F1 cars to use electric power in pits from 2014

2014 F1 season

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

F1 cars will have to run on electrical power only in the pit lane from 2014.

The technical rules for 2014 published by the FIA state cars must run “in electric mode” with “no ignition and no fuel supply to the engine at all times when being driven in the pit lane.”

Teams will be able to use both kinetic energy recovery and, for the first time, also recover energy from exhaust heat.

The kinetic element of the system will be twice as powerful as that used today with 120kW available.

The rules also define the new 1.6-litre V6 engines which will be introduced. These will be limited to 15,000rpm, down from 18,000 today.

They will retain the same 90-degree V-angle, and be restricted to a maximum fuel flow of 100kg/h.

The design, dimensions and materials used in the new engines are defined in more specific terms by the rules than the current V8s, which were introduced in 2006.

Self-starting motors

A further change to the rules will enable F1 cars to do something every road car is capable of – start on its own.

The rules will require drivers to be able to start the engine “when seated normally at the wheel and without any external assistance.”

This should put an end to drivers retiring from races because of stalled engines.

Minimum weight increase

The minimum weight of the cars will increase again, to 660kg (from 640kg).

A minimum weight for the power unit (including the engine and energy recovery system) has been set at 155kg – previously the engine alone was subject to a minimum weight of 95kg.

Smaller front wings

An addition to the rules on bodywork will reduce the size of front wings. At present these may use the full 1,800mm width of the cars – from 2014 they will be cut to 1,650mm.

Further tightening of restrictions at the front and rear of the car, and around the middle of the car to continue the work begun in the 2009 regulations changes to ‘clean up’ the appearance of the cars and reduce the number of small aerodynamic appendages.

Extra gear

The number of forward gears will be increased to eight – and no fewer.

The FIA will allow a dispensation in 2014 when teams nominate which gear ratios they will use: “For 2014 only, a competitor may re-nominate these ratios once within the Championship season, in which case the original nomination becomes immediately void.

“Ratio re-nominations must be declared as a set and may only be effected by the substitution of change gears.”

See the changes to the rules in full on the FIA’s website.

What’s your view on the rules changes for 2014? Are you pleased with all the changes? Have your say in the comments.

2011 F1 season

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Image © Mercedes

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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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221 comments on “F1 cars to use electric power in pits from 2014”

  1. US Williams Fan
    20th July 2011, 23:58

    between this change and the upcoming engine change…. seems like too much.

    i hope that the smaller teams don’t suffer or lag with development because of this.

    1. The fact the big team blocked ground effects because they feared the little teams would be able to compete better, suggests all the new rules are a subtle way of the big teams stretching the gap back to the little teams, since the little teams haven’t used KERS because it’s too expensive it seems odd to bring in what is essentially a mandatory KERS…

      1. I’m really, really sad to see us loose ground effect. Whats the point of a recource restriction agreement if F1’s big players stamp on possible innovation due to “cost”. Surley the point of the RRA is about getting more for less.

        If the RRA is what they say it is, why on earth have we lost a technology that will allow F1 to stay at the pincale of motorsport, dump the need for controversial gimmicks like the DRS, an possibly shake up the feild for a few years?

        Booo i say, boo to smaller wings for the wrong reasons.

        1. I agree with you guys that doing hardly anything with the aerodynamics is a big opportunity missed for F1.

          Getting Turbos AND groundeffect would make just about as much a feelgood announcement as having WilliamsRenault!

        2. There are two sides of the coin, as usual – the fans, some of them very geeky, and the ‘other’ guys, who are talking about “cost cut/savings”, because every time it’s about money.

          Some, like me, would prefer the engineering freedom, but the regs say: no slotted endplates, restricted vanes, controlled engine layout and turbo placement, etc.
          Tight control.

          The ‘money’ people say: “It’s all about cost savings and bringing F1 closer to the road techs.” Why don’t you put a cruise-control, then? Or even sat-nav? It would be useful for the new drivers. Automatic gearbox, perhaps?

          1. the fia wouldent allow automatic garboxes

        3. Think about shaking up the field for years to come. After many years of Mclaren and Renault V Ferrari, the biggest rule change in decades was introduced to F1. The consequence was a shake up of running order.

          Honda, a massively underacheiving midfield team became a front runner.
          RedBull, made a huge step up.
          Ferrari, Mclaren and Renault, all World Champions under the previous set of rules were pushed right down the grid. 3 teams with championship winning drivers who were struggling to get to Q2 and even get points in races. It was a huge embarassment for these “big teams” and there were further red faces when it became apparent they had missed a huge loophole in the new rules about a performance enhancing double diffuser. So bad was the interperatation of the new rules for Ferrari, they felt they had to stop midseason and develop a whole new concept for 2010, Mclaren also came up with whole a new concept for 2010.

          The truth is, now the bigger teams, and most powerful politically teams, ie Mclaren and Ferrari were humiliated because of there poor representation of the 2009 rules, and introducing ground effect tunnels would possibly be an even bigger change than the 2009 aero change, because it requires a complete rethink of how their aero works, and because Mclaren and Ferrari have worked their way back to the front of the grid and are now about on top of the original 2009 rules, they will not want a new radical overhaul of rules.

          Therefore they would have done everything in their power, of which they have a lot since they are the biggest teams, to make sure the current rules stay, so they don’t have to make a new concept and risk falling to the rear end of the grid again.

      2. what makes you think that ground effect would reduce the gap between the top teams and the rest? how on earth did you come up with that?

        could you please also provide a source of the conspiracy theory that the big teams are blocking the introduction of ground effect?

        i personaly dont see whats the bid deal with ground effect. you will have millions of pounds spent on developing something which the fans cannot see (unless the car flips over). And you can bet that Ferrari and McLaren will be able to design a abetter ground effect car than HRT and Virgin. i dont see what people saw in the ground effect era anyway. the races were not as spectacular as some people make it out to be.

        1. Downforce generated by ground effects produces proportionately less turbulence than that generated by wings and other “over-body” aero devices. A greater emphasis on generating downforce by ground effect should allow the cars to run closer together, addressing some of the overtaking issues caused by “dirty air.” And all without the need for gimmicky flapping rear wings or overtake buttons!

          1. true, but thats not what Calum is talking about. he is making a different point which has nothing to do with overtaking.

            and if you watch the old ground effect races, the amount of overtaking is not that different to non ground effect years. plus i dont think increasing overtaking is the alpha and omega of what makes good racing. i actualy liked the fact that it is hard to overtake. its more like a goal in football rather than a basket in basketball if you know what i mean. but i guess i am selfish in that way since most people watching F1 just want to see plenty of overtakes and crashes. otherwise they just watch the start and swicth of the TV (not refering to the members of this website obviously)

      3. But this year the red bull was designed without kers, with the recovery technology essentailly being an after thought. Clearly this has been a fairly substantial advantage so legislating for effectivly madatory kers at least levels the playing field for car design

        1. Gonna thump my drum again, all these design restrictions have nothing to do with improving racing, and everything to do with cutting costs. And why do costs have to be cut, because CVC and Bernie take home half the total revenue and the teams have to get along dividing the other half amongst themselves.

          1. Im with you there HoHum. I dont really care about cost restrictions. F1 is supposed to be expensive. If you have to ask how much, then you cant afford it. Thats why I dont have my own F1 team. If cost restrictions are absolutly necessary then do what every other sport does, an absolute spending cap, not these stupid and arbitrary rules designed to cut costs.

            As for Ground Effect, I think the reason teams are hesitant is a saftey factor. GA works great when the car is flat and level, but COMPLETELY DISAPPEARS

    2. The Sri Lankan
      21st July 2011, 22:15

      they didn’t address a single technology that’s road relevant. all more of a reason to keep auto manufacturers away from F1 and push them towards LE MANS

      1. Yup, I just got round to reading the regs, not only is the engine format laid out but also the bore stroke ratio,the number of valves, the location of the exhaust (outboard) and intake (inboard), the rotating assembly must be all iron based except pistons which must be Al. a variable valve timing profile is forbidden. Seriously it is almost like Nascar with their pushrod V8s. Consider Audi and Ferrari had road cars with 5 valves per cylinder years ago, Corvettes pushrod V8s have titanium conrods etc. in the top performance options, I can’t list all the cars with variable valve timing profiles. It’s no wonder the big car manufacturers aren’t interested in wasting money developing an engine of such restricted design and ancient materials technology.

        1. FormulaVee#7 (@)
          21st July 2011, 23:39

          Unbelievable! No variable valve timing? You must be kidding! What about variable geometry turbos (variable vanes)?
          Bore/stroke ratio locked? rediculous! That’s what gives an engine it’s power/ torque characteristics! And as for locking inlet and exhaust arrangement i.e. exhaust outboard, well other road car manufacturers (BMW) have proven that inboard turbocharging is a viable option. I think this stinks! I want variety and new technology! Grrrrr!

          1. Yes and for one, Ferrari F1 engines of yesteryear had the exhaust in the V.

  2. Hopefully cars will look better with the smaller front wings. And looking forward to seeing a silent f1 car travelling at 62kmph!

    1. And looking forward to seeing a silent f1 car travelling at 62kmph!

      Turn the volume down on the TV and that’s pretty much it.

      I don’t think it will help, the low rumble as the cars go down the pits I think are nice for the atmosphere.

      1. it will be better for the commentators though

  3. I’m all for this, but one thing…Eight gears? Honestly, that’s too many. I know some road cars now have eight gears – it does improve fuel economy slightly, but where does it stop? Seven gears are plenty, any more is a little bit too Volvo FH12 for my liking…

    1. What makes me wonder is why the FIA felt they needed an extra gear?.

      I’d have been better if the teams themselves started wondering if another gear was necessary, like they did when the 7th gear started to appear.

      1. James Williams
        21st July 2011, 4:44

        Maybe an extra gear can help mechanical grip in low speed corners. I’m no technical expert, Scarbs would know but it could help from what I have heard.

        1. Maybe they fear the cars will hit the limiter too easily if they stick with 7?

      2. It will help make up for the reduction in engine rev’s and slightly reduced horsepower. By allowing shorter gear ratios, or a longer top gear.

        Also I remember reading somewhere that the limit on the KERS harvest energy will be less than the KERS output, meaning drivers can be more tactical for overtakes i.e saving it up over two laps etc. Does anyone else remember this.

        1. Bigbadderboom
          21st July 2011, 13:52

          Yeah I do remember a discussion about this, but I think it was only with brake harvesting in mind. If as per the new regs, KERS can be harvested from exhaust heat as well then I’m sure that will be plenty per lap. I’m pretty sure KERS will be optimized per circuit and deployment will be pre decided. However I suppose that will also depend on DRS.

    2. Seriously, why change something that doesn’t need changing? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why is the number of gears pre-set anyway. Similarly, why cap the gear ratios – that’s just stupid. Circuits differ, that’s why there is a garage to set up the car. The wrong gear ratios could spoil someone’s weekend completely. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

      Regarding weight, why does a V6 weigh much more than a V8? Why increase the minimum weight again? I understand that taller drivers are disadvantaged, but I’d rather see the FIA get rid of excess weight – F1 cars should be as light and agile as possible.

      I’m not too fond of the self-starting motors either – I actually like the fact that they’re so obsessed with weight saving that they start them up from the outside. Makes it seem extraordinary and surreal. It’s not a massive negative, though.

      Why does the FIA always try so hard? Not every single thing has to be fiddled with. The gear cap is a complete joke.

      1. Why force 8 gears? That’s what I don’t get. If you think you can be faster with 3 go for your life I say.

        1. They will not be able to change gear ratios at all (except once in 2014) during the season. I guess it will give teams flexibility to run at different tracks. They may use up to 6th gear on Monaco and max out at Monza at 8th.

          1. My guess is that the 8 ratios is to help solve the current problem of drivers hitting the limiter half way down the straight.

            How often have we seen a car unable to overtake because the car runs out of revs in the tow?

            If it works its a brilliant idea.

          2. Except if the revs are further limited the same problem is likely to exist.

          3. Right, and that explains why they add in a mandatory 8th gear too. Makes some sense, in a weird way.

            Not sure about how well that would works and I feel it is a bit too much fixing things that should be up to the teams to get right, not the rules.

      2. 155kg will be for engine plus KERS. The 95kg minimum was/is for the engine alone. Plus I bet they’re cutting out the more exotic lightweight alloys so you should expect the V6 to be nearly as heavy as the current V8.

        I don’t think the gearboxes should have a minimum number of ratios either, it doesn’t intuitively make sense as a cost-saving measure.

      3. V6 will be heavier because exotic materials used to manufacture the lump will be banned and the Turbo and Hybrid tech is inlcuded in the minimum engine weight.

        1. Exotic materials are already banned. I don’t like the regulations that define V angle, CG, bore, cylinder distance, etc. for the engines. Where is the possibility of innovation? As far as self starting is concerned, with the requirement of pit lane electric running a starter motor is built in; simply use the KERS drive as a starter. I see over regulation, lack of innovation, and a general dumbing down of F1. Boring.

      4. Why does the FIA always try so hard? Not every single thing has to be fiddled with. The gear cap is a complete joke.

        Because this is not a real sport, just like the non wheeled version (Pro Wrestling) the rules change all the the time. It is to make it impossible to compare drivers from year to year. They even fiddled with the rules mid season (British GP) to ‘spice up the show’. If it’s sport then let’s be sporting and allow racing consistency.

      5. i agree completely.

        i personaly dont like the “go green” atitude of the FIA but if that is what they want, why increase the minimum weight of the cars. that doesnt make any sense if you’r trying to develop a more efficient machine. all the fuel that you save by having an extra gear and having KERS will be lost by carrying more weight.

        I want F1 cars to be the fastest cars around a circuit. But these changes (especialy the fixed gear ratios!) will threaten the position of an f1 car in the future.

        Once the ecenomy recoversd we might have a competing series who focus on speed rather than the environment and f1 will be playing second fiddle. The best drivers will go elsewhere. I dont think that will happen but if the FIA continue on this path it might not be so far fetched.

      6. Some cheese with your whine?

        8th gear is likely to aid overtaking in long straights where cars today are hitting the limiter.

        It’ll also give a bit more room for a driver mistake, remember it’s drivers who operate theese gearboxes. Hook it all right, and you’ll get a bit of an advantage over other car. That’s a good thing in my opinion.

        “F1 cars should be as light and agile as possible” – says who? I think the fastest F1 cars in history raced in 2004 and which F1 season was better – 2010, or 2004? It’s not about that at all.

        Guys, there’s a lot and lot and lot of people and thinking behind setting theese rules, why there’s always someone who looks at them and immediately thinks he knows better? Just chill out.

        1. “8th gear is likely to aid overtaking in long straights where cars today are hitting the limiter”

          cars roday have a limit of 18k rpm. so in 2014 they will hit the limiter sooner at 15k. how this improves overtaking is beyond me. (you actualy need less gears with a lower rpm limit)

          teams will still chose the gear ratios in such a way as to compromise between top speed and acceleration, so they will still hit the limiter even if the had 25 gears.

          i dont think the 8th gear was added to aid overtaking, its probably another fuel saving measure (which is cancelled by the increased minimum weight btw)

          1. I don’t argue that it was introduced to aid overtaking, only that it’ll be that accelerating and braking before the corners will be that bit more driver-dependant. Better drivers will be able to shift gears better, which may give them an edge over other drivers.

            That’s my thinking. It may be insignificant, i know, but downshifting rapidly before slow corner from eight to second gear will require some skill and may provide some errors, especially at Monaco when they go up and down through gearbox constantly.

          2. Randy, driver skill has nothing to do with shifting gears in an F1 car. The gearboxes all use hydraulics to change the gears, the actual shift takes milliseconds, electronics control the engine revs during the shift, and it’s impossible to miss a shift unless the box breaks. All the driver does is pull on the paddle. He doesn’t use a clutch or lift off the throttle during a shift.

            As far as the cars hitting the rev limiter, you use a final ratio that won’t let that happen. If the car is hitting the limiter then the last gear (seventh now, eighth later) is too short and needs to be changed.

        2. Randy,
          While agree there are alot of people’s thinking behind these rules, I just dont have the feeling that they have any respect for the hardcore fans, that made this sport what it is. Dont forget, hardcore fans are the best way to get new fans. I alone have created 50 new hardcore fans. Without hardcore fans you have no F1, just a bunch of nimrods zipping around in circles. No sponsors, no merchendising, no glamour, no huge paydays.

          Am I a bit self-important, perhaps, but just a bit…

        3. “Guys, there’s a lot and lot and lot of people and thinking behind setting theese rules, why there’s always someone who looks at them and immediately thinks he knows better? Just chill out.”

          SEE that’s the problem there are too many smart people and when you put too many smart people together they are extra careful extra considerate and extra everything and that takes the whole fun out of racing

      7. I think the batteries are part of the increased weight.

      8. FormulaVee#7 (@)
        21st July 2011, 23:47

        Extra weight comes from the turbocharger, intercooler and associated plumbing…. probably. That’s my guess

    3. With the 8 gears, it looks like they are also getting down on the different gearbox mappings used though.

      So that extra gear might be needed to manage all tracks from Monaco to Monza and Silverstone!

      And I wonder weather whole ES motor can be used as a starter engine as well. Still 155 Kg for an engine is pretty heavy for any race car.

      1. Is quite heavy. I can tell you last year at le Mans (2010) an LMP1 engine produced 750 bhp from 4.5l 90 degree V8, revving to about 9500 revs and weighed 120kg. Also they made an awesome noise when in a small room with one at 5000revs with no silencers or air box on

    4. They should stop at some point, they can’t add a gear regularly, otherwise there would be too many.

      1. The extra torque from the KERS should make less gears necessary.

    5. Nick Jarvis (@)
      3rd July 2012, 12:36

      i saw somewhere that the 8th gear is effectively the electronic pit lane gear, and not in the traditional 1-7 which will be used in race.

  4. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    21st July 2011, 0:02

    8 Gears? Thats a lot

    1. The 8th gear must be to compensate for the reduction in engine revs 18,000 to 15,000. Otherwise 7th gear in the long straits 15,000 revs would be reached and the car would be on the limiter too early.

      1. if you have less revs you need fewer gears. not the other way around.

        if you would limit the current V8s to 15000rpm, then 6 gears would be enough since you dont need to rev beyond 15k therefore you dont need to change up after you hit sixth gear.

    2. William Wilgus
      21st July 2011, 11:18

      Some trucks have 28. I think that’s what the new rule should be: 28, not a paltry 8!

      1. LMAO Will ….. I wish I could support your cynicism :(

      2. Now we’re talking!

  5. So what you can only change ratio’s once a season instead of changing it for each track? I don’t get that

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      21st July 2011, 0:46

      No, I think it’s staying the way it is now; prior to the start of the season, teams have to nominate 30 defined “sets” of gear ratios to choose between throughout the season, and these are locked in for the duration. Only for 2014, each team has dispensation to re-nominate these 30 sets just once during the season in case they get them horribly wrong first time.

      That’s my interpretation of the change, anyway.

      1. Aye that was my read on it too, and the dispensation for 2014 was due to it being a new setup so teams have a joker to play if they find their ratio’s to be completely wrong after a couple of races.

  6. I’m happy about the self starting motors and the minimum weight increase, but I do not know what to make of the 8th gear and the 1.6l V6s.

    1. There have been few enough retirements this year as it is let alone with the addition of self starting motors i am dead against that.

      1. Exactly…

        Do you think the FIA have noticed F1 cars arn’t er… you know… Road cars?

        Part of the fun (and pull) is that they are so different.

        1. I don’t understand why you are against this. They should have brought this rule in years ago. What it means is less yellow flags/safety cars because a car has stalled and needs to be cleared by marshals, which can only be a good thing.

          1. Some teams might make the starter so fragile that it just passes a technical check, like reverse gears back in the day. Doesn’t sound very flattering for the driver if a team says “Oh, here’s a heavy and reliable starter motor, because we know you’re going to spin at least three times in this race.”

          2. Well, the starter better work because they have to use it every time they leave the pits… :D

            My problem is that F1… It won’t have the same pull if it’s just another car.

          3. well, to be honest, the weigth might not be that much of a concern when the engine minimal weight goes up from 95 KG to a pretty heavy 155 KG! (Ok, this is for KERS etc as well, but still)

          4. oh c’mon, are you really saying the only difference between a road car and an F1 is a starter motor?

            Adding a starter motor won’t make F1 “just another car”. If it does….. well I *really* want to see your road car.

        2. Come one Mike, why have any road relevant technology if F1 cars are so different from regular road cars? I think the self starting motor is a great idea, and I do not understand why anyone would be against it. We have seen drivers spin off track and stall their engines on numerous occassions, and it would be great if they could fire them back up and get back into the race.

          1. 155Kg is for a bigger KERS & don’t forget a Starter Motor!

      2. I am for more techincal problems, but retiring for stalling is more depressing than retiring for clutch/engine problems.

        1. they should get rid of anti stall if they have a starter

      3. There won’t be any need to add a starter motor. The KERS currently augments the engine by hanging off the back of it – in 2014 the cars will be able to drive completely on KERS in the pits due to the larger storage capacity and power output.

        All that’s required to start the car then is to engage the KERS (which rotates the engine) and then start injecting fuel/sparking. Shouldn’t require any additional hardware over what is already required.

        1. My thoughts exactly. 120kW is about 160hp, so it should have no trouble starting the engine.

          1. 160hp from the starter motor!

  7. The 8 forward gears and the gear ratios change restriction seems silly (though the latter pretty much requires the former given the range of circuits F1 visits). It will reduce the top speed of the cars and/or make the power band inefficient, it won’t save a penny and it causes artificial restraints on teams catching up with runaway leaders.

    KERS is something I object to as a push-to-defend button and it looks like the FIA isn’t going to do anything about it.

    However, the pit lane electric ruling is good because it will reduce the noise in the pit lane and encourage the development of technology in that area. Self-starters are a practical and cheap way of improving a cumbersone starting situation.

    1. The gear regulation seems rather .. stupid. Tracks are very different, weather conditions ever changing and nit even the cars stay the same so this doesn’t make too much sense to me. Also it might disadvantage small teams a bit since they probably can’t run billions of simulations a day to make up the best ratios.
      Also, who really cares what cars run on in the pitlane so I think thats not a bad idea.
      The frontwings might get nicer .. and if they also get simpler, Merc could suddenly be at the front again, they just have to cut that old Brawn wing a littlebit and it’ll be just fine (just kidding, I know they have moved on).

      Lets see how it’ll be (and how much of it the teams will pressure to change again) but I’ll try to stay as optimistic as ever :-)

    2. KERS will not just be push to pass anymore, the paragraph in the current rules saying it has to be controlled by the driver is gone, so teams will think about different ways to engage the recovered energy.

      1. Fantastic! Even better would be getting rid of the energy limit altogether. Let them use as much energy as they can recover, then this would actually be useful for development.

        At the moment why would you bother developing an exhaust gas recover system if you can ket your 120kW from KERS?

  8. Heavier, slower, quieter, spec rules. Remind again, is this F1 or Indycar?

    1. The minimum weight is to offset the advantage of lighter drivers or teams who do not run devices such as KERS.

      As for slower cars, that’s unlikely. The FIA tries to slow the cars down, but the teams always find ways of going faster. If anything, the FIA is just trying to keep the cars in balance so they don’t get to the point where they are impossible to drive.

      You cannot prove that the cars will be quieter. They certainly will be in the pits, but the cars are already speed-limited there. As far as the V6 turbo engines are concerned, there is no evidence that they will be quieter. Indeed, they are being designed with the noise in mind. And it’s not such a big deal if the cars are quieter – the battle between Arnoux and Villeneuve at the 1979 French Grand Prix is held up as the sport’s greatest moment. Those cars were turbo-powered and sounded nothing like the current generation of engines.

      As for the spec parts, some of them well be. But none that affect performance. For example, the front wings are only being trimmed. They are not spec parts. You’re grasping at straws here.

      1. They are all going to have KERS in 14.

    2. The heavier comes in right with the extra weight for the engine/KERS package, I think.

  9. yes, I am also confused by the bit about gear ratios. You hear comments these days suggesting they choose them race-by-race, is that not the case? is this new rule saying they can only have one set of gear ratios all year (special 2014 one-change aside)? That seems bizarre. we’ll have cars bouncing off the limiter like mad on straights like china.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      21st July 2011, 0:50

      Which ratios to use can be chosen race-by-race, but the way it works now (which I think will be the same in 2014, dispensation aside) is that 30 sets of ratios have to be submitted pre-season and these are locked for the championship duration. The teams then pick which set is most adept to the circuit and weather etc.

  10. I care about virtually none of these developments except the smaller wings. I don’t like the rpm limit being cut back. Will suppliers be free to develop engines from the V6 introduction? If so, will it be allowed through the season, and is there an engine limit? If development is derestricted then I can ignore the rpm limit.

    1. If I read the article correctly, rules will define everything even more detailed than it is now so .. that leaves pretty much no room at all. I guess the engine suppliers pushed it to be like that so that none of the others could get any advantage, completely forgettimg that it leaves them without room for improvement or creativity. But I guess its more important not to possibly look bad than to possibly look good.

      1. “But I guess its more important not to possibly look bad than to possibly look good”

        I hope F1 teams dont have this attitude. they should be confident and believe in their ability to outperform the competition. They should be taking risks in the hope it will give them extra performance. Otherwise whats the point? just stay home and you dont risk looking bad.

        in a perfect world the engine weight would not be restricted and teams would be free to develop superlight super powerful engines. yes they would need exotic materials and it would cost a fortune but thats what F1 should be about in my oppinion.

        i used to love the “qualifying engines” that lasted one flying lap. i feel the rules are too restrictive nowadays. for most of f1’s history the teams were on the edge of what is possible. now we are not even at 20% of what the teams could de of given more freedeom.

  11. I don’t like the gear ratio bussiness or the more specific terms on engine dimensions, the rest is fine.

  12. I really want to be positive, but I don’t want F1 to be more relevant to road cars. Then its not F1.

    1. Although I would love to see a car off track in the wet gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh … gh gh gh gh gh gh …

      teamradio there´s some starter spray in the glove compartment…

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    21st July 2011, 0:24

    Reducing the front wing is the best I’ve heard about car changes so far… It will allow closer overtakung without running over the rival’s front wing. On the other hand there’s going to be more “dirty air” on the fron tyres, but obviously, that’s something engineers will figure out. About the unique gear ratio for the whole season, that means teams will have to plan an “average circut” gearbox, and of course Monaco speed trap is not the same than Shangai or Monza. All this can bring better overtakes than DRS, the racing can be more “human” and we will see if people still complain about “That car can make a granny world champion”

    1. I suppose it is ok, but I’d much rather have seen the ugly rear wings changed, at least for aesthetic reasons

      1. They should figure out the front wing/ rear wing ratio of this car and base their rules on that

      2. I think the reasoning behind it is pulling the endplates in front of the front tyres to stop them sending vortices down the side of the car, which is my understanding of what they use them for at the moment.

        1. More likely the wing endplate will be 150mm/3in. inboard to save them getting ripped of during wheel banging and or causing punctures during same.

  14. dyslexicbunny
    21st July 2011, 0:25

    New engines
    Self starting
    Electric pit
    Smaller front wing
    Exhaust energy capture

    Minimum weight
    Extra gear
    Cap on changing ratios

    I really don’t see the point of limiting the ratio changes. It makes it feel like golf, you have one set for the front nine and another set for the back.

    What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone? I know you can use ballasts to balance the car but I just think more weight, more fuel.

    Even though it’s not a huge reduction, maybe we’ll see some less clipping of front wings. I like less bits on the track.

    But I think it’s all less horrible than DRS. Hopefully we can get less marbles on the tarmac and going off line won’t be so bad. I haven’t noticed them as much in the last two races in comparison to Australia so maybe that’s already getting under control.

    1. What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone?

      I believe it is to accomodate things like KERS and other electrical systems that are only going to become more common in F1.

      I’m interested in this however, because the engines are going to become smaller. Is the weight of a V6 engine lighter than a V8? If so, is it that considerable? Otherwise the weight increase in other areas of the car is going to be quite significant.

    2. What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone? I know you can use ballasts to balance the car but I just think more weight, more fuel.

      the weight of a vehicle has no direct effect on fuel consumption.

      1. So why then do teams under-fuel, and say that an 10 extra kilos of fuel costs them a certain .x seconds? Solely due to the change in centre of gravity? Seems unlikely.

        1. Hm, maybe that wasn’t making clear what I mean. They under-fuel because the weight makes them slower,but the speed also determines how much fuel they use (via drag, I guess). So it does influence their fuel use, if indirectly. But maybe you are right that the effect is small compared to the drag they have to overcome anyway thanks to their aero needs.

      2. You’ll have to explain that one to me I’m afraid? How can increasing the weight of a car not have a direct effect on fuel consumption?

        1. as frederick explained below, the same motor produces the same energy whether a vehicle is 3000 pounds or 10000 pounds. Force = Mass times Acceleration, or F/M=A. same F, divided by more M, gets you less A.

          generally speaking, a heavier vehicle gets less fuel economy because the driver is demanding more energy to accelerate at the same rate as a lighter car.

          this doesn’t apply to race cars, since they’re already at maximum power regardless of the vehicle’s weight

      3. you’re joking right?

        if you keep speed constant and increase the weight, then you have to burn more fuel. so weight dirrectly effects fuel consumtion. this is elementary physics.

        having a dead body in the back of your car will increase your bill at the petrol station. towing a caravan will have a similar effect.

        1. having a dead body in the back of your car will increase your bill at the petrol station.

          lol, i love that explanation ;)

          1. If weight is increased, more power is required to overcome the increased inertia and go as fast as you did when you were lighter. With the same level of power, you will be slower.

            If we were to just add 50kg to all the current cars with no other changes, they would be slower, but you probably wouldn’t notice an increase in fuel consumption, because in both cases they would be extracting the same amount of power from the engine, thus the same amount of fuel would be burnt.

            Note that I am speaking strictly about inertial effects here. working in a vacuum, so to speak.

        2. when you learn the difference between speed and acceleration, then tell me about elementary physics ;)

      4. F1 Yankee, how could you get such basic physics wrong and yet feel qualified to comment on these technical rules?

        1. please, explain how i’m wrong

          1. You are only right in the case the case of cars maintaining a steady speed on a flat track, add variations in elevation or speed(eg.corners and straights) and the extra mass has to be lifted or accelerated, this requires additional power which requires more fuel burnt. A lighter car will require less fuel to run at the same speed or will be faster for the same amount of fuel, pity Colin Chapman is no longer with us to preach his mantra.

          2. like i said earlier, that’s a case of the driver


            to burn more fuel. also that doesn’t apply to race cars, since full throttle doesn’t get fuller.

          3. I now understand. Your explanation is poor F1Yankee! But you are correct. A heavier F1 car will still need to do the same distance (~190 miles) as a lighter F1 car. Both running at full throttle will use the same fuel, however the heavier one will take longer to complete the distance. If it were possible for the heavier car to use more power to do the same distance in the same time then it would use more fuel to reach the same speed as the lighter F1 car. This isn’t a real world explanation as various G forces, extra braking effects etc… need to be considered also but in essence F!Yankee is correct.

          4. Full throttle may not get fuller but not even F1 racers use full throttle all the way round a track. I suspect you have been led astray by some Nascar engineer suggesting that weight is unimportant because they are flat-out all the way round the oval.

  15. The electronic power being used whilst in the pit lane is a very interesting way to build fuel-free power further into the sport. Why burn fuel carrying out what is an effortless task for a Formula 1 car?

    The gear ratio thing is confusing but I’m guessing, like all the rules adjustments, there is more detail to come.

    I’m not for the tightening of the rules on wings however. It’d be good if they found a more interesting way to place restrictions whilst introducing interesting possibilities for designers for exploit. I suppose someone will find the loophole, though!

    1. I wonder how many cars will be using KERS to defend and make the most of their IN LAP before a pit stop only ot have the car run out of power half way down the pit lane….

      1. Any sensible team would have a system in place that constantly stores enough energy for the pitlane.

        What I want to know is whether the energy used to travel through the pitlane comes out of the overall energy cap or not?

        1. sensible is never the fastest

    2. How safe will a silent car be in the pitlane tho? Mechanics are going to have to be extremely vigilant not to be run over.

      1. I don’t know, it’s not as if you often see them running into the fast lane without looking!

      2. I’m not sure that’ll be an issue. I mean yeah, obviously, unless you actually work in the pitlane, you cannot know for sure.

        But there’s nothing discreet about a Formula One car heading towards you at 60mph. We take it for granted how extreme that would be through the TV screen, but I’m sure someone would have to seriously screw up to be hit by one.

  16. i think the rules on gear ratio is that team have to submit all the gears they are planning on using in the upcoming season and they cannot change the actual ratio on those gears . so i think the new rule will allow the teams to make a change during the season at least once.

  17. I don’t like the vast majority of these rules – we are reducing the engine size and revs yet again. Where will this stop? By 2020, F1 will be driving 1.2 V4 that can only rev to 8,000rpm, but will have 12 gears. By 2025, F1 will be all electric. We won’t be talking V12, V8, V6, etc, we’ll be discussing how many electric motors each car has! I can’t wait (sarcastic tone)

    Also, what is the realistic advantage of running in the pits on electric? It’s just another useless tinkering of the rules to “improve the show”. Ironic when the FIA also claims it want to lower costs for the teams. How? By introducing new rules that require more development costs?? Well done Jean Todd.

  18. Surely running only electric power in the pits will cause a safety issue. We’ve seen the BBC team almost get hit by cars a couple of times, now they won’t be able to hear them coming either. To me this just seems like another pointless gimmick designed to make F1 look more environmentally friendly. Maybe they haven’t realised that F1 engines are much more efficient and therefore better for the environment than road cars? The environmental cost of making the batteries for the KERS probably outweighs the impact that all the F1 cars have over the entire season. Rant over.

    1. But at low speed those engines aren’t doing an efficient job. Electric motors can do a much better job from standstill, immediately delivering power (hence why hybrid cars tend to use electric motor at lower speeds).

    2. I can see the problems they might have with safety as the cars silently stalk down the pit lane but they fixed the safety issue of Methane gas by adding an odour to it so they could do the same here. If they have the KERS system power a stereo system to make a noise when it’s running on electric only people could here the cars coming. I suggest they play the Benny Hill Theme to make it in keeping with the spirit of these rules!!

      1. dyslexicbunny
        21st July 2011, 15:29

        I suggest they play the Benny Hill Theme to make it in keeping with the spirit of these rules!!


        1. Good idea!

      2. How about “Greensleeves”

  19. Taking this at face value, because this obviously will hardly be the end of the regs changes for that season,

    I’m fine with all of that, even if the eight gears is needless.

  20. RIght so, like V6Turbo’s because who wouldn’t. Like electric pits things, coz it’s cool and I like that there increasing the BHP legally available from electrics because more Horse Power is always a good thing. Self starting motor’s is good and will keep more drivers on track.

    Don’t really mind about an extra gear, fine, don’t really mind about the RpM thing because the turbo’s will make up for that anyway.

    Fixed gears for the whole year is baffling and I don’t think I can have understood. Smaller wings, grrr, both are examples it seems to me of F1 betraying the principle of being the pinacle of motorsport. They’ve got to stop damn limiting things for cost reasons, it holds back innovation and damages the sport.

    Instead, limit the amount of money available, at the begining of each year, set a total spend for development, make it big but not astronomical, acheivable for the big teams, without being completley over the horizon for the small ones. Decide what is to be done about aerodynamics and then deregulate to the greatest extent possible, keep things safe. The teams can decide in what way the spend their finite recources, F1 is forced back into super innovation.

    1. dyslexicbunny
      21st July 2011, 2:43

      Instead, limit the amount of money available, at the begining of each year, set a total spend for development, make it big but not astronomical, acheivable for the big teams, without being completley over the horizon for the small ones. Decide what is to be done about aerodynamics and then deregulate to the greatest extent possible, keep things safe. The teams can decide in what way the spend their finite recources, F1 is forced back into super innovation.

      Sounds like you want to see a similar series that I want. I think the only challenges would be engine and tires development since not every team makes their own. Perhaps instead, you get different tiers of products at different prices. It would be interesting – especially if some teams run out of available funds with a couple races to go and have to use whatever they have.

  21. F1 is going to lose its appeal with these new engines. F1 is not supposed to be green or eco-friendly.

    1. Bingo, I don’t mind changes to the engine rules. But it annoys me that this is the motive behind it.

  22. 8 Gears? Why?! There isn’t any need, all it means is that they have more chances to go wrong. 8 gears, can’t see why honestly, makes no sense. The only thing I can think of is that with the limited revs then they are hoping the speed will stay the same with an extra gears with the revs lost.

    Starter motors would be nice, although seeing someone go off and lose momentum is part of racing, if you give them a reset button losses an edge

  23. This is just bizarre!

    Self-starting motors

    Do we want to eliminate the possibility foe mistakes completely? I mean come on, on of the things that make \F1 special is that it isn’t a road car.

    Minimum weight increase

    Too much. F1 is starting to go too far on this. Enough is enough.

    Smaller front wings

    Wasn’t the whole point of the wide wings to make it easier to follow the cars ahead? This will only push more dependance on the DRS, and despite me liking the DRS I can only see this as a bad thing. Hell, I’m a Schumacher fan, I feel the effects of the wide front wing.

    Extra gear

    Explain why this is necessary? Or even desirable?
    I mean come on! Seriously guys wake up!

    Not one of these changes seem even remotely like an improvement! F1 this year, and the last few is fantastic. All these changes seem destined only to stretch the gap wider between the teams. Hell, how are teams like Force India or HRT actually meant to pay for this?

    It also seems like a rather badly done attempt to move F1 towards electric power. Which is something I detest. F1 isn’t green. It just isn’t. If the Australian race organizer was worried about F1’s ability to pull a crowd this is the way to get rid of them. The FIA has lost it.

    No, these changes can not happen.

    1. “I don’t know what we’re yelling about!”

    2. Do we want to eliminate the possibility foe mistakes completely? I mean come on, on of the things that make \F1 special is that it isn’t a road car.

      Surely the engine has to start it’s self at the end of the pit lane?

  24. I don’t think I’ve got a major issue with any of these changes. The old turbo era wasn’t exactly bad! Dropping out a race because the engine stalled always seemed a daft waste to me.

    I’m assuming the fixed gear ratios is an attempt to save money although I can’t see how that’ll make much difference. I’m also guessing that the move to 8 gears will allow closer ratios for tracks like Monaco where the top gear is never used but a sufficiently long 8th for those circuits with long straights.

    The biggest danger of these new rules is that it adds further design elements that are fixed for the season increasing the chances of a sub-optimal design will handicap a team for the whole season.

    1. I suppose that’s why the engines are so very regulated, just saw Scarbs tweet that even the engine mounting bolts are specified! And the V layout with turbo inside of it, exhaust outside.

      Seems like they really could get one spec. engine made with badging for the different manufacturers. That’s quite sad.

      1. I just read it exhaust outboard, intake inboard, the one that really got me was that the turbocharger shaft must lie in the same plane as the crankshaft ?

  25. A cynic might suggest that all these noisy pit stops positively ruin a perfectly nice day in the Paddock Club, and little Tarquin’s hearing hasn’t been the same since!

    So at the end of the final straight, coming in to the pitlane involves changing down 8 gears, telling the engine to cut out, activating Milk Float mode, observing the speed limit *and* engine cutoff line, selecting the pit map, and spotting the right garage (no JB joke). Should be fun.

    1. Maybe the limiter could be automatic with the activation of the electric mode, making it more easy to do it right rather than harder.

  26. I believe the extra 8th gear, allows the ‘electric-only’ drive feature to work–without compromising the ‘classic’ 7 speed gearbox. Just a thought.

  27. Breaking News

    From 2015 all cars will be powered by elastic bands

  28. Jeeze, when did my Grandfather and his mates take over the comments sections of this website?

    My take on things:

    KERS + smaller engines are vital for F1 and the automotive industry in general. F1’s use and knowledge of Carbon Fibre is far far in advance of any other industry. Imagine if they can have similar results with fuel saving, and energy recovery. It helps consumers out, and it helps the companies who are investing silly amounts of money for little return.

    Extra Gears: Ever driven a 4 speed manual car? Or god forbid a 3 speed? They suck. But for a long time that was the standard gearbox offered in most cars. Why did it change? Because technology moved on. And I clearly remember my Granddad complaining to high heaven about how unnecessary the gears were.

    The people who wrote these rules clearly have a reason for doing so, and my guess it is to prevent people hitting the limiter 1/2 way down the straight.

    Self Starters: Really we care about how they start the cars? Rubbish. So long as the racing is good no-one cares. If it saves the teams some money, brilliant.

    Weight increase – If it means taller drivers aren’t disadvantaged, fantastic. We don’t want them all looking like jockeys do we?

    Anyway I like the changes, and am really looking forward to seeing them in action in 2014….

    1. drivers are already covered by the last weight increase – this one will cover the additional equipment

      1. Which basically means it protects the driver. F1 people could get the new equipment into the car with little or no weight gain, but Mark Webber’s would need to have his legs amputated to make up for it….

    2. How does having to invent a starter motor for a F1 car save money over not having to do so?

      1. Have you seen the amount of people and equipment they need to start the car at every race?

        futhermore, as others have pointed out a self starter is probably necessary with the new Kers system and you get a win/ win situation. You don’t need expensive specialised equipment to start the car, and you can either save money on engineers, or have them doing something else that’s useful.

        1. The people are already there, and they have already build the equipment to start the engines, so if they just kept the outboard startmotor the costs of it would be exactly zero.

    3. if it is better to have more gears let the teams have more gears but dont make it a rule.

    4. @CarsVSchildren, your grandfather and I were racing carbon fibre sailboats before you were born.

  29. The weight limit for the new V6 engines includes the turbo, the MGU geared to the crankshaft and the MGU connected to the turbo.
    That’s a lot more kit that a simple V8.

    Note that a separate starter motor is not specified, so it is expected that the KERS MGU will perform this function, we’ve got an end to races ruined by stalled cars for very little extra.

    Turbo engines have a narrower power-band than naturally aspirated engines, so an extra ratio might be helpful. If the ratios are fixed all season, costs will be cut massively, both for running the cars and developing new gearboxes. If drivers have to suffer gears that aren’t perfectly matched to the corners they might have to demonstrate a little skill.

    Narrower front wings? Is that motivated by today’s down-force level, or by the number that get destroyed every race now that we have overtaking?

    Within my lifetime there won’t be enough petrol left to waste on 100kg/hr/car racing. I think there might be problems flying the cars around the world a little sooner, but it is going to happen, so we might as well face up to it.

    I doubt it’ll have as negative an impact on the racing as the reintroduction of refuelling, or the year they banned tyre changes.

    1. Sounds reasonable. Shame they keep the DRS in the rules and they might have put in the 15-18″ wheels.

    2. Well said, I can’t say I really worry about the starter motor, especially as it will then be integrated with the engine/KERS etc. drivetrain, that has to be developed anyway.

      I don’t mind hybrid, or a steady, even, unexciting, engine mode for the pits to reduce problems there. Don’t think it will save the world, but can’t see those things ruining F1 for me.

      I do feel sad that they aren’t really doing much wit the aero/underbody and keeping DRS, supposedly for costs, in reality for risk of failing. Sad. But I suppose they saw Newey’s gleaming eyes at the prospect of a big change, and decided against it.

    3. the fuel spent in racing cars around the world is so miniscule that focusing on reducing this is a complete waste of time. a 747 spends more fuel by flying from London to New York than all the F1 cars in all the 19 races of the season. you have thousands of planes flying every day carrying footballers, chinese products and basically everything around the world 24/7.

      of all the activities that use up fuel i think F1 is the most worthy, and i would certailny not classify it as a “waste” as you do. when we’ll have the last thousand gallons of fuel in the whole world i propose we use it correctly and have an F1 race.

      1. I don’t really get the point, no one is saying that a few hundred meters on electric is saving fuel hence more green.
        Developing the technology in F1 that is then used in every road car is what makes it green. Good on them.
        People oppose change because that’s the way we are wired not because there is a good reason to oppose it. I’m all for the changes.

        1. let me explain the point.

          Charles said that in his lifetime we will not have enough petrol to WASTE on racing.

          I am saying that the fuel consumption is very small in the large scheme of things, and that i dont consider it a waste. thats it.

          i am not stopping anyone from developing green energy in f1 and using it on road cars. i dont know where you got opposition to changes from my comment

    4. Charles, turbos actually have a wider powerband unless your turbocharger is so big it doesn’t start to spin until the engine is at the top of its rev range already, fuel flow restrictions should make that approach pointless.

  30. I’d be a bit sad to see the self starting motors. Part of the challenge always seemed that you had to keep your revs up lest you stall it so it really separates the always wary from the easily caught-out. But then I guess the anti-stall solves that anymore. Who knows. Maybe it’ll be no different than it is now.

  31. The beginning of the end. Formula Prius, how exciting :(

  32. So…the front wings will be a total of 6 inches narrower? What’s the point of that? I thought they were going to cut downforce in lieu of the ground effect underbody, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve tried very hard.

    Other than that the new rules look quite promising, especially having the cars equipped with starter motors, which should have been in the rules for a very long time already. Better late than never.

  33. 8 gears to much? *** what does it mean
    When electric only in the
    Pit lane?

  34. i like the changes to kers and starters, but i don’t understand the mandatory 8 speeds.

    1. Me too and the weight increase

  35. Yes FIA, that’s what we wanted, less revs and more gears. *smh*

    There is a lot of good stuff in there, but the FIA’s over regulation of F1 has again gone to new heights.

  36. I don’t know what the fuss is about the fixed 8 ratios in the gearbox. Saves a bunch of money from the teams taking apart and rebuilding the gearbox every race. Of course they can always change the final drive ratio to adjust for faster or slower tracks.

  37. The 8th gear implies 1 thing and 1 thing alone and that is that the new engine will have a deficiency in the torque department. The current V8 couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding which makes it a much easier engine to drive compared to the old torquey V10. So the only thing that sticks out in my mind is the cars are getting easier to drive.

    On a more worrying note I dont want this becomming formula electric hybrid. I honnestly dont see an electric hybrid as a solution to anything. I beleave alot of talent, creativity and money is being wasted on a dead end technology.

  38. I hate indy car, I hated A1 gp. F1 will soon become a combination. I so hope I’m wrong otherwise I’ll turn my interest to gp2. And don’t forget they are looking at the closed cockpit solution too.

    Teams have all agree’d to these teams and they are bigger fans than us so let’s hope they have already figured performance outputs and comparible laptimes and are happy thus proving us all wrong.

    1. I hate indycar too drivers are amatures

  39. I’m please the front wings are being sorted out, but a reduction of 15cm doesn’t sound that much. How wide were the old front wings?

    8 gears? That was unexpected, but I’ve nothing against it. Seems people are being scared of change again. I’m guessing it ties in with not being allowed to change gear ratios, which will have its own reason (cost?) and enables a one size fits all approach?

    1. I think the wings befor they went to nowplough were 1450 wide.

  40. Got to love all the Luddites coming out in the comments here.

    Like it or not, F1 has to improve its green credentials in order to survive. Yes, we all know that the carbon emissions of the cars themselves are dwarfed by the carbon cost of moving the F1 circus around the world every year. And we all know that the total carbon footprint of F1 is probably less than a sport like football, with all those spectators driving to all those games every weekend.

    But it’s all about sponsorship revenue, which in turn is all about image. Some fans might like gas-guzzling V10s and V12s, but any potential advertiser that is trying to improve its green credentials won’t.

    On the other hand, most fans probably don’t care about carbon footprints one way or the other. All they want to see is good racing – and I’ve seen nothing that suggests that these rule changes will harm that.

    1. Exactly.

      Actually I like them using new sources of getting more out of the engines as well as a technical challenge, but as you say, what part of the fans car about that.

      1. I’d like to see the teams given more freedom in engine and KERS development (with a fuel cap, as I’ve said before) to reintroduce some engineering challenge into F1. But in any case it’s plainly obvious that F1 cannot continue as it is for very long; for this reason these rule changes are necessary, even though the details aren’t exactly what I’d have chosen.

        1. As I would to but unfortunately the concepts of “engineering challenge” and “cost cutting” are absolutely mutually exclusive. I think we’re going to have to accept that during this financial downturn there’s going to be less of a development war for a few years while world economics recover. Sadly that’s just the way it has to be.

          Don’t worry though guys it won’t be like this for long, and it’s not like new technology isn’t hitting the tarmac every year. I, for one, am excited about what genius ideas Adrian Newey is going to come up with for this new smaller front wing. He’s going to have to come up with some pretty serious outwash!

        2. Very well said. I think you’re right on the sponsorship front, but I can still relate to everyone in a way, because it’s a shame that we have to head in this direction. I know it’s imperative for F1 to survive, but I doubt there’s anyone on this site that wouldn’t love to see the V10s back. I know it won’t happen, but if the world was different and global warming/being green didn’t exist, we’d be able to keep things as they are. All ifs and buts though. I completely agree Red Andy.

    2. Well said. This entire thread is a bunch of people getting worried about things they don’t fully understand, for reasons they can’t explain.

    3. You hit the nail on the head right there Andy.

  41. The FIA are so concerned about be ‘eco-friendly’ and making F1 relevant to road cars that it’s annoying me. Why don’t they just abandon Formula 1 and start a Toyota Prius championship, because that’s where we seem to be going. If this is the way F1 is going then I won’t be bothered if F1 goes on pay-TV or Channel 5.

  42. To use these motors to get 1.5-liter diesel engines in racing there is only one small step. Don’t smash the spectacle of F1, please …

    I’ll see if I can go to see a race live before they start these stories .. I wish I had luck with this for the Abu Dhabi GP: D http://www.youtube.com/formulasantander

  43. cat, meet pigeons . . . sounds like 2014 will be a fun season :-)

  44. The design, dimensions and materials used in the new engines are defined in more specific terms by the rules than the current V8s, which were introduced in 2006.

    So basically the only difference between say a Renault engine and a Mercedes one will be the name badge? Great. Another spec series. We didn’t have enough of those already.

  45. What I like:

    .Self starting motors
    .More KERS power (and being able to use exhaust heat)
    .Further reduction to silly aero flaps
    .Slightly smaller front wings (possibly to reduce accidents)

    What I dislike / find confusing for audiences:

    .Electric power only in pits
    .Higher min. weight
    .Increase to Engine + KERS weight
    .Extra gear (surely 8 is too many because they’ll be changing gear every 1.5 seconds or so)

    1. So this is definitely the beginning of the end of F1 (either as I know it or in general).

      After 2013 viewing figures will probably go down substantially, because some of the rules are either pointless or too confusing, especially the gear ratios.

      I have been watching since (about) 2000 or even before and am now in my late teens.

      As far as I’m concerned this could be the nail in F1’s coffin (if Bernie isn’t forced to leave beforehand).

      1. Yes, I am sure millions will turn off because of a rule that will be explained once in the pre-race show in Bahrain and barely mentioned again. Just like they turned off in droves when engines and gearboxes became limited.

        I’ve been watching since 1996, I’ve seen the points system changed twice, slicks go and come back, tyres with different numbers of grooves, crazy qualifying rules, first tyre changes banned and re-instated then refuelling banned, V10s give way to V8s and of course the massive changes of 2009…and not only am I still here, audiences have never been higher. The only reason I ever turned off was because of the Schumacher domination.

        F1 will do just fine.

        1. Agree, parent is doom-mongering. If anything, whispers of “the return of the turbo era” is going to bring more people in than ever.

          I’m particularly excited about the cars having starter motors (which will, let’s face it, just be a function of the new KERS system). Having your engine stall is a pretty weak way to retire from a race. Plus this should put an end to those rare-but-truly-terrifying start line stall accidents. Watching a car plough into the back of another one at 150kph on the start/finish straight is just upsetting.

  46. The FIA are ruining the sport, pinnacle of motorsport? I don’t think so

  47. I beleive there is no point to restrict maximum engine rpm. There is fuel-flow restriction, so let the driver and team decide when to save fuel and when to turn on power :)

    And let see who has got the most powerful and most economical engine!

    1. Agree. Completely pointless to have both fuel-flow and RPM restriction, but what did you expect from the FIA? It’s politically correct to do RPM limit so all common sense can go to hell.

  48. Mixed feelings about this really(upon reviewing what I wrote, much more negative than positive though. FIA is acting its usual self):


    Self-starter: The most pathetic rule! This continues the past 15 years trend of eliminating any kind of penalty for a driver who makes a mistake. Engines that exclude the possibility of over-stressing while changing gears wrongly, huge runoffs so drivers can make mistakes and still come back to the race as if nothing happened, the 15 laps behind a SC nanny-state start to any wet race, and now this?! Let the self-starter stay on the road cars, I don’t want F1 cars to be like a road car, what’s the point of that?

    Weight Increase: those weight increases must stop or F1 won’t be any better than an Indycar elephant.

    Smaller front wings: Again, completely wrong direction. Instead of ground effect we’ll get a further reduction in front downforce which’ll make following other car more difficult. Where’s Jeremy Clarkson when we need to cube their heads?

    Only electric power in pilane: Cheap and pathetic PR politically-correct gimmick which won’t ultimately change anything in terms of racing but will make the spectator experience that tiny much worse.

    Turbo V6-it could be a great re-invention of a nostalgic consept while keeping up with the times and as long as they give as much power as the current engines at least I’m happy even with the 15k RPM limit.

    More powerful KERS-essential to justify its weight penalty.


    8 gears: Let’s see what this change does. The consequences might be much more complicated than many here assume.

    Gear ratios: No change from now, as far as I can see, apart from 2014 season only, so it’s a no-news item.

  49. Green? Global warming is a myth.

    Starter motors take away another penalty ie stalling the car after a spin, but then again we dont have gravel traps any more.

    8 gears is too much.

    1. Global warming is not a myth, but F1’s influence on this is so neglible you can say it’s non-existant. And what influence there is comes from the constant flights and freights not the engines. Optimising the F1 schedule to eliminate the unneccesary flights would be a much better way to symbolically fight global warming. But then it’s not as good a PR for the FIA bureaucrats.

  50. Also re-branding F1, now to be know as ……

    The Scalextric F1 World Championship :D

  51. The fundamental question is: What is Formula 1?
    Is it a race between closely-matched, highly-developed road vehicles or an enormous advertising hoarding for motor manufacturers?

    The truth is that it is both and has to satisfy the sponsors as well as the racers.

    I like the idea of ground-effect but having read comments from Mario Andretti on his experiences I have doubts about the consequences for drivers. It is a big change and appears a big risk. Compromise may be reasonable.

  52. Anyone know if the new 660kg minimum weight is wet or dry? If this is indeed the dry wt. F1 and Indycars will soon weigh virtually the same. Latest 2012 specs show Indycar coming in at 1450 lb’s or 659 kg. A significant reduction from their previous 1525 lb’s.

    1. I remember when you could buy roadcars that weighed less than that.

  53. How is running on electric power in the pits going to help? I like when they rumble along at low revs. Its a nice noise. Furthermore, if they have to use a startermotor when they exit the pits. What if the teams make the startermotor too small and hopeless and the car can’t start at the exit of the pits. Like in the tunnel in Abu Dhabi. That is going to be brilliant to see them push one car after the other out of the way for the other drivers to get though…..

  54. This is kind of a dumb question, but why do F1 cars have external starters in the first place?

    1. I guess it is much simpler to use an external device to start the engine up. And lighter too.
      You don’t really need an internal one if you don’t plan to stall your engine during the race.

  55. The new rules are ******* up F1 from a hi tech sport to a dumb kart race

  56. It wouldnt suprise me if the regs changed from what has been given in this article. It’s been a poorly kept secret that F1 cars would be eletric only in the pitlane for a little while now (I think Sam Michael or Adam Parr dropped that clanger a few months ago).

    Overall, I’m for them. If it keeps the sport alive then lets go for it. I miss the days of the V10s and V12s as much as anyone else, but they’re not relevant any more. F1 has to stay relevant to the real world in order to survive.

    Lets not forget, F1 will always remain as the pinacle of motorsport, whatever happens.

  57. So long as the rules don’t stop the drivers from being able to race each other, I don’t see what the problem is.

    We are in a world where sponsors are now driven by being seen as more green, F1 has to move with this or all the sponsors will leave and the sport will die.

    1. Hey MaccaFJ as your pen-name suggests it is not just the drivers racing, it is the constructors racing that makes F1 different to other series, and these rules restrict their ability to race in the design dept.

  58. It’s disappointing to see the sport gets even more regulated, standardised and equalised. This is not going to improve the show or allow manufactures to innovate.

    1. ARG ! He said it :”improve the show” !

  59. Well I should refrain from saying I told you so, but why, I did tell you so, F1 is heading towards standardised cars, once that is accepted a single “one-design” car is the next obvious step. Indycar may be the series of the future.

  60. I admit I haven’t been keeping up with F1 rumours and news as much as I would like but having to use only electric power in the pits is a total surprise.

    With regard to the gear ratios, does it mean they will have to use the exact same ratio all season at all circuits or they have a set number of gear ratios to use all season but they have to nominate them at the start of the season.

    1. I am guessing, but I think it means the ratios in the gearbox will be the same all season but I expect that the final drive ratio can be changed to suit the circuit. The idea being to stop a team having a set of ratios optimised for each track thereby disadvantaging teams without the resources to do this.

  61. HounslowBusGarage
    21st July 2011, 18:21

    I’m not sure I fully understand the ‘electric-only in the pit lane’ rule.
    Would this be for the race only, with cars starting their engines only as they cross the pit lane boundary, or would it include practice and qualifying as well?
    Wouldn’t it make the speed lower as cars rejoin the track and therefore the speed differential between cars higher and more dangerous?
    As I understand it, F1 engines need to be pre-heated and carefully prepared before they can be fired up, whereupon they can only run at restricted revs until temperatures and presures reach safe levels etc. How would this be achieved if the engines cannot be run in pit lane?
    Am I missing something?

    1. I suspect that the engines will still be spinning but not fuelled.

    2. As I understand this, it will be a bit closer to how most roadgoing hybrids work or just the stop/start systems and is started from the electrical engine.

      It will be one of the things that will have to be built into the engines.

  62. Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
    21st July 2011, 20:33

    Okay, I am looking SO SO SO forward to 2014! I do have a point though, you may want to look this up Keith. The last time we had engine changes was at the end of 2005, we changed from 3.0-litre V10s to 2.4-litre V8s the following year, that may hinder some of the teams because I was watching the season review of the 2006 season and I think the switch from the V10s to the V8s meant a rush to develop it and there we loads of engine failures so I wouldn’t be surprised in 2014 if we had a few if not alot of engine failures.

    1. That was before the rev limit, now we are going to have a rev limit and a fuel limit but no doubt someone will manage to screw-up.

  63. This all sounds very daunting but exciting. I’m not going to kick up any sort of fuss until 2014 comes.

  64. i wonder which driver will suffer the fate of being the first to grind to a halt in the pits because of electrical failure, possibly after leading the race.

  65. Not sure about gears regulation change..what was the motivation behind this?

    Also we need a clear visual indication for when KERS is deployed! The only way we know at the moment is if an on screen display graphics come up. I’d like to see super bright led lights light up maybe the camera on the roll hoop..that’ll be cool! :D

  66. I am disappointed that they will introduce self starters, these drivers are the best and should be able to drive without stalling. I have watched for near 40 years and have seen some of the greats come and go and it was how well they controlled the car rather than how easy it was for them to recover that made them great.

  67. I’m concerned that we will see engines exploding all over the place; how many Massa like accidents does the FIA need to get with the program? Dear me; silent cars in the pit lane? How many mechanics need to be run down before someone gets with that program as well… What is F1 coming to – a vidoe game event; carting maybe? 1.6 lt has no business being pushed to this level its just too dangerous – I don’t care what the modern techno-geeks say about engine improvements!!

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