Todt willing to drop F1’s “beautiful” MGU-H to attract new manufacturers

2021 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

FIA president Jean Todt describes F1’s heat energy recovery technology as a “beautiful piece of art” but says he is willing to drop it to attract new manufacturers.

Formula One Management has proposed removing the MGU-H, which uses waste heat energy to generate energy, in its 2021 overhaul of the sport’s rules.

More than half of an F1’s car electrical energy comes from the MGU-H, which Todt described as “a beautiful piece of art, of technology.”

“But I think and I hear it’s maybe not what the fans are expecting and it’s not something which is absolutely needed to have a good championship,” he said in a media briefing. “So I think it’s important we can learn out of it and propose something which is more simple.”

The FIA president said discussions over the new rules are “progressing quite well” and said he “hopes it may create some interest from new manufacturer or manufacturers.”

The MGU-H was a significant part of the power unit regulations introduced under Todt in 2014 to encourage manufacturers to use F1 as a platform to develop hybrid engines for road cars. Todt still believes the sport must remain relevant to road car development.

“For me motorsport, and I’ve been seeing that every time, is one on side a show but [that] is not enough, it has to be also a laboratory. A laboratory for the manufacturers, a laboratory for the teams and a laboratory which can be profitable on road cars as much as we can. And it is what is happening.

“Saying that, if you think it has been a bit too far you must be prepared to go a bit backwards,” he added. “Over the years I’m sure the engines will be even more efficient without MGU-H.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

F1’s existing manufacturers, which have invested heavily in developing their MGU-H designs, have argued in favour of keeping the technology. However Aston Martin has said it will only enter F1 in 2021 if the MGU-H is scrapped.

Andy Cowell, Mercedes’ director of High Performance Powertrains, said dropping the MGU-H would be a “backwards step” for F1.

F1 2021 article
F1 2021: Liberty’s masterplan for Formula One’s future uncovered
“There are four technology companies that have made it work and get 60% of their electrical energy to then power the [MGU-K],” said Cowell. “It contributes 5% of the thermal efficiency of the power unit and to make up the power difference we’re going to have to increase the fuel flow rate, which I think is a backwards step. It’s not progress.

“So my view is the H should stay because the development has been done. Removing it removes a lot of energy, which is a lot of car performance. It feels like a backwards step when the development work’s been done.”

He also pointed out that removing the MGU-H will force teams to spend more money on developing other areas of the car.

“We will all now start developing anti-lag systems. The MGU-H is the most marvellous anti-lag system on a turbocharged engine because it gives you speed control. That’s been removed so we’ll now have to come up with various devices and systems and that will probably involve burning some fuel in the exhaust which doesn’t feel like the most honourable thing to do, as an engineer.

“But, as I’ve said previously, it’s a balance between technology and entertainment. We’ve got to get that balance right.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2021 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 74 comments on “Todt willing to drop F1’s “beautiful” MGU-H to attract new manufacturers”

    1. Do we have any clear indication who those other interested manufacturers are? Are they car companies (e.g. VAG) or engine manufacturers (e.g. Cosworth)? We’re about 2 years from the new regulations going into play, so there must be some indication who the other interested parties are by now.

      It does make me wonder where this is also a bit of a powerplay between the FIA and the current PU manufacturers – the current manufacturers benefit by keeping others out, and potentially retaining the status quo, while the FIA would like more manufacturers – particularly not car companies – that can help break what sometimes seems like a lot of power that Mercedes and Ferrari have.

      1. Well the Aston Martin vapourware as stated in the article, I believe VAG have been sitting in on the discussion as have Toyota.

        Source:
        https://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26212

        @phylyp

        1. Ah, thanks for that link about the interested parties, @captainpie

          I’d always assumed that Aston Martin got their engines from Mercedes for their road cars so I never considered them a PU manufacturer, but it appears I am mistaken, and that many of their models use their own engines. Interesting…

          1. @phylyp, Aston Martin’s new cars mostly use Mercedes’s engines now – the older V8 engine that Aston Martin used was a Jaguar AJ series engine that was bored out from 4.2 to 4.7l, whilst the V12 that they use was originally developed when they were owned by Ford and was designed as two Ford Duratec V6 engines joined together (i.e. Aston Martin had engines developed for them – they’ve not really developed an engine in house for decades now).

            There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of enthusiasm though – the VW Group might have sat in, but they also sat in on the current rules package and had also promised to enter, before then promptly turning away from the sport (that was, according to Newey, why the original proposal was based around a four cylinder inline engine).

            Cosworth have indicated that they would be prepared to produce an engine, but they’d only work under commission – they cannot fund any major engine program themselves given their financial situation.

            Aston Martin have been showing up here and there, but they won’t produce an engine themselves – they might, at best, fund an outfit like Cosworth to build it for them and let them put their name on the engine cover, but I am also inclined to think that Aston Martin are just trying to stir up headlines and aren’t serious about trying to enter F1.

          2. anon – thank you – that does mean that my earlier assumption was broadly on the right lines. Yes, it does seem that Aston Martin are content to just run with their branding on the RBR car, and might not have the technical ‘nous’ to build an engine.

    2. With regards to road technoogy, why can’t they let the manufacturers collaborate on the MGU-H and design an optimum solution that can be transfered to road cars and have an off the shelf spec unit for F1.
      Probably too late though, as the BEV industry is moving at an incredible pace. Porsche seem to be working hard to overcome the stigma attached to performance cars going all electric.

      https://electrek.co/2018/05/19/porsche-mission-e-all-electric-mark-webber-test-drive/

      1. ……. I’m not so sure the MGU-H technology IS applicable to road cars. Maybe someone can explain how cruising down the highway at 65 mph at constant throttle/cruise control can be improved by the MGU-H technology. Road cars drive in stop and go traffic, sit for long periods at idle, are VERY rarely at anything approaching full throttle, and are just driven differently to race cars. A road car is not on full throttle 65% of the time. How would MGU-H work in a street car? In a racing car you are either on the throttle or on the brakes; not so with a street car, especially one driven by a little old lady.

        1. cruising down the highway at 65 mph at constant throttle/cruise control

          A lot of people would kill for a daily commute like that.

        2. why can’t they let the manufacturers collaborate on the MGU-H and design an optimum solution that can be transfered to road cars and have an off the shelf spec unit for F1.

          Mercedes said they are willing to help new manufacturers develop their MGU-H and then taper out support as their competitiveness increases. Ferrari said they would be willing to help new manufacturers with their MGU-H “within the regulations” whatever that means – I’d imagine they would sell their MGU-H to other manufacturers for a price if allowed. Renault seemed less inclined to be willing to help new manufacturers as they feel they’ve made their investment in the technology fairly.

          I’m not so sure the MGU-H technology IS applicable to road cars. Maybe someone can explain how cruising down the highway at 65 mph at constant throttle/cruise control can be improved by the MGU-H technology.

          It’s all about the application of the electrical energy, not so much the harvesting of it through the H. The actual H unit itself has been figured out, there’s not so much development to be done there. Where the challenge and road relevancy lies is with maximising the efficiency and ideally the capacity/density of the power storage. The H just provides more power, more quickly for the teams to play with than the K alone.

          Renault thinks the MGU-H technology will have future relevance and will be seen in their future projects even if it’s dropped from F1. Ferrari seemed relatively uninterested in it. Mercedes thinks it’s a great technology and important for that power generation. Honda will miss it because they are most interested in the electrical energy control systems in terms of transferring technology to their road car department.

        3. Maybe someone can explain how cruising down the highway at 65 mph at constant throttle/cruise control can be improved by the MGU-H technology.

          In simple terms, as you generate power in the engine, a bunch of energy is thrown away in hot exhaust gasses. The MGU-H captures some of that energy and you can either pass it back to the MGU-K or store it for later use. Either way would (theoretically) result in less fuel used over a journey.

      2. Why does F1 have to be road relevant? Why are F1 fans so embarrassed by their own sport that they have to justify it with this crap “racing improves the breed” argument? We don’t sit here and demand that tennis be “relevant” to anything! Formula 1 needs to be fun; not a politically correct, #metoo, green car, road relevant technology bore-fest…..

        1. @nige

          Why would a manufacturer invest millions or billions into something they cannot use elsewhere.?

          Even the issues Honda have been having will be bringing technology through to the road car division which is where the bottom line will be looked at.

          1. If they are not there to RACE, then they should go away. Road relevance means nothing.

            1. @ramjet

              it’s all about the money. the big manufactures coming in means all sorts of people get to line their pockets.

              the only way fans will get what they want is to make it privateers only

            2. If they are not there to RACE, then they should go away. Road relevance means nothing.

              It’s not just road relevancy though. Both MGU(hybrid) technologies generate electrical energy, the storage and application of this energy is relevant to any number of industries including automotive electric road vehicles – but batteries are used everywhere, from your cell phones to homes through renewables, and in space to keep life-sustaining crafts powered to Mars and beyond – as Tesla is proving with dominance.

              This technology is the race sure F1M can ignore it and go the pure entertainment route, but there is huge opportunity to bring more investment in the sport than just traditional manufacturers interested in developing an ICE.

            3. If they are not there to RACE, then they should go away. Road relevance means nothing.

              They are there to race. But to race in F1 requires huge amounts of money. Developing new technology for it (which the must continually do) costs a huge amount of money. Where does that money come from?

              If you want car manufacturers involved in F1, they need to be able to take some of these developments back to their road cars, otherwise the costs involved are not worth it to the company. The team may be there to race, but the car manufacturer exists to make money, not throw it away for the entertainment of a few fans.

          2. Marketing and brand exposure.

            Does a beer company need F1 to be relevant to brewing to justify a multi-million dollar sponsorship?

            Sponsors from across the industrial/corporate spectrum spend millions based on brand exposure. Car companies spend millions to re-brand engines built by other companies based on brand exposure.

            Better racing = more fans.
            More fans = increased brand exposure.
            Increased brand exposure justifies increased spending in F1.

            Increased road relevance does not equal better racing or more fans.

          3. Why would a manufacturer invest millions or billions into something they cannot use elsewhere?

            This is where there’s a disconnect and F1 is pulling itself apart – from fan to CEO. On one hand you have engineers working for multi-million dollar companies and are passionate about wanting to spend as much as possible to develop new technology and push the regulations to their limits. On the other hand you have small teams driven by their historic passion for racing and competing on the track who would really appreciate the whole thing being a lot cheaper.

            It’s all about that balance and they know it. They’re bound to figure something out… They’re clever people after all.

        2. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
          22nd May 2018, 17:33

          Tennis doesn’t cost billions, create completely unnecessary pollution nor rely upon the participation of road car manufacturers. Poor analogy.

          1. create completely unnecessary pollution

            Logistics and people transport also leads to a lot of pollution, in all fairness

    3. Could it be possible to make the rules so that the MGU-H is an optional component? If so it would keep the current manufacturers happy whilst making it easier for new manufacturers to enter, win-win.

      1. We had that when KERS was run in 2011, where it was an optional component. Teams that couldn’t afford KERS, or had placement or balance issues opted to run cars without KERS.

        However, in races, a common radio message became “I can’t overtake him, he keeps using KERS to defend” or “I couldn’t do anything, he blasted past me with KERS”, since drivers could use KERS as a tactical defensive/offensive use.

        So, if the MGU-H becomes optional and some manufacturers don’t use it, then it will just widen the gap between the current manufacturers and the new ones.

        One way of countering this would be to allow some other form of a handicap to equalize it – e.g. if you don’t run an MGU-H, you can use a higher fuel flow limit, or a larger battery pack, or so. It might add to the complexity of the rules, and a need for periodic normalization – since if MGU-H technology is advanced, the teams not running it will again start slipping back.

      2. Since the MGU-H is the ultimate in anti-lag devices, not having it would destroy your acceleration curve.

        This is partly why the existing manufacturers don’t want to remove it– take out the MGU-H, and the entire engine is totally different. Todt (and others) apparently think you can just unbolt the motor from the turbo, and the PU will magically cost less and be easier to develop– which it will– once you’ve completely redesigned the engine from the tops of the cylinders and up.

        The MGU-H probably knocks a second (or more) off the average lap times for the current spec. It’s way, way, WAY more of a big deal than KERS was.

      3. This. Why not an allowance for more displacement and fuel for manufacturers who can’t get that right?

      4. The Dolphins
        22nd May 2018, 18:04

        @rob91 I absolutely agree regarding making the MGU-H an optional component. Getting rid of the MGU-H is a penalty to the teams who have invested so much time and money in developing the technology in favour of making the barrier to entry lower for new manufacturers.

        If the MGU-H was made optional I foresee a return of the KERS performance differential as mentioned by @phylyp and @grat but if the rules are changed such that teams are allowed development of anti-turbo lag technology it would open the door for other creative solutions which may become an alternative to the MGU-H.

        1. Personally, I’d like to see the teams swap out the MGU-H for a variable-geometry turbo. It’s a relatively well understood technology, it’s been around for some time (albeit mostly in diesels) and it would have road relevance.

          While I’d rather not see it as a “standardized component” (because that kills innovation), it could be a product that gets shopped around between manufacturers.

          1. @grat, MTU (usually owned by Daimler Benz) use triple turbos on some of their marine diesels for efficient combustion through the rev. range, the mandatory SINGLE turbo could be replaced with a multi turbo system to reduce lag, but of course there is no such thing as a free lunch.

        2. Getting rid of the MGU-H is a penalty to the teams who have invested so much time and money in developing the technology

          Which is exactly the reason we don’t have success ballasts. Though I do myself doubt making the MGU-H optional would be a bad idea.

        3. Mguh is already optional, but you would struggle for 107% without it…

    4. Neil (@neilosjames)
      22nd May 2018, 11:55

      “But I think and I hear it’s maybe not what the fans are expecting and it’s not something which is absolutely needed to have a good championship,” he said. “So I think it’s important we can learn out of it and propose something which is more simple.”

      I do wish people like Todt, who live in their little detached fantasy bubbles with no real idea in what fans want, would stop using us as an excuse to make stuff more ‘simple’ because simple is what they themselves want. Of course it sounds better to say ‘fans want it’ instead of ‘this suits my agenda’, but just saying something doesn’t make it true.

      One fully expects that as long as we end up with a competitive, sustainable field of cars that are able to follow each other closely, most ‘fans’ couldn’t give a hoot whether they have an MGU-H or not.

      1. Alot of fans want more noise and this will go some way in delivering that. So yes, quite a lot of fans do give a hoot.

        1. They will never put the fans before profits. The big money men in F1 need to look like they are relevent, cutting edge and have prestige to what they are selling.
          F1 should go back to large capacity Super Charged V8s for the entertainment value, but nobody with money and an image to sell would want to be associated with old raw tech.

          Once they have all gone running to Formula E and become competitive selling electric super cars, then F1 can go back to how it was with proper race teams like Williams racing whatever the formula comes up with. Mercedes can leave and rename the team back to Tyrrell again.

        2. Not really. Noise is waste energy that can produce an increase in lap times.

          If you’re using a turbo of any type, expect very little noise from it. The engineers will make sure of it.

      2. amen brother. JT has destroyed F1. cars sound like vacuum cleaners and look. like flip flops, ridiculous.

        1. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
          22nd May 2018, 17:52

          Quite right. Cars should be big cigars on pram wheels with off-the-shelf Cosworth engines and Hewland gearboxes, and the drivers should be dashing chaps with exuberant moustaches and names like “Jimmy” and “Dickie” and “Earl Tarquin of Shaftesbury”. And no sponsor logos or seatbelts.

          1. Oh wow! Genius comment

    5. “That’s been removed so we’ll now have to come up with various devices and systems and that will probably involve burning some fuel in the exhaust…”

      Hmmm, sounds like it will be loud. I’m convinced :D

      1. @aussierod – And flames out the back. Afterburner style.

        And set the nose of the car tailing you on fire, while you’re at it. :-)

      2. Sorry to disappoint, but they’re talking about injecting fuel into the exhaust *before* the turbo stage– that way there’s always pressure for the turbo to use to inject more air into the engine.

        That’s the “lag” part of turbochargers– waiting for the turbo to spool up to high enough speed to start forcing induction into the intake manifold.

    6. FIA and Liberty should not push for this change unless they have some sort of commitment from potential manufacturers that they will join F1 in the event of simple PUs sans MGU-H coming to fruition.

      No point if they push through this change to only have the likes of Aston Martin coming on. Perhaps they should some sort of target, perhaps a 75% increase in engine suppliers, which means 3 more come on. If they cant get that commitment, then perhaps it should stay as is?

      To be honest, this whole “simplify-the-engine” gong is being banged on by Red Bull because they dont have a competitive engine. If they take on Honda engines next year and it comes good, I’m pretty sure Christian Horner will be singing a different tune.

      1. I’d like to see Aston Martin enter Formula 1, but if they lack the technological nous to deal with something like an MGU-H and/or don’t want to make the investment, it really seems like they want to freeride on the image of F1 as a high-tech sport developed at the cost and talent of existing terms. They can’t have it both ways – want the image (marketing) but downgrade the sport as a condition of them joining.

        1. Aston Marin don’t build their own engines now, Mercedes does. What makes you think they have the technology, the production ability, or the finances to build an F1 engine from scratch? If they ‘enter’ F1 it will be only with a re-badged engine made by someone else. There are only ten teams in F1 now and four engine manufacturers; who would use an Aston Martin or other new manufacturers’ engine? This is all pipe dream stuff IMHO.

          1. Aston currently make their own V12s. They buy V8s for the new Vantage and DB11 from AMG. In theory they could make their own F1 engines but in reality don’t have money to do it, nor would making an F1 engine help their image for marketing purposes.

            1. @greenflag, the AM V12 is basically 2 x Ford V6 which I think was originally designed by Yamaha.

            2. Response to HoHum: You’re correct about the origin of the current V12, but it’s been greatly developed and improved in-house by Aston. And they have a legacy of designing and building their own engines, both inline sixes and V8s.

      2. pastaman (@)
        22nd May 2018, 18:36

        I was going to say exactly this. You want F1 to change the rules so you can enter the championship? Then pay the entrance fee right now and get working on your car.

    7. For myself when Todt starts to speak I cringe like I do when Dr Helmut Marko does- “Oh here we go again!!”

      It wasn’t long ago he was keeping with the same regulations and was changing for no-one.

      I wondered why no-one challenged him for FIA president- this is my take on it but please feel free if you know otherwise, but it seems to run as president the nominee needs to put forward who will be their team of 7 and what role they will play. Everyone knows this upfront. Current FIA members are wealthy people who are on a good wicket travelling the world at times with some benefits at no cost. So why rock the boat to go into an unpaid job but knowing its political suicide if your team loses? (Unpaid- but I am sure these guys know how to turn a buck with other business deals). Todt is a very wealthy and powerful guy and knows how to play the game – so he can do what he likes for a while it seems.

      So who should be the next FIA President do you think?

      1. @garns – Agree.

        Todt is trying to fill the political power vacuum post-Bernie. The Todt Thong was the first step at leaving his imprint on F1. Next he wants to have a new engine supplier owe him favours while he drives existing ones out of the palace.

        He’s a consummate politician, so whoever challenges the new little dictator, will need be even more Machiavellian. That narrows the group of decent candidates. Whitmarsh might be a good choice for the sport, but not sure he could stoop low enough to play the Napoleonic role as well as JT.

    8. Maybe Todt wants another engine manufacturer in F1, but I am not convinced teams are waiting for a new manufacturer (with the exception of Red Bull maybe if the future Honda partnership doesn’t work out as planned).

      I can think of at least 6 teams who will not want to change the engine supplier (Mercedes, Force India, Ferrari, Haas, Sauber, Renault). And if Honda becomes competitive that will turn to 8 (Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso), which will leave only Williams and McLaren needing an engine and an Mercedes and Renault engine available.

      So it probably all depends on whether or not the Honda relation with Red Bull will be fruitful and I don’t think a new engine supplier will make that gamble without having a contract in place.

    9. Sad that we are looking at a step backwards, unfortunately a very costly one, as you cannot just take MGU-H off the current engines and carry on. It requires hundreds of thousands dollars worth of re-design.
      The new entrants would have an advantage as they can test ad infinitum, which the current teams cannot under the sporting regs. Maybe new entrants should have a testing restriction to even things up. But in F1 that is not the way of things, in fact the opposite applies, the bigger teams get more money and maintain an unfair advantage.
      As Christian Horner said at some high decibel and temperature level, re the change to front wings, for next season it is not just a front wing that changes, but everything else dependant upon the previous level of downforce and airflow, in fact almost everything, what looks like a minor change is in fact a hugely expensive step which will badly affect the less affluent teams.
      So with the removal of MGU-H, a similar situation arises, each time the spec changes for whatever reason, the rich teams increase their advantage over the others. Still it has always been like that and will remain so until the mythical cost cap is implemented. Then we shall be looking at last year’s accounts instead of performance figures. (Still that is another subject worthy of a full article)

    10. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      22nd May 2018, 13:02

      This is why F1 is too expensive for more than a few teams to be competitive. Todt and his attitude are part of the problem. Him and people like him have lived in the luxurious F1 bubble for too long.

      The technology is nice. It’s interesting and its a challenge but I’m sorry to say its becoming less and less road relevant. The DNA of a F1 car and a road car are diverging and not converging.

      F1 can never be primarily about the technology. It has to be about the quality of the racing. That is what it is.

      The F1 champion scores the most points. Points are decided by places on the track (by the racing!).
      Points are not awarded for clever technology, sure the technology can affect the finishing positions of the cars but its not the technology itself that scores the points.

      There is no merit in retaining technology that adversely affects the quality of the racing. Racing is F1. F1 is racing.

      1. Except that the MGU-H does not impact the quality of racing. All engine manufacturers stated that removal of the MGU-H would not affect their engine performance in comparison to their rivals.

        As for it being too expensive for the smaller teams, engine price has already been capped. It’s the development of the listed parts (aero, chassis) and running the team which are costing the smaller teams and leading to them being uncompetitive. Not the engines which they aren’t even developing…

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          22nd May 2018, 22:53

          Except I didn’t mention the MGU-H.

          Re-read my post. I was talking about the attitude to technology in general. Yes the MGU-H is an example, but as you mention development of other parts of the car are very costly, just to stand still.

          If you want to talk about the MGU-H specifically, its still a big cost to develop for a potential new engine supplier (along with the rest of the engine). This is a big problem for all sorts of reasons, I’m sure you are aware.

          As a piece of technology I marvel at the MGU-H. As Todt says, it is beautiful. If the racing was close no one be complaining but its not so we are. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the technology. Competitive technology should be within the reach of all teams else whats the point? It ceases to be sport.

    11. A real big question is why a manufacturer would spend zillions of dollars to risk being third in F1.
      Marketing/tech/financial-wise there is little point the join F1 if not with a boat load of money.
      Even a three GP winless streak semms to rise concern in Mercedes mgmt.
      So, I don’t see many companies interested in such a proposition.

      1. Let’s ask Honda, or Cosworth.

    12. The teams spent a fortune, i don’t care i want someone else gonna enter. Todt is wise man : ). Maybe MB and Ferraris teams it is about time to leave.

    13. Can’t wait for the time when f1 becomes race car relevant once again. Fast and light cars, great sounding engines, occasional mid field team winning and the sport not held hostage by handful of faceless megacorporations.

    14. In an ideal world, it would make sense to have the absolute best and most expensive technology. But in an F1 world of extreme inequality, preferential treatments, potential to damage one’s brand through under-performance, and barriers of entry… it simply doesn’t make sense for a new manufacturer to come in. Why would Porsche, Aston, or BMW come back if they have no chance of winning? Consequently, simplifying the engines is necessary. I do think that now without Bernie Ecclestone, the sport will become much more profitable for everyone, which will attract more manufacturers.

    15. I just want to share Andy Cowell’s full quote.

      I think all the batteries that we’ve got are high-performance road relevant in terms of their power density. I think we’re lagging in terms of the energy density. I think it would be good if the regulations encouraged us to develop higher energy densities – because that is something that’s particularly relevant to mobility.

      If you think about 2021, then there’s a lot of electric-only cars that are going to be on the market there – but we’re in this. We’re torn. You’re talking to a group of engineers who like to develop new technology, that like to be pushed to drive to the pinnacle of technology.

      The regulations for 2021 are heading in a downwards step with regards to technology, with the removal of the electrical energy that we get from the MGU-H. Sixty per cent of the electrical energy comes from the MGU-H, we will be going to just a KERS system and therefore the demands on the battery are perhaps a little bit less.

      I personally, as an engineer, would like to see more on the electrical hybrid side and more of a challenge on the energy density of the battery because I think that would draw more blue-chip companies into this industry.

      It’s one of the most amazing development platforms on this planet and we’d all like to look after the planet.

      It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever heard with regards to F1 and the importance of its relevancy and it frustrates me the full quote hasn’t been highlighted in any articles I’ve read and read by people who probably should.

      Yes it’s a show and yes it’s entertainment, but this was a very, very compelling argument and justification for the money being thrown into the engineering arms race.

      1. @skipgamer – very nice excerpt. Andy comes across as a total engineer (that’s a compliment), and the points he makes around energy density and battery demands are very interesting, and sound very relevant.

        I can only imagine his frustration and anguish at the decisions being made by “thinkers and hearers” like Todt.

        It would be good if the FIA decides to act on those points that Andy has made, to the extent that battery technology developed in & for F1 ends up being used in a series like FE – wouldn’t that be quite the selling point? I hope Andy’s points haven’t gone unnoticed by Liberty (i.e. Brawn), as they’re the ones who stand to gain from such positioning.

    16. Why is it such a priority to attract a new engine manufacturer now, can someone remind me?

      1. So Todt can appear F1 relevant

      2. @minilemm – because Mercedes and Ferrari are not eager to supply Red Bull, RBR have burnt their bridges with Renault, and Honda’s as yet unable to provide a performant and reliable engine.

        IIRC, Red Bull put in roughly half a billion dollars into F1 across both their teams, and that gives them a certain amount of clout with the FIA (not that the FIA sees any of that money, but it does mean that investment benefits F1).

        There is also the hope that a new engine manufacturer (like Cosworth, as opposed to a car manufacturer like VAG) might be able to offer a competitive engine to the midfield and backmarkers to allow them to actually be able to challenge the big 3.

        1. As far as I understand the whole Red Bull pickle was more of a problem a year ago, and now Honda seems to be on the mend and Renault seems to still supply Red Bull and talk on and on about how all their glorious customers are important to them.

          And midfield and backmarkers seem to be more protected from non-competitive engines then ever this year, no?

    17. If it requires too much investment for someone to develop their own and losing it would be a backwards move = standardise it.

    18. Re: attracting big manufacturers:

      I think that FOM and the FIA are underestimating how much interest would be generated if independent teams were able to compete at the front in F1. I think there would be massive interest if Williams, Force India or some new private teams were able to win races or get regular podiums. Sports fans LOVE underdogs!

      I think F1 could be very successful even if it lost all of the big manufacturers but was populated with *colorful* and interesting independent and small manufacturer teams with *great* racing. Plus without the pressure from trying to appease the big manufacturers, F1 would be free to what’s truly best for the sport.

    19. Surely it’s already starting to get way too late to change the PU regulations?

      Maybe allow some different specifications to be entered by new manufacturers with some kind of equalisation formula but why penalise (and more to the point force more expenditure) the existing PU manufacturers by radically changing anything.

      I still think it’s time to allow “any” kind of technology to be used (e.g. 6 cylinder ICE + turbo, K & H units, 2 cylinder hybrid, 1 cylinder mostly electric, all electric, 4 cylinder twin turbo, exhaust c etc) – just put a minimum fuel limit and a maximum power output limit on and let them have at it – then we’d see some “real” innovation.

    20. You know, even if VAG join in 2021 thanks to dropping the MGU-H, is that a good thing? I mean, sure, they are a big extra manufacturer, but say Honda is decent by then, so Red Bull stick to what they have with them, who’s going to need those engines. Williams, McLaren, who else? Okay, so maybe McLaren/Porche, would be fun, great nostalgia (wait, again? anyway, will be fine).

      But, why do VAG want the MGU-H dropped? Well apparently because they have great anti-lag tech from their WEC time; so say that it works as well in F1, then we’ll get a McLaren back to the front, with the others all lagging (eh) until they figured a similarly good anti-lag system that isn’t the MGU-H. So, we get slower cars, who maybe can overtake much better. In the midfield, behind the 1-2-ing all powerful McLaren? Yeah, no, that’s not an improvement but more of the same, isn’t it?

      So, seeing as how VAG managed to more or less ruin WEC with competing against itself and raising the bar (arguable, but look, Toyota is only left to run because they so far have managed to screw up winning LeMans years in a row), why is it a good thing for F1 to have them when we want to reduce spending differences? And Aston Martin aren’t really going to be doing more than rebadging someones engine (Cosworth? will it happen?) if at all.

      Meaning, we are going to get the existing manufactures to increase costs for R&D to replace something that they spent a lot of money on, with something that’s, from a technical standpoint, less advanced, and not guaranteed to provide the one thing people say they want it gone for noise; and a faint hope someone else will come along to spice up the racing a bit. And more than likely make the cars run heavier, because needing more fuel (or will that just be more lift and coast?).

      It all reads very F1 to me, but not in a good way. But, I like to be able to take family to F1 races where forgetting to put in earplugs on time does not ruin the kids ears, and where my wife won’t get instant migraine from the noise; and like the tech. in the MGU-H. So maybe I’m biased.

      1. Sorry, missed a closing strong there, sometimes I do really miss an edit in 1st minutes of posting option :)

      2. @bosyber +1.6L – Excellent points.

        I believe there is nothing in the new engine proposals for F1 fans, even if it’s dressed in the language of ‘better racing’ – it’s power politics – the FIA/LM want more F1 power for their power-grab from the big manufacturers. Much easier to push around a group of independent teams. Only way this ends well for LM is a cheap spec series – which means it ends badly for fans of F1.

    Comments are closed.