mobile....thanks...ya made me laugh. I was just thinking about Sebee....he's catching flack about going on about the V10s but he does make a lot of great points. too much software in an F1 car these days for my liking, too!


I'm fed up of the luddites moaning about engines. Get over it. The new engines are technically amazing and have more power than ever. These same people moaning about PUs probably want the sport to stay in the 1980s with their rose tinted glasses thinking everything was perfect back then. F1 is a technology driving sport and it should remain as such and these hybrid engines do that.


the engines are not "technically amazing"... they're just a combination of internal combustion engine, battery and a dynamo which is all "old-tech" that's been around for decades....they'd be technically amazing if they were Hydrogen powered or powered by some other kind of fuel from the Periodic Table of Elements


The Honda PU is technically amazing.
It's running on hot air!


F1 was to hybrid nearly 2 decades after Toyota went to market with it.


More power than ever? That's so far from the truth!

F1 cars in the 70s and 80s were pumping out well over 1200hp in quali mode.

Can Am cars in the late 60s and early 70s, like the Porsche 918 with its twin turbo flat 12, were producing well over 1200hp.

Group C cars of the late 80s and early 90s, again, producing well over 1200hp.

Current LMP1 PUs produce more HP than their F1 equivalents.

Honda took the Super GT motor out of one of their NSXs (its a inline 4, monster truck turbo, uses same combustion and cylinder tech as the F1 engine), put it on a dyno, pumped it full of their F1 race fuel (Super GT uses pump gas for races), and low and behold, the 4 cylinder Super GT ICE produced significantly more power than the F1 V6.

Current Formula Drift cars are all around the 1000hp mark. Aasbo's Toyota Sienna 4 banger produces just shy of 900hp. VGJ's Mustang RTR is right around 1000hp. Then theirs the guys running 2JZs, their producing about 1200hp as well. Back in 2012, Saito's 2JZ SC430 was cranking out over 1000hp plus a Nitros shot. The following year his GTR was making basically the same numbers.

Any muppet with enough pocket changes can take any modern supercar, from a GTR, to R8 or Lambo, Porsche, AMG, etc, take it to any number of if tuners, and have them put a package on that will produce anywhere from 1000 to 2000 HP, depending how nuts you want to go. For a few 100k, there's a company in Spain who will build you a Turbo Hybrid Audi R8 that can make just shy of 2000hp. Forget the name of the company; they had an article on speed hunters last year.

NHRA top fuel dragsters are putting out well over 10,000hp now.

There is NOTHING special about the F1 PUs. They are overly complicated, gimmicky. Hypocritical, and are unimpressive in terms of the numbers they produce. Congrats, you've spent how many billions of dollars to research a technology that lets you achieve horsepower numbers that some grease monkey in a garage can milk out of a 30 year old 2JZ or RB26 with a Dodge Ram truck turbo slapped on.


+1 Lottsa good comments here, but this has been the best one yet.


Somewhere in here there lies a compromise that will suit most people. The current PU's are just too complex for what is required for racing. It is simply an intellectual engineering exercise in excellence that has, as a corollary, done a lot of damage to what was really needed to maintain the veracity of F1. It has subsequently proved to be horrendously expensive to build and supply for most teams other than the $Billion+ club. Add to that the control being exerted by the same [manu ] club and you have all the ingredients for dissent an disproportionate racing. Not what we all want. The touted compromise sounds interesting and whilst i am not advocating a return to NA V10's, lovely and all as they are, they are now history. Small bore lightweight V8/ V6 forced induction engines with KERS sound pretty good to me. Theoretically we should get great power outputs, better pricing, better sounds and more suppliers/builders...all good contributions to competitive racing. This addiction of Todt's 'road relevance' mantra appeasing the major manu's has run its course. Time to simplify and enjoy the benefits. The only problem i foresee is that we have to wait another three years before any of this materialises. Surely at least 12 months can be shaved from that. Just do it!!!


There is NOTHING special about the F1 PUs......

Why is it that Honda (and to a lesser extent Renault) cannot get to grips with them if they're nothing special?


Just because something is complicated, doesn't make it special.

You can invent a fancy new complex spoon if you won't make the cereal taste any better.


it won't make the cereal taste any better.....

I disagree . Don't you think drinks or food taste better if they are served in nice glasses and decent plates ? Not sure what this has to do with engines - I'm just going with your cue !


@ C63....and if you were blind you'd never know the difference.


Food tastes better off a nice plate? Ooh man, you can tell we come from different walks of like lmao.

Best tasting food doesn't need a plate. Either fruit right off the plant, or meat on a stick over an open fire.


@ Twitch6 He is British you know...Royal Doulton and all that hahahaha


A couple of corrections... The 1986 turbo F1 cars were chucking out 1500 HP in qualifying trim using ~5+ Bar of boost in a 1.5 liter engine. The four cylinder BMW's were generally regarded as the most powerful in qualifying trim; the Honda V6 most powerful and efficient in race trim (~1200 hp). In 1987, they were limited to 4 bar boost and 240 liters of fuel (IIRC). In 1988, that was reduced to 2.5 bar and 190 liters of fuel. The 2.5 bar engine reportedly made 900hp in race trim. Today's engines are also right around 900hp, but they are doing the race on ~145 liters (105kg/ .73kg/l) of fuel. The MB engine is hovering near 50% thermal efficiency (compared to ~35% for really good diesels and <30% for gasoline engines)--that is astounding! It is also meaningless and boring to the vast majority of motorsports fans.
Give the driver a boost knob, and the fuel flow to use more boost. Keep the fuel limit to equalize everything. Eliminate the fuel flow limit in qualifying. Then it will get interesting.


So 20% extra thermal efficiency at the cost of burning how much excess oil?


Twitch, I eas reffering to the NHRA and LMP1 engines you mentioned, how much do they weigh, and how much fuel would they use when driven flat out for 300km?
F1 cars were lighter in the eighties due to their lack of crash protection, the engines were lighter too as there was no battery etc. If you put an eighties turbo engine into a modern F1 car, and then added enough fuel for a race distance, then it would weigh much more than a PU car.


Twitch. 0.9 litres per 100km


You do raise some valid points. I would disagree in that the hybrid formula can work well, as long as the KERS (if thats the right word) can be used for longer than 6 seconds a lap. Not sure if the 6 second limit still exists
Putting this stupid restriction in place has done nothing for the sport.


The word missing from your post is "efficiency".
The cornerstone of these PUs is that they are the most powerful ever/gram of fuel spent. And this is why they are so amazing, because the times recorded are with heavier cars (due to battery packs, MGUs, etc.) and races are not the sprints from a fueling station to another, like in the previous eras.


So what?


Effecient? Remind us how mich oil is burned per 100km.

When they calculate how much energy they get out of the fuel, is the oil being burned counted into that?


Effeciant??? They have to burn a litre of oil per 100km. How the hell is that effecient??


Twitch, they don't have to burn that oil, it's a performance trick they came up with to give a small lap time gain. If oil burning was bannedcompletely then the efficiency figureswould remain the same, and the performance figures would barely change.


@ Twitch6...Good point. How can this be road relevant. EG The engine in my last A5 was a 2L TFSI with dual clutch S Tronic gearbox. Oil used/burnt over a 5000klm distance...less that 150ml! Fi should employ 'trickle up' tech.


Races are ~300km, so they can burn ~3 liters of oil. They will also burn 145 liters of fuel. So burning oil is like have 2% more fuel. Distributed over a race, that is not much. Where it makes a BIG difference, is over 1 lap.
Remember that the cars have a mandatory fuel FLOW limit of 100 kg / hour. This effectively limits the output of the engine. Power gains can only be made with efficiency gains. Consider a track where a typical lap 1.5 minutes (1/40th or 0.025 hour). The fuel flow restriction limits them to 0.025*100kg = 2.5kg of fuel, or ~3.4 liters of fuel. If the typical track is 5km long, and a driver does 18 laps over the duration of qualifying, that is 18*5 = 90km, so they can legally burn ~.9 liters of oil. Let's just say they use half of that on each q3 hot lap. Instead of 3.4 liters of fuel, they now have 3.8 liters of fuel for each hot lap--11% more fuel for each special lap thanks to oil burn. Yes, that means ~11% more power. Now you know why they can go so much faster in Q3, or selected special laps in a race (pit in, pit out, restart, etc). The strategy is where to spend the "oil fuel". Clever, sneaky, cheating--call it what you will. That's what the oil burning is all about.


Very interesting. I just learned more about oil burn than from any TV broadcast or internet blog. No one seems to want to explain it at all. Thank you.

That said, it's still piss. I have to fill up my car every 500km or so. If I had to put 5L of oil in my car every time I filled up, there is no way I could play that off as being "effecient" to anyone asking why I put so much oil in my car lol.


Calm down with the oil burning mantra, please.

They don't have to burn the oil, they only choose to burn it for the extra power, and the gain isn't extraordinary, it has been said to be around 0.2s-0.3s/lap.
If you can, check out Tachi's post, he explains it better than I do why these PU's are special.
They aren't the last cry from a technological point of view, but for this thank FIA for not relaxing the rules.


I was replying to a post which said the F1 cars are the most powerful ever. Which is a flat out lie, 100% inaccurate.

Now people want to counter my statement that, "they really ain't that powerful, compared to lots of other things, including 30 year old F1 cars," with "but they're so efficient."

The hell does effeciency have to do with max power, the statement I was originally responding to?

And on top of that, you now add, "they burn the oil by choice, TO MAKE MORE POWER." So in other words, if they didn't burn oil, they wouldn't make sh*t for power, making the original statement that they are "the most powerful ever" a complete crock.

The whole point of hybrid is that they're supposed to be "green". Yet to reach anywhere near an impressive HP number, they literally have to piss away excess oil.

The whole thing is so bloody convoluted, and the power's that be continue to piss on the fans and tell them it's raining.


Twitch, most powerful F1 race engines ever.


Tim, not according to Tachi.

1988, 190l of fuel for the race making 900-1000hp.

Modern F1 cars use 145l of fuel, make about 900-1000hp.

Keep in mind that the car in 1988 weighed probably 200lbs less than a modern F1 car.

30 years Tim, THIRTY YEARS!!! And all we've managed to do is save 45l of fuel per race (while brining roughly 3 additional litres of oil).

30 years of F1 R&D and all they're able to do is save 42l of combustible fluid per race.

Sorry, but that is simply pathetic.


Twitch, I'm affaid Tachi is mistaken. The 1987 Honda V6 that ran with 4.5 bar of boost could hit 900bhp, but the reduction to 2.5 bar for 1988 caused an inevitable reduction in horsepower to 650bhp. The other thing to remember is even that lower figure couldn't be maintained without breaking the 195 litre limit. Lots of fuel saving lifting and coasting that year, them were the days.....


None of those cars would last 5 minutes running around an F1 course let alone for up to 2 hours at full power. You are deluded if you dont think they are "high tech"....


None of the cars?

So F1 cars that completed race distances 20 years ago would be unable to do so today? Explain why.

Group C cars that raced and completed the 24 hours of Le Mans, they wouldn't last an F1 race distance?

You need to check yourself before you start calling people delusional lmao.


Twitch. How much do all the engines you mention weigh? How much fuel would they use when driven flat out for 300km?


Tim, you actually want to compare weights if an F1 car from the 80s with today's 1 metric ton pigs?? And you think that somehow puts a whole in my arguement? Lol ok then.

Anyone know the power to weight ratio of these modern pigs? How does the power to weight ratio of these technological wonders compare to F1 cars from the past?


Twitch. Not all of the weight diference between an eighties F1 car and todays come from the engine. The crash protection and stronger chassis make up a decent chunk. Eighties turbos could only run 1000+ in qualifying, as they would grenade if ran with that much boost for more than a lap. In race trim they ran between 6 and 800 bhp, depending on how many times the driver pressed the magic button. The fuel consumption was much worse than today, (and all that extra fuel would have to be carried around remember) and so was reliability. Remember the race at Imola when everyone ran out of fuel on the last lap? It was amateur hour stuff, and yet for some reason people get all misty eyed over it.


How much oil do these PUs burn when driven flat out for 300km?


Twitch_6: My word you and Sebee are very excitable. Anyway, like you, this oil burning malarkey is beginning to drive me nuts also. No one seems to know for sure what's going on. Tachi's comment appears to carry some weight until, that is, he states it's a good read in some technical article. I neither buy nor bother with either newspapers or magazines as I ain't that interested. I tend to rather work these things out for myself and I'm not often wrong especially when it comes to simple things. Now the short version of what would otherwise be a lengthy story is this. Around ten or twelve days before the illegal tyre test Mr. Brawn received certain information. Contained within was certain advice, ie damp or detune. However he chose to go his own way. No matter, as excellent miles per tyre was achieved. No doubt Ferrari are up to similar tricks courtesy of Mr. Clear. The presence of oil in the combustion chamber on power stroke is there to tone down the ferocity of detonation, to subdue the rotational vibration of the wheel and tyre, nothing more. Consider a connected row of wwwwww's as opposed to a subdued row of mmmmm's. I hope this helps.


As of the Italian gp, oil burn is limited to 0.8 liters/ 100km, so 2.4 liters. Before the Italian gp, the limit was 1.2l/100km. They don't have top burn oil- they do so for extra power, because their fuel consumption is limited to a maximum flow rate of 100kg/hr. These are high compression direct injection gas engines- they are almost working on the diesel cycle, and are fully capable of using oil for fuel. Very clever stuff, but invisible to the fans, and therefore boring. Great to read about in a technical article....uninspiring to watch on track.


"Honda took the Super GT motor out of one of their NSXs (its a inline 4, monster truck turbo, uses same combustion and cylinder tech as the F1 engine), put it on a dyno, pumped it full of their F1 race fuel (Super GT uses pump gas for races), and low and behold, the 4 cylinder Super GT ICE produced significantly more power than the F1 V6."

Is that the Honda F1 V6, or the Mercedes F1 V6?


you forgot to add that all those cars weighed significantly less as well. Adding power and weight cancels each other out to some degree. F1 is letting road car evolution trickle up to F1 road cars have grown heavier and heavier and have had to add power to counter that. So have F1 cars. I also find it strange how they wanted to slow cars down before then they go too slow and are like GP2 and now they want faster cars again.


Maximum power output in PU cars is available for only 33s. In a straight line the lose 160hp after 33s. I argued that F1 cars stand no chance against an IndyCar on an oval where there is no F1 style braking.


Sebee. And you still don't seem to understand that an F1 car with zero battery assistance still generates around 200bhp more than an Indycar, weighs less and generates more downforce! Why on earth you think that these serious deficiencies don't matter is beyond me!


Do you really believe a PU car without ERS sustains 230mph? They can barely reach that now for a few seconds with all systems at 100%. Show me an F1 car sustaining 230mph for long periods of time please with the magical PU.


Sebee. Why wouldn't they be able to do that? They doydo it currently because there is no need for them to do that, as none of the tracks they race on allow it. If an Indycar can do it, and an F1 car has more power, then there is no reason to believe that an Indycar would stand a chance of winning.


I agree with his thinking.
New world tech for a new world of F1.
No point in going back to V power.
How ever much some people stuck in the past seem to bang on about it !!
Get with the program or go watch classic cars raced by Z list celebrities around Good Wood. Other the Silverstone Classic.


They are still 'V Powered'! The V6 is just the old V8 with two cylinders lopped off!


Thanks for that I would never have known that ! 😉
Actually, I knew that,
what I was going on about is certain posters "Sebee 👈😉" Dream of going backwards in time to the Halcyon days (in their minds) to the days of gas guzzling power units )
The banshee wailing monsters are the thing of the past , its 2017 and time moves forward not backwards.


Otherwise watch the Silverstone classic 😎


Why exactly can we not go back to V8s? Anyone? What's stopping us from coupling a 15,000 RPM V8 with existing hybrid technologies? We'll get the magnificent sound back + fuel economy, no?


You wouldn't get the fuel economy, which is the sticking point. Apparently it's important, even though nobody has mentioned it since Daniel Richard at the 2014 Australian GP! I agree with your idea though!


That was done. It was V8 with KERS. Drivers controlled it and deployed it.

Then we went to PU and it went all automated. Improvement?


Poor honda. Not. Pathetic a massive company like that with - I assume, a proud history would find themselves in a situation like this. Failing twice in F1 despite all their resources.


Since the 50s, who has failed in F1 more times, Ferrari or Honda? Remember when Merc went running with their tail between their legs because they chucked s motor into a full grandstand at Le Mans?

Yup, Honda's definitely the only company to fail in F1.


“We can look back, but should not go back” This was not the case when they had traction control or ABS? why did they go back if it is not advancing technology? Why did they go back when they introduced that amazing qualifying last year?


This is so true. People cling to the V6 hybrids because "we can't go back."

But we've gone backwards with things like Traction Control, Active Aero, Active Suspension, ABS, tire longevity, race start procedures.....the list of technologies F1 has gone backwards on is nearly endless.

And why was allbthis done? All in the name of the "competition."

However when it comes to PUs, we must keep beating the "advancement of technology" drum, even if these PUs are the single crystal clear #1 reason F1 is so uncompetitive on track at the moment.

We might as well put these PUs into a shopping cart and call them the "most advanced racing karts of all time."


More politically correct speech from these guys. The only relevance F1 cars have to road cars is they both have 4 wheels.


What, your car doesn't have DRS??


Mine does: It's called winding up the windows 🙂


Yeah, you can't even turn the stereo up with the buttons and knobs on a F1 steering wheel.


I would like to see rules for an f1 engine to last the entire season. Maybe they f1 can use their need for hi-tech to get that right. Bring back v8 20rpm!


Out of all the engine manufacturers in the world only 4 decide that F1 is the go.Personally I would like to see alot more but with the costs and complexity of these rules it will not happen.Make it simpler and cheaper and who is to say that making a v8 or v10 n/a engine rev to 25 thou is not technologically impressive.


What's important to the engine manufacturers is less fuel consumption and fewer emissions because both those translate directly to the consumer market.

So, why not set the limits for each and let the engine manufacturers meet these limits in their own way?


Since we are not supposed to be bouncing future ideas around on this site I will talk about now. Smaller teams don't care if they ever win championship. All they want is to win one ever now and then.

Nobody likes grid penalties as they are now. To fix this rules should cut costs because teams will follow rules that can be enforced and ones that can't don't matter because the money will go right around that.

All these teams and Ross Brawn agree no you can't turn back time but hey the future is pure electric.

Isn't merely having the fastest race cars that race enough? I just like to see good racing and F1 is good but used to be even better.

The lack of specs on the halo from the FIA is going to hurt small teams too. Some of this Gene HaaS said recently.


might be rude to say this, but it should be said. anyone wondering why we cant go back to naturally aspirated engines in some v arrangement needs to go back to high school physics class, conservation of energy is a real and accepted law of physics. the fuel and oil reserves are not there to permit decades of this type of energy consumption unless a different and more cost efficient and reliable fuel becomes available for the masses to use.


What is the reserves for all the natural resources used to make batteries projected to be and/or last? Or is this a solution until we deplete those as well? And then look for the next solution? Considering we use batteries to power so much now as opposed to the past the demand for them should rise significantly. Also how will we dispose of these batteries once they have expired and no longer useful?


@ Aiyanah...I think that you're confused. If the general concensus is that F1 should not and need not be a benchmark /test bed for road relevancy are you saying that if F1 maintains a dependence on fossil fuels that this will impact Energy Conservation globally? That is just plain wrong. Hybrid/electric may be the future of mass consumer motoring but F1 motorsport is, by sheer weight of usage, a non starter.


Kenneth, it is the case that motorsports in general are a test bed for future technologies.
that is simply the way it is, there is no debate to be had about that detail, whether it's what motorsport should or should not be is another discussion but for as long as it remains the case that motorsports at large is a glorified test bed then it will always be the case that projected technologies end up in the racing cars.

that technology does not thereafter have to reach the layman on the ground, it could just as easily go laterally for military application for instance.

the scale of the f1 operation required to get this tech working is irrelevant as the outcome is only centred on how efficient the technology itself is, thereafter progression leads to progression and the developed tech as well as the next projected tech can be manufactured and designed in that order.


@ Aiyanah...I think that you're missing my point altogether. Some time back Audi were touted as being interested in F1. When questioned about why they weren't competing alongside Mercedes,who were reaping the benefits of hybrid technology for their road cars, they responded by saying that 'We get everything we need to know and more from our LMP1 program'. That is far more relevant to road cars than F1 will ever be'. How very true. That is the case in point. No one [ me included ] has said that technologies created in F1 are not able to be utilised in other fields. You then say that the scale [size/personnel numbers/investment capital ] is irrelevant, wrong again. The scale is wholly dependent on the specifications on hand and in demand. The more complex the greater investment.


I said all motorsports is a test bed.
everyone is skinning the same cat that guy over there just so happens to be using a razor, the other is using a scalpel, the other is using his teeth, some other guy is using a robot to do it.

and you have the purposes of scale backwards, the scale of an operation indicates competitiveness not the value of the product or tech in r&d


@ Aiyanah...Sorry to spoil you picnic. Read what i have said again re 'scale'. The scale of an operation is directly proportionate to costs associated with the production of what the regulations call for. Why do you think that the current crop of engines cost infinitely more than the the previous iterations. Complexity. That is a direct result and has nothing to do, primarily, with competitiveness. That aspect only comes after the event. The R & D and costs of process are the dominating factors.


the engines cost more because inflation is real, 1 guy gets fired for Honda's engine woes, the factory does not go through a redesign or massive staff overhaul.

and much like conservation of energy the Fiat money required to stay on top of a global economic crisis inflates global prices of goods and devalues money itself.
if we were developing hybrid engines in the 90's then whatever we had now would cost what it does right now.

and that aside if you introduce cheaper engines tomorrow suddenly teams are spending that money on something else in order to remain competitive.
it's folly to fail to recognise this with the testing ban not curbing costs in a time of relative stability.
same for the homologated v8's
same for banning third cars running in free practice.

so like I said, it's competition that dictates the order of magnitude to anything, the operation is huge because everyone wants to win.
people would have a truck just for racks of v10 engines back in the day, no Parc ferme rules, engines only had to last 1 race, t-car in every garage, costs were high nonetheless on both resources and the relative amount of bank at that time.

study the reality of what motorsports is instead of the narrative.


twin or single turbo 1.6 v6 with KERS...... ticks all the boxes:
-small and perceived fuel efficiency in line with global down sizing
-still retains a hybrid element


It is purely commercial interest that says we can't go back to v8/10.
The pre-condition of the large manufacturer involvement is that they get to use F1 as a marketing vehicle for their road cars in the belief that the brand recognition and road relevance of F1 "technology" will generate sales.
I would love to see the day where F1 teams were "racing enthusiasts" and the competition was between traditional racing teams -Brabham, Lotus, Tyrell, etc, as well as the current teams, with a relatively homogenised engine, but development allowed in aero and no testing bans.

Championships would be decided by good chassis development, good driving and good strategy and teamwork.
Naive? Yes, maybe -a hell of a lot people would need to take a haircut without manufacturer money -but i don't see how that would reduce the appeal of the F1 product to fans (on the contrary), and the manufacturers are not the only corporate sponsors in the sport.


@ LKFE...Steiner says 'we can't go back to V8's/V10's. That is a complete nonsense. F1 can decide to do anything it wants to do regarding the prime source of motive power. Whether or not they would decide to revisit previous engine philosophy that was brought up to date is the point really. So long as Todt et al push this political farce re the 'economy of F1 and the supposed road relevance' we won't see truly great engines ever again. He is totally wrong. It is a losing battle and F1 is all the poorer for it.


F1 has been Hijacked and in a strange case of Stockholm Syndrome, the FIA are aiding and abbetting the Hijackers!!


F1 needs to decide what it wants to be on the engine front. If it is really serious about leading cutting edge technology for road cars of the future then really they should be pursuing all electric solutions now, rather than having a Formula E series.

If traditional/hybrid units are what they decide, then it should be the most impressive possible, and for me that is a minimum of a V8. The V10s of the late mid 90s to mid 2000s were easily the most impressive in virtually all aspects and frankly I'm amazed they have moved away from something so popular.

The current engines feel completely bland and unimpressive. I remember sitting in the grandstand in 2006 for the start of the British GP and the sound was absolutely incredible, like a space shuttle launch! With this current engine formula there is absolutely no way I would pay the same amount of money to sit in those seats.


I don't understand about "going back to the V8". We have a V6 now! Except all the turbo gubbins have strangled all the noise and excitement out of them. Going back to a V8 and going twin turbo would at least improve the noise, even with the same MGUK etc. And give more power. I'm all for swapping the V6 for a V8.


One of the reasons I agree with Steiner

It seems that a lot of people seem to have forgotten that oil is finite and will only get more expensive.

The big players have not! The change started as a trickle it will end in a flood.
That does not mean that F1 will be boring in fact i think it will be an exciting future with power/torque unthought of before. The sound will take some getting used to by us oldies. But at my age I'm definitely used to change.


JohnH, you sound comfortable with the Formula E future! Most of us are not.
I don't buy the peak oil argument. F1 should give up trying to be road relevant, and just be a sport.


We ll see what Ross brawn @ liberty can pull a masterstroke to have a win-win-win solution for Honda-McLaren-F1


He ought to - Honda made him a very rich man and he owes them a few favours!


Steiner is completely blind to what F1 has to become.

Unless F1 wants to go to full electrification it's going to lose any relevance to motoring technology. F1 has a choice - move to electrification - or accept that it's purely a sport and choose it's engine technology and regulations with an eye to making the racing exciting.

Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

It is purely a sport! It's driving in circles as fast as possible for fun and entertainment - that can never be "green". The sport should stop pretending otherwise.


Well, to be frank. As long as F1 retains spectator count in tens of millions it's ecologically rather neutral...Each F1 spectacle stops quite a bit of traffic for 4-5 hours every race weekend.

Of course, from a bigger perspective, the F1 fuel consumption during the race is in essence irrelevant, because of the transit costs between the GPs. Back in the 80s when it was more 'European' on old tracks the business was probably a bit more carbon neutral than nowadays.

On the other hand, it is all about how it looks rather than how it is.


I don't really like F1 being made to be relevant to road cars, but I can certainly see why manufactures would. Renault won 4 straight constructors titles with a V8 but never had one for a road car.

But F1 needs to be the best of motor sport and while its technology may run down into our road cars I don't think it should be the main reason for it.

I don't think is also has to be at the edge of technology, but certainly needs to be sophisticated. If Honda cant get it together after 3 years and Renault still struggling a bit maybe the new regs are too much?

Red Bull & McLaren now cant get top notch PU's as they may beat their supplier so if they cant grab a 'default' cost/performance effective one why spent the coin they do?

I am not suggesting a homogenised F1 where Adrian Newey designs all cars and Mercedes powers them all but there must be some happy medium.


Unless red Bull and McLaren can come up with a power unit strategy that gives them chances of winning they will not stick around for ever. I can see Red Bull pulling out for sure if they have no chance of winning after 2020.


And who would blame them. They are there for one reason win. Being saddled with an engine that is not up to the standard of excellence provided by Mercedes and Ferrari they are well within their rights to up sticks and go somewhere else where they can be successful. They should be able to gain access to whatever engine they need and want as should all teams. For too long the series has been controlled by the manufacturers and we have all been help captive by it. I really do want to see at least 6/8 car/ drivers each in with a chance, each and every race.


I take the statements from Haas as we're determined to kill the series and we'll be damned if we take steps in the opposite direction.


Any news on mclaren renault?
Could the deal be done just to get mclaren through to 2020. Then when the new simpler engine regs start mclaren could build their own engine.?
Maybe redbull could do the same with Aston Martin helping of course.


It would be good if McLaren Renault allowed Alonso to race Dan n Max. Bring back competition amongst real racers.


Hybrid engines ruined the sport. End of story.


I'm sorry but the 1.6 turbos are a real problem for everyone I know who watches the sport. They sound terrible. That excuse that F1 needs to be more in line with road cars just baffles me. It is a sport, not a reality TV show of Joe Blogs driving from London to Birmingham. In fact F1 ONLY exists as an entertainment event, just like every other sport, so making cars sound as bad as they do was a poor move. There is no argument for it. Cost was not one given the investment and unit price. The environment is not one given that other sports like football have a larger carbon footprint. The road car alignment is not one given that there are MANY cars with engines over 2.0 litres. I know personally that I was a hardcore fan up until the last few years. I am not sure what has changed that but everyone I associate with has a problem with the current regs.


Honda supplies (sorta) reliable engines for the crap Indycar racing series.
Why the hell can't they deliver an engine for a series that probably has ten times the visibility of Indycar?


The reason that the Indy Car engines don't have the same problems is simply because Jean Todt and his politically correct green police haven't been allowed anywhere near.


The high tech momentum he speaks about has caused nothing but headaches. Bring back the V8 and to hell with technology. If he wants high tech he can play with his computer games.

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