FIA could postpone 2013 F1 engine rules

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Cosworth CA2010 engine

The FIA may delay the introduce of four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines in F1, the World Motor Sport Council confirmed today.

A statement issued by the FIA said: “In consultation with the main stakeholders, and following the outcome of this consultation, a fax vote by the WMSC could be considered by 30 June latest to redefine the implementation date of these technical regulations”.

The WMSC confirmed the planned rules changes for 2013 included the new engines, with “high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar with a maximum of 12,000 rpm, with extensive energy management and energy recovery systems (now known as ERS)”.

It also promised revised aerodynamic rules “based on 2011 rules, with modifications in order to improve the aerodynamic efficiency: together with the power train rules, this will enable a 35% reduction in fuel consumption”.

The heights of the cars’ noses will be altered for safety purposes and the number of transmission units teams may used will be further reduced to cut costs.

The minimum weight of the cars will be increased from 640kg to 660kg.

F1 technology

Browse all F1 technology articles

Image © Cosworth

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

83 comments on “FIA could postpone 2013 F1 engine rules”

  1. Why must we keep increasing the weight of the cars every year? Surely with smaller displacement powerplants the weight should be coming down.

    1. Tom Chiverton
      3rd June 2011, 15:57

      Not with battery (or flywheel !) technology the way it is…

    2. Why must we keep increasing the weight of the cars every year?

      To pack in KERS or some other ERS and don’t disadvantage taller drivers so much.

      1. Though because it’s the overall weight that keeps increasing, the exact same disadvantage will continue to remain for taller and heavier drivers.

        1. There shouldn’t be a maximum weight, it should only apply to the driver and seat.

          1. any chance of that edit button soon? *minimum

          2. I like this idea.

          3. But there’s a safety aspect as well, if teams can make a 300kg car, they will, even if it’s a potential hazard.

          4. newnhamlea – That’s a good idea, because it would give the smaller drivers less weight to distribute which the still gain an advantage from

          5. The minimum weight should be, as I have argued before, a “dry” weight. Weighing the car without having fuel, water and oil in it, would really help because a low fuel consumption would now be desirable as you would be able to save weight. Voila! Efficiency is quicker, and you do not have to force the teams to use a special fuel management system.

        2. Though because it’s the overall weight that keeps increasing, the exact same disadvantage will continue to remain for taller and heavier drivers.


    3. Douglas 62500
      4th June 2011, 20:02

      Yes exactly. If they’re making it green they should not increase the weight I guess. On the unrealistic side I would love to see them ditch all the politics and propose unlimited weight deductions, so we could see ultralight F1 cars and possibly pass on the technology to road cars to save fuel as well !!

    4. I think the FIA is increasing the weight to add more competitiveness to the game (and therefore increase the TV ratings). Because the poorest teams cant afford such light-weight components and designs as the big teams, the FIA is forcing the top teams to bring their cars weight close to the weight of the bottom and middle teams. On the other and, if a team can build a competitive car with only 620kg, if the minimum is raised to 640, the team can spend 20kg for the improvement of reliability and drivers safety

      1. @sckk

        the FIA is forcing the top teams to bring their cars weight close to the weight of the bottom and middle teams.

        It’s been a while since I heard of any teams not being able to build a car beneath the minimum weight limit. I don’t think that’s what’s going on here.

        1. I dont have enough knowledge to refute your point. By the contrary, is very likely for you to be right. In any case, is natural that the bottom teams struggle to keep their weight down with their limited funds and limited resources. So, raising the minimum weight will, at least, give them a more comfortable position, will give them a bigger “breathing space”.

        2. I gave it another look, the minimum weight increase for 2013 is to accommodate the new heavier tyres.

  2. So will that mean possibly getting a move to bigger wheels (15′ or 18′) simultaneously with the new engines in 2014?

    Not sure this is a good thing, but I guess they would put it on cost factors.

    1. Someone ‘Photoshopped’ a car with larger wheels, and it looked ridiculous. But if they insist on changing the engines, I don’t want them revving any lower than the GP2 cars, because they do sound great.

      1. They will probably change the GP2 (and GP3) as well to be in line.

        I just hope they make something nice of the engines and their sound when they are in. Looking forward to having 750hp from them.

        1. I was thinking the same for GP2 and GP3 myself. It would be very embarrassing if they didn’t adjust the formula through-out the major feeder series’.

      2. Of course a ‘photoshopped’ car will look ridiculous – it has been artifically manipulated. IRL cars have larger wheels and I prefer them to the over-sized ‘novelty’ tyres F1 cars have.

    2. What size wheels did the UOP Shadow in CanAm have the was a great sounding car?

  3. The heights of the cars’ noses will be altered for safety purposes

    OOH. OOH. Does this mean we can go back to the days of Indycar style low noses? 8D

    1. I don’t understand how that would work at all. Some of the biggest and most dangerous aerial accidents have happened with low noses. There’s no escaping it. Examples include: Christian Fittipaldi’s backflip in 1993 at Monza, Patrese’s half-backflip over Berger in Portugal back in 1992 and more recently, Ralf Schumacher going over Rubens Barrichello at the start of the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.

      1. But what had low noses got to do with those?
        Plus, Ralf Schumacher’s car had a high nose. And in that particular case it was the high nose responsible for the crash, because it made the car slide onto the back/rear tyre of Barrichello’s car.

        1. Beat me to that comment…

          What Damon (not Damon Smedley) said. Everyone of those accidents are directly due to unusually high closing speed onto the back of a car and climbing some part of it (wheel to wheel or the Ralf crash climbing over the low back end after the rear wing of Barrichello broke). Almost every wheel-wheel hard hit causes at least one car to get soem air, its the nature of bouncing a giant rubber pad (tire) off another giant rubber pad.

          1. The restriction of the nose height is for t bone accidents according to another website.

          2. Well, how can people blame the high noses for Webber’s crash in Valencia? That was all to do with closing speed. I just can’t see lowering the noses will do anything.

          3. Part of it is that, stripping away the front wing, the nose provides a ready made ramp. With a low nose the car won’t be as inclined to ride on top of the car ahead.

          4. Hey Spaulding, it’s not the bouncing off tires that launches a car, it’s the fact that the wheel of the car in front is rolling forward, as is the wheel of the car behind, so when a wheel of the car behind hits the one in front it tries (and usually succeeds) to climb the front cars tire. Basically, the wheel of the car behind is rotating at road speed and hits a surface (the leading wheel) that is also rotating at road speed. The wheel behind climbs right up and the car is launched.

          5. Low nose likely would help; in Indy for next year they’re also introducing rear “bumpers” that would stop the car behind from immediately coming into contact with the rear wheels.

        2. Agree. The length is the same, just the noses end lower than current ones.

  4. I can’t believe that the pinnacle of motorsport is considering to keep these frozen (I repeat FROZEN) engines for so long.

  5. Only 12.000 RPM? Oh no!

    1. It really doesn’t matter about the RPM. It’s the efficiency of the engine that matters the most. You can rev an F1 engine to 20,000rpm…but how much of that is transmitted to the wheel?

      Of course, the irony of the situation is that people want to retain the current sound of F1, but you lose so much energy in sound! ;)

      1. I disagree with that, Andrew, rpm REALLY matters. For the same torque, an increase in rpm means an increase in horsepower, as horsepower is basically the integral of torque over time. Ignoring friction (that would be nice!), if you keep the same torque (again, that would be nice) and double the rpm you will have double the horsepower. I know this is not real life and I am making this too simple, but I hope you get the gist.

        1. A V8 2.4 F1 naturally aspirated engine does not have any more physical torque than a 2.4 V8 naturally aspirated road car engine (typically around 280Nm). An F1 car can multiply that torque (by a factor of 3 if a road car engine typically revs to 6000 rpm) by having much lower gearing and by having the torque peak very high up in the rev range.

          A 1.6 turbo engine will not only have vastly more torque than a 2.4 V8, but will also have more torque throughout the whole of its rev range.

  6. no…lower noses wil be out..and high noses wil be the norm, preventing the cars sliding over the wing and into a driver.abit like liuzzi schumi crash at abu dhabi last year

  7. Bigbadderboom
    3rd June 2011, 16:38

    The reasoning for “revising” these engine regs was to make the cars “Road Relevant”. 12000rpm 500 bar injection? If people wanted to see a road relevant development then watch GT cars or WTCC. I’m all for F1 developing technologies, I actually think KERS will prove better when output/deployment is increased and I’m not against deveoping other ERS ideas, but to change the core design like this for me is a bad idea. Hopefully there can be a compromise reached, but the last thing i want is a 4 pot 1600 sounding like a prius through a megaphone.

    1. Can’t help but agree on this, touring cars or rallying should be used to push road relevant technology. History has shown they can draw just as big crowds as F1.

  8. This is one of the best non- race weekend F1 days ever!!

    We’re getting a bonus race this year!

    The biggest ever calender is released!

    And V8 engines are staying a bit longer!

    Can’t complain with any of that! ;)

  9. 12000 RPMs is a joke, in my opinion. That’s getting down to IndyCar level, yet not even touching their max speed. 18000 is beautiful, but still leaves me wanting because I know they could do much more.

    Curse you V12 at 22000 RPM, why does your mystical visage haunt my dreams?

    1. Nah mate, 25000rpm W16 is where its at!
      But seriously, restart engine developemnt using max starting fuel mass as a limiting factor, not rpm.

      1. Haha, that would be like setting a Bugatti’s balls on fire.

        But I do agree about the fuel mass as a limiting factor. It would be “green” (depending on the fuel amount used), and allow for some ingenious non-aero development.

      2. Cluffy_Wedge
        4th June 2011, 13:33

        But then wouldn’t you just have bajillion PSI turbos creating gargantuan voids of air behind them?

        1. Exactly, turbos are bolt-on Horsepower, higher RPM, better breathing these are things that need development that can benefit road going engines, 12000 rpm can already bought for less than $10000 in motorcycles.
          The Tifosi still wave the flag for Ferrari,not for Alonso or Massa, why should they bother when F1 becomes a virtual 1design series, and what will it mean if they do, best pit-stops?

  10. I may sound like a broken record, but find a way of capping power output at a particular level and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

    The way the engine regs are now is like having an art contest, but telling contestants what and how to paint.

    1. find a way of capping power output at a particular level and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

      I disagree.

      Find a way of capping power input and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

      Of course, capping RPM (and, in the case of turbo’ed engines, “boost”) effecively does that, but IMHO a better way would be to remove many of the current restrictions and just limit the maximum fuel input per second, and possibly the total fuel capacity.

  11. Good news the FIA is delaying ruining F1.

  12. 1.6 litre V4 turbos with an RPM cap of 12,000. F1 drivers definitely wont be driving the fastest cars in the world once the engine regs are implemented.

    1. Why not? They are turbo engines, so they won’t be much less powerful then todays engines.
      If the KERS power limit is raised on the same time they implement the turbo engines, which is very likely, i don’t think the cars will be any slower then they are now.
      That is if they don’t change much to the aerodynamic regulations and tyres of cause.

    2. In any case, F1 cars aren’t the fastest single seaters right now anyway. They accelerate faster, brake faster and corner faster but they definitely aren’t the fastest in a straight line.

      Williams engineers said recently that with turbos and ERS the new engines should be able to produce close to 800bhp. Pretty close to current engines.

      1. From what I’ve read, that figure of 800bhp includes the power output of the KERS, meaning about 650bhp when the kers is not engaged (most of the lap) and an extra 150 when it is. Sounds like they are limiting the boost pressure way too much to me, otherwise they could have way more than 650 or even 800bhp.

        1. Personally I Ddnt see whats so wrong with a equivalency formula for two different engine architechtures in F!. Sure, it wont be perfect, and it would in no way make them completely equal, but hey, who honestly wants completely identical engines anyway. I want to see things like Turbos dominating in Interlagos, but stuggling in the harsh humidity in Malaysia.

          The back and forth between the low revving turbo I4s and high revving NA V8 would bring an extra level of competion into the sport – is that such a bad thing?

  13. I find it infuriating that nearly every time F1 goes through a rule change, the cars get slower. Cars seem to be getting faster as the years go on in other motorsport series, yet F1 cars were faster 7 years ago than they are now.

    Im all for F1 being road-relevant, because that could mean we get better performing road-legal cars, but why cant they be blindingly fast and road-relevant?

    Safety gets better every year, and every new track that is built seems to be wider and have more acreage of runoff than the last, so why are the cars not allowed to evolve in terms of speed year over year? Im not saying it needs to be unlimited but the gap between GP2 and F1 is just too small right now.

    1. The biggest driver of overall lap time has been aerodynamics, as cornering speeds increase. Aero has been cut back on for all sorts of reasons, firstly because it is possible for the cars to become too fast to be safe regardless of how much run-off you put on a track (particularly in corners with high G-forces), and also because a greater reliance on aerodynamics is generally thought to reduce overtaking.

      It would be nice to have engines with masses of power like the 1980s but the teams can’t “unlearn” everything that they have learned in the last 30 years with regard to aerodynamics.

      I don’t think the engine changes will “ruin” F1, but I do think they’re the wrong type of change. Teams should be allocated a fixed amount of fuel and told to build the best engine possible to make use of it.

      1. Totally agreee with you, and I didnt actually mean to imply that the engine change rule would be a detriment to the sport. Im fine with small 4 cylinder engines, in fact, but I feel like they should have more power than the “650+ BHP thats been touted. It’s just dissappointing that, as you said, the cars get faster and faster due to aero developments, and the FIA has shown an affinity for freezing or restricting engine development/power to counteract this, instead of revising aero rules in a way that will actually work.

      2. Fully agree with that. Although I would probably want to take that further and go with allowed energy input in kW hours and leave it to the team what kind of fuel or to pre charge batteries or whatever.

        1. Totally with you on that BasCB, exactly the same thing I’ve said a few times now.

          With a fixed amount of energy to play with but no restrictions on fuel type then we’d see some real innovation that could actually be useful to the world. Not only could significant development be made moving away from hydrocarbon based fuels to keep the greens happy (me included) but we’d also start to see massive differences between the cars.

          The problem is that the innovation involved would be very expensive, which is why it is extremely unlikely to happen in the current cost cutting world.

          1. I agree with the idea as well, and regarding cost — some manufacturers already spend a fortune exploring alternate engines for Le Mans, so road relevancy can to some extent counter cost.

            With engine manufacturers increasingly supplying multiple teams, a free engine formula but with limited energy input, combined with a cap on the cost of said engines and a requirement to supply at least a minimum number of teams on request, might work.

      3. HERE,HERE.

        1. Thats, here, here to Red Andys post.

          1. With income from F1 projected to be nearly 2 Billion ( 2,000 Million ) dollars next year surely we should not be fobbed of by the excuse that engine development is is to expensive, the problem is that half the pie goes to management ie.Bernie and the TV distributors whose only expenses are running an office to negotiate sales and collect the loot.the other half gets divided amongst the 24 teams who have to design, build and race the cars. You would think that 100 million dollars a year would be more than enough to cover the costs of organising a calender and selling the rights to a product whose demand exceeds supply. When the Concorde comes up for renewal the teams should demand at least 90 percent of the take and maybe then we can again have the excitement of seeing teams bring new and different engine configurations with different power bands and varying reliability contribute to success or failure, not just aerodynamic configurations with no practical value elsewhere. Of course making best use of a fixed amount of fuel would be part of it and efficiencies developed would benefit passenger vehicles also.

    2. “Safety gets better every year, and every new track that is built seems to be wider and have more acreage of runoff than the last, so why are the cars not allowed to evolve in terms of speed year over year?”

      Your comment says it – every NEW track built. While new tracks come in nearly every year, there are still plenty of old tracks that just cannot take the ever-increasing speed/acceleration; Monaco is the topical answer.

      1. But even for tracks like monaco, safety improvements must have been made in the last decade, and they’re proposing that more be made for next year.

        Also, that was just one part of my argument. Even on classic tracks that havent had (or havent been able to accomodate) new safety revisions, the cars are getting stronger and safer, and the driver’s helmet and restraint systems are getting safer too. Simply put, F1 is getting safer overall (obviously a good thing), but it isnt getting faster.

  14. So the screaming and howling of V8s can continue. That’s good news, not Bahrain though.

  15. Robert McKay
    3rd June 2011, 18:52

    I think it’s a bit strange that the FIA makes a big song and dance about announcing major rule changes ages in advance, and then as they get a bit nearer suddenly they either get postponed, watered down, or completely ignored.

    We had the ground effect aero rule “changes” and the engine “changes” for 2013 and of both these major aspects the first one has been severely altered by the teams because they think they can achieve an equivalent or better effect in a more conventional and less expensive way, and we have the engine package which despite apparently having been locked into place for ages seems to stir massive discontent with most of the teams whenever it is even mentioned.

    Why is it always like this?

    Is it the case that even in the era of unprecedented FOTA cooperation the teams still can’t remotely agree on anything, so the FIA is forced to come up with something merely to spark the teams into action by actually giving them something to unite and disagree against?

    It’s an odd way to frame such important regulations, whatever the reasoning.

  16. Wouldn’t it just be easier to come up with a really tight restriction on fuel consumption instead of a rev-limiter restricted to 12000 rpm (granted that’s 3000 rpm higher than my motorcycle’s redline, but too low for a top level racing engine)

    After all, turbo engined cars in the ’80s were restricted to 150kg of fuel per race. And those cars produced over 900bhp in race trim. I’m sure current technology can produce engines just as powerful while consuming even less fuel.

    While I love the sound of a screaming V8, I’d be willing to forego that for a free-revving turbo engine. Now if the current engines were V12s, then I’m not sure which I’d choose :)

    1. seems to me that there are now too many changes every year, i am sure the teams must be getting tired of the FIA tinkering, its time the teams went on their own. why should F1 cars be worried about fuel economy etc ? let them race !! and lets encourage real racing drivers who are in the senna, prost and mansell mould – lewis, fernando, webber. the FIA are acting like auditors

  17. The FIA may delay the :INTRODUCE” of four-cylinder…. an itsy bitsy typo present there!

  18. racerdude7730
    4th June 2011, 0:37

    all i can say is i think the indycars will have a great engine package that will be very close to f1 when its all said and done. The new engines for the indycar series will be a 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by E85 fuel. Thats what Chevrolet will be using. The power output will be around 700hp and from what i hear right around 11,000rpms with a kers type system that will give them a 100hp boost. I think it will be a pretty cool thing to watch. Also the fact that the indycar teams will not be allowed to design their own aero kits for their cars. It should be a fun series after next year,it will be what i would consider the closest open wheel series to f1 once its all said and done

    1. i have to say that this sounds better then the proposed new f1 engine…

    2. Will, not will not, be allowed. Sadly they all just voted to defer the introduction of non-standard aero kits, so we’ll have one more year of watching identikits racing around :(

      1. Shouldn’t be difficult to make a better formula than F1 the way Bernie and FIAsco are NASCARising the sport in the name of cost-cutting, otherwise known as profit-maximising.

  19. okay I haven’t read through all the comments but the noses of the cars shouldn’t be lowered, the reason cars lift in such incidents is because of the rotation of the tyres. Mark Webber’s crash in Valencia is a perfect example, when a car approaches from the rear of another car and makes contact with the tyre the tyre pulls the wing up, therefore lifting the car. We generally don’t see incidents like these in closed wheel racing because the tyres are covered. And if the do lower the noses then the car in front will lift which would be worse because it would then mount the car thats approaching and possibly behead the driver. Nobody wants that to happen.

  20. John Cousins
    4th June 2011, 7:33

    If f1 needs to relate to road cars, then why not make them use the factory cast block and cylinder head from a production car… i.e a fiat 1.6 for ferrari, a clio engine for renault etc. with no limitations only on rpm… say 10,000 rpm. Believe me, with 2 bar boost and advanced variable geometry turbocharging they WILL sound awesome and some impressive road cars might actually come from this. With forced induction, peak power levels will be slightly lower but low down torque could be doubled (especially if modern antilag strategies are allowed)which would see some serious sideways antics from the cars! Bring on the engine changes!

    1. John Cousins
      4th June 2011, 15:04

      One thing that is very different these days from the previous “turbo era” is the fuel restrictions. I’m not sure of the current fuel regulations but I was under the impression that F1 uses an FIA controlled 100 Octane unleaded fuel. This would not permit the insane boost levels of the previous generation of turbo cars which used all kinds of anti-detonation techniques and fuel cocktails. To be honest I am glad to be returning to forced induction but I haven’t actually seen the words turbo or supercharged used in any official FIA press. I fully support the move to direct injection also. As long as they never go diesel!!!!

  21. There’s no doubt that the turbo engines will be much torquier than the V8s. Peak power isn’t everything.

  22. i dont mind 1.6 litre 4 cylinder engine but please someone explain why its limited to 12000 rpm.. thats ridiculous!!!! they better make that thing sound good!!, i could hit 10000 rpm in a slightly modded skyline!!!!

    1. Doesn’t your Skyline sound good doing close to 10k rpm? I’m also thinking of all those supercars that do less than 12k rpm too, and sound marvelous at it

      1. Most of those have more than 4 cylinders.

        Think of a 650 bhp Mitsubishi EVO that can rev to 12,000 rpm, and you won’t be far off with how the new F1 turbo engines will sound.

        An I3 engine would actually sound better than I4.

        1. PLEASE lets not fixate on the sound, it’s an irrelevant distraction, pushrod V8s sound great but if you have identical engines, even if built by different manufacturers you have sacrificed most of the team interest, F1 came from Formula Libre ,that is Formula Free ( think Auto Union V16 Supercharged rear-engined ) F1 was made more affordable and safer by limiting engine size but not format ( think Ferrari 1500cc V12, BRM 1500cc flat8 ) great racing but the emphasis on lightness was to dangerous. Slowly but surely the cars have been standardised and a lot of interest in the technical aspect of the cars has been lost,all we are left with is aerodynamics, you don’t know what you are missing but one day someone else will bring it back and F1 will change or die.

  23. This is purely my humble oppinion, but i think small capacity turbo engines with low end torque and no traction control would be brilliant to watch, i also think that too much emphisis is placed on aerodynamic effect and maybe more should be placed on mechanical grip this would maybe then increase overtaking and make f1 more interesting to watch. Im sure that if we let f1 engineers do there very best to make a fast car they could create something that would be stunningly fast but would this then become more of time attack car becouse of the relince of aero effect and less overtaking being done. I think that f1 would be more interesting to watch with more overtaking, rallying is a good example of how motorsport has become to refined, would you rather watch a group b audi/t16 peugeot mk2 escort in full attack with its ass hanging out or a modern rally car? sure the new rally cars do faster stage times but who cares? i dont. Maybe looking at what has made f1 amazing in the past would make it even more amazing in the future. My point is that f1 cars dont have to be mega powerd superlight with huge amounts of aero effect with astonishing lap times to make f1 good, overtaking/racing is good.

Comments are closed.