Mercedes PU106B power unit, 2016

F1 to target 0.3s difference between engines

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In the round-up: F1’s 2017 overhaul will include the setting of a target to bring differences between engine performance levels closer together.

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2015
Time for F1 to think positively?
@Vmaxmuffin believes new tracks have too many negatively-cambered corners:

I believe that positively-cambered corners are better for overtaking for four main reasons:
1. They increase mechanical grip. This means that the downforce penalty for a following car is less significant, because a greater portion of the grip is provided mechanically.

2. They are faster, which also allows a car to follow more closely (time-wise). Slower corners cause a concertina effect, meaning that even if cars are bumper-to-bumper (well, wing-to-wing) through a slow corner, they will become very spread out on the following straight. Of course, this makes overtaking more difficult.

3. They give drivers more confidence. Go too deep into an off-camber corner, you’ll slide out way further than on a positively-cambered corner. I think positively-cambered corners generally make drivers more likely to have a lunge (or alternatively, off-camber corners make it more likely that a lunge will see the overtaking driver lose control and crash into their victim).

4. This is related to the last point – they give drivers more lines, and the ability to go around the outside. To look at an extreme example, in NASCAR and IndyCar we often see on the big, fast, high-banked ovals (Fontana, Texas, Atlanta to name a few) that drivers can run multiple different lines and pass both inside and outside. Obviously, race craft in oval racing is quite different, but I think the principle still applies. When’s the last time you saw a driver drive around the outside of another car in an off camber corner?
@Vmaxmuffin

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  • 88 comments on “F1 to target 0.3s difference between engines”

    1. It’ll be a free for all race in Baku, for sure. We’ll be seeing normal people in normal road cars sneaking onto the circuit during the GP to try and race with the on-track competitors. Oh yeah…

    2. I’m on the bandwagon of the CotD for years now. It’s pretty strange that two people separately came to this conclusion (with basically the same arguments) even as far removed from power as we are, yet Tilke (and others) are having other ideas for more than 15 years now…

      1. Me too, mainly because the outside line is the longer way around and a little help from positive camber would make more than one racing line possible and enhance the likelihood of side by side racing a la JPM.

        1. Would that be JPM’s move round the outside of Schumi at Nurburgring 2003 @hohum? Great example, nearly forgot about that one.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        22nd April 2016, 6:20

        What I struggle with is that taken the arguments to the extreme you would end up with only drag straights or oval like tracks for racing. @atticus-2

        1. Nah, as @glacierre said in his linked post above, Watkins Glen is a good example of a road course with heavily cambered turns. Their official data sheet says most of their corners are banked at 6°. (Granted, the Glen does feel like having quite a few ‘drag straights’ if you’re driving a car with a low enough power-to-grip ratio that it can take the Esses flat-out. And races on the short layout.)

          But there are other examples as well, for example Oulton Park, Phillip Island, Bathurst, Willow Springs, old Interlagos, Laguna Seca, basically anything built in the classic era, pre-1970. Brands Hatch as well. Paddock Hill Bend does feel off-camber, but it’s actually due to the road falling away steeply rather than being banked to the outside. It has the exact same effect and people (even drivers!) often label such corners ‘off-camber’ when in reality they have a positive camber, it’s just that the turn is falling away (i. e. had a concave elevation profile compared to a convex one when one looks at the longitudinal section.)

          Lower, but still positive cambers were still ‘fashionable’ right up until the Tilke age (1997 on). The Paul Ricard was termed as ‘the’ standard modern track in 1970 and thus not just its safety features and pits became standard but some of its design elements as well – such as the low, about 1.5° positive cambers as well. Hungaroring, the new Nurburgring, the redesigned parts of Spa, the rebuilt Donington Park (1977), the post-1987, pre-2015 Kyalami, Barcelona all have low, but still positive cambers on the parts built between 1970 and 1997.

          Sorry if I went tl;dr, I’m just a massive race track enthusiast. :)

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            22nd April 2016, 10:44

            thanks @atticus-2, your enthusiasm is contagious.

            Actually, I’m in the ‘positive camber’ camp as well; albeit by far not as knowledgeable as you.
            I just want to hold up the mirror and state that there is more than: mechanical grip; close following; confidence; and multiple lines (arguments used in CotD). The main one missing is challenge/race craft, and that might be reduced if we just follow the 4 objectives listed earlier.

            1. @coldfly It’s true that these things (more mechanical grip, close following, confidence, multiple lines) do reduce the challenge a bit, but in my mind it’s a gimmick-free and “correct” way to do it (compared to DRS for example). You still need to be able to set up and make the pass, it just gives a few more ways to do it without having to give a significant advantage (e.g. DRS/push to pass) to the following car.

        2. @coldfly, does the stelvio pass look like a drag strip or oval to you?

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            23rd April 2016, 11:11

            (I doubt that’s a serious question, along those lines:)
            Yes, it looks like a string of half ovals! @hohum.
            If it were a full oval then it wouldn’t be a ‘pass’; ending up where you started!

    3. Also- the COTD is spot on. The only 2 times in F1 I can think of in F1 where that happened was Jacky Ickx taking Niki Lauda in the pouring rain at Paddock Hill corner at Brands Hatch in 1974, and Jean Alesi overtaking Damon Hill at the Casio Chicane in 1995 in damp conditions.

    4. Formula One can change the regulations and cars and engines all they like, and they can dumb it down with gimmicks or over complicate it with rules all they like, but the solid fact is that unless Bernie stops signing pay TV deals, the audience is going to decline and only decline.

      There’s no two ways about that. It’s either accessible for fans or there aren’t any.

      Formula One is not football, which has an international following, dozens of championships and tiers, top teams in most cities, and a passion developed by being able to play in a local club from a young age. Formula One needs to reach out to attract a constant audience. And it’s not.

      1. @strontium I agree. Football works because it’s part of our culture, you can’t forget it. F1 is soon becoming that appealing world that features in the newspaper a couple times a month.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          22nd April 2016, 9:16

          F1 will soon be like what American Football is to non Americans. We know it exists; we hear about it once a year (Super Bowl, Monaco GP); and even then only notice the surroundings (TV ads) more than who won; and we hear when something extremes happens (fatality).
          (and it’s called a World Championship even though all races will be in the Middle East)

      2. Indeed it is. What use is “being attractive to casual fans” when casual fans have hardly a chance of ever stumbling upon F1 hidden behind dedicated channels behind pay walls. They sure will not be playing F1 in the local yard, or at the village football field with their friends @strontium, @peartree

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        22nd April 2016, 8:55

        @strontium – When I was walking around during the WEC autograph session on Sunday morning, looking at the prepared cars ready to go out to the grid, chatting with eventual ill-fortuned victor Andre Lotterer, all of the fans were saying something along the lines of, “you don’t get access like this in F1”.

        It is remarkable that those responsible for a worldwide sport have not realized that in failing to democratize premium hands-on experiences, and deliberately denigrating the paddock as some corporate adventure playground, they are wantonly suffocating F1’s mainstream potential.

        1. Totally agree on the feeling about the WEC paddock, i love it, but can only think that F1’s appeal has always been that it’s exclusive and glamorous with THE fastest drivers/cars on the planet which has never truly been aimed at the mainstream. When there’s a good season every so often there will be some mainstream buzz which pleases the teams’ sponsors and gives a few kids the urge to go karting but I don’t think it’s ever been built to be a mainstream sport, it’s certainly never been marketed that way.
          Not saying they can’t but it would be a huge change realigning for the mainstream market, completely different sponsor profiles etc which doesn’t happen overnight and certainly won’t be on Bernie’s watch.

          1. Has always been that way… Is a poor reason not to improve it.

      4. If all F1 were behind the pay firewall from the word go go go there would be nobody watching it because it would be an unknown deity.

        The hardliners are going to die, quite literally, then there would be no young eyes to buy energy drinks or red cars.

        Regarding the American football, when I see it advertised, I feel as if the US is trying to push their variety of rugby in cushions on to me and I definitely don’t want it.

      5. @strontium

        It’s not only that. How many live, top end football games does Sky broadcast a month? Loads and loads, from almost all competitions. There’s hours and hours if action every week! That’s pretty good value for money.

        F1 isn’t as busy in front of the cameras. In the most extreme circumstances, we might get three GPs a month, usually two, sometimes one or none. In-between GPs, sky endless shows poorly edited highlight programs, documentaries all aimed at the lowest common denominator of intelligence, all rerun and repeated to death. Even the majority of Classic races seem to be hacked up and left on the cutting room floor. Too many adverts also make it feel like you’re being ripped off.

        Sky Sports F1 live coverage has improved, but it’s still a little broad to carry F1 off properly. As a result, the subscription seems like poor value compared to Football pay TV.

    5. The rules relentlessly tighten and drive uniformity. Shame. Not a spec series yet, but if all engines are equivalent and if reliability isn’t much of a factor then why would a car company invest millions in engine development to be exactly the same as their competitors? Beats me.

      1. @scalextric Yep. F1 seems to be taking the wrong turn all the time. Despair is what I felt reading that BBC article.

      2. Me too, if something has to be standardised then make it the aero pack, there’s not a lot of demand for upsidedown aeroplanes.

      3. Spend hundreds of millions on making something to be the best it can be, ahead of the opposition then they will just drag it down to the level of others so no point. It’s like a modern British school sports day where there are no winners so everyone is a winner for taking part.

        If they do this with the engine they should do it with the aero as well. The best would be to just let everyone develop how they want when they want, test their solutions and they end up where they end up. Someone much faster? tough luck.

        Next year there are no token restrictions, this is all that is needed the rest is up to the manufacturers.

      4. Shame? With more equal engines we will get better racing, battles for race wins that include more than two cars and potentially championships which have more than 1.5 contenders. Shame that the teams not in the positions 1 to 4 get cheaper and more competitive engines and have more money to invest in chassis design bringing the pack closer? Shame about some manufacturer losing some technical advantage no one even knows about because everything is so secret? It is so exciting to know the merc engine is the best and no one knows why!

        Shame really. Having mercedes-ferrari in positions 1-4 until we get next engine generation is obviously much better way to go than more balanced engines… duhh!

        1. In other words, what you want is a spec series F1 because you cannot have standardised engines with equal performance and not have standardised earo. Reason being that some teams spend their entire fortune on aero and chassis development.
          Redbull have shown how good their 2016 car is in the aero angle while still running a not completely paired with other engines Renault engine.
          What this engine rule equalisation does, is to hand domination for the next few years to Redbull.
          And if I were any established driver (Fernando and Lewis are you listening?) looking to leave their current team when their contract expires next year, Redbull is the place to be especially if this rule stays.
          It is a no-brainer Redbull is the place to stay with engine parity and no aero parity.

          1. Why can’t another team beat red bull with engine parity?

          2. I don’t want spec series. And yes you can have standardized engines without standardized aero. Are you even being serious? V8 and V10 engines were standardized. The hybrid engine is already standardized. There are very very specific rules what you can or can not do.

            I don’t get your comment about red bull either? Are they really the only team that can build cars? Everybody can build better chassis than red bull. Every team already builds their own chassis so they all can at least try. With engines you either get toned down mercedes or ferrari if you are lucky enough that they sell you one. If not your stuck with renault. If they sell you anything either. Or honda. Nope, won’t sell you one either. Tag heuer? Go ask…

            If your solution is to force saubers and force indias to build their own engines then good luck having more than 8 cars at the start of the season your rules come into play.

            Aero parity would far far far worse for f1 than engine parity. Wait a second we already have that too. All the tech rules have been designed so that it is HARD and impossible to build a car that dominates. The engines rules have failed but chassis wise we are good. But the point is there is already standardized parts and rules which aim for small variance in performance. I don’t you have any clue at all what you are talking about. You’re just red bull hater.

        2. More equal engines, then others should build one, flip the argument and do the same with the chassis and make the engine the differentiator is equally unsavoury, everyone has a chance to build the best chassis and best engine that is how F1 started and should be now. Teams that cannot do this go to the wall so what, the little teams should put up or shut up and Red Bull should try and become a proper team and build their own engine if they have a problem, they can do it just do not want to put the effort in to do it. I would rather watch excellence from the 2 teams that are the best they can be than have them dragged to to the others level, those teams that can only build half a car. The garagisti are dead long live the manufacturers.

        3. I completely agree with Tata. Engine parity will only hand the advantage back to RB. It will be the same scenario as now, just instead of Mercedes ,RB will dominate.
          Standardized aero would make much more sense, because it would save the small teams a huge amount of money and make them more competitive.

          1. You’d want standardized aero over standardized engines? You want spec series? You want spec series. What you are defining is spec series. Gp2 with engine manufacturers. That would be horrible. All the cars looking exactly the same, sound the same, drive the same…

            1. I never said I want F1 to become a spec seiries! But if I had to choose between aero or engine parity, I’d go for standardized aero. That would bring the field closer together than engine parity and save a lot of money.

              TBH I don’t want any kind of equalization in F1. Neither chassis (aero) nor PU.

            2. @srga91
              You’d choose free engines over free aero? That’s basically gp2.

              Why on earth would you rather have free engines over free aero? With free engines and fixed aero 7 out of 11 teams in f1 would have no way make their own car faster. With fixed engines and free aero each and everyone of the teams could make a championship winning car. Each team would be as good as their car. And each car would also look different.

              I’m completely baffled what are the benefits of free engines and standardized aero over free aero and standardized engines. Could you explain it? Please?

        4. No, no, no, no, no and no!

          If it’s a spec series you seek, F1 is not for you and it never has been.

          1. F1 has had standardized engines for 20 years now. I have no idea how it is suddenly a spec series now but not before…

            1. Because instead of limiting capacity or design they are limiting performance. The best engine will become that which has best fuel economy, reducing fuel load at the start of the race.

            2. @scalextric
              So what was the 2007 engine freeze then? Did it make f1 horrible? Standardization and limitation are not new to f1 in any way or form. I’d argue it made the racing better.

            3. @socksolid Arguments either way of course.
              That engine freeze kept hybrid technology out of F1 for a while. ERS and the current PUs were/are supported by the manufacturers because they are more relevant to the future of auto tech.
              I’m bothered that Mercedes great success in engineering is being handicapped. Guess they’ve had a good run for their money but future development now seems pointless.

            4. @scalextric
              What kept hybrid engines out of f1 was the hybrid engines themselves. Nobody would run them because hybrid engines are heavy and make the car slower. Only reason why everybody is using hybrid engines now is because it is mandatory. In 2010 the teams all agreed not to use it. It was not because of regulations. It was because it wasn’t worth it to have it.

    6. I guess it all comes down to, do you want to be entertained by drama, gossip and class promotion, or do you want to see something marginally competitive, for which offers REAL opportunity and REAL risks.

      I don’t care for how people are encouraged to shut up, do what they are told, fall in line, repeat the party line, etc… It’s all very boring, and very negative towards the human condition.

      Real competition is not about equality, it is about taking risks, and exploiting opportunities when ever they appear. Unfortunately, the people that run F1, do not care about opportunities, risk taking, or ‘equality’. They only care about lip service, and brand management. If enough people stop repeating the false claim, that F1 is the pinnacle of 4 wheel racing, then something might be done about it, because that affects the ‘brand’. If people complain about how the manufacturers are stealing the show and suffering their competitors, lip service will be the only thing that is returned.

    7. .3 between engines will give the lead back to redbull, no wonder Toto Wolff is now calling for 2017 rule changes to be scrapped, he knows they have the best chassis.

      1. I hope they (FIA/FOM) have thought this through.
        For the rule to work perfectly without any team being short changed, the engine spec they are proposing should be contracted out to one or two suppliers while every one focuses on earo and other development. With this done, caps can then be placed on the amount of money each team can spend on aero/chasis development because teams who have to prioritise how to spread their capital between Power Unit R&D and aero will not be able to compete on a level playing field with teams who channel their resources towards aero/chasis development.

    8. 1.) 0.3s? Christ! I don’t even know where to start with that win.

      2.) Aero? That subjects been done to death so no need to plough that particular furrow again.

      3.) If you want a driver to talk unfavourably about your circuit, give him/her negative camber corners. So COTD is spot on.

      4.) Finally, RACING IS A MARKETING EXERCISE. Which is why there are so many performance balancing tools in motorsport. Technology dominating a sport is not good for the “brand,” especially expensive technology.

      Maybe I’m alone on this, but I kind of yearn for the old days. F1 was built on the likes of Frank Williams, Ken Tyrrell, Colin Chapman etc being able to design and build race cars, have access to race engines, and then take those to the circuit to RACE!

      It’s this model that allowed the household names of Newey, Lowe, Brawn, and people like Gordon Murray beforehand to show their engineering prowess. Now, everything is too much dominated by the engine, and that’s never been what F1 is about, IMO.

      1. @thef1engineer i disagree with your last point – it has always been about the car/driver package as a whole, which very much includes the engine. what we lack now is variation in circuit design, hence all the cars are very similar (they need to be) so we don’t get much innovation.

        even in the schumacher-hakkinen era we would see some variation (e.g. the ferraris had decent mechanical grip so had better odds on slower tracks, while the mclarens worked better on the straights and in fast corners so had an advantage at places like spa and monza). now the red bull or the mercedes is the best at all tracks (in the last ~5 years).

      2. F1 was not built on the Brit pack of Tyrell, Williams etc it started with full race teams like Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes hell even BRM built the lot, I would rather see a grid of teams that are capable of doing the lot.

        1. markp, it depends how far you wanted to take that idea, because you could probably even exclude a number of manufacturer teams on that logic.

          Ferrari, for example, have partially outsourced the manufacturing work on their engine these days – they have been working with AVL, an Austrian mechanical engineering specialist, since late 2014, and AVL now has a full time team of mechanical engineers embedded into Ferrari’s engine division. AVL were reportedly responsible for sizeable chunk of the upgrades Ferrari introduced in 2015, such as the modification of the combustion chamber geometry, so it is quite clear that their role is not insubstantial to Ferrari’s current level of performance either.

          You could arguably say that Ferrari are no longer capable of “doing the lot” in house given that they are now partially outsourcing the development and production work on their engines to external consultants instead. Would you therefore exclude them from your hypothetical grid?

          1. Of course not and Ferrari started by running Alfa Romeo cars as a works outfit. Ferrari for a small manufacturer do an awful lot and all teams outsource parts like brakes but in particular Red Bull have the funds for an engine yet have driven this engine issue as they are as big as Ferrari maybe more so but want to put nothing into an engine which they could source parts of like you mentioned, to then out spend on aero. I like that Merc and Ferrari have the power to hopefully make Red Bull make an engine or force them out of F1. The other teams have always taken what they get but this is a Red Bull issue. People moan at a veto but Red Bull have rules proposed to suit them.

            1. markp, of course, all teams find it necessary to outsource parts like brakes – what I want to know is at what point in the process of outsourcing work does a team no longer count as a manufacturer in your estimation?

    9. That BBC article was an interesting read, but the decision makers have their approach all wrong. They want new regulations that make better-looking, faster and noisier cars, oh, and try not to make overtaking harder in the process. They should be thinking about new regulations that allow much easier overtaking, oh, and try not to make the cars uglier, slower or worse-sounding in the process.

      1. I think it’s about prioritising the changes. The 1st priority should be PU performance convergence, because no one wants to see a continuation of an engine dominated formula. The 2nd priority should be to make overtaking easier without the need of artificial devices such as DRS. The 3rd priority should be that the tyres let the drivers really push, and we move away from the conservation mode of racing.

        All the other stuff like engine noise, etc is pretty much nonsense and should be looked at only after they’ve solved the big three.

    10. ColdFly F1 (@)
      22nd April 2016, 8:11

      Als read that the Red Bull Canopy will be tested today, and could be ready for 2017.

      I have not made my mind up:
      – should it be pure ‘open cockpit’
      – pick one over the other (aesthetics, rain impact, RB solution feels like ‘cabrio’)
      – or maybe leave it up to the teams (but both options should be standardised).

    11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      22nd April 2016, 8:41

      @Vmaxmuffin – In reality, no camber at all is preferable for overtaking. Positive camber requires constant radius corners to work correctly, so unless you envisage F1 racing on ovals, positive camber is always going to be limited to slow speed corners like the Saxcurve at the Nurburgring. The positive camber at the Saxcurve produces a higher apex velocity, a shorter braking zone and accordingly is seldom an overtaking site.

      However, I agree, that more broadly, positive camber is good for following. The Kemmel straight is arguably the best overtaking zone in the world to some extent because the piano-accordion-effect of the slow-speed apexes of La Source and the bus-stop is in part mitigated by the camber. Corners like Luffield, T3 at Singapore or the awful hairpin at Abu Dhabi have much to learn from this example.

      1. The braking zone for Les Combes (think that’s the spelling, the chicane at the end of the Kemmel Straight anyway) is the most exciting place to view from at Spa, the cars just dance across the kurbs and look so energetic and alive, which is something they seem to have lost some of over the last 10 or so years. Current cars seldom look as if they are right in the very edge, but that corner at Spa is one of the few places they still look ‘frisky’.

    12. Showbiz engines to go with the tyres. Imagine if they started trying to make the Premier League closer by sending Leicester players off…wait a minute.

    13. According to BBC they’ll be within 0.3 by Canada anyway.

      Not Honda but the others.

      1. I wonder how it will work if in 2017 they test the PUs for time difference, and still see that Honda is over 1 seconds off the pace. Will they slow down the Merc, Ferrari and Renault PUs to make sure they are all within the 0.3s gap?

        Or will Honda just quit by the sheer embarrassment of making a GP2 engine for Formula 1?

        1. Yeah @todfod, well we could see the Macs’ red light flashing 2/3 down the back straight in China so they still lack generation. They just have to let someone explain how to do it, so hopefully that’s what will be said to them!

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        22nd April 2016, 10:46

        nor STR, @lockup – poor kids!

        1. Yes true, what a pity @coldfly. Opportunity for F1 excitement, wasted. We can only hope that next year they get a works unit of some kind.

    14. Performance equalisation for the different power units makes the entire exercise utterly pointless. Surely the draw of new technology for manufacturers is to demonstrate how well they can rise to the challenge. Of course, we don’t like seeing Mercedes romp away to a third title, but who can say it hasn’t been a masterful display of utter technical dominance?

      If you want to attract auto manufacturers, you need to give them the opportunity to display how well they can beat the opposition. They’re there to demonstrate their ability. If the goal is performance parity, then we already had that with the V8 engines. Why not simply revert to them? They sounded better, and they were a lot cheaper. Then all you need is a few years of regulations stability for the car performance to converge, and you end up with good racing. It’s *exactly* what we had before the 2009 changes. Back to back championships decided in the last race by a single point. Ok, there wasn’t as much overtaking, but that was simply a characteristic of those cars. Clean up the aero regs, make the cars easier to follow, allow performance to converge, keep it cheaper so that you get more cars on the grid, and you’ll have an amazing championship. But all the manufacturers will disappear because they don’t want to be beaten.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        22nd April 2016, 10:49

        Agree @mazdachris. Just bought a car with a star on the bonnet, so Merc’s efforts did pay off!
        (not that I had a Renault before).

      2. If you want to attract auto manufacturers, you need to give them the opportunity to display how well they can beat the opposition.

        Quite the contrary. If you want auto manufacturers to enter the sport, you want them to avoid the potential embarrassment they will face when they are miles off the other manufacturers. Take Honda for example, they have entered the sport a year later than competition, and are already the laughing stock of the sport. Can you imagine Audi or BMW entering after 4+ years of the engine formula, especially if Mercedes are still innovating on their PU to find more performance?

        An engine freeze when the performance between the different PUs is at a minimal is the only way new PU manufacturers will enter the sport. They will know the exact benchmark they have to match to compete, and they will work towards that before entering the sport.

        I get your point that auto manufacturers will want to show everyone how they are better than the others, but let’s face it, there is no way a new auto manufacturer would enter the sport saying that he’s confident he’ll do a better job than Mercedes from day 1. It’s just not possible. He would rather play it safe by just matching the current leader.

        1. If there are no tokens yes. No motorsport resets itself as someone is entering, with no tokens and unrestricted engine development they will catch up much faster, if they cannot they are too weak. Honda have a great chance next year to really get their engine up to speed as they can change anything they want, they could even start fro scratch learning from their mistakes and introduce a complete new engine at some point next year. More big rich teams and less Manor’s etc would be great as they can all go testing without some little nothing teams complaining they cannot afford it.

      3. @mazdachris I think makers can still rise to the challenge and show they can compete at the top level, even if there is some equalization or parity, which can come from rules stability just as ‘easily’.

        We are seeing, and will continue to, a masterly display of technology from all of the makers with these highly complex and efficient units. They are hard to master to begin with which will make having a top PU competing at the top level in F1 a huge accomplishment on it’s own. Surely they can’t go back to antiquated V8’s now, which were so much simpler they truly could be called spec if they were re-introduced.

        Let them see the chassis and tire changes through, and have time see convergence occur while costs for these pu’s get spread out over said greater time, and let’s see where it goes. Nothing is written in stone, but they can’t go entirely backwards, no?

      4. @mazdachris, inflation adjusted, the V8 engines were probably just as expensive when they were introduced as the current V6 engines are now – in fact, the first batch of V8’s might have been even more expensive.

        They only appeared to be cheap because the FIA and FOM forced the engine manufacturers to accept a price cap that required them to sell the engines below their actual production costs – Renault, for example, made it quite clear that their engine manufacturing division was running at a substantial loss because of the restrictions on engine fees.

        1. That sounds so unfair. It’seems like the government forcing superstars to be affordable for normal people so companies are forced to sell at a loss. If teams cannot afford the going rate of an engine they do not belong in F1 and in no way should they get the same engine as the team that are making it or we might as well demand chassis and aero to be shared. Teams that want that should move to GP2 leave F1 for proper teams. I want my own F1 team is it unfair I cannot afford it?

      5. @MazdaChris – you miss the whole point that f1 has limited testing and development for engines, as such it should have equalization, the teams can then put more efforts on things that are free to develop like chassis – you can have a different chassis every race, but only 5 engines for the entire season, and you can only develop those engines within the stupid token system… as such manufacturers are spending far more then in v8 era on engines, for only tiny gains…. otherwise free up engine development, then equalization is not needed. any new engine manufacturer wanting to enter the sport is now 5 years in development behind Mercedes, and if they enter the sport 200hp down, they cant make that up for a very very long time because of the rules… as the past 2 seasons have shown, where as aero is allowed to be developed, that is why between 2010 and 2012 sometimes RedBull was fastest, and other times McLaren was fastest, not just one team constantly.

    15. I completely agree with the CotD. That’s why Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks to drive on in Project Cars.

    16. Can’t see how they can actually go about making that measurement.

      Drivers will be tooling around at 80% power until the measuring process is over and then suddenly “hmm what does this setting do?”

      Just can’t see it working

    17. If they can manage to pull it off, that will be a very remarkable achievement. The problem with that achievement however is driver input, capability and talent is what will continue to determine to a significant extent the performance gaps between teams.
      I do belive that Ferrari have since caught up with Mercedes in power output with drivers output making the difference, as we saw last week. If the guys at Ferrari had stringed their laps well, they would have clinched pole in China.
      Redbull have shown through Danny that they are within the usual gap as front running cars have between them over the years.
      The advantage that the Mercedes drivers continue to enjoy is that they are already used to driving their very fast cars and can easily squeeze out whatever amount of power as and when needed. They have bonded with their machinery. On the other hand, Ferrari and Redbull drivers are just learning or coming to terms with how theirs work and when they reach that crest, we will see a very competitive field.

      Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for making the TIME 100. It is indeed an achievement that is well deserved.

    18. I don’t understand what makes engines so special they need performance to be artificially equalised. Why not all the aero? Why not just go straight for a spec series? If the engines are all going to be the same, why have multiple manufacturers? Are they going to equalise reliability too?

      I’m sure someone is going to drone on about wanting the racing to be close, and how it’s boring when one team dominates. But frankly that’s the risk you take when you have a sport. Some years you’ll have domination. Some you’ll have it go down to the last corner. How about we just have sensible, fair rules, and see what happens? Isn’t that the point of sport?

      1. ‘Someone is going to drone on’ lol that would be me below, but I thought that was millions of people too, no?

        I don’t think everyone’s PU is going to be identical, and I do think that a PU maker’s team will have a thousand variables that will go into a winning effort, and any PU maker that is in it can advertise that they are competing in the pinnacle of racing at the top level with their top PU. The WDC and WCC winning team will still claim they had the best PU, and we all know that it is also about a best overall marriage of PU and chassis.

        And overall, I personally do believe that these highly complex and efficient units are exactly what should be in F1. In spite of BE’s opinion, somehow these awesome makers put pencil to drawing board and have spent hundreds of millions if not billions, and done some amazing and fascinating work…they (the pu’s) must have some validity, right? Or they never would have gotten off the board. Rules stability on the pu’s can continue for convergence amongst makers that way, while they head to better cars themselves.

      2. Some years you’ll have domination. Some you’ll have it go down to the last corner.

        It’s been nothing but domination since 2009 though hasn’t it? I think it’s good to have a narrow bandwidth of engine performance between different manufacturers. Letting teams battle it out on aero, chassis, etc still leaves a smaller advantage over the rest of the field than the engine formula does.

        1. @todfod

          Yes, nothing but domination since 2009. And only two of those years have had a significant disparity between PU performance. Perhaps that’s not where the problem lies.

          It’s been stated many times, but keeps being forgotten: the advantage Mercedes have built for themselves is not down to the PU. Several other teams have the same PU. What has given then 2 (3?) years of dominance is that they built the whole car as one package, instead of individual components. They compliment each other. The didn’t need to have the best PU (although they have), nor the best chassis (which they’re certainly a contender for) or the best aero (again, right up there). None of those things win races. What they have is the best CAR.

          Ferrari are pretty close to catching them. Red Bull aren’t much further behind. My prediction is that by the end of the year, Mercedes will still have the fastest car, but you won’t be able to claim it’s “dominant” any more. And based on that, what exactly are you trying to fix?

          Additionally, the reason that the 2014 regs allowed the PU across the suppliers to have such a wide range of performance is that development had been totally killed for YEARS. It’s hardly surprising, when you have that much development crammed into a single year that the gaps in performance are going to be huge. And, as predicted, after two years the gaps are closing. Relaxing rules, rather that arbitrary restrictions and 0.3s targets, are the way to making dominating eras less likely.

          1. Ideally relaxing the rules should also help in closing the gap, as opposed to the arbitary 0.3s . The problem is Honda still might not close the gap.

            Honda is like the slow student in a class, no matter how much he studies, he will still remain last. If the subject matter was easier (engine formula was easier), then I could see Honda closing the gap by 2018. But the rate they are at now, they will constantly flunk the engine test year in year out. Renault have improved a lot this year with the help of Illien, but up until last year, they looked incapable of closing the gap as well.

            I hate arbitary and artificial capping of performance. It curbs innovation. But I also want to see a closer fight between the teams, and if an artificial capping on performance can do it, then I wouldn’t complain too much

    19. Guess I’m going to have to go against the grain on a few issues here.

      As to negative camber too often on too many new tracks…least of their worries, and concerns about them (concerns that I wasn’t aware until now even existed) could be diminished with the new wider cars and better and wider tires.

      As to power unit equality/ convergence…haven’t many people already been complaining that his is a PU chapter we are in and Mercedes has a ‘locked in’ advantage? But now it IS about leaving the makers free rein? Which would drive up costs. What do people want then? I’m confused. Either get off Mercs backs for dominating, or be happy they are trying to not make it about ‘he with the best PU wins.’

      Don’t get me wrong, I agree it sounds a little ‘spec’ for F1, but I thought costs of competition in F1 were a huge issue too. Can’t they at least try this and let’s see where it goes? Give them a chance to see these changes through, which are not going to be written in stone for ever and ever anyway? See how the wider cars and better and wider tires affect the racing?

      Sheesh, I mean I do look forward to a discussion about why I am wrong, but shouldn’t these guys be given some credit for trying to change a broken product and improve the show? I thought that was what we wanted.

      Rules stability now will ensure Mercs advantage, and processions. How about letting these experts try these changes and then let them tweak things and head for rules stability on a formula that at least has a chance of providing some close racing?

      1. The performance of the teams is converging though. It’s taken too long and there’s still a little bit to go but 2016 (so far) looks much more competitive than 2014 and 2015.

        Red Bull could of had a double podium in China if things had played out differently. They look much better this year, so they are improving. As is everyone else.

        1. Doesn’t really matter if the current cars converge, imho. We’ve seen identical Mercs handcuffed, no matter the driver, once behind his teammate. The tires and the aero needs to change. Change those things and then let the rules stabilize for a better chance of performance convergence actually making for closer racing. I say let’s see what 2017 brings once they are actually on the tires and in the wider cars and are racing in anger, tweak those rules if need be, then stabilize them for say 3 years. Right now the drivers have no chance of getting by each other unless by fake DRS or big differences in states or types of tires ie. Not apples to apples racing.

      2. People here seem to be utterly afraid of red bull being competitive and as such any change that might bring red bull closer to the top is seen as horrible decision that will lead to complete red bull domination.

    20. Formula 1 is a catch 22 racing series.

      You cannot have an ‘open’ racing series and expect lap times to be as close as a spec series. The 2 concepts go contrary to one another.

      Stop trying to have your cake and eat it. You either want innovation (and therefore a greater variation in performance) or you want cars to run nose to tail like GP2.

    21. I do not get how will engines be equalized?

      Other than that 2017 rules are exactly what I want.

    22. lehonardeuler
      23rd April 2016, 1:31

      According to some theoretical simulations I’ve done in the past (which could have some mistakes), this is how lap times would decrease if any of this individual mods were allowed:
      5% more power > -0.6% in lap time
      5% more downforce > -2.02% in lap time
      5% less weight > -1.01% in lap time

      The combination of those proved to be almost linear for small variations, up to 10%.
      I don’t remember for what circuit I did the simulation (I guess it could’ve been Monza… which could not be a very good representative of the whole F1 calendar), but it’s a nice figure to take into account.

      1. lehonardeuler
        23rd April 2016, 1:34

        One small correction:
        5% more power > -0.295% in lap time
        Had that variation figure for 10%, so it’s halved for 5%

        So from worst to best:
        5% more power > -0.295% in lap time
        5% less weight > -1.01% in lap time
        5% more downforce > -2.02% in lap time

    23. lehonardeuler
      23rd April 2016, 1:36

      Sorry, I promise this are the definitive numbers :)

      5% less weight > -1.01% in lap time
      5% more downforce > -0.77% in lap time
      5% more power > -0.295% in lap time

      And yes, it’s confirmed: those are the figures for Monza

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