F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013

2013 F1 season

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Formula 1 engine design is set for a radical overhaul in 2013.

Multiple sources are reporting that turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines will be used from the 2013 season.

The move to four-cylinders engines has been mooted for some time and has been reported by Craig Scarborough (see yesterday’s round-up) and the BBC in the last two days.

The smaller capacity engines – reduced from the 2.4-litre V8s used since 2006 – should be much more efficient than current units. Power output is likely to be kept at current levels and augmented by the use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems.

Teams also hope to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport through more road-relevant regulations. The recent departures of BMW, Toyota and Honda have left only four engine builders in F1: Mercedes, Renault, Cosworth and Ferrari.

The FIA intends to publish the definite 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting and Technical regulations following its World Motor Sport Council meeting on Friday. Further details on the future engine formula are also expected following that meeting.

Read more: Turbos and ground effect ??back in 2013???

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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174 comments on “F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013”

  1. I’m not sure about this, i’m sick of this “Being Green” rubbish. What difference will this make to the pollution that is already choking the Earth as it is. Don’t get me wrong it’s ok provided the cars stay at the same pace but to be honest I think 2013 is going to be a very boring year.

    1. I do not think it has so much to do with the environmental side of F1 to do.

      Teams also hope to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport through more road-relevant regulations.

      1. Teams also hope to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport through more road-relevant regulations.

        And a V8 isn’t road relevant?, and what do BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, Ferrari, McLaren all have in their cars? V8’s!, the only manufacturers with 1.6l are VW with the Polo and the base Golf, BMW have 1.8’s in the 1 series and MINI.

        So, that whole road-relevant thing is irrelevant as V8’s are on the road and more to the point are used extensively by the manufacturers in or expected to be in F1 with none of them using 1.6l engines.

        1. So, that whole road-relevant thing is irrelevant as V8′s are on the road

          It’s not about what’s being sold now, it’s about what’s going to be sold in the future, and the trend is clearly towards fewer cylinders.

        2. No V8 is not relevant (sadly) and becoming less so…
          Next to none of the worlds car sales are V8s.
          If you take out the American market even less.
          Tell us how many V8’s you saw on the road this week?
          I saw one V12 and few V8s (4 x 4’s Range Rovers)
          and a couple of thousand 1.2 – 2.0 litre.

          1. In australia every third car is a V8. Ford GT’s, HSV, Range Rovers, Landcruisers, V8 SS utes.

            This whole 4 cylinder thing is crap. If i want to watch a 4cyl race go an watch the mini, or van dieman class. NOt F1. Comon this is bull… F1 cars should be loud and proud. Bring back v10 they were perfect.

        3. 4 cilinder engines are quickly becoming the mainstrai of the car market, with 1.2-2l powering everything from the smaller family cars up to upper level of sedans for managers.
          Heck, even some of the bigger cars are now offered with 1.2 turbo engines with a power output of close to 100 Kw!

    2. It’s not about cutting down on pollution, it’s about setting an example.

      Have you heard the stats about the amount of pollution F1 causes? It’s negligible- apparently a single transatlantic flight uses more fuel than all the F1 cars do over the course of the season. (Though I’m not sure if that’s true, it seems pretty crazy to me)

      Joe Saward- much as I don’t like the man- makes a good point when he says the most polluting sports are the ones which draw thousands of spectators by car. But even if every F1 fan walked to circuit, it wouldn’t stop the tree huggers from complaining. F1 is an easy target

      1. the most polluting sports are the ones which draw thousands of spectators by car.

        I don’t like him too much to but he nailed it there. Take football for example – here in Brazil the premier league has an insane number of matches, 760 I think. Some attract 40k people, other teams lure 20k every match. Ok, a lot of people go by bus, but the traffic jams on match days are just immense, and the number of cars parked around the stadium (some people here have to park their cars 1km away from the stadium because there’s just no space) makes you wonder whether football is more polluting or not. But of course, during the proper match, the only carbon emissions comes from the breath of the players and spectators, so no one thinks about it.

        F1, in the other hand, has 24 cars running in circles burning 400kg of fuel each, every race weekend! F1 is not just an easy target, as Ned said, it is actually the perfect target for the environmentalists. They know there are other things that pollute more, but F1 pollution is more clear to the general public.

        Also, about the new engines, I can’t see how they will make the racing boring. People forget that one of the most insane engines ever built in F1 was a turbocharged sraight-4 engine, and that was almost 30 years ago. Oh, and the sound of any turbocharged engine will be better than those puny V8’s of today!

        1. Yesssssss. I grew up hearing turbo chargers on Indy Cars so it will be a welcome sound!

        2. i can not disagree more on the engine sound.
          Turbocharged Engines suck when it comes to sound because the turbo damps the exhaust pressure waves which are the sound you hear. As a result they sound very steady.
          very unspectacular compared to the screaming of a high revving na-engine.

          1. Spot on.

            As things stand, restricted V8s running at 18000 rpm don’t hold a candle to V10s running at 19000+ rpm (remember how it was a big deal when BMW claimed to have cracked 19000 rpm in 2002/03) Inline-4s are just going to sound a whole lot more dull.

        3. How can anyone dislike Joe?

          Anyway, F1 wants to be more green? Promote sodomy.

        4. Take football for example – here in Brazil the premier league has an insane number of matches, 760 I think. Some attract 40k people, other teams lure 20k every match. Ok, a lot of people go by bus, but the traffic jams on match days are just immense, and the number of cars parked around the stadium (some people here have to park their cars 1km away from the stadium because there’s just no space) makes you wonder whether football is more polluting or not.

          I enjoy watching Formula1. But if you’re going to count traffic to and from events like football matches, you have to do the same for F1 races for an apples-to-apples comparison. And it’s all well and good to say that the whole weekend costs less fuel than a transatlantic plane, but how many different planes are the people who attend F1 races spread out over? How many trucks are used to ferry all the various parts from one place to another?

          I mean, McLaren flew in someone to replace one single part to one of the races, not to mention the machinery they were running just to produce this single item overnight. Singapore’s lighting requirements can’t be too far off big-name stadium concerts. The big teams at least, have a whole other team sitting at home running computer farms with simulations and strategies.

          The headline fuel abuse happens on the track, obviously. But I don’t think F1 apologists can use the on-track figures to say the whole circus is not just a tiny bit wasteful. And in that light, I think it makes sense to do what you can to be seen to address everyday issues like fuel consumption in the main event if nothing else.

      2. Could be. An airplance uses like a gallon of fuel every second (of course, depending on the amount of people abouard).

        So in a 10 hour trip (transatlantic flight), it’d be 36 thousand gallons.

        1. So if F1 really wants to be “green” it should start thinking about the order the races are in to minimise the number of flights teams have to do, or even better only have a small number of fly-away races (let’s say, Australia, Japan, Canada and Brazil) and keep the rest of the season in Europe…

          1. Nah, that would make too much sense for the F1 community to take your idea up.

          2. CarsVsChildren
            4th December 2010, 15:49

            So that whole world championship thing means nothing to you then?

            Europe does not need as many races as it has now.

            Instead every continent or major economic area should be represented.

            That means a race in Russia, Africa, North and South America, and Asia. Not just the pet events for people who live in Europe and selfishly want a race in their prime time every second week.

          3. Ah, I misread his comment…

            I thought he meant have the races in some sort of logical order in terms of where they are and transporting people and equipment to the next one.

          4. Well if they really want to go green.. maybe they should have flinstone formula 1 from 2015 onwards. Where there is a light chassis made, and the car gains momentum by how fast you can run within your chassis. No fuel .. no pullution.. and I guess we could really find out who the great drivers are.

          5. Todfod, we already have that. It’s called athletics.

            Although it would be fun to watch someone run around a circuit in a race suit!

          6. “every continent or major economic area should be represented.”

            couldn’t disagree more. F1 should be raced where the majority of the fans are.

            I’m fantasising now but for me Great Britain should have 2 races. I’d build the second track in the Scottish Borders or North of England, to facilite easy access for fans across GB and Ireland and practically guarantee rain.

          7. @CarsVsChildren

            Fair comment, but you can get to Russia by road from Europe, Africa by road and sea and I included Canada and Brazil so that’s North and South America taken care of – again a road trip is possible.

            I do think though that F1 should be where the fans are, not in the middle of nowhere with empty stands at the cost of more historic circuits that also have the benefit of producing better racing.

          8. wouldnt canada japan australlia brazil make more sense in this case? i see your point!

      3. Mark Hitchcock
        5th December 2010, 11:48

        Have you heard the stats about the amount of pollution F1 causes? It’s negligible- apparently a single transatlantic flight uses more fuel than all the F1 cars do over the course of the season.

        F1 cars, personel and equipment are flown around the world on multiple aeroplanes. To look at the damage F1 causes and assume it’s all about the cars is naive.

        F1 may be an easy target, but that’s what makes it a good place to set an example and showcase technology. All eyes are on it and improvements in emmissions will be noted.

    3. I accept that the ‘being green’ element of changing the engines is a gimmick, but the technologies that will be developed to make these engines as fuel efficient, reliable and everything else will make its way into the motor industry at large.

      I also wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cars with these smaller engines aren’t quicker than the current ones. I just want to know what the regs say about engine development, is it going to be frozen at any point in 2012(pre-2013 season), some point in 2013 or later…. I am also curious to know if they are going to keep the current engine allocation system and if the number is going to remain 8 per season.

      Anyway its another change in the regs, a fairly major one and that tends to make for an interesting season.

    4. Don’t think like that.

      If they can make the engines a lot more efficient, then allow them to do it.

      If a 1.6 liter engine with turbo produces similar levels of power, torque, etc than a normally aspirated 2.4L V8, then great!.

      It’s not about F1 being green. It’s about making better smaller engines…

      Remember in the old days, the engines were MASSIVE. Now a 1.4 Fiat it’s as good as an old 1.8 Opel engine.

      1. fully agree with that. Finally were going to have engine development back.

        I think actually the 0.9 engine in the smallest cars are better than the old 1.8 opel engine by now.
        F1 should not be left out of developments, but should be spearheading that. Its not about the biggest meanest power on track (watch dragracing for that), but about getting around the circuit as fast as possible. Just think about the possibilities of weight distribution when the engines are over 1/3 smaller.

    5. “Being Green” rubbish. You’ll literally be sick when you’re choking down smog. F1 would be a great platform to introduce hydrogen, or a similar fuel. Where else does machinery evolve so quickly? Larger engines would be used, as I highly doubt that hydrogen is more efficient. Which means that you may possibly get the awesome sound of the 3.5 liter ferrari v12 back. I may be wrong, but really haven’t looked into it. F1 could literally be at the foreground of saving the world. Tell me this anybody, with a battery car, are you going to stop every 150 miles or so and wait for god knows how long for it to recharge?

      1. Yeah, hydrogen cars are definitely the future. With any luck the majority of drivers will be driving them on a daily basis, which will ultimately save what’s left of fossil fuels on the planet for the gas guzzlers we all know and love…

        1. Agree. It’s the only logical long term solution.

    6. It’s about leading by technological example and allowing the efficiency savings filter down into road cars – as it has been for a long time now.

    7. I’am all for more efficient engines, provided they match or better the performance of the outgoing units, but what really grinds my gears is this carbon emissions nonsense! The fact is there is not one single peace of evidence that even remotely supports the ‘co2 controls temperatures’ hypothesis.

      As I am quite good in science and maths I got an opportunity to represent my school in a project this year, where we were toured around different organizations related to science, basically to show where you can study and later work in businesses related to science. I got a tour around high technology park, which consisted of different parts, its related to space observations, satellites, electronics design and manufacturing, CFD, CAD and also solar activity measuring. And I had a chat with a solar scientist and the director of this organization, and they couldn’t stress out just, not how untrue this hypothesis is, but how ridiculous and ludacris it is, in the face of the facts and actual understandings of how the climate works.

      1. Are you saying that Carbon Dioxide is not a “greenhouse” gas?

        1. Well, it is a gas that you are expelling every 4 seconds.. And without it, as a planet, we would die.
          I would call it an essential gas. This green madness has to stop.

        2. Greenhouse gas? Yes. Relevant? No. More than 95% of the greenhouse gases is water vapour and its by far the strongest of the lot. To see an example of the power of water vapour, go to a really dry desert, there you could see temperatures of +40C in day and -40C at night. Why because the greenhouse gases doesn’t do their job, because there is hardly any water vapour in the air, but the carbon dioxide levels are the same as anywhere else in the world.

        1. IPCC is a scam and there is a corruption scandal going on right now.

    8. it’s not green thing, but rather making F1 more relevant to the technologies needed for road cars.

  2. Knowing F1 engineers, the cars will be faster than ever.

    1. Indeed; there’s all these new regulations on aerodynamics every year to try and cut the lap times back, but the records keep on falling.

  3. crap..

    2.0 i would be happy with but 1.6.. at this rate F3 will be challenging F1..

    1. Was it doing so in the 80’s when they used 1.5 litre turbos?

      These things will probably be faster than the current engines, given the fact that turbos have probably come on a long way since the 80’s and they also have an extra 7% displacement compared to this era, an era where the engines were frequently producing over 1000hp

      1. Yes but back then engines only needed to live for 1 race, or even 1 qualification only. Now they need to do 3 races, so they can’t stress the engines as much so they will produce less horsepower.

    2. I doubt it – apart from anything else F3 engines are restricted to about 200bhp. The 1.6 turbos envisaged for F1 will have the same sort of power outputs as the 2.4 V8s do now, which is several times that of an F3 car.

  4. i’d prefer a two-way choice: 1.6 4-cylinders turbos vs 1.8 V6 naturally-aspirated ones. it should make racing more interesting and reduce this trend to over-standardisation of F1 cars.

    1. In theory that’d be great, but I imagine the reality is that one or the other would prove overwhelming quicker, and everyone would simply use that engine

      1. maybe over the years it will be so, as happened in the 80s, but we could enjoy 4-5 years of hard battle for determining the ruling standard.
        If i’m not wrong, Ferrari are betting on the 1.8 litres engine, while others (can it be the direction of a McLaren brand new in-house engine?) could choose the turbo. It’d be surely interesting who’s right and who’s wrong.

        1. It’d be surely interesting to find out who’s right and who’s wrong. :D

          1. It would, but money is tight these days, and I can’t see manufacturers wanting to waste too much on something that might be uncompetitive

          2. Computer simulation and modern day CAD technology that provides virtual engine performance on a screen, will make any comparison between two different engines very short lived indeed.

            You no longer need to build things and then go and try them out on track. Computers do all of that these days.

          3. If they can come up with a working equivalence formula, it should make for interesting races. Say the four cylinder engine can rev higher because it has a smaller reciprocating mass, but the V6 has better traction out of corners (I’m just guessing here)

          4. @Burnout: yes, that’s the kind of thing I was thinking about. We’ve also to consider that rules will still have strong constraints about max power (and max rpm), so competition will be mainly (i guess) on:
            – reliability
            – fuel saving
            – weight distribution

            Ferrari thought that a naturally-aspirated V6 was easier to implement, because it’s just an “amputated” V8, so – in terms of cost saving and experience curve effects – it could be helpful, at least in the beginning.

        2. in the 80s the engineers had no simulation tools at hand. Nowadays they have and they can very well estimate the engine performance and the effect this has on lap times. It will be a lot less trial and error then in the earlier days.

    2. I’d actually like to see the option of a diesel powerplant…

      1. Interesting point

      2. For 24 hour F1 races?

        1. Now THAT would be interesting!!

          But no, just for normal races.

  5. This is not good, f1 is turning into something i’m not going to like. They shouldnt dictate the engine design, they should give a fuel load and get everybody to work to it.

    1. that doesn´t make sense. as long as the speed and power outputs remain the same, the races will be the same.

      1. No, it wouldn’t as one engine may be able to use less fuel and provide less power but as it is lighter the power to weight ratio is better and thus just as good as a massive V10 churning out tons of power but using all the fuel avaliable and thus being very heavy.

        It would be a very interesting season to watch

  6. 1.6L 4 cyl bangers can produce upwards of 700 whp when running moderately big turbos with 20-25 psi of boost and 8-9000 RPM.

    Make the F1 engineers have a crack at it and they will easily produce 1000 whp with 35-40 psi of boost on huge turbos running 12-15K RPM. All the people whining about the racing being boring in 2013 do not know what small engines can accomplish.

    This is a video of a famous tuning shop in the US tuning a 1.6L Honda and producing 600whp at the last dyno run.

    The car went on to make over 700 whp and sub-9 second quarter mile passes on cast pistons costing 125 USD for a set of 4!

    With forged and light parts, F1 engineers should be able to make double the power of these tiny Honda engines.

    1. The semi-famous BMW turbo engine from the 1980’s ran boost pressures around the 3.8 bar level for race trim. That’s about 55.5psi’s worth of pressure!

      Lordy knows what their 1100hp qualifying trim was like …

      F1 engines arent more powerful cause there are restrictions about the materials that can be used and all of the alloys if you read the rules on the f1 website you see that to save costs a lot of materials were banned or arent permited on such percentages

    3. Yeah, they COULD make double the power… but

      Power output is likely to be kept at current levels…

      …but F1 engines are spec output. You know, like NASCAR. The different names are a courtesy to the manufacturers, so they can claim to have something to do with it.

      If I hadn’t already given up on F1 due to the movable wing ********, I’d probably be upset… but hey, they’ve already gutted the sport and crapped on its legacy; why not do the job fully?

  7. As long as the cars are just as quick and the racing is just as good, then I don’t really mind about engine regulations.

    I already missed the engine noises the old V10’s made so these changes don’t really do anything for me

  8. I’m looking forward to this. I’d love to see the engines having a load of turbo lag but no doubt there’ll hardly be any.

    They’ll produce the same power as they do now, be more road relevant and will probably sound awesome. What’s the problem? Add to that the fact we can now associate the coolest word in the English language (turbocharger) to F1 again and I’m all in.

    1. They will be using twin turbos I believe, so probably won’t be any lag. If they get free reign over the engine, expect to see things like variable geometry turbos to further cut down or turbo lag. They are going to kick major butt. Couple them with ITBs and these engines will be some of the most complex and beautiful ones on our planet.

      I myself am building a turbocharged Honda with quad throttle bodies and it’s an amazing learning experience to see great engineers like these doing such awesome stuff.

      1. If they get free reign over the engine…

        You’re funny!

    2. Road relevance and the ‘green’ aspect means nothing to me – I am more interested in how they are going to sound, like Dan Thorn. The awesome sound has deteriorated too much already over the last two decades, so I really don’t want F1 to lose more revs. A large part of the reason F1 is so appealing comes from the sound. *crosses fingers*

  9. I agree, an engineer will make something up – that’s their job, but I like Ferrari having V12 engines. When V10 was brought in I was upset.

    In a way, had always wanted F1 to be the pinnacle – but it really is becoming a point-of-view.

    – Who has the fastest top speed?
    – Who has the most powerful engines?
    – Who can brake the quickest?
    – Who has the largest TV audience?
    – etc.

    Can you be the pinnacle of motorsport and not have any of those checklists checked?

    F1 circulated for years on grooved tyres when no other top category needed to. What did it achieve? F1 is back to full slicks.

    If the statement really holds that much power, where Ferrari race is where the spectators go – will Ferrari re-release the Testarossa as a flat-four etc?

    If Ferrari went to Le Mans or to the Indy 500, would any amount of turbo-pressure in a 4 hold my interest? No.

  10. it will be interesting, a major overhaul..I think we’ll see some heavy duty innovations then

  11. It’ll be real world relevant when the engines are serviced every 10,000 miles as opposed to every race. Anything else is pretending, do we think the wrc conternders are suddenly become engine suppliers?

    What happened to all the money saving bullcrap? so yet another starting point and all the existing data is of no use and everyone starts from scratch will means more money spent.

    1. The manufacturers will probably have to provide them at a fixed price to customer teams as (I think?) they do now. The recession is pretty much over anyway, no big reason to reduce costs further.

      And by real world relevant they dont mean you can take it out and put it into your golf, it’s about putting a lot more grey matter into the subject to increase efficiency for everyone.

      1. So how much faster would we get there without the rules which dont exist in a real world?

        So we’ll remove the testing limits then? We’ll get there much faster that way

        1. And what good is a engine that needs rebuilding every 1000 miles?

          1. as some wide old racer once said (Jackie Stewart maybe?) the perfect racecar runs at the head of the field all race at optimum performance, then falls apart the second it crosses the line.

            so an engine that needs rebuilding every 1000 miles, is an engine performing right up at its peak – or beyond it – most of the time.

          2. ‘Wide’ or ‘wise’? :-)

  12. No no no! They will sound awful, like F3 cars currently do!

    Pray God GT cars will continue with glorious V8s and V12s…

  13. Bet theyll sound terrible and it will be V2’s in 2015 :(

  14. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 14:12

    I’d like to take partial responsibility for the 2013 season been the best for years :D think a name change is due, maybe We Want Ground Effects!!!!

  15. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 14:21

    Alex don’t forget Turbos have come on alot also they(top teams) will probably run more boost for Q3 than at other points! I see a sudden reamergence of a prodrive entry and maybe VW in some guise as an engine supplier!!

  16. Next: wide tires and we’re back in 1986!

  17. Oh, that was a Brabham BT-55 reference

  18. f1 has gone slowly but surely loosing appeal to the hard-core fans. I got very disapointed with the noise and performance of the current v8 engines, to the point that a decided not to go to a race venue, unless this changes. The direccion it’s gettig to, it’s taking me away from the tracks even further. I have been a fan for 30 years, and maybe this is the problem. For the young fans than didn’t see f1 in the 80’s must be easier to accept.

    1. Ah yes, the 80’s when there were flat 4 turbo charged engines…oh wait, that must have been rubbish!!

  19. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 14:33

    Did I see Ground effects being mentioned in the linked article someone pinch me I must be dreaming!!!!

  20. If it is turbo charged will it still have the rev limit?

    1. I read somewhere that they may be limited to 10,000 rpm.

      But with twin turbos they could still easily be as powerful as todays V8 engines.

  21. Guys, don’t forget that ground-effect aero will be back. They’ll probably produce more downforce than the RB6 did this year, and it had the least-powerful engine on the grid (or so they said).

    It will be great, I’m sure of it.

  22. We Wants Turbos
    4th December 2010, 14:56

    So we’ve got back all the best ‘old’ ideas now how about some new ones!!!!! That name change could be We Want Innovation?

  23. I’d love to see a season where the only regulations are that your car must have 4 wheels and an engine.

    1. Then prepare yourself for one hell of a pointless spending competition. :)

  24. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 15:28

    Power will be more variable as boost could be turned up plus drive out of bends would be massively increased couple that to cars being able to run closer together and you’ve got a recipe for success. Hydrogen + approx 200mph crash = explosion to rival Hiroshima

    1. Hardly. Hydrogen doesn’t ignite as readily as petrol. And considering the forces that a F1 monocoque can withstand today, I don’t see any problem in building a crash resistant hydrogen tank.

    2. You storing uranium in the cars too??

    3. 200mph crash = explosion to rival Hiroshima,ER NOT.

  25. Have a power limit enforced by air restrictors and on a dyno, as well as reliability limits.
    That way, the area for engine development is fuel economy. Let the teams use whatever configuration and capacity they want, so manufacturers can market their cars. If Ferrari want to use a V12 so they can market their cars, Renault might want a 4cyl turbo to match their road cars. Mercedes might want a larger capacity V8 to be similar to AMG.

    Enforcing a set configuration and capacity discourages engine makers from entering the sport, because they have no way of differentiating themselves from the competition.

    The reason engine manufacturers are leaving is because of Mosley’s stupid engine freeze. BMW, Toyota and Honda had the weakest engines when the freeze began and weren’t allowed to improve them.

    The green initiative is sheer tokenism. If they wanted to make a difference, how about installing catalytic converters on the cars, instead of straight exhausts. That would be more effective than making the engines smaller (yet producing similar power, which won’t affect fuel consumption or exhaust output significantly)…but then it wouldn’t be as high profile as a green stripe on some tyres.

    1. 2 points:

      1) Honda reportedly had the most powerful engine when the engine freeze came into place. Only they stuck to the spirit of the rules and didn’t use “reliability” changes to upgrade their engine and so it was overtaken by other makes.

      2) How on earth can a 1.6 litre engine revving at 10,000rpm use as much fuel as a 2.4 litre V8 revving at 18,000rpm???

  26. Excellent. I’m not really into F1 as a way to just see insane irrelevancies zoom round. Powerboats are a good show of humans barely clinging on to monsters; if that’s what you fancy watching then fair play to you.

    What I like about F1 is that it’s a series in which engineers develop and innovate technology in order to win 190-mile races in what is, ultimately, a Car. Yes it has minimal bodywork and no air conditioning, and it goes far too fast for public roads, but it’s a still a Car.

    So while we bobble around the limit of speed-over-safety at which we usually find ourselves, why not make this great engineering race that little bit more useful? Why not make it so that Mr Jones’ 2-seater Merc can have a little bit more grunt in the lower revs without harming the mpg? As long as the things are still flying round at speeds at which your average mortal couldn’t dream of, then I’m all for it. Let’s have fun.

    1. “Why not make it so that Mr Jones’ 2-seater Merc can have a little bit more grunt in the lower revs without harming the mpg?”

      Chances are that he already owns a diesel.

      Many car manufacturers are already producing petrol engines that do just that anyway. The number of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 turbo petrol engines in road cars is really growing quite rapidly. These are the cars that most manufacturers are going to want to sell alongside their diesel cars.

  27. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 16:36

    CarsvChildren whilst I do agree with you I’m not a fan of the middle east taking over with 2nd rate tracks… Europe has the majority of the fanbase are so should always have the most tracks. However don’t agree with adjusting the times so it’s on in afternoon in europe!

  28. Interesting article about Cosworths views on current and future engine regulations.


  29. At minimum they should allow anything from 4,6 or 8 cylinder at the same capacity so we could have some variety in design and sound. F1 is gonna lose so much appeal with the sound of these engines. When I go see a race live half the reason is for the fact of the way these current high revving engines sound. Im not happy with this.

    1. It’s been touched upon before in this thread that whatever the rules allow, all of the engine manufacturers will build an engine that is the most powerful and most economical allowable, just by taking each option and comparing it with another in virtual reality.

      So the days of V8’s and V10’s vs V12’s or whatever are long gone, because the optimum engine architecture is decided by computer analysis without the need for trial and error.

  30. If there are no limits on what they can do with the turbos then I can only see an increase in power. We had some Mercedes F1 guys doing a talk at our uni last week and claimed that even if they were given a 0.8 litre engine they could get 1000hp out of it.

  31. Its a difficult choice for me. High revving engines are a signature of F1. EVERYONE on Earth would recognize the sound of an F1 car. Of course we had turbo engines in the 80s, but im sure that just a fan-ear would recognize that sound.

    On the other hand, I hate the current V8! They re like stupid mosquitos compared to the previous V10s. And as these ones aren’t going to return, I’m all in for the change.

  32. tbh, the safety car sounds way better than most F1 cars that I’ve ever listened to over the years. It’s a relatively low revving V8, but it sure sounds good!

    High revving engines tend to go better with things like MotoGP and suchlike. It’s also more relevant, rpm-wise, to road going motorcycles. Relatively low revving turbo engines never did do very well on production motorcycles back in the eighties.

  33. If it doesn’t make the engines less powerful, bring it on.

  34. Is the FIA bent on making cars as aesthetically messed up as possible? First with the narrow rear wing and snow plough front wing. Now, rev-limited inline-4 engines. What next?

    I started watching F1 around 2001. And I love how cars from that period looked. I still think the Ferrari F2004 and McLaren MP4/17 look way better than any car from the last two years. I miss the V10 shriek. To lose even the V8 scream would be very sad indeed.

  35. The Superleague cars have 750bhp 4.2 litre V12 engines. They sound awesome, like the pre-96 Ferrari’s did.

    We could watch/listen to them instead of F1 if it’s only the noise we’re interested in?

    F1 isn’t for people that don’t like change, because that’s what F1 does best.


    1. Yes, that’s right! Another lesser open wheel series utilises more powerful engines than F1 does!

      But you would still rather watch Alonso et al in 1.6 turbo cars…right?

    2. yes, F1 does best at changing and changing back when they realize they made a mistake.

      Talk with Ecclestone about changes.

  36. Mmmmm…. I bought a WV Golf GTD in 1990, it was 4 cilinders 1895 CC + Turbo… sounds the same :-) ah, no wait, my old golf was better!!!!

  37. I think it has most to do with trying to get as many name car manufacturing companies back in the game which unfortunately is not good for the ‘Privateers’ – the backbone of F1. I believe that the motor industry designs it’s products at least 5 years ahead so, if 1.6 turbo 4’s are mooted and accepted in F1, I guess we will eventually see the end of the recent spell of production V8’s.

    Nowt wrong with a turbo charged 4 banger either and they’ve got a 1/10 of a litre more capacity than last time!

  38. If the teams want this engine to be relevant to road cars, then put it in the road cars. Infact, if every car ran this engine, in fuel efficient form, that would help the environment somewhat.


  39. Finally good news from FIA. The idea of attracting more engine manufacturers is great, ’cause F1 has been getting less attractive for the car brands in the recent years. Supporting a lot of other championships and investing a lot of money in reseach are much better than having a team in F1 and getting nothing new. What we have in the F1 nowadays is a plenty of security and nothing to watch.

  40. Prisoner Monkeys
    4th December 2010, 23:14

    I’m sick of the whole “Bigger is better” approach that people take, suggesting that piling on the cylinders and the engine capacity to make these big, brutish engines. I really don’t think that’s the way forward. To me, Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motoring technology, super-refined machines that look for the perfect balance. These new regulations have almost halved the maximum revs and the engine capacity, yet they’ll be producing the same power as the current engines. Add into that the talk of allowing ground effects to return, and the cars are probably going to be quicker than ever. We’re not going to be racing Dacia Logans here.

    1. It’s not just about bigger being better (if it was, we’d all be watching NASCAR more than F1. 6 litre V8s after all!). It’s because F1 cars are visually and aurally magnificent machines. The multi-layered sound from a V8 or more cylinders has been a defining feature of F1 since 1990. We’d be losing a massive slice of the F1 experience with 4 cylinder engines.

      And if the FIA are really serious about improving the “green”ness of F1, come up with a more rational calendar with less jetting around. Why shouldn’t Bahrain and Abu Dhabi be consecutive races, like Canada and USA used to be?

  41. We Want Turbos
    4th December 2010, 23:25

    There was a point that there’s hardly any 1.6 turbo’s. I think you missing the point it’s not the engine that would bring them in it’s the turbo technology and having so many geniuses working on them the rate of improvement will increase and increase watch out for the 1.2T M3!!

  42. Putting aside road car relevance and “green” issues, I’ll simply be missing the unique sounds emitted from a high revving, naturally aspirated F1 engine. I’ll never forget being at the Monterey Historic races at Laguna Seca about 7 years ago, when Ferrari was the marque being celebrated. The biggest highlight of the meet for me (and there were SO many!), was watching, and listening to, Luca Badoer run his many demonstration laps in the previous year’s V10 Ferrari. Glorious noises for sure. Absolutely stunning! That said, I’m sure that the 4 cylinder turbos will provide us with some great action, and if you are lucky enough to attend a race, you won’t have to worry about bringing your ear plugs.

    1. you won’t have to worry about bringing your ear plugs.


      Ever stood next to a Subaru Impreza being revved up? Sure they’re a 2.0 litre, but they’re still pretty loud, and you can bet the F1 engines will be even louder (Especially as the redline for the Subaru’s engine is something like 6,500rpm)!!

  43. By 2020, F1 engines will have two cylinders and 999cc,..
    This is getting closer to carting,..And the Indy championship will laugh at F1,.. ;)

    1. And F1 will point out that an F1 car is still faster than an Indy car around a circuit….

  44. Why did they need to regulate the number of cylinders? Fair enough to reduce the engine size and add a turbo, but why not leave the option open for someone to make a V6 with twin turbos, for instance? Or even an in-line three.

    These would sound far more interesting and would produce different driving characteristics. OK, maybe it would be found that a straight four is the way to go, but Ferrari were happy running V12s long after everyone else had swapped to V10s, so it could be done.

  45. i like the challenge, pushing a small 1.6 litre four cylinder to the absolute maximum in performance, thats a great challenge, from the engineering point of view i think its gonna be brilliant!! plus the turbos, i am keen to see what its gonna be like,

    1. What’s wrong with pushing V8 to the maximum? The technology is going ahead and the regulators are trying to make cars slower. I think that F1 cars are more than safe, so let them race. The FIA is trying to make the sport interesting, but I liked it most when there were only 2 cars fighting for the title, Ferrari and McLaren, Schumacher and Hakkinen.. :)
      F1 engines used to be the king of noise, but these engines now-days sound like cats having sex,..

      1. The problem is if you put 5 bar boost on a v8 it would produce roughly 2500 horsepower or so.

    2. Ferrari’s V12s were too heavy and too thirsty compared to the V10s and the V8s of the time. They were more powerful but needed to carry more fuel which negated that power.

      Schumacher won his first championship in a V8 because it didn’t need to carry as much fuel as the others, and also because he ran into Hill in Australia.

      If you want to listen to screaming V12s, watch Superleague. The noise is truly awesome, but progress it definitely is not.

  46. What ever happened to Formula One being the pinnacle of racing technology?

  47. Judging by the prevailing sentiment that small displacement turbos are an abomination and disgrace for F1, I reckon most people commenting were born after 1988 or so. No one seems to recall the pavement shattering power of the turbo f1 cars. No one seems to recall the brilliant crackling roar of those cars. That was true F1: leading edge technology, insane levels of performance. With today’s technology, they are going to have tie the engineer’s hands pretty tightly to keep power figures under four digits. I will also be glad to say good bye to big air intakes as well. Next up, unrestrict the transmissions. Get rid of the silly “manual” shifting; leave it for vintage racing.

    I’m aslo hoping to see VW/Porshe/Audi/ return. This is right up their alley. It’s what they sell; and as Keith said this is the way of the future. Audi will be selling 4-cyl turbo top-end luxury cars by 2013. So will BMW.

    1. Yes a lot of the comments are by people born after 1988, including me. But we have a point. For one, the new formula calls for restricting the rpm, boost and number of cylinders. Not the same as the ’80s turbos where the only restriction was fuel consumption. Designers are going to have their hands tied quite tightly.

      For another, the new engines will have to last longer than the current V8s. The 80s turbos were one session (not even one weekend) wonders. You won’t see the prodigious power of yore.

      Finally, how can you be happy to see the end of screaming, high-revving, multi-cylinder engines? Old videos of the V10s still make my hairs stand on end!

      1. V12s made the V10s sound crap, but that’s progress. The V12s were just too heavy and thirsty and then the V10s got too powerful and thirsty and now the same can be said for the V8s.

        Someone mentioned Indy cars earlier. Well, the days of the big engine are also numbered in that series.

        It seems that Mercedes and Ferrari were dead against the new engine regs to start with. Well, no surprise there. It’s going to be difficult to sell V8s and V12s when people can see that much smaller and more fuel efficient engines can do the job just as well, if not better than those engines.

      2. The Honda V-12 was the best sounding F1 engine ever. VXR is right about the V-10s sounding like vacuum cleaners in comparison. And the curreent V-8s are weak sauce in comparsion for sure. But there is something about the popping and booming of the turbo motors that was unreal. The wastegate openning sound off-throttle was 100% alien spacecraft.

        I will also have to say the slight reduction in decibels will be welcome. I’d like to be able to attend another race and still be able to talk on the phone within the next week.

  48. I don’t have particularly fond memories of the turbo era. Just lots of engine failures. I don’t think F1 should go down that path again. What’s next? Diesels?

  49. If this brings engineers (note the word ‘engine’ in there) back to relevance, I’m all for it. These last few years of “who can think of this year’s hood scoop or ram jet exhaust” or “how has Adrian Newey figured out how to bend :) the rules this time” have been for the birds. Let the engine guys have a say for a change; the aero guys can go back to playing with planes.

  50. a bit off subject i guess but if they’re trying to cut costs in F1.. STOP changing the rules so dramatically every damn year

    ..that is all :)

  51. “I’m hearing the 2013 engine rules are: mandated 1.6l I4 turbo, 88mm bores, direct injection, 100kg\h fuel flow rate.”

    If this is correct, then there’s not going to be a lot of difference between powerplants, and the engine regulations probably aren’t finished at that. Plus everyone, by 2013, will have a KERS system that is probably no different in performance to anyone elses.

    1. Chances are that the fuel flow rate will decrease each season, and the number of engines allowed per season will also decrease.

  52. These engines will probably have 650-ish hp. Such a disgrace considering that a few lower-category race cars, and many mid-end sports cars have similar power levels, Ridiculous!

    F1 should be about progress, but that should not mean slowing the cars down each year! So much for the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’.

    I’d rather see the engine options opened up, with only these limits:
    N/A engines: 3.0L and 18500 rpm
    Turbos: 1.6L (specified max. boost level) and 12000rpm

    That should prove a more interesting spectacle.

  53. Given all the required parameters that the FIA, manufacturers and fans are looking for (hi-tech engineering and development, budget limits/caps, road car relevance and “going green” air transport excluded), here’s the solution:

    – engine “commercially” available at $”x” per unit including KERS if used
    – “y” engines per season
    – max cubic capacity 2.4 litres (allows current engine development)
    – no other technical limits (cylinders, turbos, KERS, rev limits, weight/size of unit, etc)
    – “z” kilos of commercially available fuel per race

    x, y and z can be negotiated for 2013, together with a slow reduction over the following years. Start with reasonable figures (say $4 million each, 8 per season and 100 kilos of fuel) and bingo, we’ll see some very competitive, futuristic racing.

    Paul (currently owns a 4-cyl Saab, a V6 Buick and a V8 Olds Royale; has owned a 2-cyl JAP Morgan through a straight 6 blower Bentley to a V12 Jag amongst others – Diversity=progress.)

  54. What are they going to sound like? That’s all I really care about to be honest.

    1. F2 uses an Audi 1.8L 4-cylinder Turbo, so F1 will sound pretty similar.

      If F1 is going to turbos, atleast give a 1.8L V6 configuration. It will sound much better than an I4.

    2. If you want a great noise, watch Superleague.

      F1 isn’t about what sort of noise the cars make. Lotus used a gas turbine in a couple of F1 races back in the 70’s. It didn’t sound very good, but I’m sure that lotus wouldn’t have minded that had it been more successful.

    3. I see your a dedicated fan then!

  55. Think of horse racing very popular around the world (and a billion dollar industry) a sport that grew from when people used horses in their daily life. The same should be said of F1. F1 cars are the thoroughbreds of our Generation and should stay that way; Unique, and at the utter pinnacle performance. I do agree that it would be amazing to see a 4 cylinder car travel at the same speeds as a current f1, and that is relevant in its own right. Progress the engines to 4 for the right reasons, don’t green wash.
    The appropriate environmentalist term is “green wash”, Changing a practice to appear environmentally aware.

  56. If its’ going to be fast. then good.
    If it’s going to bring in more manufacturers? then yes good.
    What I don’t like is that we only have the 4 engine suppliers!

    Ground effect and Turbos + Kers feels like a great package

    What’s next may be direct injected 4cyl engines with 4wd KERS like the Williams POrshce I’d like to see that

  57. I can’t see how Ferrari is going to accept this engine format. It doesn’t suit their marketing strategy at all.

    It seems that Formula 1 doesn’t like huge performance differentials at all. I can’t see why. Since when is Formula 1 based on equalisation?

    However, if they really want to keep the engine performances equal, then why don’t they opt for a engine power limit?

    1. They have. They don’t make it obvious, but they have – teams can petition to get more power so they’re equal with the others. Essentially, that means everyone’s on fixed power output.

      That’s what’s so funny about these commenters getting all excited about how we’re going to have pavement-ripping turbos with 1000hp… Right.

      F1 = NASCAR – it’s a spec series. It’s done, it’s over, it’s finished. Got that? F1 is not F1 any more. It’s a quicker IRL.

      Of course, even NASCAR hasn’t had the cojones to completely rape the spirit of motorsport with something like the movable wing abomination. It boggles my mind that you guys are ignoring the fact that the heart of motorsport got ripped out with that rule. Ecclestone et. al are ******* on the legacies of Fangio, Clark, and Senna, and all people can say is, ooh, I hope the new engines sound nice!


      I keep checking back on F1 news now, hoping to read that someone, somewhere came to his senses and axed the movable wings… but now what do we have? Even more restricted engines, fixed weight bias, *and* fake racing.

      The fact that sites like F1Fanatic and grandprix.com are essentially apologists for the utter destruction of any honor the sport had left is embarrassing.

      1. The fact that sites like F1Fanatic and grandprix.com are essentially apologists for the utter destruction of any honor the sport had left is embarrassing.

        When have I ever said I was in favour of proximity wings? I don’t see any other sites running articles like this:

        F1 fans reject FOTA’s ‘Mario Kart’ wings

      2. You just want a spending competition and F1 just can’t afford that any more, regardless of the economic climate situation.

        And there’s nothing more ‘fake’ than watching a spending competition taking place. I could watch my wife do that with her mates on any Saturday afternoon of the year.

  58. F1 plays such a huge role globally that moving to the 4 cylinders and still keeping the pace is a brilliant idea …..about going green eventually they would have to after a point of time when pollution levels are rising and fuel prices increasing …its a great move for F1 but ot for the big boys like ferrari and mclaren whose market is all about v8s ……..

  59. I guess we’ll be seeing electric cars in 2020, with no engine sound. Fans who wear earplugs should replace them with hearing aids.

    If this is what F1 will be in the near future, then I shoot myself in the head.

    Why don’t the cars switch to Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines? With increasingly effective cryo-storage methods, fuel shouldn’t be an issue.

    1. Weight can be increased due to the heavy fuel tank, making the cars heavier.
    2. Pollution problem solved.
    3. Cars can still sound good.

  60. Younger Hamilton
    6th December 2010, 17:21

    A return to the Old For F1,This is very Good What else is there is store to improve the Show and Overtaking on the track which is as fans want to see as well as other drama as well

  61. I can still remember when a good majority of the grid were powered by Cosworth DFVs, and no one complained. And then 1.5 litre turbos came along to compete with them and still no one complained. Who can forget Keke Rosbergs 160mph average speed lap of Silverstone in 1985? How many of us were actually born then?

    1. There is no way that the FIA will allow a return to those 1500hp+ monsters, and the tracks are way slower now, with all the ‘safety’ buzz. Why did they switch from 3.0L V10s to 2.4L V8s in the first place?

      I am 99.9% sure that these new turbo engines will have a further reduction of power from the current V8s. Teams will definitely find new ways to maintain laptimes. That is not the ‘progress’ we want to see.

      Why are most of the current-day course records from 2004? When Juan Pablo Montoya set pole position at Monza in 2004, his average speed was 161.4mph (259.827kph).

      What we don’t like is forcing the teams to run turbos. At least give the teams a choice of NA engines or similarly powered Turbo engines. F1 is becoming more and more of a spec-series with each passing year.

      1. Why do we need progress?

        “Progress” is exactly what the regulations are trying to keep in check. If the cars go too fast, the safety features would need to be altered to compensate. What’s the point? Just keep the cars at the same speed. There is no need to have shorter laptimes.

  62. “Why did they switch from 3.0L V10s to 2.4L V8s in the first place?”

    They were first of all given the option of running rev-limited V10 3 litre engines. STR did just that a while ago. But manufacturers being what they are, decided that spending trillions on pointlessly uprating V8 2.4 litre engines was the right way to go instead. And then when everyone realised that it was another pointless excercise, they rev-limited those too.

    1. Just to give you some idea of how things are looking in the road car market, Nissan’s “Leaf” electric car has just won the coveted Car of the year award for 2011.

      A taste of things to come I wonder?

  63. You are all whining about engine power and noise, and overlook the fact that the cars are CORNERING faster than they ever have in history, grooved tires or no grooved tires, fighter jet aero(2008) or no fighter jet aero. The cars are currently cornering at their limit given aero restrictions. Lift aero restrictions and sure the cars would have more power but you would have ferrari vs. mclaren every race as nobody else would even bother showing up given how much money would need to be spent on aero.

    Right now its a tradeoff, cornering vs top speed. Frankly I think the at speed cornering is more thrilling than an f1 car running down a straightaway. Lighter I4 cars with turbos will corner even faster than the current v8s, less fuel load will create better racing. This year was a procession at best.

    And to the losers ripping on I4 engines, you overlook that the most POWERFUL ENGINES EVER IN F1 were I4 Turbos.

  64. Another nail in the coffin! F1 is supposed to be the PINICLE of motor racing – not the environment!
    Doubt if I for one – after 50 odd years will be watching

  65. i don’t care about the size of the engine as long as the power and the sound is there. Can they be sure they can keep that up. Or better still, are they going to make an effort for the fans? The turbo bmw that used brabham in the early eighties was a four cylinder, that gave more than 1000 bhp. And we the fans didn’t complained at all. Give me 1000 horses, with a good sound, in the historic circuits, with a better chance to overtake, and i might go to see a race live again. Otherwise i will keep watching them on tv.

  66. Just make the cars produce up to 1000 horses, give limited amount of fuel per weekend. Don’t dictate the configuration, and let the teams find out the best engine type for themselves.

  67. I can’t see how Ferrari is going to accept this mandatory configuration. Their road car engine may well become more advanced than their Formula 1-engines. At least, such a small engine configuration doesn’t suit their marketing.

    1. AFAIK, Ferrari have already agreed to these rules. Should be published on the FIA website shortly.

      They don’t really have a choice, unless the FIA Formula One World Championship is to be contested by just Ferrari and Mercedes.

      The only reason that Ferrari’s are allowed to sell so well in America at the moment is because they pay the US government vast sums of money to side-step its pollution laws (CAFE).

      Ferrari can put whatever emission controls and energy recovery systems it wants to put onto its current road car line-up, but the plain fact is that they just eat too much fuel and spit out too much C02.

      1. Also, Ferrari’s other big markets (Russia, China, India) don’t really have any pollution laws, so it’s fair game for any gas guzzlers in those regions at the moment.

  68. I think this has a lot more to do with making F1 ‘Look’ more green than actually being green. There are a lot of potential sponcers who had stayed out of F1 as its seen as being wasteful with resources.

    From other sites, I’ve also heard that the engines will be limited to 10,000 RPM. I’m going to enjoy the high pitched scream of F1 engines while I can, coz if the new limit is true, they are going to sound very different in 2013!

  69. 24 Solar powered F1 cars sitting on the grid at Silverstone, tension builds, crowd noise level increases, lights flash through red to green, they’re o……Nothing, Sun buggered off behind the famous UK Summer cloud cover. But the planet’s safe, phew!!!

  70. F1 well, is becoming uninteresting…..I mean for normal fans we want to know the speeds..coz thats what keeps newbies hooked in!Till 2006,the tv displays at least showed speedtraps at regular intervals and now…What are people going to do, by knowing laptimes only!That makes the race so boring.They are probably shy to show the slow speeds because now even a MotoGP bike reaches 349kph!!!Its been since 2005 I haven’t seen that number in F1. Do they expect us to imagine speeds by just looking at those crappy broadcast angles where just a car comes and brakes!If they think F1 is losing its sponsors,then please bring back to its old glory,people will flock from all places to watch it.Where other sports are trying to increase its fanbase these people are trying to deter them.F1,I think has seen the largest number of rule changes than any other sport!!Please leave the sport as it is!!And God forbid if they change the engines any further,I’d stop watching the sport alltogether.:-(

  71. Well the thing is , Its supposed to look at a perspective that there would be less and less cylinders in a car when they eventually disappear in that kind of form , so yeah let the future begin . Happy holidays and lets carry on .

  72. I definitely disagree on the concept of Patrick head and Bryne on changing the formula 1 engines from V8 to 1.6L turbo engines to be used in 2013. Hell the SOUND!!!is still the trademark, if it change? Would it still be the same or more than a hell it will sound?! and the speed will be less than 5sec/lap on the current formula1 car according to the research. If it sounds the same and the speed will increase then go for it but if not, then dump that engines.

    Yes formula1 is the number one in terms of technology and speed in any other motorsports racing. We should admit that technology plays a bigger role in F1 but we cannot deny the fact that the fans wants to see the SPEED as well. I would rather suggest the increase of SPEED, FIA should consider of using V12 engines.

    1. and the speed will be less than 5sec/lap on the current formula1 car according to the research.

      I don’t know what research you’re referring to but from talking to people in the sport about the regulations the intention is to maintain roughly the same performance as they have at the moment. A greater proportion of the total power will come from hybrid propulsion (i.e. KERS).

      1. I”ve read in the news that using the 2013 engines will slow down the car of less than 5sec/lap according to Patrick Head and Bryne.

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