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What F1's future means for the car you drive

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Andrew Benson | 12:43 UK time, Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Formula 1's power-brokers are close to defining a new type of engine to be used from 2013 - and their decision will help shape the car you drive on the road in the next few years.

F1 currently uses 2.4-litre V8s which broadly reflect the belief that a high-performance car requires a big-capacity, normally-aspirated engine that uses a lot of fuel.

But, under pressure from diminishing supplies of fossil fuels and stricter emissions regulations, both F1 and road-car manufacturers, even those who make fast sports cars, are now taking a different approach, striving to get power from increasingly efficient, smaller engines.

These new engines - both in F1 cars and on the road - will feature a reduction in fuel consumption of as much as 50%, thus moving from being big and thirsty to being smaller and more frugal. They will be smaller, and combine modern turbocharging with energy regeneration and other innovative technologies.

mercedes_595.jpgYour car engine could be affected by F1's proposed plans

BMW, which pulled out of F1 at the end of last season, already plans to use this type of engine in its new 3-series, scheduled for production in 2012. Mercedes is following suit with its range, while Renault predict that, by 2015, more than three-quarters of the engines they produce will be small-capacity turbos.

All very appealing in its own right, but F1's involvement is key here, for it will help the road-car manufacturers popularise the new technology, making it more acceptable and attractive - in much the same way as semi-automatic gearboxes, pioneered in F1, are now increasingly common and desirable in road cars.

OK, so far so good. This is the point where I get a little more technical, so please bear with me.

Negotiations between F1's power-brokers are continuing, but the new engines will be somewhere between 1.5- and two-litre four-cylinder units, using modern turbocharging and fitted with powerful electric motors that will be charged by energy that would otherwise be lost in areas such as the brakes or the turbo. These electric motors will then supply power back to the wheels.

Unlike the Kers power-boost and energy-recovery systems used by some teams in 2009 but abandoned for 2010 on cost grounds, these new 'hybrid' systems will be fully integrated into the engine architecture.

There have been recent reports, incidentally, saying that the engines will have a 1.5-litre capacity. My sources tell me that is not accurate - they are likely to be either 1.6- or 1.8-litres.

Using powerful energy-recovery systems opens up all sorts of possibilities on the sporting side, as the power-boost could be used, for example, to provide push-to-pass buttons, which drivers could use only a specific number of times in a race.

Further enhancing road-relevancy, it looks increasingly likely that Ferrari will be successful in their aim to have the new formula include a technology called 'gasoline direct injection'. This is when the fuel is injected directly into the cylinders' combustion chambers. This is much more expensive than the traditional route - injecting the fuel through an inlet port - but it improves power and efficiency.

And because filling a car up is central to the everyday user's experience, refuelling, which is banned in F1 this season, may well be reintroduced.

That's the technical bit over. Now for the politics.

The introduction of these new engines in 2013 has been the subject of high-level talks for a number of months, and a number of opposing views have had to be reconciled.

In terms of the big picture, there was pressure from some quarters for F1 to be as 'green' as it could possibly be, perhaps going as far as trying to develop a zero-emission engine that could be used in road cars in forthcoming decades.

But there were three major problems with that approach:

First, the fact that internal combustion engines will be around for several decades to come as they remain the most energy-efficient solution;

Second, the cost, at a time when F1 is trying to reduce the size of budgets;

Lastly, the risk of making developing new technologies the sport's raison d'etre.

Do that, the argument goes, and you risk the accountants who work for the major car companies deciding to pull the plug at some point in the future, claiming: we don't need you to do that - we can do it ourselves and not spend millions on you flying your racing cars around the world.

F1, it was agreed, exists in its own right as the world's premier motor sport. Any new rules have to recognise that, while also staying relevant to road-car engine technology.

On top of that, F1 will always have a problem trying to present itself as 'green', for the simple fact that any engine that produces the 700bhp or so required to keep it as the pinnacle of motorsport is, by definition, going to have reasonably high carbon-dioxide emissions and therefore not be environmentally friendly.

As it happens, though, considering their performance, even current F1 engines are paragons of efficiency. Here are a couple of facts that might surprise you:

  • In terms of specific fuel consumption - power per litre of fuel burnt - an F1 engine is 20% more efficient than that in a small-capacity road car such as a Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio, and produces about the same amount of CO2 per kg of burnt fuel.
  • In an 18-race season, the entire F1 grid burns the same amount of fuel as a Boeing 747 does in one flight from London to Japan.
The problem, though, is that because an F1 engine is so powerful, it still uses about 160kg (210 litres) of fuel in a grand prix. To most people, that would sound like a lot for 200 miles. The 2013 engines could reduce that to 90kg - still a lot of fuel, but a huge improvement.

Developing these new engines will cost many millions of pounds at a time when the global economy is still struggling, car sales are down, sponsorship revenue is limited and F1 is working hard to reduce budgets.

And while the car manufacturers have a vested interest in developing these engines, a way has to be found to ensure engine builders such as Cosworth - which supplies four of the 12 teams this year - can develop a budget plan to do so. The smaller, privateer teams must be able to afford to run them, too.

Cosworth is confident F1 is heading towards a workable solution. Commercial director Mark Gallagher says: "Everything we've seen suggests F1 will think very carefully before introducing regulations that will incur great expense. The new regulations are likely to be innovative but not at a huge price. We're confident we'll be able to deliver within that."

The prize here is huge. On a global level, a future generation of super-efficient road-car engines dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions, with F1 speeding their take-up in the general population.

As far as F1 is concerned, if the sport can shed its image of profligacy with resources - in this case, fuel and money - while embracing and helping to develop and refine road-relevant, future technologies, new manufacturers could be attracted into the sport.

My sources tell me, for example, that Volkswagen and Hyundai - neither of whom have ever been involved in F1 - have had talks about entering the sport on that basis.

So while the fine detail is yet to be resolved, one thing is clear - smaller capacity turbo engines with integrated energy recovery are the future for F1. And for the car you drive on the road.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I had no idea this was coming.
    As a part-time F1 fan, this makes the sport more attractive to me.

    If F1 can do it, good pressure will be put on all of us and all the car-makers from ferrari down.
    If speed and racing is unaffected then bring it on.

    Much more important than flappy-paddle or button gear change!

  • Comment number 3.

    just a question with regards to engines etc..and forgive me if I'm being dumb
    Over the last few seasons in F1 it has become more apparent that its not actually the driver that wins, but the car and its technology and performance on the day. Will there ever be scenario where F1 cars are all the same spec are very close to the same(like the GP thingy that no one watches on sky)? Surely this will determine who is the BEST driver by the risks he takes and believe it or not...driving ability!!

  • Comment number 4.

    F1 is historically an exclusive and expensive sport, so why do they continuously put budget caps and limit/moderate the engines that can be used? Bearing in mind that lots of technology used in road cars today came from the F1 world, surely teams should be allowed to go the whole way with research and development in the hope that more incredible technology is created? After all, it is an epic motorsport race so why limit so many factors of the race car design? It frustrates me, and if rules that stopped team X and team Y getting so far ahead of other teams could be implemented successfully, then there shouldn't be budget caps or endless limitations.

  • Comment number 5.

    So still no sign of alternative fuels then? With diesel runners in the Le Mans series, surely it's time that the field was opened up to fuels other than petrol (and recouped kinetic energy). Hydrogen power, fuel cells, something new? Surely if it can be agreed that 'fuel must weight 90kgs' then the scope for advancement is much more open than agreeing a single direction for engines. If F1 shapes the future of motoring, it's clear to anyone that there are alternate schools of thought on efficiency and F1 needs to reflect that.

  • Comment number 6.

    I will love to see turbo's back in f1, especially when the boost is wound up for a flying lap!!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm not so sure this would be the best move for F1. But I think it could be a good move for the engine and car manufacturers in the long term. As I think it would no doubt make the engines extremely popular. Lots of people would want F1 technology in their road car.

    But should F1 go down this route? Shouldn't it be the best of the best. Could they not use this new engine design, but incorporate into a bigger package than will be used in the road cars, say a 2.5 litre?

  • Comment number 8.

    I'd be interested to see if they kept a 'twin powertrain' mechanical and electric, or had the engine perform the equivilent of charging the electric motor. It'd be a much simpler solution, we might even be able to get 4 wheel drive back.

  • Comment number 9.

    Great Insight,

    I think F1 needs to seriously think about keeping the current teams and making the sport more attractive to the major manufacturers. Teams like Williams and Sauber need to be able to afford to stay in the sport and if that means spending a ridiculous amount of money on new engines that are only slightly more efficient then i totally disagree with the proposed plans.

  • Comment number 10.

    So, F1 will end up using engines little larger than the WSB? What next, three wheels to save weight? F1 is supposed to be about ultimate performance, not budgets or fuel economy. If the FIA are so worried about emissions and costs, why not just can the series? That would make it carbon neutral! ;-)

  • Comment number 11.

    On the subject of future technologies and alternative fuels, it's worth pointing out that development of these in a form that can be used in road cars is still a long way off. With hydrogen fuel cells, for example, the energy expended in making the fuel in the first place is just too great to make them viable at the moment.

    For the foreseeable future, the most energy efficient engine in a road car will remain an internal combustion engine. So the key is in reducing as much as possible their emissions by making them as efficient as they can be. F1 is trying to reflect the immediate future of road-car engine development - and the manufacturers in F1 using the sport to promote that direction.

  • Comment number 12.

    @Reinasbaldhead

    Part of the attraction to formula 1 for many people is the variation in the cars. The point is it's a competition between the entire teams, the engineers, mechanics, drivers, team principals, etc. Hence there is a constructors championship as well as a drivers championship, it emphasises the part everyone plays in the sport. Which car is faster here, in this weather, with those tires, with that modification, it all adds to the drama!

  • Comment number 13.

    Lot's of what Formula one does ends up on road cars. They should neuter the aero in F1 and open up the competition amongst the engineers. No restriction on engine development, no fuel stops so fuel efficiency becomes a big benefit. Low capacity turbos are the way forward and it's already happening. For example Alfa's latest model will be based on 1.4 Turbo units, 170bhp and 50+ odd mpg with low CO2. Might even spell the end of the diesel car.. here's hoping!

  • Comment number 14.

    corivea
    I take your very good point, but what your sort of saying who drives the car is irrelevant to a certain degree. Would the winning car(engineers, mechanics, team) still be the winning car if say any of the top 6 drivers be driving it??

  • Comment number 15.

    "And because filling a car up is central to the everyday user's experience, refuelling, which is banned in F1 this season, will be reintroduced."

    Yes, because pulling into my local Shell at 50mph and screeching to a stop while an elite team of 8 staff lift, change the wheels and refuel the car is INTEGRAL to my everyday driving experience...

    ...oh wait.

    Seriously, what next? The drivers have to get out and refuel the car themselves? Maybe they should check the tyre pressures while they're at it and top up the washer fluid!

    The refuelling ban has lead to some of the most interesting and dramatic races in a LONG time, and naturally paves the way for restricted fuel capacities to force some economy - changing this (again) just seems like a bad idea.

  • Comment number 16.

    "In an 18-race season, the entire F1 grid burns the same amount of fuel as a Boeing 747 does in one flight from London to Japan."

    That sounds wonderful except for one thing. How does the F1 armada travel from track to track? Planes.

  • Comment number 17.

    re-introducing refuelling because car drivers do it at the pumps? you are joking right? Apart from anything else it makes the cars look far thirstier than they actually are. In a years time people will forget refuelling ever existed, as we all did before when it came and went.

    The manufacturers will come and go as they please, it will be in their best interests to get involved with F1 and between 2013 - 2015 they will all be back, BMW, Honda and some of the asian manufacturers too, I suspect the majority will be back in as engine manufacturers only which is fine for the sport. The likes of BMW dont need the expense (and poor publicity of continually not winning championships) when competing as manufacturer teams, engines are ideal, its you if you win and the team if the car isnt any good. pefect. I suspect both Audi and Porsche will be sniffing around by then as well.
    The future for F1 is looking rosy as long as they sort out the lack of overtaking and keep overall long term costs down. Just lets not bother with the refuelling, there's as much strategy involved with getting the car to the end of the race now with tyre and engine management by the drivers as there ever was with letting someone like schumacher do three sprints in a bullet proof car every weekend.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm finding it strange that they use a picture of a Subaru Impreza STi engine to illustrate the piece. 2.5 litre and turbo charged not to mention from a WRC background and development and not F1.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hang on a minute. F1 is supposed to shape technology for the future of road cars. Yet there are already small displacement variable vane turbo cars on the market.

    In this case F1 is being shaped by the mass market, not the other way around.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm glad that F1 is thinking of me as I fill up my car at the petrol station as a reason to reintroduce refuelling, and not possibly because it might make races more exciting, allowing more strategy options.

  • Comment number 21.

    The thing is, that despite these promising steps forward, as Andrew as pointed out - over an entire season the whole grid burns as much fuel as a being on a flight from London to Japan. The argument about the cost of F1 on the environment comes around all too often and people do not realise how hypocritical it sounds when they harp on about it. Many of these people will take commercial flights themselves several times a year and help to contribute just as much, if not more so to polluting the atmosphere as the F1 teams themselves (as one flight to your Australian holiday destination will show you, for example). If anything the pressure should be on the airline industry to find better ways of improving the efficiency of the jets they use so that the overall impact of the sport and commercial airline passengers is reduced.

    That said, i'm all for the development of lower capacity engines in F1, it will be exciting to see what the teams can come up with and what rules are attached to this new development. Take what is going to happen in the WRC next year for example, smaller engines, smaller cars, better fuel consumption, but the racing is just as good. I saw some of these cars at last years WRC GB, and they not only look fantastic, but they go like stink as well! It is incredible to see how far engine technology has come over the years - My 1.4 Punto Abarth kicks the proverbials of my old Golf GTI Mk4 so lets see what they can come up with - either way it is going to be exciting! Bring it on!

  • Comment number 22.

    @Reinasbaldhead

    Well the quality of the driver is still relevant. If you look within the teams there are drivers that consistently beat their teammates and sometimes get another half second out of the same car in qualifying. You sometimes hear it said that the driver is just another component of the car, like an engine or a gearbox, a better engine can make a difference but so can a better driver. The teams spend a lot on the drivers, perhaps their wages give an indication to their importance.

    As for can any of the top 6 win the championship with the top car, well who knows? Due to driving styles it can also be the case that the best car for one driver may not be the best car for the other. Also who are the best 6 drivers, it's hard to tell what with the fact some cars are faster than others, haha!

  • Comment number 23.

    I’m not concerned about the capacity of the F1 engines of the future, but four-cylinder engines will result in a much duller engine note, which will remove some of the spectacle for me.
    Small capacity engines can sound great but need more than four cylinders – check out the 1950’s V16 BRM engine (1.5 litre with supercharger).

  • Comment number 24.

    I have read about these new engine proposals for some time. My view is that, as long as they don't really change the car's speed and acceleration too much (as the change from V10s to V8s in the last few years didn't impact TOO much), and thus have a vigorous impact on the F1 I love, I am up for them.

    I am doing an environmental science degree, so fuel conservation in ALL cars - until a realistic alternative to internal combustion engines can be found (electric cars are not the answer - where does the electricity come from to charge them - exactly - power stations which still use fossil fuels) - is a good thing, take it from me.

    Will be a pity to lose the V8 sound though, like it was a pity to lose the better sounding V10s

  • Comment number 25.

    To clarify, in my post #24, I only think the new engines should be agreed if they don't change F1 too much. My wording didn't really make that clear.

  • Comment number 26.

    Andrew in post 11 has got it absolutely right.

  • Comment number 27.

    "First, the fact that internal combustion engines will be around for several decades to come as they remain the most energy-efficient solution;"

    There is no basis in fact for this statement whatsoever, the only reason the internal combustion engine is still with us is vested interests........ period.

  • Comment number 28.

    It's a shame that F1 is influenced so massivly by people who have no understanding of the attraction of the sport. They have the technical knowledge, they can quote figures for fuel consumption, for power to weight fluctuations according to downforce, for co2 emissions, for air displacement waves and the affect on spawning butterflies in Azerbaijan, and so on.
    What they don't understand is the primal desire to compete and beat.
    I want to see the fastest cars that can be made, being driven by people who are almost godlike in their abilities. I want to see the pinnacle of motor racing, not the "as good as you'll get considering the limitations" formula.
    Let the designers design the BEST cars they can, not the cheapest.
    And yes, I have heard the world is poorer than a church mouse, but I heard that in the 70's too. Then the 80's. Then the 90's. We are not all going to end up destitute just because McLaren can get more power from a 3 litre than from a 1.5 litre engine.

  • Comment number 29.

    I did know about this (Autosport a couple of weeks ago, I think) and I suppose with my BSc Environmental Studies head on, it's a valid step. I DON'T agree that all cars should be the same - nearly every other formula has standard-spec cars, so there's plenty of viewing available if that's what floats your boat - that's what makes F1 different from other motorsport. But - F1 is a sport, does it really have to be relevant to real life? I can understand that manufacturers want it to be relevant to the core business, but are we really going to get a 1.5 litre Ferrari Enzo in the future. And heaven help us if they go towards diesel! I too miss the V10 growl especially at the races where it's very noticeable, the downgrade to V8 has been bad enough - perhaps the circuits should drop their commentary sound system and just have V12 sounds echoing around the tracks! All puerile stuff, I know - but I like F1 for the noise, the speed and for the constructors' abilities to build fast cars, as well as the drivers.
    By the way, the internal combustion engine is with us because we don't yet have a viable alternative.....electric cars need batteries, how green are they (not very is the answer - lots of minerals in their build, very difficult to dispose of), hydrogen cells are liable to explode etc etc

  • Comment number 30.

    if F1 is really wanting to be "green" then give each team a set amount of fuel for the weekend. how they use it is up to them.

    each race is about 200 miles, say we start at assuming the cars can get 10mpg, give each team 20 galls of fuel for each car for the race, plus extra for the qualifying and practise.

    each year reduce the amount of fuel the teams get, thus making them more efficient.

    also bring back refueling

  • Comment number 31.

    Number 27, you are wrong.

    Here are the alternatives then:

    1. Hybrid cars - what's the point. To charge the batteries so you can run the car through electric motors, you have to run the petrol engine, and it takes a long while for the batteries to get enough charge to propel the car. The batteries run out quickly too. Also, the current, reliable and cheap electric motors available for this technology only get cars to speeds of about 30mph, which obviously is pretty useless.

    2. Electric cars - also, what is the point? The electricity used to charge their batteries comes from the national grid. You have to plug them in. Not only does this take time, but the current fuels to generate the electricity are fossil fuels, which give out as much if not more emissions, just in a different place. Also, the range of these are rubbish too - they have to be charged every 200 miles, if not less. In terms of the motors used, the Tesla motors are better, and in time, they could be applied to replace those in hybrids at the moment, but at the moment, they are too expensive, as shown by the Tesla's hefty price tag.

    3. Hydrogen fuel cells - Hydrogen does not exist in a pure form on earth. Thus it needs to be separated from a compound. The most abundant source of hydrogen is with water. The splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen is done by electrolysis. This uses lots of electricity to work, and the electricity comes from fossil fuels. Therefore, the amount of hydrogen you get is far outweighed by the emissions and fuels used to create the necessary electricity for electrolysis. The gas created is very volatile, with high risk of explosions. Thus, more money and energy has to be spent on containing the hydrogen, making it safe. I will not go into the technicalities of how a fuel cell would work in a car.

    None of these are realistic, and many have more disadvantages than the advantages that they have. Thus, for the foreseeable future, combustion engines are going to stay. However, with the pressure on fossil fuels increasing as we use up the known reserves, a realistic alternative does need to be found.

  • Comment number 32.

    I do not understand why all these recommendations are being touted as "new technology"

    Turbo chargers have been around for AGES. I mean come on, GM- one of the historically most low-tech car makers in the world- made their first turbo-charged car in the 1980's. The have already become super-efficient over the last decade as they and the idea of efficient yet powerful cars have become more mainstream.

    My relatively low-tech GMC Acadia, a 2009 model, has direct injection fuel delivery. The only thing "new" that they have discussed in these "high level meetings" is the hybrid technology. The only new thing about that is likely goinn to be the specifics of design and implementation.

    When I started watching F1 ten years ago, I fell in love with it because technology that was out-dated in F1 then was still being called state-of-the-art in defense and space applications. All these limiting rules kill the allure of the sport for me.

    Give the teams a REASONABLE budget limit- 40 million is not reasonable for teams used to spending 5-10 times that much- and then set a maximum and minimum wheel base and length, set a tire height and width requirement and standard wheel diameter, set a maximum BHP point, build a box the car has to fit into for aerodynamic effeciency limitations AND LET THE TEAMS BUILD, DEVELOP, AND DESIGN TO THEIR HEARTS' CONTENT with EVERYTHING ELSE. Limiting number of engines and tires and transmissions may cut budgets but it puts an artificial limiting agent on the sport that defies the bleeding-edge technology, available and used in NO other industry, that defines F1 in my eyes.

  • Comment number 33.

    It frustrates me that what is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport is constantly being restrained. I agree that it is interesting and challenging for the engineers to try and come up with the best interpretation for each new rule change, but is this what the sport should be about?

    If there had been minimal or no rule changes for the last 15 years we would now have supremely powerful, radical looking and most importantly; fast and safe cars, which would have evolved on their own without the FIA constantly interfering. As i said before, this is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, not an arena to prove you can still go quite quick with a little engine or massive aero restrictions.

  • Comment number 34.

    The way things are heading, in another 10 years time, the cars will be powered by single cylinder 4-stroke mower engines, and use three litres of fuel for the entire race. The whole fuel efficiency as a 'green' measure is a joke. As was pointed out, in one season, the fuel consumed during races is roughly the equivalent of a Boeing 747 doing London to Japan. When F1 flies to races, just the physical kit takes... five Boeing 747s.... do the maths on that lot from the UK (for most teams) to Bahrain, Bahrain to Aus, Aus to Malaysia, from Malaysia to China, from China back to the UK.... I guess they drive the trucks to Spain, or do they fly even for European rounds? Then it's off to Montreal from Turkey, then immediately back to Spain again!!

    If they really cared about saving fuel, the F1 circus would have the races organised so that they start at one event, and the heavy kit travels to each in turn. Not zig-zag across both hemispheres in some random pattern. As and when necessary, new parts could be shipped directly to the next even from the factory, rather than the entire team, and of course employees could return home as and when they felt like on general flights.

  • Comment number 35.

    To post 18, you're absolutely right. We'll change the photo shortly. Thanks.

  • Comment number 36.

    Number 31, you're a bit wrong too...

    1. Hybrid cars... the idea is twofold - firstly the engine can be smaller and run in its area of maximum efficiency to regenerate the battery. Secondly, it recovers energy instead of it being dissipated as heat in traditional braking (cf KERS). Oh, and 30mph? Urban driving is usually the most inefficient area of IC engines so something that helps here is good.

    2. I kind of agree with what you're saying here, but you're forgetting or ignoring that this power generated by fossil fuel is on a far larger scale and with better efficiency... it's only a few percent but it's definitely better.

    3. Build some nuclear fission plants (or sort fusion!) and hydrogen suddenly becomes a lot more attracitve.

  • Comment number 37.

    Nothing new about direct injection gasoline engines as I worked on them 20 years ago, however the benefits are obvious. Smaller turbocharged engines in F1 will obviously mean higher cylinder pressures, and faster rotating engines to develop a similar amount of power that we currently have. Any sort of energy recovery system sounds good with engines becoming ever more frugal.

  • Comment number 38.

    Hmmm.. Turbo engines, no driver aids, rain.....
    back to indy cars with no racing in the wet, or even damp.....
    wheelspin = more revs = more boost = more wheelspin = straight to the scene of the accident.
    Any way we've been here before 1500cc and 1600 BHP in qualifying trim anyone else remember the 80's

  • Comment number 39.

    @Reinasbaldhead

    That's what the aim behind A1 was, I believe. F1 has always been two championships, the drivers and constructors.

  • Comment number 40.

    Quite clearly the real weakness in f1 cars is the tires. Why spend millions of "wasted money" on a new powerplant when it's not possible to use the current ones effectively due to traction limitations ( wet and dry ), Force = Horsepower/velocity. When the reaction force fails lost of traction results! The tires are the most critical not only in f1 but in road cars also. Ban all pit stops. No refuelling. No tire changes. That will show up the weaknesses. Pneumatics may have had their day. Look for new traction devices!! The way it is the race "railway line" is barely departed from currently. What about electromagnetic riding/hovering without wheels! Get rid of unreliable gearboxes and all the transmission. Linear motors! and who needs drivers!!

  • Comment number 41.

    For me this is the right move for Formula 1, the engines will be plenty powerfull enough plus lighter than the current engines so the car becomes lighter and faster, less fuel required means lighter race trim, this will make for more interesting races,add to this the characteristic of turbocharged engines and the future looks bright, kers is good but it needs to be available for longer than 8 seconds, lets make it 16 seconds and not available for the first lap ( lets face it the first lap is usually exciting enough anyway)

  • Comment number 42.

    #36

    Nuclear fission would definitely make hydrogen more attractive in terms of emissions but then youv got to deal with the nuclear waste. I'm afraid that nuclear fusion is way off, in fact its not even clear whether, just in terms of cost, enough tritium can be produced to fuel the fusion reactors on a commercial scale even if the current technical difficulties in the experimental reactors are eventually overcome.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think changing the rules and introducing viable new technologies is a useful approach for F1. I wouldn't restict it to 4 cylinder engines as this will end up sounding like an F3 race - not very exciting. I think making the engine configuration free within a restricted capacity and fuel volume would give sufficient challenge for a varied solution.
    High revving V12 or V16's would be awesome to hear. These coupled with turbocharging and hybrid recovery systems would make an exciting technical challenge that could easily help with future road car development.
    Enforced change is always the catalyst for innovation and should be firmly grasped if you want to remain competitive.

  • Comment number 44.

    Some years ago (about 23), I went to Le Mans for the weekend. There were 5.0 litre V8 twin turbo Mercedes, various Porche's about 3.0 litre flat 6, twin turbo rotary engined Mazda's, V12 normally aspirated Jaguars and many more. Obviously there were different classes, but manufacturers did their own thing and each class only had a certain amount of fuel. So they had to make it last, whatever engine they were using. I don't know why they changed the rules, but I guess that's just the FIA meddling as usual. They've got to be good at something!

  • Comment number 45.

    Let's get real here. CO2 is not a pollutant or poison. Without it we die.

    F-1 and Green doesn't mix. We need a massive blast of sound, vivid acceleration and much overtaking.

    Less aerodynamic downforce - bigger wheels and tyre, thus bigger brakes. More sportsmanship - maybe a few points per race for Sportsmanship like cricket has introduced recently. Proper suspensions and cockpit cameras to show what drivers are doing!

  • Comment number 46.

    Since its early beginning Grand Prix racing has been about innovation and trying to solve the same problem using different approaches. When somebody find the right solution, all the others follow the same path, but try to refine and improve. If I am writing the F1 rule book, I will demand small fuel cell, let's say 90-100 liters and continue to the refueling pan. Engine manufacturer can go from there and figure out how to get the most power out of this limited supply. Will it be tubro-, supercharging, with or without a bypass when you don't need all the power or naturally aspirated engines with some kind of exotic configuration? that is what the engineers have to find out by trial and error.

  • Comment number 47.

    I meant refueling ban.
    To Sibbwolf, the constructor championship was introduced later (1958). Only driver championship existed from 1950-1957.

  • Comment number 48.

    Surly a liquid hydrogen engion could be developed for F1. After all they use it in road cars in California and it would still be burning fuel like a normal engion. The hydrogen could be made from water by using solar cells or nuclea power stations to split the water molecules. Its not very hard and if F1 did it the other cars could use it the technology is old so it would not be amazingly expencive.

  • Comment number 49.

    "The refuelling ban has lead to some of the most interesting and dramatic races in a LONG time, and naturally paves the way for restricted fuel capacities to force some economy - changing this (again) just seems like a bad idea."

    You seem to have got your words muddled up. I think it should read "The rain has lead to some of the most...."

    Seriously though, we have only have one race not affected by the weather majorly (is that even a word?) in some way this year, and it was arguably one of the worst races for years. So how can you then go on to claim that the few races after that - which were hugely effected by the rain - were made exciting BECAUSE of the refuelling ban??

    It really had nothing to do with it, the races would have been just as good with refuelling, and I hate to say it, but I think the racing is going to become very boring once again once we have races which don't get effected by rain.

  • Comment number 50.

    all racing motorbikes once were 2 stroke engines ,then they allowed 4 stroke engines of higher capacity to race against them ,to level the playing field .
    now all bike races have 4 stroke engines in them and the have evolved past the performance of 2 strokes . perhaps they should let other forms of powering cars in ,but allow them to compete by leveling the playing fields until they can perform on there own right .

  • Comment number 51.

    Surely the big question is, will McLaren build their own engine from 2013?

  • Comment number 52.

    I think this whole thing is madness. Where is the drama and passion in seeing/hearing a four cylinder F1 car race past you when you are at a circuit? The historic circuits are gradually being killed off and now the cars are too. F1 technology hasn't got so much to do with road cars. Yea, by all means go out and buy a 1.4 turbo charged 50 mpg car. But I would be concerned when that car is 10 years old. I personally can't see a car like this being rugged enough to do the sort of high miles modern diesel cars do now e.g. 200k

  • Comment number 53.

    I almost agree with David Metcalfe at post 30.

    As an engineer (I hoe other engineers and scientists will agree) to holy grail of engineering is efficiency.

    I think that engine manufacturers should be given a free reign to develop the turbo technology detailed above but be given an FIA certified tank for the race, which is then reduced in size by an arbitrary amount (say 10%) every season.

    I think the variety of tracks in a season mean that there are a number of optimum solutions with the chance of winning, the extremes being Monza and Monaco, both of which have very different engine characteristic requirements.

    I think gearbox technology and the road car / F1 relationship has moved away from F1 so it will need a radical idea to get it back, I think this is the same with other performance components. They are either too expensive, fragile or life limited to be relevant to use in a road car.

    The much discussed relevance to road car technology can be disputed to the end of the earth. This months Evo Magazine has a good article about using a Caparo T1 on the real roads of GB. It also has a report on how Ferrari Road Cars will use numerous loopholes to beat EU emissions legislation.

  • Comment number 54.

    Some fact corrections: turbo engines burn much more fuel than a non turbo engine. They produce more power as a result, but many people are surprised by Saab et al with small turbo engines and their poor gas mileage. The energy systems being built into cars now (BMW comes to mind since I know them well) will scavenge a lot. BMW is claiming 15% increase in mileage with several systems in place: electric water pumps and fans, electric motors and recharging brakes etc.

    Direct injection results in an amazing increase in mileage. If every one built them, then the costs would go down significantly. but it is much more expensive as the fuel is at a significantly higher pressure and the piezo fuel injectors are tiny 9and expensive).

    While it is correct to say that F1 and their 18 races only use the fuel of 1 x 747 flight, that is very disingenuous. Last I knew, the F1 circus took over 17 x 747s to transport all the players, their cars, their gear and their mega track side "studios". So F1 does NOT use less than 1 747.

    Lots of great info in this article. Worth stewing over. Thanks.

  • Comment number 55.

    Please let's not kid ourselves that it matters too much whether F1 is seen to be relevant in an increasing "green" world. Take up of "super efficient small road car engines" will be driven by the price at the pump not whether Michael Schumacher's engine is also a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine "just like my Golf". F1 is about profligacy, excess and all those things that drive adrenalin (not that I'm complaining). By the way Mr Benson I too could have a car 20% more efficient than that in a small-capacity road car such as a Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio if I don't care if it only does a 800 to 1200 miles per engine and my lawnmower will only produce about the same amount of CO2 per kg of burnt fuel as an F1 engine - the key is the amount of carbon in the fuel. When CO2 output is compared it's the grams per Km that you measure

  • Comment number 56.

    I think they should be given a set amount of fuel (Energy) per race and be allowed to do what they like to finish first

  • Comment number 57.

    What, a four cylinder F1 car!! Please don't do it. There is nothing like a screeming V8 or the previous V10, it is part of F1. It will sound like a grid of Honda Civics racing. F1 is all about the extreams in everything including engines and budgets. Leave it alone, stop tinkering just to please the tree huggers.

  • Comment number 58.

    Actually I think that 1.5L is too big - less than 1L with no restrictions on how it is force inducted would be much more interesting,

    i.e. allowing combinations of turbo and supercharging would make for far more interesting engines.

    Something F1 has been missing since the last turbo ban in 1989...

    Of course inclusion of some sort of hybrid / regenerative technology will have to be a given to encourage engine suppliers due to the aforementioned green label.

    Personally I have no problem with force inducted engines.

    However I still think that there are a couple of things that should also be addressed:

    1) The aerodynamic issue: In my view full ground effect should be allowed with a caveat - a restricted measure of turbulence allowed at a few metres behind the car (measured at random heights to give equality)

    2) The circuit issue: They need to be redesigned to allow for better slipstreaming/outbraking.

  • Comment number 59.

    Many of the comments on here show a massive lack of understanding.

    It is great to say we shouldn't restrict F1 and that they should be allowed to develop as far and as fast as they like ... but the cars would be undriveable. There have to be limits. Every time the regulations are changed to slow the cars they are developed and end up even faster within a season or two. Having said that the top speeds remain very similar over decades. Unlimited engines will not change that - a huge amount of power is used to generate the downforce that allows fast cornering. How much more G force can a driver take over a race?

    In terms of being green a vast proportion of a teams budget is spent building a new car for each year. I feel this is the bit that needs change. Tweaking a rule here and there each year to try and make the cars easier to overtake is simply not working. All it does is mean the teams spend vast sums of money re-inventing a wheel.

    Many people agree that driver input (and the lack of correct input) is what allows overtaking. So we need more driver variables - like when to hit the KERS button.

    It is time the regulations allowed driver adjustable aero, unlimited KERS and a minimum of artificial inputs like refuelling or compulsory tyre changes.

    I think the basic chassis regulations should remain unchanged for many years and a restriction on the number of times a major element like a front wing can have be of a different design over a season. The engineering input should be limited to areas that it makes sense to change - like power units. I suggested many years ago that the amount of fuel should be restricted - and reduced slightly each year.

    To say a current F1 engine is more efficient than a Ford Fiesta's is laughable. All small engines are horribly inefficient. Performance should be quantified by tonne-miles per litre. An F1 car is as low as 1 whilst a super tanker or container carrier can be as high as 200 tonne-miles per litre. There is enormous room for improvement before lap times are significantly reduced.

  • Comment number 60.

    F1 really is becoming farcical. It's actually quite worrying when british touring car and DTM are far more appealing and exciting than F1 manages to be these days. I am a die hard f1 fan, but this will be the final blow for me, to turn the channel over. Its been hard to watch f1 slide further and further since 94, but 4 cylinder turbo charged engines!! why bother even watching. It's bad enough that we have to put up with listening to the wholly unsatisfying sound of the awful v8's over the sublime v10's/v12's. 6 cylinder turboed like the 80's yes, but not 4 pots please. Next it will be diesel!! put a 4 cylinder turbo in it, you may as well just standardise the power unit across WRC, F1 and GT categories. This continual dilution of F1 is becoming tiresome. FIA are determined to ruin WRC, F1 and now its starting in Moto GP too.. At this rate we will be forced to watch Indy and Nascar!

  • Comment number 61.

    If the aim is to be green my vote would go for two litre v6 glow plug engines running on natural bio fuels such as castor oil and methenol.... in this way the technology would be transferable to everyday cars...and three plus mandatory stops per race!!


  • Comment number 62.

    why write such an article if you have no interest in road cars and engines? even if you didn't know at least you could have read up on them on the internet. it doesn't take long to learn about them.
    or you could've asked lewis hamilton and he would've told you all about engine technology on road cars.
    for your information f1 engines are a long way behind road cars in terms of engine technology. many road cars use smaller unit with turboi and direct injection systems. vw gold opted for a 2l turbo unit in the golf r which is faster and more fuel efficient than the older 3.2l vr6. or you could have a read on the alpha romeo units. it is as embarrasing to read such articles as it is to listen to legard incorrectly name the f1 safety car, merceds sls amg 4 races in a row.

  • Comment number 63.

    Didn’t they run turbo charged 1.5 or 1.6lit detuned engines back in the mid-80’s? Producing about 1200-1300hp before detuning? Only to be stopped because there was no end in generating more power? The only thing different now is that they want to hook it up to an electric power plant which is nothing novel as lots of car makers do it anyway.
    Yes, the turbo charger technology now is mature and a lot more efficient than then but where is the novel thinking in this? Green F1 race car is an oxymoron and does not make sense. Anyone who has thought of this have their ”you know what’s” in a twist! Another hogwash idea that will either die before inception or die after a year of implementation making a mockery of low cost F1 racing idea yet again.
    Does anyone ever ask how much money do these guys waste to develop these hair-brain ideas only to dump them after a couple of year?
    Not even sure what Mr. Benson is trying to tell us in this article!

  • Comment number 64.

    I am a big F1 fan. I am also a big fan of safety on roads too. So, I take what you say Andrew, and would like to add a question.

    If they can make it illegal to have a certain type of light bulb for fear of killing the planet, then why do we allow cars to be built and sold that do over 70mph. It is against the law to do so, and get real with life before you mention the "autobahn" factor.

    In a world of dire consequences for green issues, it is strange to think that we are offered to break the law so flagrantly. They may as well have a beer cooler on board, but make it illegal to use it.

    @Reinasbaldhead - the best answer is that F1 is a team sport, and that includes the engineers, the technoheads and the interaction between them and the driver. Man Utd have a better manager and more money than most. That does not seem fair either, but hey, we live with it.

  • Comment number 65.

    I forgot to pose this question.

    Do people watch F1 because of their relation to road cars? Why do F1 cars have to be relevant to your average family saloon? We have other forms of motor sports that do that.

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm really opposed to this direction in F1. We currently have 2.4 litre engines, which compared to the average road car (about 2 litres) is hardly huge. You can even buy a Ford Focus with a bigger engine than that! If they want to downsize further and turbo-charge, I can see reasons for doing that I guess - but I would want to see them visibly ensuring that a high-boost approach doesn't compromise driveability. For all their popularity, the 80's high-boost cars were reportedly absolute sheds to drive because of the enormous lag, and whilst the top guys in F1 might cope with this, to sell this trait in a road car would be unattractive for me as a driver. Sequential turbocharging for example has been demonstrated to sort a lot of these issues out, and I'd want to see F1 take this route as opposed to lobbing one enormous unit on that has real lag issues.

    My main opposition though is a move to 4 cylinders. Any engineer will tell you that 4 cylinder engines have a serious design flaw in that they are not balanced - what are termed "secondary forces" are amplified by a factor of 2. In a straight six, both primary and secondary forces are cancelled, which is why this is such a smooth engine by comparison. They also sound like a bag of nails compared to a high performance multi-cylinder - we don't want the F1 grid sounding like the World Rally Championship after all! If smaller capacity is a must, make them all use the BRM V16 - that was a 1.5 litre (youtube it if you've never heard it).

  • Comment number 67.

    @sibusiso

    f1has always been as much about a battle between teams and technology as it has been between drivers. If f1 were to become essentially a one make series it would lose part of it's lasting appeal that has survived since the 50's.

    It should be fascinating to see which teams get these complicated sounding units working the best.

  • Comment number 68.

    The refuelling ban has lead to some of the most interesting and dramatic races in a LONG time, and naturally paves the way for restricted fuel capacities to force some economy - changing this (again) just seems like a bad idea.
    -------------
    Nope, the RAIN has lead to that, we've haad one dry race so far, it was boring as hell.

  • Comment number 69.

    Am I alone in thinking the relevance of F1 to road cars is questionable? Open cockpit carbon fibre torpedoes with upside down wings? Perhaps this has more to do with aerospace technology. Downforce is king in F1. Some technology is relevant, but really all this talk about road cars is ridiculous.

    Its racing, and racing at this level is an awesome thing, and I'm grateful for that. It is something which exists in its own right. Whether large manufacturers want to get involved or not is a matter for them but I think racers should decide on what's good for racing, which is their and our passion.

    It might not be a popular opinion but I don't want to hear about Co2 emissions and efficiency. Let racing be racing, just that. Fast, furious, and at times its dangerous. It is what it is, and its brilliant.. I don't care if its politically correct..

  • Comment number 70.

    They should change the focus of the regulation from the displacement to the hp. If all the cars were capped at 700hp. Then, the only thing the teams could do to improve the speed is to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics.

    Having aerodynamics also regulated, the only thing left is reducing weight, of which the engine and the fuel make big contributions.

  • Comment number 71.

    Many of the current problems with F1 are the result of constant tweeking of the regulation without a clear strategy in mind. F1 has been, and should be, the pinnacle of motorsport. The key element that has been diminished has been RACING. Regulations have conspired to make competitive driving near impossible. If aerodynamics have made it too difficult to follow behind another car, change the rules. If reliability is so great that drivers can go flat out from start to finish without risking a failure, then change the rules. If the team and the driver know everything that is going on in the car so that driver judgement is unnecessary, then change the rules. This year's regulations have made steps in the right direction. KERS will not solve the problem unless there is a a clear, integrated approach. If everyone has the same KERS, nothing will change. If KERS can be used any time without penalty, nothing will change. To be effective in improving racing, KERS must be a) strong enough to get one car past another and b) carry a penalty for use (for example only to be used once per lap or five times per race. Personally, I think changes to the aerodynamic regulations would be better. Less downforce would mean less grip, more penalty for losing adhesion, more tyre wear, closer following hence more overtaking opportunities, more time on the brakes ditto... All introducing unceratinly and allowing drivers more control over how they run their races.

  • Comment number 72.

    I really like the new ban on refuelling in F1, as this stops drivers waiting for the pitstops to overtake.
    I can't really see the point in F1 developing these new efficient engines if they re-introduce refuelling to the sport.
    What I think would be better is for the fuel tank size to be limited in the rules, and the cars have to get to the end of the race on that fuel.
    The more efficent engines will be able to go faster for longer. This will surely increase the pace at which the engine suppliers will improve their engines.
    In the 80s when they had similar rules, the Honda turbo was the class of the field as it produced more boost for less fuel than the others. The racing was also awesome!

  • Comment number 73.

    Shame really, as there's nothing that interests me less than the 2 litre in-line 4 cylinder low pressure turbo engines that most of the hot hatches, such as the Golf GTI have.
    Even Honda may end up going down this route, which would be a shame. The RenaultSport Clio will also be a much poorer car for losing the peaky NA 2 litre.

  • Comment number 74.

    Whilst we are talking about what engines to use we are all missing the elephant in the room.
    Why does the FIA and the teams not look at using a Wankel engine with forced induction it could be
    Used with hydrogen as the fuel. Mazda run these already in Japan.
    Come on guys it's small light very powerful and totally relevant to modern racing and road car use.
    So why has it not been done yet and why did the FIA ban them after it won Le Man in 1991 (I think the year is right)?
    Have you ever listened to one on full song? check the 787B mazda out!

  • Comment number 75.

    F1 should be the pinnacle of speed and excitment in motor sport, I want to see them doing 300mph down the straights, and so loud you can barely hear yourself think. Dont think you will ever get that with 4 cylinder turbo engines. However the big problem with F1 is with aerodynamics that do not allow overtaking, maybe they should look at limiting this before they think about engine changes!

  • Comment number 76.

    Nice blog, Andrew, however I feel F1 has little or no impact to real life cars @ present.

    If you want to look at how much more Motorsport effects your roadcar I suggest you do the same idea for the article but compare Lemans Prototypes and down to the lower end of GT racing.

    Hybrid engines have alreay raced in the ALMS, porsche have there new GT2 Hybrid taking part in the Nurburing 24.

    The problem is that F1 is seen as many as they only Motorsport by many, and many F1 Fans really dont know about LMS, ALMS etc!

    Thats why for the next Regulations by the ACO for Lemans rules, I'm sorry to say but more manfactures will come to race @ lemans as they no it has more relevance at present to your normal road car.



  • Comment number 77.

    I would like to see all different Engine technologies.
    From brands, Manufacturers, Conceptions even the types of fuel, be in 91 ron unleaded, to 100Ron unleaded ethanol grown only by hemp, so it doesn't pull food away from animals and also people get to eat, diesel providing no massive black plumes of smoke, hydrogen, even water , there has been some people making fuel out of charging water a specific way.(the guy who was going to sell his designs to a car company suspiciously died by poison, and another was selling to a fuel company, he was involved in a car accident on the way to signing the contract).

    The FIA should allow teams to run whatever they want, it has to be of a strict standard of
    750hp-800hp, and 270-300 N·m torque,no rev limit some cars would only rev to 8,000K some maybe 15,000K (rotary) must meet emissions target amounts, standards and noise standards
    having the unrestricted engine configs, and unrestricted fuel configs would open up so many high end car companies, the majority of them see as F1 IS / becoming to restrictive and just becoming another series, F1 should be pinnacle of technology,however its loosing its Identity, which is why Bridgestone is pulling out, we need Tyre wars, and engine wars (not just brand differences, technology differences ) which means all the above suggestions should be allowed, providing framework is strong, such as the emissions standard, and power/torque amounts. if the FIA did that massive car companies like AUDI, and Bugatti, Porsche (Porsche would be all over this like flies on poo)

    AUDI would be in F1 if it is attractive to them, they would run a TDI diesel)and because of the Green angle in F1 I can see Audi trying to gain entry short of selling their daughters.

    Porsche could do it also, again they have some amazing technology their porches, if they were to be driven in India, apparently what comes out of the exhaust is better quality air, then the air that goes in the intake and around India, thats amazing, to say their engines help the environment,and they are stupidly fast, 400+HP so F1 power is easily attainable for them.
    again thats a great Green angle for F1 and Porsche, of course they should use the flat 4/6 engine thats unique to them them and variable geometry turbos all available in their road cars, and are amazing already

    then the piece de resistance
    MAZDA + F1 + ROTARY ENGINES = A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
    to start with they have just made the 16X or the bigger capacity 13B they have amazing emissions, naturally aspirated 13B has decent power, the new 16X is 1.6L in size up from 1.3L, will have direct injection ( a first for rotary engines)and will get 30% increase in torque and power
    from 230HP to 300HP and from 216nm increase to 280nm NM torque,(thats just in the direct injection!!!) kept excessively quiet, and 2 massive catalytic converters because governor Arnold the terminator made strict laws to clean up USA, so with a race exhaust etc 400hp is easy thats naturally aspirated, then on top of that larger engine, longer stroke, bigger rotors, all alloy engine meaning under 200kg's for a road car engine = amazing technology for road cars
    And I mentioned a piece de resistance
    HYDROGEN the car can be driving down the road running on fuel, and while driving flick a switch over to hydrogen without missing, bliping, stuttering, no problems keep driving, thats how good that engine is.
    now if 400+HP is achievable from a NA 16X renisis then adding 1 or 2 turbos (1 small , 1 big) or even supercharging (Supercharges match better to the high revving Rotary)800HP could be achieved all day long again Mazda running hydrogen again great Green angle for F1 and Mazda. the only thing that is stopping Mazda I think is the fact the FIA has it in for them, ever since they completely wiped the floor with the
    rotary powered 26B 4 Rotor Le mans car, the FIA and Mazda have seen themselves as great enemies and the FIA has stopped Mazda from keeping / defending its honor and its championship, its time to allow these companies the true chance of showing what the highest technology can do, the FIA needs to stop restricting brands and to stop using "control" engines, "control" tyres, etc. of course create base rules, such as power output, emissions and weights, dimensions and outlaw stupid inventions "mass dampers etc" just let them use whatever means and ways to get to those rules, thats what F1 should be about. the rules should keep the sport fair, and safe. not restrict technology like it is doing today. Long rant but im sure everyone will agree with me
    JBK for FIA PRESIDENT

  • Comment number 78.

    I'm a huge BTCC fan and think that its the best racing to watch on telly right now.its fun to watch cars racing without huge wings meaning you can't get close enough to overtake for the most part. F1 has got absolutely no direction right now and it's tragic because it has so much potential. All this talk about making the sport 'green' gets on my nerves because when you start to put a handicap on development, the product in general gets spoiled.
    In the very report i'm responding to the reporter says that an average small hatch creates more polution than an F1 car and a 747 beats a whole season combined in one flight.
    I think Bernie should maybe get Branson to make his planes more efficient and leave F1 well alone.

  • Comment number 79.

    I also agree with nunya business about the rotary engine. I've got an RX8 and its the best sounding and smoothest engine out there. Its just a shame that Mazda are the only company pioneering this engine and it isn't helped by the fact that they can't fine tune it on a race track.

  • Comment number 80.

    2004 v10 @ 19000 rpm 1583 explosions per second, what a screamer!
    2010 v8 @ 18000 rpm 1200 explosions per second, only good at monaco
    2013 4cyl 13000 rpm 433 explosions per second, 500 euro for a grandstand ticket I DONT THINK SO...

  • Comment number 81.

    nunya business have you been living in a cave for the last 3 years? F1 is trying to save money, not spend vast amounts on new engine development! F1 teams and the FIA care very little for your fantasies. sheesh. there are also some folks here who seem completely oblivious to the 4cyl turbo engine that BMW built in the early 80's that produced 1200hp for races and 1500hp for qualifying. and that was 30 years ago

  • Comment number 82.

    Excellent idea to put highly pressurised hydrogen in vehicles that regularly smash themselves into bits.


    The thought that these greener engines wouldnt be developed without F1 is scary and that boeing stat is staggering; I think everyone has their priorities wrong here. Way wrong.

  • Comment number 83.

    Interesting thread this, I think we all have to understand that the day of the large capacity engine is nearly at an end, smaller capacity turbocharged and supercharged engines are the future for the internal combustion engine, Volkswagen for a number of years have had a 170ps 1.4 litre Turbocharged and supercharged engine which has fantastic torque and Horse power characteristics and many other manufacturers are moving in a similar direction. We must forget the old addage of cubic inches etc, today it is all about the PS and torque available from the powertrain. A 1400cc engine as described above produces massively more power and torque than a 2000cc engine from 5 years ago. One of the constant complaints levied against formula one is its relevance to modern motoring. Engines are getting smaller, more efficient and more powerful and Formula one should be at the point of the R and D development for such an intrinsic part of the cars construction. It is interesting to note the efficiencies of the current F1 engine compared with a modern supermini and this is with a very restrictive development ban over the last few years, just imagine how efficient even these relatively large power units could be if the engine designers were allowed their head. I am fully supportive of the change to a smaller capacity engine for F1, from memory in the last turbo era there were cars with capacities as low as 1.3l on the grid and this didn't seem to affect the racing in a negative way. I agree that the audible element, the theatre that comes from the current engines may be lost but the cars will be lighter, will have the potential to overtake with the possibility to add boost to the turbo for overtaking and will have the added benefit of truly affecting the modern cars we are buying today.
    I can't wait to see an Alonso or a Hamilton on full Qualifying boost around Monaco.Forget the size of the engine, that is largely an irrelevance, power is king and relevance to the marketplace makes F1 sustainable. Bring it on!

  • Comment number 84.


    cars will be lighter,

    I can't wait to see an Alonso or a Hamilton on full Qualifying boost around Monaco.Forget the size of the engine, that is largely an irrelevance, power is king and relevance to the marketplace makes F1 sustainable. Bring it on!
    ERM,DONT FORGET THE ENGINES, BY THEN, WILL HAVE LAST ABOUT FOUR RACES.
    SO THE BOOST LEVELS WILL BE FAR LOWER THAN THE POWERFUL TURBO ERA.
    AS FOR LIGHTNESS THE FIA WILL JUST ADD MORE OF THAT "GREEN" LEAD WEIGHT.

  • Comment number 85.

    My favourite part of F1 is the noise. I just hope they're not gonna be too quiet....

  • Comment number 86.

    Motorsport in general should be an escape for us 'normal' motorists, that have to drive at silly speed limits, adhearing to pathetic emission regulations and paying ridiculous prices for our sins.

    F1 cars do less than three miles per gallon, and any suggestion that they in present guise, or in a future KERS system, are a blueprint for the future of road-cars is just laughable. Wander around the paddock at any motorsport event, and you'll find hundreds of gas-guzzling cars owned by the people rich enough to endulge in such a sport.

    If F1 wishes to be a 'green' sport, they should give each driver 60 quid to spend on fuel for the whole weekend, and make the cars pass an MOT emissions test.

    Motorsport should concentrate on being a fantasy for us frustrated drivers, who drive road cars capable of doing twice the speed limit, but are made to feel like the devil if we use them, whilst still paying a huge tax surplus for the 'damage' we do the world when we drive them slowly.

  • Comment number 87.

    As many have pointed out, this season has been more exciting because of the unpredicatble (wet) weather. Bahrain was by far the most boring and processional race. Once the weather dried up in Australia, an otherwise exciting race and Lewis Hamilton's charge through the field came to an abrupt halt because overtaking became impossible. Another article on the BBC website today discusses tyre wear reported after the last race. Ferrari lowest, with Jenson Button nearly as good in his MaClaren, with Red Bull worst, with Lewis Hamilton nearly as bad as the Red Bulls.

    As has also been pointed out, there is little point in increasing engine power further if no more traction is available, yet it is the lack of traction that has made this season so exciting.

    So forget generating more power. Keep the lovely engine tones (or growls if you prefer), but work on making these V8 (or V10's or V12's) more efficient by all means. Allow less fuel each year (eventually Virgin will be able to finish a race that way).

    But please get rid of so much aerodynamics.

    The wings may make speed round the corners higher but out-and-out speed down the straight is only marginally higher. They have, however, have killed the excitement of overtaking. Top speed has not increased significantly since the cars had no seat belts and no wings at all, but excitement has dwindled as following cars cannot get close enough to leading cars into deceleration/acceleration zones.

    If I had my way, I would also put more kerbs and low barriers around the track, instead of run-off areas and rumble strips. These would require drivers to be more accurate and give more opportunities for overtaking at corners, instead of allowing drivers more room for error.

    Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have all demonstrated recently that they can drive cars successfully fast in the wet. Schumacher used to do that but at the moment he isn't driving very fast (relative to others) at all.

    So leave the no-refuelling rule, keep the power as it is (and rightly the most power in motorsport), allow different engine configurations and see which drivers can handle it the best. A good analogy might be those who have seen Richard Hammond, a good and regular driver of sports cars, make an absolute fool of himself trying to drive a formula one car on Top Gear a while ago.

    That would make for more interesting racing, more overtaking and a better spectacle and aural experience. And as traction declines further, those with the best engineers or most sympathetic driving style will still have some rubber towards the end of the race. It may also attract tyre manufacturers back into formula one. Better tyre technology is the key to improved race performance and this will also ultimately help road cars too (though don't expect road cars to use slicks any time soon).

    (And no, I don't work for any tyre company).

  • Comment number 88.

    Rather than making all these changes to the cars to improve fuel efficiency.
    Surley it would make alot more sense just to limit the no. of planes used to transport them to races tracks, or have two races in England and two in Spain etc, instead of 4 different countries.
    As it says in the article "In an 18-race season, the entire F1 grid burns the same amount of fuel as a Boeing 747 does in one flight from London to Japan"
    I understand that each team has a number of planes to move all their cars, crew etc.

  • Comment number 89.

    Maybe for one race on the calender every driver should drive a Nissan Micra and the winner gets double points.

  • Comment number 90.

    Its a good move, cheaper, green, refuelling strategies back. Now if tyres were stickier and had to last several races, Tyre makers and car makers will come back. Face it we are all cutting back for the next five + years, so too F1.

  • Comment number 91.

    If they dont watch out, 2014 silverstone, will look like turkey or china with empty grandstands..
    Who is gonna pay big bucks for british touring championship standard engine..
    O.k. the is racing good but so is the ticket price

    This is the end of f1 for me...........

  • Comment number 92.

    So "back to the future'
    The Beautiful B.R.M. 1.5ltr. fully blown 650 brake 1956 ?

  • Comment number 93.

    Andrew Benson, with all the experience you have on this subject matter how can you possibly support it further? I do not look upon these,to me, quite useless individuals who do nothing useful! The engines they worship are now archaic and relics of the steam engine. They are COMMPRESION devices!That's a very good way of using too much fuel. You will admit Internal Combustion Engines waste,75% of fuel through excess heat(Heat Engine) Look at the white-hot manifolds on these racing cars. It takes 12V x 30A 360w to START the (ICE) It takes next to nothing to PROPEL an Electric Car. An Electric Car can have a Mobile Battery Charger to charge the batteries, on the run! No pollution! This free energy comes from the Vertical Undulations in all moving vehicles. You will need a WEC to convert this free energy. You can see mine on YouTube, the link is 'leadtogold' Tom W. Shaughnessy

  • Comment number 94.

    Recently I heard in news that Mercedes Benz is going to make F1 car. They have planned to come - Formula 1 has been asked what seems to be the center of an explosion! Thousands of individual components of the F1 is the cables from the ceiling. Components to form the shape of the natural size of the exploded diagram of something out of the Haynes manual. To see with your own eyes is quite impressive - not only to understand how all these intricate details together to form a Formula One car, but the actual logistics of manufacturing and assembling of the artwork you are looking at staggering. I am waiting for that moment when this cars for sale available.

 

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