Porsche logo, 2018

No Porsche, no new engines? FIA urged to keep MGU-H

2021 F1 season

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The FIA is under pressure to abandon plans to overhaul Formula 1’s engine rules in 2021 due to a lack of interest from new manufacturers.

RaceFans understands Porsche, which has been officially represented at FIA discussions on the future engine regulations, has given no firm indication whether or not it intends to enter F1. Aston Martin, which previously expressed interest in entering, now believes the proposed regulations will be too costly.

The FIA’s priority is to maintain the current roster of manufacturers if no new entrant is willing to commit to the sport.

Retaining the current engine formula would involve keeping the MGU-H, which had been earmarked for removal. The sport’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media intended to drop the MGU-H to reduce the complexity and cost of the power units and to increase revs and noise.

In response to a question from RaceFans at Silverstone, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted “it doesn’t look like there’s anybody new coming in.”

“So really I think it’s down to the FIA and Liberty to decide what do they want.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said there was no point committing to a costly redesign of the current power unit if no new manufacturer expressed an interest in entering.

“It’s still very much [up] for discussion. We had a presentation that would have meant a redesign of the engine.

“All four OEMs currently engaged in Formula One have given their preference with an understanding from our side that we maybe needed a bit more noise and not a discussion around fuel consumption, that’s important. But just for the benefit of redesigning an engine, without anybody else entering, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

“If somebody would commit to come into Formula One the way we have committed ourselves, all four of us – go through the lows and highs, the expense of the investment it needs – then let’s discuss engine regulations. But if nobody’s inside, it’s an academic discussion.”

Senior Porsche representatives have been involved in F1’s 2021 engine discussions at a high level. They include the head of Porsche’s motorsport engine development programme Donatus Wichelhaus, who consulted on the manufacturers’ Le Mans and World Endurance Championship-winning LMP1 programme.

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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...

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  • 120 comments on “No Porsche, no new engines? FIA urged to keep MGU-H”

    1. I’m disappointed Porsche is not joining. Without the MGU-H they could be competitive right away.
      Would have been so good for F1.
      But engine makers want to develop stuff for the future of car business and the MGU-H must stay, so it will not happen.

      1. Porsche know how to be competitive with a Hybrid…

        Yes, they may not hit the ground 100% running but the current layout of the F1 engine was envisaged as being suitable for WEC, which Porsche spent the last few years dominating.

    2. I 100% agree. Don’t waste money reinventing the wheel, simply keep what we have right now.

      1. Remove the DRS ……please !!

        1. And how exactly do you intend to compensate for the inability to overtake without it?

          As it is, in spite of many people believing DRS is a magic “I pass you now” button, the reality is that the mid-field can’t pass each other without it, and the top end teams can’t reliably pass each other *with* it.

          1. This discussion is about keeping the engine rules, not the Aero rules, which encompasses DRS.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re back to thinner cars and smaller tyres before long…

      2. Me too, finally we have 2 excellent competitive engines and 2 runners-up making progress, and even the tail-end teams are making progress. The expensive PU you have is still cheaper than starting from scratch to develop a new PU.

      3. That’s exactly what I thought when Aston said that, even though they’d said they’d enter if the MGU-H was dropped, they weren’t going to bother anyway.

        The biggest reason to drop the MGU-H was to attract more manufacturers. If it’s not going to do that, dropping it will only increase costs for the remaining manufacturers (and, therefore, the teams) by forcing them to redesign everything.

    3. Yep. No change needed. It looks like engines are converging as well.

      1. LOL. Yeah.. Sure they are

        1. @todfod Well they have converged in pairs :)

        2. Nice dismissal there Tod. Don’t let pesky facts get in the way of being contrarian. In 2014, Mercedes was widely rumoured to have over 100hp more than their nearest rival, which was Renault, not Ferrari. Ferrari had the weakest engine on the grid in 2014, thanks to compromising it in the name of aero, even though their aero wasn’t great either lol. Ferrari and Mercedes are now considered to have equal engines, or at least close to, with some saying Mercedes still have a power advantage, and some people even claiming Ferrari now have the most powerful PU. So Ferrari have overcome a more than 100hp deficit since these engine regs were introduced. That looks like convergence to me.

          In 2015, Honda joined, and could barely finish a race. They had by far the least power as well. Honda this year, are finally close to Renault in terms of power, and their reliability is much better than it has been. That looks like convergence to me.

          Toto Wolff claims the Renault PU is close to the Mercedes and Ferrari PUs. Let’s for a moment assume Toto is correct (he does have quite a bit more data to base his claim on than we do), that would mean all of the PUs are converging.

          Now let’s assume Toto is talking out of his rear end, as he’s been known to do at times. That still doesn’t mean the PUs aren’t converging. We’ve seen that they are. Honda now fairly even with Renault, Ferrari fairly even with Mercedes, Renault closer to Mercedes than they have been in previous seasons, but still a bit of a gap between them. That’s still convergence on the PU performance side.

          Having a good PU doesn’t matter when the rest of your car sucks, just look at Williams and Mclaren. The huge gap between the top 3 teams, and the rest, can be easily attributed to how good the chassis is and how efficient the aero is. We do have 3 different PUs in the top 3 teams…

          1. Don’t let pesky facts get in the way of being contrarian

            Don’t make me laugh dude. Ferrari have caught up to Mercedes but Renault are as competitive as they were in 2014, and Honda is as competitive as they were in 2016. That’s 4 years of little or no progress for Renault and 2 years of little or no progress for Honda.

            Toto Wolff claims the Renault PU is close to the Mercedes and Ferrari PUs. Let’s for a moment assume Toto is correct

            Let’s not assume Toto is right. Toto has been making these statements for ages to try and convince the F1 world that the competition is tight. He’s been doing it since they started dominating in 2014, so let’s not take Toto on his words.

            If you want to take someone’s words.. maybe take Max Verstappen’s words where he claims that Renault are 80hp down on Ferrari and Mercs. Let’s assume that Honda are around 10hp down on Renault. That makes them 90 hp down.

            So.. since 2014 Renault have been around 80 to 90 hp down and Honda have been anywhere between 90 to 100hp down since 2015.

            Convergence?! Maybe you should pick some better facts when trying to prove an invalid point.

      2. FreddyVictor
        10th July 2018, 16:34

        @ Todford
        I agree, there’s still a significant gap which, at the current rate will probably take at least 3 more years to fully (?) equalize.
        I think the fact that no other manfacturers/engine builders appear to want to commit is a sign that even these ‘simplified engines’ are still too complex/expensive to develop
        I fully understand the current manfacturers not wanting to make any changes for no reason, why should they!
        Yep, FIA (+BE) have got themselves into a bit of a corner …

    4. Excellent, if no new entrants come, it would be great if this were pushed through. The current season exemplifies how stability in regulations benefits all.

      1. And 2009 exemplifies how rule changes benefits all.

        1. @nathanbuilder, did it necessarily benefit all when you look at what happened that season?

          Whilst it did change the running order, there were negative repercussions for some teams by the end of that year – Williams were left scrambling for a replacement engine after Toyota pulled out, and had it not been for Toyota withdrawing, Sauber would have been forced out of the sport because BMW, when it withdrew, did so in a way that voided Sauber’s entry rights.

          1. Not to mention that the actual on track action wasn’t great at all in 2009. We just were happy to see the formbook upturned @nathanbuilder, @phylyp, and “anon”

          2. The recession, combined with an attempt to compel an unworkable cost cap for 2010 (which ultimately didn’t happen, but only after multiple new teams were duped into signing), was what led to the manufacturer mass exodus. It was nothing to do with the regulations introduced for 2009.

        2. Luke Harrison
          10th July 2018, 21:15

          There’s no difference between these arguments when it comes to benefits.

          A complete redesign gives the most creative team an opportunity to get a headstart, but you leave it stable for long enough and the performance comes together and that’s what F1 needs – it should leave regulations stable for a longer period of time, yes, it might be off-putting for new entrants, but for it can create much better racing in the long run.

    5. I agree no need to change for the sake of change. Deep down I enjoy the fact that some Mercedes, Ferrari are more competent than others. It has always been that way except the V8 era post development freeze. I disliked back then the relevant insignificance of the engine to the perfomance of the cars. Let’s not forget Renault and Honda have deep pockets its not like we have Cosworth, Judd or Ilmor anymore. Invest and reap the rewards. Sure it is a capitialistic view but we are talking about the most elitistic sport, couldn’t be any other way.

      1. When did Renault and / or Honda make an F1 engine as succesful as the Cosworth DFV? The best £100,000 Ford ever spent.

    6. Sounds short sighted and self serving to keep the engines the same. Every article I have read has mentioned that the cost is putting of new entrants. I would think that if FIA and liberty can reduce the cost of the power unit then they would attract more entrants. Maybe not the first year, but if they can show that they keep costs down for a few years then there is no excuse left for Porsche or Aston other than they are scaredy cats. Alternatively keep things as they are, keep costs high, keep mercedes on top and you are guaranteed no new entrants.

      1. Champagne Papi
        10th July 2018, 13:39

        Exactly this. Plus a rawer sound and less bits to go wrong. Cant help but think its Ferrari fans gassing this up now that they have the most powerful PU.

        1. less bits to go wrong

          That does mean more predictability though – something I think a lot of people (for the good and the bad) would want to not see.

      2. @aliced The point here is that the window for new entrants in 2021 has almost been reached. Any company with interest would already be expressing this, considering the scale and resources that have to be allocated to develop a PU, this is not a decision arrived at in 2-3 years.

        Aston Martin were never seriously considering this, they don’t have the resource, it was for PR reasons that Andy Palmer talked about it.

        Keeping the same engine for another 2-3 seasons is unlikely to have any impact, given how long it takes to agree, resource and structure an F1 PU development program, if anything it actually gives more time for involvement and discussion considering the absence of any new entrants.

        1. Aston Martin entering F1 as an engine supplier was always the same probability as “Rich Energy” buying Force India, zero.

        2. @ju88sy, as you say, realistically we are at, if not probably beyond, the point at which a new manufacturer would realistically be capable of entering the sport in 2021. The 2021 regulation package was supposed to have been finalised back in May, yet we’re still waiting for them to arrive at a time when a new entrant probably has, at best, 30 months to go from proof of concept to their first pre-season test (and that assumes that the new regulations aren’t amended too significantly in the meantime, which is quite plausible seeing how the negotiations went in the last two major changes to the engine regulations).

          As things stand, there is only one realistic possible new entrant (Porsche), and that one entrant has a history of making promises to enter, only to then withdraw from them at a later stage (such as happened during the talks that set up the current regulations) – I think that most observers long ago wrote off Aston Martin’s efforts as an extended publicity stunt.

          It’s not exactly as if that many other motorsport series are overwhelmed with manufacturers rushing to enter either – if anything, quite a few of them are in the same situation of trying to avoid losing the manufacturers they do have rather than drawing new ones in.

          It’s a case of how best to keep the current manufacturers on board, and practically speaking that pushes you towards making inexpensive tweaks to the regulations rather than major changes that incur additional development costs for seemingly no benefit.

        3. Clearly the “vehicle” for any Aston Martin program would have been Redbull. Indicates to me that RB’s formal commitment to Honda might be more than two years.
          VW was usually linked to Redbull whenever an entry has been mooted over the last few years.

      3. Unfortunately one thing you can guarantee with F1 is that everything is expensive. An engine manufacturer isn’t just under pressure from its customers to keep up with their competitors, which costs money, the customers actually expect them to be improving the engine so it’s better than the best engine on the grid. That sort of improvement is expensive. They don’t just call it “bleeding edge” for nothing, being at the leading edge means a lot of your “improvements” are unsuccessful.
        Even if someone actually did make a 1000 hp 1600 cc V6 engine that was cheap, say for $10,000, it wouldn’t be long before they got a visit from someone with millions of dollars wanting a higher powered version of that cheap engine to use for racing.

      4. @aliced Unfortunately F1 engine costs and justification systems have got to the point where keeping current manufacturers and attracting new ones are mutually exclusive.

    7. Suppose the Honda engine is as good as the Renault engine in the coming years.
      Then we’ll have 3 top teams battling it out: Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.
      Then Haas and Sauber, as Ferrari’s satellite team, a solid 4th and 5th.
      Suppose then Force India and Williams recover from a lesser 2018… Then Renault and McLaren are left battling for scraps with Toro Rosso.
      I don’t know how long Renault will endure that.

      1. If Renault continue to develop at the pace they currently are, they should actually be fighting with RBR Honda next year for best of the rest behind the Ferrari and Merc.

        1. They developed their car all right, but that was coming from a Lotus that was designed for a Mercedes engine and was starved for funds and upgrades for too long while the team was decimated before Renault started building up again.
          Stepping up from that to the midfield was easy. Going all the way to the top, without Newey? Impossible.

          The lack of engine power is exposed every time they race at a power track.

    8. RBR has a contract with Honda till 2020. If Honda doesn’t deliver they will quit F1, Helmut suggested.
      RBR was counting on Porsche it seems.
      So since no other engine maker are willing to join, it is not a good sign for 2021 I believe.
      I don’t see more equal cars and competition in the future.
      Unless Renault and Honda get their stuff together.

    9. Just stop giving teams a say in the regulations, whether it be the technical or sporting regulations.
      The teams are only interested in the rules to fit their own need, which is to maintain the expensive status quo as it is now.

      The FIA should make up the rules, Liberty should only concern themself with the commercial side and teams and manufacturers can sign up (or not) for a fixed period of time.

      F1 is imho far to expensive now, especially for the privateers, so simpler rules (both aerodynamic and engine) would make for a cheaper formula, for which more teams and possibly engine manufacturers will sign up.

      1. @silfen Well they need someone to actually compete too. So.

      2. Previously F1Fanatic fan in Atlanta
        10th July 2018, 19:30

        I never understood why BE and now LM had so much influence and almost can tell the FIA what the tech specs need to be. They should have input, but more like team level input of saying we would like to see X. They have spent plenty of money to see their toy grow and they should be able to express their opinions, but they should NOT be the driving force. The FIA should have through their working group an F1 plan to develop the next regs running near constantly. The regs aren’t a carved in stone plan and they should be working an meeting to discuss both how they are working and what would bring either more teams or more competition in to the sport.

        By that same token, that group should be considering the regs based on new manufacturers entering BUT if no teams are likely to enter, why not hold station? If no one has committed by now they aren’t making a 2020 engine from scratch. And of the entries we’ve heard MAYBE Porsche would build an engine, but Aston Martin? There was NEVER a chance of that happening. They just don’t have the cash to spend to keep building their own engines for the whole range, they still build their V12s but the V8s are now MB twin turbo units. Was anyone else seriously mentioned as a possibility? Toyota could probably do so and after winning LM finally they could but I’m thinking F1 left a bitter costly taste, and they have pushed for savings in WEC so. GM, Ford have likely little interest in actually spending the money, think Ford would go WEC hybrid over F1 and GM, well they love a V8 so IMSA and LM is more likely to stay. Cosworth, AER, Gibson, Ilmor, etc building engines would need manufacturer cash to build anything, but likely to consult on builds.

        I think they need a long term plan to give everyone a couple years after the plans are set before you’ll get a new engine builder to commit. They are going to need a team to come on board and right now the wild cards, outside of McLaren, all run MB engines so it better be a great deal to convince them to switch engines.

      3. @silfen saying teams and FOM shouldn’t have a say in the regulations is a bit like saying businesses and opposition parties shouldn’t have a say in laws being proposed by the government.

        If the FIA makes the rules without input and consultation, and companies aren’t happy they won’t invest hundreds of millions of euros, and FOM won’t have anything to sell commercially.

      4. @silfen Max Mosley tried that in 2009. It set back the cost-cutting agenda seven years, cost him his presidency and led to virtually none of the proposed ideas being implemented.

        None of this is likely to encourage Jean Todt to follow suit.

    10. There are probably cheaper ways to adjust what we have now to improve noise. That said, I don’t really think the noise is an issue. Just do a better job of showcasing what marvels of technology the PUs are.

      1. Take your #metoo environmentalism somewhere else. F1 doesn’t need the likes of you.

        1. TeselOfSkylimits
          10th July 2018, 16:46

          Noise is wasted energy. Instead of allowing all that energy going to waste trough exhaust pipe, maybe harvest it and make car faster (which is exactly what MGU-H does).

          1. I don’t buy the correlation with noise and wasted energy. Even if there is a correlation there are easier ways to go faster and have mindblowing sound i.e. top fuel.
            Just watch formula e if you are against wasted energy

            1. Just watch formula e if you are against wasted energy

              that is a waste of energy in itself

              if you don’t understand the correlation between noise and wasted energy you should read a physics book

            2. @johnmilk @mick @teselofskylimits @Nige @JC

              Noise is wasted energy from the perspective of performance.

              Noise is useful energy from the perspective of entertaining fans.

              F1 wants to do both.

              The trouble is that different bits of F1 are tasked with the direct provision of each of these tasks, so there is always conflict…

        2. ??? take a chill pill…

        3. Environmentalism should be everyone’s concern we all live in the same boat

        4. Did he even say a word about environmentalism LOL?
          Admiring and loving high technologies more than obsolete stuff is absolutely OK, just like I prefer a modern smartphone to an old Nokia 3310.
          You may cling to old crap as hard as you want, but the world’s changing and moving forward and, guess what, it doesn’t need luddites like you.

        5. Not cool dude…..
          When was anything about environmentalism mentioned?
          What was said was that the current PU’s are technological marvels that should be celebrated and appreciated more, especially by fans

      2. I doubt that there is any “cheaper” way then just to stop developing new bits really @JC. But I wholly agree with you that there is a lot to like about these engines they could be showing off to all fans and the wider world.

        The lower noise levels to me are great. Makes it far easier to get less hard core fans to go to races, makes it a tad less hard to get ppl to agree to having racing close to them too. And off course if you want to go fast, creating noise means you are not using all the energy available for that purpose!

      3. For me, the noise problem isn’t volume, it’s tinniness and unrealistic blips/bloops (as if it is a early-90s sound-card-generated noise instead of a real one).

      4. You want better noise? Fire the Sky F1 team.

        Seriously– I’ve been comparing the NBC coverage vs the Sky F1 coverage, and on NBC you got to hear the engines winding up through the gears, growling during downshifting, and the plank rattling along the track along with whine of the turbo– Sky F1, they’ve just about muted the cars so we can hear Croft speak for 85% of the race, and Brundle interjecting when Croft isn’t talking– backed by the only intelligent commentary from Ted over in the pitlane area.

        Call me crazy, but I want to hear the cars, and hear important information– not someone spewing whatever nonsense happens to occur to them so that they fill the entirety of the race audio track with their commentary. It’s worse when Croft is so desperate for something to say he starts making crap up, and/or contradicting himself.

        I’ll never understand why people like the Sky coverage.

        The engines actually sound pretty cool when you’re allowed to hear them.

    11. Woooo!
      The decision to get rid of the H never sat too well with me anyway.
      As for Aston Martin being all hat and no cattle, well, who woulda thunk?!

      1. Exactly. I dismissed AM getting involved in F1 as soon as it was suggested.

    12. Just overhaul aero regs so it can benifit wheel to wheel racing. Keeping PU untouched might help in dropping their cost in future.

    13. Some good points made here. If no new manufacturers are showing a strong interest in joining F1 then what is the point in making radical power unit changes? Over time performance tends to converge if there are no rule changes. I guess costs should decrease as well.

      F1 does need to make changes somewhere and make car development cheaper, if the gap between the three top teams and the rest is going to be bridged though. The field of teams is too spread out at the moment and must be more competitive overall.

    14. Just make a set of parameters that they have to meet and let them sort it out the architecture of the engine

      1. That’s basically what we already have now.

        1. so now can they choose what type of engine they use?

          1. Not really, but that’s not what you said. We have a set of parameters, and each manufacturer has worked out the PU architecture from there, which is why there are differences in battery placement and management, turbocharger design, compressor placement, etc.
            I’m not even sure if the rules mandate using the ERS and MGU system or a turbocharger. The thing is, building an engine without them would inevitably result in a GP3 engine.

            1. We have a set of parameters specific for different types of mandatory hardware, I’ve just mentioned the parameters, hardware should be up to the manufactures, and they should be allowed to choose whatever they want, combustion, electric, hybrid, alien. The rules do mandate the use of the ERS, MGU and the turbocharger.

    15. Either dropping the MGU-H is best for the sport or it isn’t. Reducing the engine regulations debate to a popularity contest among manufacturers is repeating the same mistakes they made with WEC. And look where that got them.

      1. @Keith Collantine, a series of random events that made Alonso le mans winner!

      2. Either dropping the MGU-H is best for the sport or it isn’t.

        Is it that simple though? The only reason the current manufacturers grudgingly accepted dropping the H, was the possibility of attracting further manufacturers. As it turns out, these manufacturers aren’t going to join either way, the MGU-H might even be entirely tangential to their decision. Aston Martin wanted publicity and an engine regulation that basically doesn’t require too much effort and doesn’t result in noticeable differences, and who knows what Porsche wanted. The MGU-H might’ve been nothing but a red herring in these negotiations.

        1. The only reason the current manufacturers grudgingly accepted dropping the H, was the possibility of attracting further manufacturers

          Not quite, as I recall, the only reason they agreed to drop the H was Liberty’s ultimatum – keep the H and have a final cost cap kick in from 2021 itself, or drop the H and have a glide path to a final cost cap over ~3 or so years. In the end, it was the threat of the cost cap that made the current manufacturers budge.

          1. Yeah, I might’ve skipped a step or two. But at the end of the day, Liberty issued that ultimatum because they wanted to attract new manufacturers.

            1. There was a note on a site back when these discussions first started about some of the real cost of the MGU H.
              It did mention that one of the manufacturers had over 200 people dedicated to working on this unit alone.
              That is easily $20 million a year for direct employee costs, not considering hardware, and testing.
              Yes, a phenomenal piece of hardware, but it isn’t clear if it has any utility in the “normal” vehicles on the road. It likely wouldn’t in my part of the world.

            2. @rekibsn

              Probably Williams who gave over 200 staff on MGU-H as they supply parts for other teams and motorsports. They could likely justify the resources.

            3. If you can’t see how the MGU-H would be useful in road cars, you’re very short-sighted. It would be enormously useful in everyday cars, as it would be used to increase the overall efficiency of small turbocharged engines in road cars. TJI turbocharged engines coupled with a motor-generator mounted on the turbocharger’s shaft, would enable regular 200hp road cars to use just a few litres of fuel per 100kms. Increasing fuel efficiency is pretty much the number one goal of road car engine designers right now, so the MGU-H fits perfectly with road cars. The trick-down of F1 technology has always been interesting, but since they brought in these hybrid engines it’s been clear that there will be A LOT of technology transfer to road cars from all this expensive R&D. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t see a Mercedes road car with a TJI turbo engine and an MGU-H in the near future.

      3. Either dropping the MGU-H is best for the sport or it isn’t.

        @keithcollantine Dropping it isn’t either good or bad. It’s defined as good to A) have more big brands involved as constructors and/or engine suppliers B) have all engine suppliers with very similar performance C) cost reduction

        Dropping MGU-H is supposed to help A) and B), even though the current engine suppliers expressed they like the MGU-H, they find it relevant, and they feel turbo engines without the MGU-H will be much less efficient and also force everyone to work on reducing turbo lag, and everything else we have read in that press conference some weeks ago. Anyway, they accept dropping MGU-H to achieve A).

        Once it becomes clear A) is not going to happen, the biggest reason to drop MGU-H is gone. It’s worth discussing again if keeping the MGU-H is a better way to achieve B) and C).

        1. @dusty You have also forgotten the increase in noise that the new engine format was supposed to give us along with the potential (and much needed in my view) weight reduction from removing the H along with its relevant ancillaries.

      4. @keithcollantine That’s a very shortsighted view.

      5. Either dropping the MGU-H is best for the sport or it isn’t.

        As I think about this, I’m wondering why does F1 have to limit itself to a 1600cc V6 engine? F1 already includes a fuel flow restricted to less than 100kg/hour, and a maximum fuel load of 105 kg.
        So why not allow other manufacturers to come in with different sized engines? As I understand it, the Porsche 919 hybrid used a 2 litre V4 engine with an MGU-H. The Toyota TS050 used a 2.4 litre V6 engine that might have an MGU-H. Here we have engines that, at least at a casual glance, are already operating at a similar of power output and technical excellence expected at the F1 level. Allowing these engines to be used “off the shelf” would save them the cost of having to develop a completely new engine. It would mean teams are dependent upon a current F1 engine manufacturer to supply them an engine would have another option.

        1. @drycrust, part of it comes down to the fact that it makes changing between engine suppliers more straightforward for customer teams, which is intended to reduce redesign costs and give them more flexibility on whom they can work with. In your proposal, whilst a team could change to one of those alternative engines, they would incur fairly substantial costs to redesign the chassis to accommodate that new engine, then they’re kind of locked into that particular engine supplier given that moving away from it necessitates another major chassis redesign.

          Part of it is also the fact that the manufacturers have accepted that, in reality, they’d probably all converge on rather similar engine designs anyway, so as far as they are concerned it’s a lot cheaper to simply start with the design that they’d probably have all moved towards anyway and cut out the research and development costs that would have been spent getting to that choice.

          It’s also questionable whether those manufacturers would even want to use those power units anyway – whilst the design exists, the packaging requirements of an F1 car are quite different to that of an LMP1, which is arguably less constrained.

          1. My thanks for your comment. I was under the impression that all current F1 engines had the same mounting points, but when you hear things like McLaren and Toro Rosso having to change the design of their cars to accommodate the changes in their engine supplier for this season, even though the engines have the same mounting points, then you begin to wonder how true the idea of engine supplier compatibility is.
            However, yes, I agree, a different size engine would almost certainly require different mounting points to the chassis, but the team should know this. I would be surprised if an F1 team that builds its own chassis didn’t know that a 2.0 litre V4 engine or a 2.4 L V6 would need different mounting points from a 1.6 L V6. If an F1 team wants an engine other than standard 1.6 L V6 then they’d know there’s going to be extra costs.
            The FIA require all F1 engines to have an FIA compliant engine management system, so in theory a different engine should work with the same gearbox (assuming the engine and gearbox mounting points are correct).
            It seems there are costs to even changing from one standard F1 1.6 L engine to another because they aren’t 100% compatible, then how much extra does it cost to use a 2.0 or 2.4 L engine?
            So far no one has come up with a valid reason why a 2.0 V4 or a 2.4 V6 can’t also be used in F1 provided the same fuel restrictions apply. As far as I can tell as long as fuel flow restrictions apply teams should be allowed to use what they like.

      6. @keithcollantine Whether a particular motion is best for the sport depends on the circumstances of the sport. The original justification for dropping MGU-H was to drop the price for new entrants. If new entrants think the cheapest engine established manufacturers will accept is too expensive, then that changes the equation.

        Does F1 prefer its current manufacturers or new ones?

    16. Are there still plans to remove the fuel flow restriction or are they going to remain?

      1. @royal-spark I believe they will remove it

        1. There will always need to be some form of regulation to limit engine power, either fuel flow (I hate it but it’s a brilliant concept), a limit on total fuel or turbo boost. Choose your poison.
          Go back to the previous turbo era. 1,500 cc engines developing over 1,100 HP. The current engines would likely exceed that even with a single turbo if you don’t limit either fuel flow or boost pressure.
          I know what F1 NEEDS …. Restrictor Plate Racing ….. yeah … that’s the ticket.

          1. Previously F1Fanatic fan in Atlanta
            10th July 2018, 19:34

            They’re basically running restrictor plate racing but with a plan. the plate races are ridiculous because instead of decreasing the power they limit the flow so the engine response is so muted and slow they can’t actually race. Think even worse than old turbo lag, it’s ridiculous and necessary because fuel injection just came to NASCAR (by way of McLaren) about 10 years ago with unleaded fuel.

          2. @rekibsn There is already a way of restricting engine power. The actual fuel limit. Since the cars can only use a maximum of 105kg of fuel to complete a race, that basically limits the amount of power you can use over a whole race. Removing the fuel flow limit but keeping the maximum fuel allowance, should be enough.

          3. @rekibsn My understanding is that the limit on total fuel will remain, and be the sole limiter.

    17. If the engine format is changing, by when does it need to be locked down? End of this year, or even sooner?

      I just hope that an informed decision is made in time, and not forced by time.

      1. Ferrari: “Is it enough time? It will depending much on how different will be the new power unit compared to the one of today. So, no changes to the regulations, plenty of time. As much as you change it, obviously the more time you need. At the moment, so far, for what we may understand, because we are still discussing – FIA, FOM – what will be the format. We had several meetings in the last days. We have some more in the next days, let’s see where it will go. But 30 months is plenty enough but it would be good to try to reach and agreement on what will be the format in really the next two to three months.”

        Mercedes: “I think so long as the regulations come out over the next few months and, as Mattia rightly pointed out, as long as it’s not a complete tear-up of what we currently have, then there’s sufficient time to do a professional job, so we don’t embarrass ourselves at the beginning of 2021.”

        source https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2018/5/fia-friday-press-conference—spain.html

        They don’t seem too stressed by time at the moment, but it depends on what’s decided obviously.

      2. In theory, September this year. In practise, I believe they have wiggle room if needed – and it will be needed.

    18. Shock, horror.

      Mercedes want to maintain the current engine regulations.

    19. Just make up your minds already.

    20. It’s hard to make any informed comment when we really have no idea what’s going on and why new manufacturers don’t want to enter.

      “Not cheap enough” to me just means they don’t think F1 is worth it, they have the money obviously they just don’t want to spend it on F1. Making things cheaper is the wrong way to treat the product, increase the speed, increase the relevance, paint the picture of if you’re not making F1 cars you’re not even a good manufacturer. Make it common knowledge to everyone in the world that if a manufacturer isn’t competing in F1, their cars aren’t worth buying anyway.

      F1 is arguably the best product in the motorsport industry and one of the best entertainment products as a whole in the world. Why bow down and reduce that spectacle and make it something lesser, just so people who don’t respect that position can compete in something they’re not going to whole-heartedly believe in?

      Yes the independent teams need a better financial situations and reduced costs, but is weakening the engine formula, where the engine manufacturers are willing to spend to compete. Is that really the best way to go about that?

      1. I think you have an overinflated view of the importance of F1 to the automobile industry. Let me summarize: it’s not that important.

        1. Of course it isn’t, but it still garners the attention of hundreds of millions of people. There simply aren’t that many products that can claim that at all. It’s a massive global phenomonon.

          F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, the best of the best… They should sell that more, give away a free SD stream so anybody can share a link and watch every race live and sell on board/HD from there. Increase those hundreds of millions viewership figures even further so it’s undeniable that F1 is relevant and matters.

          I just see that as a better path to attract interest of manufacturers and making it seem worth the money. As opposed to trying to sell what the product is now at a cheaper price.

      2. “Not cheap enough” means that it’s possible to get Formula E whole-team membership for about £10 m, top-level WEC membership (again, whole-car) for about £100 m (assuming hybrid)… …and several times that for F1 engine involvement. And the other two have considerably more chance of success – there is no longer much credit to be gained from being last on the F1 grid.

    21. Gotta love the current state of F1 that makes it impossible for anyone to give it a try without being completely owned by the opposition forever until the rules change again God knows when. I understand that it’s pointless to change the current state if no one is trying to join the sport but you’ve got to ask why that’s happening and how to change that.

      Leaving it like it is and doing nothing is going backwards in my view.

      1. True. Why would they keep regulation that guaranteed no other team would join. No current team/teams sign that they’ll be in this sport for ling time anyway. Why close the door early?

        Unless Liberty manage to make them sign 10 years or so involvement. Like some Bernie’s Concorde Agreement. Or just bring back that old chap.

    22. I think if the H ends up staying on, Liberty might well push through their cost cap plans for 2021 itself, in order to demonstrate their willingness to new entrants to make for a better playing field.

      1. Which leaves open what happens in 2023/2024, when it becomes apparent the cap will be unenforceable in any sportingly-meaningful way in an international series.

    23. If a new entrant isn’t already lined up then they should delay new regulations until any do commit.

      If they go ahead with the change hoping someone else joins in then we can expect the same teething troubles Honda still have playing catch up with teams who were developing their power units years before the regulations changed.

      A new manufacturer needs to start development at the same time as the current lot or they’ll perpetually be catching up like Honda are now.

      1. @philipgb Well put, that is exactly the point here, in addition a couple more seasons, past 2020 with the MGU-H will remove the feeling that investment has been wasted and I reckon the teams would be more open to change.

      2. @philipgb @ju88sy
        +1
        One question: irrespective of finance (& other resource) based considerations, would removing the MGU-H bring about a parity within the four OEM’s ? Parity not in absolute terms but would removing it at least bring them closer in terms of performance, reliability and output ?

      3. @philipgb They would probably have to wait until the current manufacturers wish to leave for that tactic to work.

    24. Standardize a lot of this stuff. The MGU-H and MGU-K should be standardized, as should other components that add zero prestige to the sport. We’re not allowed to see how the teams are using these bits so it’s a bunch of money spent that doesn’t add anything for fans. Without fans you have … nothing. So, standardize the hybrid tech, remove gears to require engines to work over a larger rev range, remove fuel flow limits to boost rev ceilings, use other measures to penalize cars that take one more fuel (could we, for example, set a maximum car length? A maximum fuel-tank size?

      1. At what point does your logic stop though? Would you argue that, since fans cannot see how a team is using their gearboxes, for example, should those also be standardised? What about the brakes? Suspension dampers?

        1. Hopefully his logic stops just before the point where we abandon a technology that enables good performance rather than standardise it.

      2. @tim MGU-K and MGU-H are allowed precisely because the FIA thinks they bring prestige to F1.

    25. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      10th July 2018, 21:51

      I think the writing is on the wall. The sport must adopt fully electric powertrain or the sport may not be here by 2021.

    26. I am a huge F1 fan and I defend my sport above all.

      From what I have noticed, the convergence of PUs is double-sided. While the oil-blowing Ferrari has now matched the Mercedes standards, the upgraded Renault MGU-H and Honda have hardly caught up to them.
      Pile along the 2019 aero changes and I think F1 lies in the extremes. Either wait and watch or just put a bullet to the sail.

      To create close racing first you need a closer grid. You did not need to solve a closer racing problem before you had a normal racing problem.

      I am a racing fan and I would love for my favourite Hamilton to win all 21 races, although I’d equally love every driver winning 1 a piece.

      I am loving this season, but should I really be, with only 2 drivers going at it? The F1 of yester-years has excited me for the F1 of today, but the question is, are 2 drivers fighting for a WDC enough or we want a full fledged 20 gladiators scene!

      FIA should have the policy to take from the rich and give to the poor so that the worst team should and always be at a maximum 2% off pace the best. You create equality where you feel there is not. I don’t see any other solution but god prove me wrong because ferraris hitting mercs and strategy calls going wrong is not racing for me, the last 10 laps of silverstone were!

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        11th July 2018, 0:31

        The first sentence in your post is admirable. I wish i felt the same way these days but with each passing ridiculous rule etc in lose a bit of love for the sport.

        MotoGP is where is at these days, and formula e. Le mans is cool too.

      2. Surely you would also be aware that, quite often in the seasons of yesteryear that you refer to, there often would only be two drivers fighting for the title as well – we’ve never seen every single driver being able to compete for the title, or even compete for something as modest as points. In most seasons, you would go into it knowing that, realistically, only a few teams would compete for wins and realistically only one or two of those teams would be capable of winning regularly enough to sustain a title challenge.

        Also, by historical standards the field spread that we are seeing now is not especially large – there have already been times in qualifying where, during the first part, the difference between the front and back of the grid would fall within your arbitrary 2% difference.

        1. The yesteryears I was referring to were the ones where hamilton or sebastian were dominating.

          The fact about yester-years exciting me about today is because we have more competition now with two teams going at it which I dont think should create the excitement it has in the paddock.

    27. YellowSubmarine
      10th July 2018, 22:58

      Cut costs, focus on making racing more interesting – and more manufacturers will be interested. As it is, I doubt that Renault will be looking to stay in the sport too long, as they have no real chance of winning. Another serious manufacturer – BMW? Audi? Porsche? – would be a welcome addition.

    28. Just bring in the standardised world engine, develop it as you like, slap your logo on it and let teams worry about everything else – 99.9% of the viewers would never know (or care) about the difference and we’d have the benefit of amazing close racing for much less cost!

    29. As far back as the previous century, most teams in F1 complained about the cost of F1. The pinnacle of motorsport requires it be at the pinnacle of expense. The Rolex of rolling racing.

      When I hear Liberty moaning about cost-caps, what I feel they are really saying is… “We need to make the sport cheaper. For us. And our unholy Bernie debt-load. While giving the teams a smaller cut of our FOG cream pie.”

      With only 10 teams what would a 5th engine supplier bring? The 5th best engine for the slowest team on the grid?

      If liberty could attract two more foolish billionaires to fill out a 24 car grid, maybe a 5th engine supplier might make sense.

    30. Jonesracing82
      11th July 2018, 5:53

      For the fact that no new Manufacturers are keen with the current Engine rules is even more telling. Everybody hates these current engines so why keep them?

    31. Who would want to come into F1 with the confusion that reigns now? Maybe someone who wants to launder, err I mean, squander his inheritance.

    32. I thought F1 was all about new challenges for design engineers and race teams. Keeping the engine formula as it has been for years and extending it for more years sounds like a static situation to me. It’s still all the same old players, and the finishing order only changes occasionally. There are still big money teams and small teams that don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning or, it seems, taking a podium position. I’ve been hoping that things would be shaken up a bit, but it’s beginning to sound as if the same three teams own the sport and manipulate it to their advantage. Same old, same old.

    33. Horrible news not removing the MGU-H. I’m barely hanging on to a thread here with the sound of these engines. I was almost excited to go watch another live race. The sound is what sucked me in, and the silence will spit me out. Enough with road relevance! Road relevance and racing will mean ZERO in 20 years – for engines, drivers, tires, suspension, acceleration, braking, cornering, everything! Bring back the passion, the ferocity, the gut churning sound that grips you when a car goes by. There was no other sport like it.

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