Todt backs new engine supplier PURE’s 2013 plan

2013 F1 season

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FIA president Jean Todt has endorsed Craig Pollock’s plans to bring new engine supplier PURE into F1 in 2013.

Todt said: “We welcome PURE to Formula One.

“The rule changes for 2013 have been developed to provide lower cost, greener and more fuel efficient technologies for Formula One. We wish PURE every success in developing powertrains compliant with the new F.I.A. regulations.”

Former BAR team principal Craig Pollock is behind the plans for PURE, which stands for Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d?Energie.

PURE is the first new engine supplier to announce it will build engines conforming to the 2013 rules, which require teams to produce 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engines.

The Swiss-based PURE claim F1 will be the “ultimate proving ground” for new engine technology.

A statement released today said: “The new regulations present an ideal opportunity for PURE to capitalise on Formula One?s status as a proving ground for new technology and demonstrate its expertise in high performance eco-friendly powertrains.”

Pollock said: “The vision for PURE is to be a leader in the development of the next generation powertrain technology which must respond to the demands for a cleaner environment.

“The 2013 Formula One powertrain regulation changes offer PURE an immediate platform to field test and validate future technologies for implementation in other industries. We have assembled an expert team, the finest technology partners and have received positive encouragement from the F.I.A.”

Several former Renault employees are involved in the project.

Christian Contzen was managing director of Renault Sport during their championship-winning years with Williams and, later, Benetton.

Jean-Pierre Boudy, who works as a senior design engineer for PURE’s technology partner TEOS Powertrain Engineering, worked on Renault’s first F1 turbo engine which made its debut in 1977.

He later ran their research and development department, before joining Jean Todt at Peugeot to develop the V10 engine which powered Peugeot’s Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars in 1992 and 1993.

More on the change in engine rules for 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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46 comments on “Todt backs new engine supplier PURE’s 2013 plan”

  1. I suppose that we had better deal with the fact that the new engine regulations are going to get the ‘green’ light (no pun intended).

    Ferrari’s idea of getting a V8 or V12 to be just as efficient as an I4 doesn’t hold any water when you apply the laws of physics to it. Let them do it if they want to, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work with the regulation fuel limit.

    1. Do you think they will use I4’s rather than V4’s?

      1. It’s generally thought that an I4 would be a better configuration in a modern F1 car. Particularly with regard to aerodynamics.

        1. But since the refuelling-ban was introduced, the cars have been longer than ideal, and with teams like Williams wanting to run flywheel-KERS, I expected at least them wanting V4’s.

          1. I don’t think that packaging of the unit was the reason for Williams not running a flywheel KERS. I think that it was more to do with how the current regulations allow the current systems to be used.

          2. I think thay said it was the reason they couldn’t use it in 2010 (the rules still allowed KERS that year, remember).

          3. Well a boxter is essentially a wide angle V4..and they sound awsome on Impreza’s and Foresters…so I would back that move!

      2. I don´t understand why a 4 cylinder boxer engine is not being considered. It has at least 3 advantages when compared with a 4 inline engine. The most obvious is the lower center of gravity. The second one, it is shorter. And the third is the absence of the second harmonic vibration, which is a huge problem at high revs. Subaru/Porsche are selling boxer engines for a long time. Any thoughts?

        1. Probably precisely because they’re seen as being preferred by a small number of manufacturers.

          Mercedes aren’t going to like headlines about F1 following Porsche’s lead on engine technology.

  2. Well, I am certain to want them to get as much out of the drivetrain as they can. Use fuel, brake energy, wind, whatever to get them out there and in front.

    Good to see its shaking up a bit again. I hope this engine gets a chance with some team. Maybe in time for a 13th team to work on entering in 2013, now would be about the right time to start working on that.

  3. New blood is always good for the sport, so I’m not surprised that Todt has welcomed PURE’s announcement.

    I still have my doubts about the 4 pot turbo era which is going to begin in 2013. I think you could get more manufacturers back to the sport if you set, for example, fuel consumption and CO2 limits rather than by demanding everyone make the same type of engine.

    1. Yeah, you are probably right at that. But having different engine concepts is bound to have eventually merge into a design that is best, forcing the others to redo theirs and spend a lot of money on development in between.

      But it would surely help even more with development to have more options available. And it would be exiting to have differing approaches again.

      1. It’s not just that. I’m convinced it would be better for the sport and for us as consumers of road cars if we let the engine manufacturers go head to head. I’d love a straight 6 BMW engine to go up against a 4 pot “twin charged” VW engine. Or a Ferrari V8 to go up against a 4 pot high revving VTEC Honda engine. Set them targets and then let them get on with it!

        The differences in the engines would give all the teams different strenghts and weaknesses, meaning the cars would be better at different parts of the circuit (giving us good racing), the marketing teams at the car companies would have heaps of ammunition to bad mouth each other with and the we would (in time) get better road cars. Its win win…in my mind anyway!

        1. it would be better for the sport and for us as consumers of road cars if we let the engine manufacturers go head to head

          It’s a nice idea but, much as I’d like to see it, it’s completely unrealistic.

          The costs would be horrendous. Multiple engine manufacturers spending hundreds of millions investigating different configurations is not going to happen.

          1. I know, I’m a bit of an idealist I guess!

            I suppose the FIA will have to make up their minds about whether the move to 4 pot turbo’s is really an attempt to make F1 more relevant to road cars, because if it is, it makes more sense to throw money at engine technology (which may actually find its way into road cars) as opposed to aerodynamics etc which has almost no relevance to road cars.

          2. That and budget limits have never been their strong point…

          3. It’s a nice idea but, much as I’d like to see it, it’s completely unrealistic.
            The costs would be horrendous. Multiple engine manufacturers spending hundreds of millions investigating different configurations is not going to happen.

            But what do we have at the moment, multiple manufactures spending hundreds of millions building the very same engine. The same will apply when the switch is made to the turbo 4 cylinders, hundreds of millions spent reinventing the wheel.

          4. The amount they’re spending on engines now is (KERS aside) vastly less than it was when they were developing them, and that in turn was far less than they’d be if they were each developing multiple engine configurations.

          5. In Group C we had V-12s, small block V-8s. Inline turbo 4s, turbo v-6s, turbo flat-6s, and rotary engines. The grid was like a symphony of engine notes. It was brilliant and it created a lot of manufacturer interest—Porsche could put a flat-6 powered 962C in an ad and say, this is like your car, kind of. Jaguar and Nissan could do the same. Maybe as Keith says, this led to a cost issue that lead to Group C’s demise, but the shift to a standard 3.5L engine didn’t save the series.

            Now, however, the I4 may be the answer to the engine-relevance issue. Now, the small turbo-charged direct injected inline 4 is becoming the new V-8. VW, Audi, GM, Hyundai/Kia, Ford etc. are using it in performance models and family cars. Porsche or Ferrari may not be keen on it as a marketing idea, but the people who own those two firms sell lots of I4 cars, including luxury/performance cars. I’m excited about this formula and I hope it does draw in fresh nameplates like Audi, the Korean brands, other FIAT brands, who see the marketing opportunity here. And I’m looking forward to the crackling and scream of racing turbo engines. The sewing-machine whine of the current engines is getting tiresome.

        2. Nice thought, but it would never happen now. Too expensive. And what if it turns out that a diesel engine (why not?) or a two or three cylinder engine is the best way to go?

          Be careful what you wish for!

          1. Diesel, why not indeed, it clearly works at Le Mans. Luca Di Monte would be suicidal though…so I can’t see it happening!

  4. These days an engine manufacturer doesn’t have to build an engine to know which configuration will work best. You can do it in a few hours an a lap top with the right software.

  5. Unless the PURE engine comes free or maybe even with a wad of cash I can’t see demand for it being very high for 2013.

    To start with it is a new name to F1, although they have recruited people with F1 and Le Mans experience and Mecachrome will be manufacturing the engine, they would still probably be last choice engine supplier for teams.

    Also I wouldn’t have thought the fact that Craig Pollock is heading the project would inspire people with confidence.

    From what I recall his F1 experience is that he became Jacque Villeneuve’s manager because they were friends and from there he managed to convince British American Tobacco to set up British American Racing and install him as team boss.

    After claiming they would win a race in their first season BAR failed to score a point even with a large budget

    1. If it was just about promising a win that didn’t materialise, it won’t be too bad. But he just wasted BAR money, on stupid things. Making so many wrong decisions and spending money like there was no tomorrow.
      I will like to know who will be funding this project.

  6. Unless the PURE engine comes free or maybe even with a wad of cash I can’t see demand for it being very high for 2013.

    I think that there are enough people still around in F1 to know a good engine design team when they see one. And people still buy Ferrari’s even though Luca di Montezemolo is its president.

    1. I agree that if it was just a case of Pollack being disliked then that wouldn’t stop teams buying the PURE engine. I think it is that people won’t have confidence in his abilities to manage the PURE company and deliver the goods, no matter which designers and engineers they employ.

      Unless a team can’t find a another engine supplier or all they can afford is the PURE engine then I don’t think they would be prepared to sign up with PURE until they saw it doing well in actual Grand Prix no matter what numbers they produced on the test bench.

      I think that PURE could just turn out to be an engine version of BAR.

      Flavio Briatore has shown that you don’t need an F1 or engineering background to be a successful team principal, more a good manager and be able to put the right people in the right positions. Briatore also showed that you don’t need to be liked to find employment and do well in F1.

  7. Isn’t Pollock the guy who likes to spend other peoples money recklessly? He virtually ran BAR into the ground until Honda came and saved them.
    What is new about Turbo Engines or for that matter clean about it?
    Then we have the high costs of developing a new engine. Wish them luck but he is fund of overstating his case so I will wait to see what he can achieve, because one thing I know about engine development, it is not how early you start but the amount of resources, but technical and financial you can put into solving problems, that determine how successful you are.

    1. What is new about Turbo Engines or for that matter clean about it?

      Turbos and V8, V10 and V12 engines have been around sincw WW1! So nothing is ever “new”.

      It is thought that the “new” turbo engines will require about 35% less fuel in order to do the same lap times that the current engines are doing.

      The drivers will also have only 5 engines to use in 2013, dropping to 4 engines after 2013.

  8. They should ‘freeze’ the current V8!

    My fav. engine is still the V10… even above the Ferrari V12!

    Still Formula 1 has to ‘green’… i4T will come to conquer all.

    ps. Yes Pollock is a ca$h burner. #shame

    1. It is frozen.

  9. I’m all for more diversity on the grid, but I’m having a hard time picking who might be willing to run a PURE engine. The manufacturers are obviously out, so PURE’s best chance is to appeal to the customer teams. They’ll have to impress with the power output stats, of course, and I suspect that’s the entire point of the extended development curve.

    I think the best candidates for PURE are the the yuppie teams, the upwardly mobile midfield. I’m thinking Force India and Toro Rosso in particular; Force India because they’ve made it known that they want to break into the upper midfield, but they’re currently being treated as a farm for new talent. I wholly expect Paul di Resta to be lured across to Mercedes GP in the near future.

    As for Toro Rosso, they’re also a talent farm. They were originally created to be just that, but the catch is that when Webber moves on from Red Bull, Red Bull will have to take the best driver available – and based on who is on what contract and how they’re performing at the momen, there’s a good chance that won’t be Alguersuari or Buemi. And if it isn’t, then Toro Rosso may need to evaluate why they’re on the grid. They’re already cut off from Red Bull’s chassis, and having one of their drivers snubbed for the Red Bull seat when Webber leaves will further separate them – so they may want to go their own way entirely and cut their ties from Ferrari.

    1. Yuppie teams, I’ve heard it all now! I suppose that makes Ferrari and McLaren landed gentry!

      1. Bigbadderboom
        5th May 2011, 12:02

        I think Ferrari would consider themselves Nobelity!, perhaps even Royalty!

        But PM Raises the point, who is their target customer. And leads to another, where does this leave cosworth? The manufacturers will build their own (include McLaren in that now with their new engine facility coming up) And with the amount of engines being needed, is it really viable to set up a company to supply what may only be 16 engines by 2015. Obviously the benefits (for Pure) would be spin off technologies, but perhaps i’m niaive but the whole point of many of the recent changes is to reduce costs, so setting up a new engine manufacturer doesn’t make sense to me, especially if Cosworth choose to adopt and build the new engines.

  10. That is a good news as now we will see may be more engine supplier coming back in F1. I think with this changes we may see many of our older manufacturer coming in F1 just as a engine supplier.

    1. Actually, some may see it as another excuse to stay away from F1. It’s already another competitor to go up against. And just like no one likes being beaten by a soft drinks company…..

  11. fulburncams
    5th May 2011, 12:11

    Hi, does anyone have the link to the FIA 2013 engine regs ? Are the regs in the public domain ?

    1. You’ll find what information there is via the link at the bottom of the article.

  12. Currently it is very evenly spread, with all 4 current engine suppliers having 3 teams with their engines on the grid (including their own team)

    So how many teams will switch to a newbie?
    Virgin and HRT for budget reasons? Likely
    Williams? Big question mark.

    PURE and Cosworth would only increase their F1 share if Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault discontinue their contracts with their current client teams. (perhpas to increase their own chances for success)
    Would mean McLaren, Lotus, Force India, Sauber, STR and Red Bull would start driving a Cosworth or PURE…

    Difficult to imagine all this, to be honest.

    1. TheGreatCornholio
      6th May 2011, 7:24

      It’s generally believed that McLaren will have their own engine by then!

  13. Would mean McLaren, Lotus, Force India, Sauber, STR and Red Bull would start driving a Cosworth or PURE…
    Difficult to imagine all this, to be honest.

    McLaren and Lotus have Cosworth engines before. There used to be a time when almost the entire grid were powered by Cosworth engines! Teams used to be powered by Hart engines and a few more other obscure engine manufacturers too.

  14. There’s always that photo of Todt!

  15. 2013 sounds really exciting!

  16. I say give them a blank canvass on engine configuration just make it compulsary that they have a four cylinder 1.6 supercharged. It would be interesting to see the different directions the teams go with their engines as each configuration will have different pros cons. Back in the 70’s there were plenty of teams running different configurations. Back to the old school I say!

  17. TheGreatCornholio
    6th May 2011, 7:32

    Keith, I’ve read elsewhere that turbo’s aren’t compulsory and that the rule is actually that the engines must use FORCED INDUCTION thereby also allowing super-charging and whatever else the manufacturers can come up with which would be rather cool!

    Have you heard anything along those lines?

  18. Looking forward to some new engines! That’s all I have to say to be honest.

  19. Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
    6th May 2011, 18:58

    I don’t see why they can’t make Formula One cars based upon the Red Bull X2010 idea, 3.0-litre Twinturbo V6, 15,000rpm, 1,483hp, Fan car technology and I mean yes I know the G-Forces could kill but why not use those jackets that Jet-fighters use? If not the X2010 idea, how about 3500cc 48-valve V12 with Four Variable Turbine Geotremy turbochargers?

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