Ferrari SF16-H exhaust, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Engine builders support new power unit rules

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Engine manufacturers not currently involved in Formula One have responded positively to the proposed change in power unit regulations from 2021.

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Is now the time to leave the rule book alone?

A simple question. Why change the Formula One rule book again when the teams are finally converging?

This year in the final races we’re seeing three teams compete for race wins. Next year McLaren could be nearer to making it four. Renault are improving. It’s an absolutely ideal scenario, with top drivers, young and experienced, at all these teams. So why on earth introduce another huge change, which is bound to allow one team to break away from the pack as usual and dominate for years in succession.

Does that make any rational sense when the entertainment value of the formula is finally increasing?
@denytsavid-br

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  • 68 comments on “Engine builders support new power unit rules”

    1. I believe Ecclestone has a point this time, although I didn’t read the full article.

      Manufacturer backed teams, like Ferrari and Mercedes, have road cars where they can develop technology (and have been doing). This gives them an advantage regardless.

      The idea of a budget cap has always sounded dodgy to me. There are too many external factors that cannot be accounted for. Even if a team buys components as part of their budget, the teams that already have the resources to make them internally could still benefit.

      Force India have proven that success can be found within a budget if it is done correctly, while Ferrari and Sauber have proven the opposite. In my opinion, performance convergence should come from within the regulations, and most importantly, from fair prize money making budgets slightly more equal

      1. How about Renault & McLaren? These two are not manufacter backed teams? How about McLaren & Red Bull who have a bigger budget than Ferrari? Probably add them at the opposite side or?

        In my opinion, the budgets are quite ok, the problem is rather the political side of F1, when teams are forced to vote for something since their engine provider wants something and this only in Mercedes & Renault’s cases. The distribution is quite ok, far fairer that it should be anyway.

    2. Exactly @strontium

      Its like asking “Lets see who has better muscles after one week + a $100 note” to a Mr Olympia and a guy who just hit the gym for two months, it makes no sense.

      1. Reply fail x.x

    3. I’m with Abiteboul, the MGU-H is the major development in F1 to be transferable to future road vehicles, misnamed though it is, and is now fairly well understood and developed, why would they now abandon it ? I can’t believe that with all that is known about this technology now that it is too expensive for independent makers to use, and I say “use”not “design” because there must be companies that supply advanced electronics for cars (eg. Bosch) and turbochargers that would like to partner with an independent F1 engine builder in order to develop a product they could supply to car manufacturers. If there must be restrictions and standardisation to curb costs, then they should look at standardising the electronics of the MGU-H in the same way the fuel electronics are standardised and place a minimum weight limit on the MGU-H to foster reliability.

      1. +1.

        MGU-H! MGU-H! MGU-H! Chant it from the highest perches on the pit wall. ;-)

      2. @hohum
        @jimmi-cynic

        I agree. Seemed pretty cool to me. Energy recovery and keeping the turbo spoiled up, win win.

        But I’m not going to chant!

      3. Indeed @hohum,well said.

      4. Indeed, MGU-H (or e-turbo) is what the next big road relevance is (maybe the last before we all switch over to electric cars).

        I believe that the Audi Q7 already offers a model with e-turbo.
        And there are third party part manufacturers (tuners) who offer these as well.

        1. I know only two companies in Germany producing electrically driven turbochargers: Kamann-Autosport and BorgWarner.
          Needless to mention, none of them is coming even close to the complexity of F1 MGU-H. To drive turbocharger electrically is just a fraction of MGU-H story. When I saw technical regulations for MGU-H for the first time I wondered about the system’s usability. However the challenge was immense and only Mercedes mastered it. After third season we see Honda struggling, not much with the engine, not with KERS either, but MGU-H is there on regular basis. Just to clarify its complexity skimmingly I’ll mention that MGU-H operates in three phases. First one is electrically driven turbocharger, technical regulations demand that compressor and turbine rotate with the same angular velocity, meaning they have to be mounted on the same shaft. It’s a bad news because desirable affect of minimizing turbo lag has a negative affect on the turbine side. Luckily this is easily compensated by use of waste gate. The second phase is a proper turbocharger phase. Third phase is the most complexed one: harvesting the electrical energy while taking care of boost pressure, keeping it within 3.5 bar pressure limit. Doing it by waste gate would be sacrilege because by wasting exhaust gases to regulate boost pressure you’re throwing away burned fuel. Simple pop-off valve on compressor’s side would do the trick but only with a limited effect. Bypass valve with specific purpose would enhance use of MGU-H only if used to regulate braking effect from MGU-H in generator mode. To clarify this I’ll explain what happens with every generator when you increase excitation current. You need to increase power on the shaft of the generator to maintain the same rpm, in other words you create a braking effect by increasing excitation current. Consequently a clever calibration between bypass valve on the compressor side and braking effect created by generator can result by keeping the boost pressure under control only by controlling the load created by gen. Sadly, that principle is not understood by many. However, contemporary BLDC permanent magnet motor technologies offer other ways of applying this principle which I used to explain it just for the sake of the argument. At the end of the day you have to put it all together and create a PU that responds to throttle pedal in drivable manner. Not easy at all.
          Now, to go back to engine builders I must thank them for helping me recognize three groups of engine designers. First group: Engineering gods dwelling in Brixworth. Second group: Clever people dwelling in Maranello and Viry-Châtillon. The third group represents ignorant engine builders not understanding how to tackle complexed engineering challenges and they’re not even ashamed to admit it. Awesome!

    4. Just in case people are wondering why Montreal’s mayoral race makes the roundup, the outgoing administration’s handling of the Formula E race became a major stumbling block. It was widely seen as a wasteful vanity project and the mayor only admitted a few days before the election that of the alleged 45,000 attendance, 25,000 were tickets given away for free. The incoming administration wants to relocate the race to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, though frankly the interest in the series here as far as I can tell is somewhere between zero and none.

      1. @maciek thanks! I was actually wondering ;)

      2. @maciek

        alleged 45,000 attendance, 25,000 were tickets given away for free

        Something not uncommon with Formula E as I reported a few days ago.

        1. @gt-racer all the more reason to wonder about the series’ relevance then. Here the whole thing was badly done from the beginning. Montreal’s been a giant construction zone for a few years now and it’s set to continue for another few at least, so additionally paralyzing the half the downtown area for an event few cared about and then refusing to divulge attendance figures while insisting the event would come back next year was just plain dumb and essentially ensured people will view it negatively. And the layout didn’t help: I went to the race with general admission tickets and it was pretty pointless, you would have needed grandstands to appreciate it, while major portions of the racetrack were simply not visible to anyone who wasn’t watching on tv.

    5. The problem with allowing for natural convergence of the rules is that the gap between the haves and the have nots, even the well run ones such as Force India is that it’s become a two tier championship. In 2014 we had Merc in a class of their own, with a minute gap to third. In 2017, we’ve had first Ferrari and now Red Bull join them and we now have a minute gap to seventh. McLaren-Renault next year will likely make a minute gap to ninth, and so on.

      This won’t change until the top teams are limited in how much money they can spend on performance. If they figure a loophole, that’s fine, it will be treated like a technical regulation and closed ASAP. My conclusion is that we won’t have a Force India win on merit with natural convergence, in my opinion.

    6. Re COTD

      I think looking at teams in a position to compete for podiums is better than just wins to assess the competitiveness of the field.

      2014 – 6
      2015 – 6
      2016 – 5
      2017 – 4

      That doesn’t look like performance convergence as the formula matures to me.

      1. 2002 – 4
        2003 – 6
        2004 – 5
        2005 – 7
        2006 – 7
        2007 – 6
        2008 – 9
        2009 – 8
        2010 – 5
        2011 – 4
        2012 – 7
        2013 – 4

        It doesn’t look like performance convergence has been a thing since Mercedes came into the sport. It could also be that 2017 is just a blit, like 2011 and 2013. And 2002.

        Also, it seems to me they might be talking about converging performance when looking precisely at the 2009 era, rather than the era that came before.

        1. There’s nothing to suggest it’s referring to anything before than the major 2014 change. 2009 – 2013 doesn’t really have anything to do with it, apart from a similar downwards trend with a 2012 blackswan.

      2. So you didn’t notice Ferrari could have won the title this year? That wasn’t the case for 2014-16, so clearly there is performance convergence (which would also be measurable by average lap times). Reliability and driver error are more or less extraneous factors.

        1. So one team has got closer. That’s not field convergence. Red bull is flattered by Max and luck.

      3. COTD is nonsense. The new regulations specifically keep a large extent of the PU which has already equalised and drop the component that arguably Mercedes have only got right, yet you don’t see them complaining despite them having the most to lose. Furthermore we’re going back to manual KERS which will lead to far more exciting attacking and defending tactics.

        Just stop moaning ffs.

        1. What are you talking about. Mercedes have already came out and said they don’t support the new engine rules. They’ve already said they’d have to build a brand new engine and why should they .

      4. Wins is better metric because podium statistic becomes useless once enough top team cars dnf so some williams can have massive luck and completely luck into a third place. Wins tell the full story. It is two tier formula at the moment. Mercedes is clearly the best, ferrari and red bull are somewhat close but the rest are miles and miles behind. A luck 3rd place doesn’t mean a williams or force india can compete with red bull.

        The way vettel drove through the field in the last race is enough to tell that only thing that is converging in f1 at the monement is money and championships into mercede’s pockets.

    7. I don’t have a cristall ball but like I’ve mentioned in a previous comment that Horner will be delighted with the new rules and I don’t blame him by the way.

      The other thing is that there’ll be large elements of standardisation of certain components like turbos and perhaps prescriptive design. There’s going to be less variance between engine manufacturers. We have too big a spread at the moment and it puts too much pressure on the chassis side of things and I think the FIA has basically looked at the engine and said: one, it costs too much

      It’s called motorsport for a reason. The new rules that aims to standardize the competition engine wise are just a farce.
      The engine costs argument is just silly because spending ~300 million on chassis alone is just insane !
      By that logic, chassis and aero should be also standardized and F1 would become a total spec series. Hopefully, Sergio made it clear that Ferrari will not accept this nonsense. Mercedes and Renault are aligned with Ferrari’s position too.

      1. Winglets, slits, slots, coathangers, shark fins, monkey seats, dinosaur vertebrae etc are they relevant to any aspect of motoring progress? They all contribute to a very disturbed wake (dirty air) which makes following a present F1 car closely an almost impossible task for any length of time (the following car quickly ruins its tyres).
        It would be better to mandate specific size venturi tunnels to rely on ground effects (they do not rely on clean air for effective downforce) and get rid of any aero devices that have a small radius in any part of their construction, we might then get clean, smooth looking cars (even beautiful) instead of the present origami-esque blizzard of appendages.

        1. They’re horrible aren’t they. I was watching the 2008 Brazil finale last night on ‘classic races’ (what a race btw) and even them, the absolute nadir of sprouting aero devices, looked more coherent than this years car.

          I’ve not yet heard a valid argument, inside the FIA/FOM or outside it that Venturi is not worth a go. If its just to keep some senior and not so Newey aerodynamicists happy then we may as well go home.

          Horrible looking cars, horrible sounding, a horrible period in F1, full stop.

          1. Tony Mansell, Frank Dernie, the inventor of some of the most successful ground effect cars of the 1980’s, has complained that a lot of people throw around the terms “ground effects” and “Venturi tunnels” without really understanding what they mean and treating them as some sort of silver bullet solution – Venturi tunnels are sensitive to the turbulent wake of other cars, and problems such as porpoising or changes in handling balance due to choking of the airflow can cause even bigger problems for a trailing driver.

            If anything, his suggestion was one that ran counter to what most fans would advocate – his contention was that the advent of high mechanical grip sticky tyres, as he put it, actually made it more difficult to pass people because those tyres then created a significant gap in grip between the conventional racing line and offline conditions.

            Furthermore, he argued that those high grip tyres also have a significant impact on reducing braking distances, making it harder for a trailing driver to pass another – which was why his argument for increasing the chances of one driver passing another was to significantly cut mechanical grip instead, reducing the differential between the racing line and the rest of the track and also lengthening the braking zones.

            1. Well @ANON, you will recall that I’ve been banging on about making tyre changes during a race too time costly to be a beneficial tactic, and defended harder less grippy tyres as beneficial to the racing for several reasons besides the ones you mention eg; wont melt when used to attack, separate the men from the boys (not necessarily in that order).

    8. In that Horner interview he tells that Alonso called up halfway through 2009, wanting to drive for Red Bull, as he was convinced he could still be World Champion in that car. The arrogance, crikey.

      1. He might well have done tbh.

    9. That Prospect article was written by a moron.
      I am actually on his side with this. And that is quite rare. If i was in his position I would be doing exactly the same. Paying 15 mil in taxes is a bit ridiculous for an individual.

      UKs 40% income tax at anything above cca 40 000 GBP a year is VERY harsh.

      1. I seem to recall Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill mentioning they were subject to approx 95+% Income tax in their days
        can’t blame them for re-locating
        40% seems like a great deal ! ;)
        on a serious note,
        it’s really counter-productive to tax the rich so highly, as all they do is move somewhere else so Govt loses all that revenue…

      2. @mike, LH is not residing in the UK and his plane flies in and out of multiple tax areas, so UK tax law is peripheral at best, like Mega Yachts that roam the oceans, no-one pays VAT/TVA/GST on those either.

    10. Hold on, why are posting an article that was published October 30th?

    11. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      7th November 2017, 8:44

      If Lewis Hamilton wants to strike a patriotic pose, he should look at where he pays his tax (Prospect)

      Once again this weird attitude that Hamilton shouldn’t be allowed to wave the flag if he doesn’t pay his taxes here – Button had a union jack on his helmet, yet lived in Monaco, Coulthard a Saltire, yet he too lived in Monaco, yet I don’t remember EVER hearing anyone question their right to wear these designs. Put a black man in an F1 car and suddenly it’s OK to ask whether he even has the right to wave the flag. It’s racism folks.

      1. Short memory!
        There have been (for ages) similar stories on Button, Coulthard, Ecclestone, Schumacher, etc.
        Not everything is racism.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          7th November 2017, 10:19

          Egonovi, I don’t remember a single story questioning a white driver’s right to wear or wave the union jack – but I’m happy to be proved wrong if you can dig up any evidence for your claim.

          1. If you have a failing memory you can always google it. @thegrapeunwashed

            You might also come across a story where a fellow driver questions Rosberg’s ‘right to wear the German flag’.
            (I don’t think anybody called that racism)

            1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              7th November 2017, 12:54

              That’s a terrible example Egonovi, Rosberg is a driver who spent most of his childhood in Monaco and originally competed as a Finn, it’s easy to understand why some might ask whether he’s more German, Finnish or Monegasque.

              Hamilton, like Button and Coulthard, spent his entire childhood from birth in the UK.

              My original comment was about Button and Coulthard, your original reply assured me that there have been (for ages) similar stories about both drivers. I’ve simply asked you to provide evidence for that claim. As you don’t seem to be able to do so, perhaps it’s time to concede that you were mistaken?

            2. I’ve simply asked you to provide evidence for that claim. As you don’t seem to be able to do so, perhaps it’s time to concede that you were mistaken?

              Did you even read my reply; especially the ‘you can always google it’ bit.
              If you ‘don’t remember’ then I’m not going to spoon-feed it to you. You won’t get you memory back (or overcome ‘selective memory syndrome’) by asking others to do the work for you!

            3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              7th November 2017, 19:13

              If you ‘don’t remember’ then I’m not going to spoon-feed it to you.

              Yeah, of course not. You’ll just talk crap without providing any evidence to back it up. I’ve no interest in talking to BSers, peddle your crap elsewhere.

          2. Anyone can wave a flag but it’s meaningless in a patriotic way. If you care about your country, you try and make things better. You set up charities and give back. Hamilton didn’t even show at the London live event when every other driver did.

            It’s not a criticism – he’s a racing driver, not a saint. That’s why the flag waving is fairly meaningless to me as it was with Button and most other drivers.

            Perez is a good example of someone who is actually patriotic – he’s put his country ahead of his job before. Hamilton hasn’t and wouldn’t.

            1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              7th November 2017, 13:10

              @petebaldwin Not attending London Live? Oh, please! No drivers were advertised for the event, and it was hardly “giving something back”, more of a naff publicity stunt for Liberty. I briefly thought about going, I had no expectation of seeing any F1 stars, but I thought it would be good to see the cars – in the end I decided that the train journey would be too much hassle. It was an event for the London public, not for F1 fans.

              As for Hamilton being less ‘patriotic’ than Perez, well I’m sure we’re all disappointed that a massive natural disaster hasn’t befallen the UK so that his attitude can be tested, but he does support charities: Great Ormond Street hospital, Unicef, The Honeypot Children’s Charity, Children of Africa, and attends numerous charity events.

            2. He didn’t show up for a stage farce with f all notice because he chose to get his r&r in for what turned out to be absolutely dominant form for thereon in, then he turned up two days later, won the home grand prix and spent 3 hours signing autographs with ACTUAL F1 fans who know what a Grand Prix actually is.

              Show me an example of any other driver that gives back to the fans at their home GP in quite the way Lewis does – Perez is on a par. Maybe.

            3. Lewis has an employment contract with Mercedes, not with Liberty Media. Part of his contract would include an expectation to appear at promotional events on behalf of the team and the corporation.
              The first I’d heard about this event was about a week before it took place, when suddenly there was a big effort to attract drivers to what appeared to me as a hastily arranged PR event, by which time a lot of people in F1 will have had their week all booked out, meaning they have to rearrange a most of their carefully planned itinerary at short notice. Very important F1 related meetings that have to have certain people there or the meeting is a waste of time and could have taken months to arrange have to now be rescheduled at great inconvenience to all, less important meetings have to be dropped or become irrelevant, some media work has to be re-scheduled, visits to family and friends have to be cancelled. Maybe it would mean missing your mandatory visit to your tax haven to abide by residency requirements, and if you failed to get your annual residency confirmed that could cost you millions of pounds or dollars or Euros in taxes. So attending this what appeared to be a spur of the moment PR event would have been a big hassle for most F1 people.
              When Lewis didn’t attend it meant Liberty Media’s event wasn’t part of his contract, so he wasn’t obligated to go. It’s like if your employment contract doesn’t say you have to attend the company Christmas function, and you don’t like the management or you think they run the company poorly, you may decide you don’t want to go.
              Another point about Lewis’ non-appearance at the event is he may have had some other PR work that had been agreed upon several months prior Liberty Media’s event (which, if I recall correctly, was the case). By going to Liberty Media’s short lead time event then that would mean those who trusted Hamilton to turn up and had put enormous effort into it would be disappointed and frustrated that he put, in their eyes, a lesser event ahead of the one he’d more or less promised to do.
              Almost every day Lewis is in the public eye, so time out of the public eye becomes precious. It wasn’t in his work contract, he hadn’t planned to go, so he didn’t. Other less well known drivers attended, so it was a good opportunity for them to raise their public image, but if Lewis had attended it would have made things more difficult for those other drivers.

            4. @thegrapeunwashed “Put a black man in an F1 car and suddenly it’s OK to ask whether he even has the right to wave the flag. It’s racism folks.”

              I think since you are the one making the inflammatory statements, the onus is on you, not others, to prove the validity of that statement. Saying that because YOU don’t remember a single story of a white driver being questioned about waving a union jack, and therefore this is racism, is proof of nothing.

              You are levelling slanderous accusations at authors of articles in publications. Prove they are racists based on their words and actions, that’s what your job is now. Your observations, unless all encompassing and scientific, are proof of nothing. I suggest you start by researching the bodies of work of the authors you are slandering, and perhaps their editors’ as well, in order to prove they have issues with certain skin colours.

              Failing that, you’re merely being more inflammatory than you accuse them of being, only in a much more vile way.

            5. So your opinion, which has no basis in fact, is slanderous crap. Peddle it elsewhere.

      2. Patriotic yet cheating taxes aside…
        Hamilton likes to claim that he’s saving the planet, making people aware etc hence his recent veganism… why not use the money to save the planet via charity, doing good deeds etc. Its simple greed. Add to that his jetting about everywhere and he’s hardly saving the planet…

        1. why not use the money to save the planet via charity, doing good deeds etc

          He does

    12. Cotd is spot on… Why now change engines… Because new engine makers cannot come in.

      VW will not race a Renault engine…

      But with new regs will Cosworth make a competitive engine? What was their last competitive engine? At what price?

    13. 4 birds in the hand (Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda) are worth 2 in the bush (Ilmor and Cosworth). Ilmor and Cosworth both admit they need a car manufacturer to back them to produce an engine and so far there are no signs of any car maker eager to enter the fray.
      As time goes by unless some new backers emerge (one will not be enough) then the proposed new engine is dead in the water (it will be less efficient and which manufacturer wants to associated with a less efficient engine these days).

      1. Exactly.
        3 of the current 4 engine manufactures in F1 have voiced their displeasure at the proposed changes. And are getting excited about manufactures or builders that have been away for a long time.
        Cosworth was great back in the days. But today they are too small and not well resourced to handle very complex engines.
        Unless we are heading back to the 1960s, I don’t see how they can profitably field a competitive engine

      2. If you look at Chris Horner’s comments you’ll see he finds these proposed changes encouraging. While it does mean a slight step backwards for the current engine manufacturers, it theoretically means overall a lower cost engine, which benefits the independent and less well funded teams.
        Don’t forget that once the spec is set in stone then there’ll be a development race for engine manufacturers to get from their closest engine (either currently produced or previously manufactured) to one suitable for 2021.

    14. People tend to get excited by the prospect of Cosworth entering because of there history, However the Cosworth of today is a far cry from the FORD BACKED Cosworth that was producing race winning engines in the past.

      People always link Cosworth to success because of the DFV, However it’s important to remember that when they produced that engine & every engine up until the 2006 V8 they had done so with financial backing from Ford (And Lotus in the case of the DFV).

      Cosworth have only been truly independent since 2004 when Ford sold them, The 2006 F1 V8 was the 1st F1 engine they produced as an independent builder & it wasn’t competitive against the competition. It was underpowered, Less drivable & Less fuel efficient which is why teams were never that interested in running it unless it was there only option.

      1. @gt-racer Right, I can’t see that Cosworth have the resources to go it alone, however as the lead in a consortium to get an independent engine in to the sport that could work.

    15. The desire for a new engine design largely originates (80% ish) from the predicament Red Bull got themselves into by slagging-off their engine supplier Renault. Red Bull have continued to moan about the lack of choice of engines, but will their attitude change if Torro Rosso’s Honda engine comes good in 2018?

      If Red Bull poach the now spiffing Honda engine, their campaign for independent engine supplies will sink without trace; which of the teams then will actually support the move for ‘New’ engines?

      1. McLaren is the obvious answer……..

    16. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      7th November 2017, 17:01

      As much as I think the MGU-H is amazing technology, look at the engine situation now –

      1. Mercedes, have hit their peek now and probably ought to bow out before their stats dip – before 2021 would make sense.
      2. Ferrari, threaten to bow out unless the money and rules are skewed in their favour.
      3. Honda, probably ought to bow out, rather than continue to ram home their inadequacy.
      4. Renault, the one manufacturer which looks like it’s in it for the longer term.

      This isn’t a good place for the sport to be in. It needs to be able to attract more manufacturers and it needs to be able to show them that they can compete at the sharp end without bankrupting themselves. The new rules look like the solution. Yes, it’s dumbing down to some extent – but just enough to make the sport affordable.

      1. @thegrapeunwashed, the problem is that, as @gt-racer has pointed out in the past, the rule set has failed to win over new manufacturers as well.

        Cosworth and Ilmor are only willing to enter if somebody else picks up the bill for them – Ilmor have already said that, unless another manufacturer paid them to build an engine, they chances of raising any funding for an F1 project are non-existent – whilst the managing director of Cosworth has admitted that, whilst these rules would perhaps reduce the difference in performance, Cosworth probably would still be behind the larger manufacturers even if Cosworth was backed by another manufacturer.

        Out of the other participants in the talks, the VW Group currently have said nothing in favour of the new rules, whilst in the case of Aston Martin it feels a lot like Andy Palmer is showboating on the publicity from the talks (I don’t think that he is serious about entering). So far, it feels like the proposals haven’t succeeded in either encouraging the existing manufacturers to stay on, nor encouraging significant interest from new ones.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          7th November 2017, 19:08

          anon, Porsche and McLaren have both expressed an interest in developing engines for 2021 – no manufacturers have shown any interest under the current regulations. I don’t think we can continue with the situation where F1 has just a handful of manufacturers, any of whom could pull out at short notice.

          1. It was ever thus. F1 has never had more than a ‘handful’ of engine manufacturers. Even in the good old garagista era it was expensive to develop a competitive power unit.

            Worst case – if the FIA/FOM force their backwards-looking engine spec on the sport and the top 3 suppliers quit, it won’t be so bad:

            F1 – Proudly Powered by Honda – sometimes for a full race distance.

            1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              8th November 2017, 8:07

              @jimmi-cynic You know, that wouldn’t be the worst outcome :-D

              As a fan, I’ll keep watching whatever the engine spec. But as it currently stands, when engine manufacturers decide to call it a day (and each will at some point), there will be no candidates to replace them. The new rules should prevent that from happening.

    17. Your surmise may be correct but Mclaren and a brand-new engine manufacturer, are we looking at groundhog day?

      The words ‘burnt’ and ‘fingers’ spring to mind.

    18. Apart from prize money being a FOM thing and not FIA, prize money is not on the table, because it doesn’t solve a thing. About time this blog finally gets that point too. Why keep harping on about how there could potentially be a few tens of millions sent towards the smaller teams from the prize money jar when it’s but a drop in the bucket compared to the huge chasm in budgets?

      Big teams have 3 to 5 times the budget of the mid sized to smaller teams. Shifting prize money around reduces the gap by at best 10%. Of course Monisha was salivating by the thoughts of getting say 30 million extra, but does that help them to get significantly closer to Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari? No, of course not.

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