Esteban Ocon, Force India, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Force India “disappointed” at need for another new F1 chassis in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Force India technical director Andrew Green says the team is disappointed that rules changes for the 2019 F1 season mean they will not be able to carry over their VJM11 chassis to next year.

The introduction of Halo this year forced teams to replace their 2017 chassis at the end of last season. But despite new aerodynamic regulations for 2019 some teams were hoping to avoid the cost of having to design a new chassis again.

However Green confirmed Force India will have to start afresh again next year due to another change in the rules for next season.

“Unfortunately there was also a regulation change for fuel,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. The maximum fuel limit is being raised from 105kg to 110kg next year.

“Mercedes plan to use all that fuel,” Green confirmed. “That’s what we’ve been told, so we have to design the car to suit it.”

“That was disappointing,” he added. “We would have liked to but we can’t.”

The team estimated that redesigning its chassis would increase its costs by a million dollars.

For some of the races but there are races where we are fuel limited.

Force India has already begun work on its new car for next year and intends to bring forward the introduction of any new parts it can use on this year’s car.

“We’ll obviously keep an eye on it and if we see areas that are transferable from next year’s car to this year’s car,” said Green.

“We’ve already started developing next year’s car, we’ll look to bring them to this year’s car if we can if it’s at all feasible. But there’s still a lot more from this car. There’s still upgrades in the pipeline that are going to make it through the season.”

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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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19 comments on “Force India “disappointed” at need for another new F1 chassis in 2019”

  1. Gemma St. Ivans
    17th July 2018, 8:33

    They could be a great team if they get rid of the criminal Vijay Vittal Mallya

    1. He might very well be a criminal (not sure if it has been proven in a court of law), but no denying that he was leading the team when it had one of the best performances based on the money they had to spend.
      Credit where credit is due.

      1. Previously F1Fanatic fan in Atlanta
        17th July 2018, 14:36

        But how much of that money was sourced from the scams and money transferring to avoid creditors?

      2. The man is a con artist. The sooner he sells Force India the better for the team.

      3. Neil (@neilosjames)
        17th July 2018, 23:26

        I give most of the credit to Bob Fernley and Otmar Szafnauer for that period… I may be wrong, but I considered those two to be the real ‘leaders’ of the team and Mallya to be more of an observer in recent years.

  2. Isn’t it great that the FIA are constantly implementing new regulations to make F1 more affordable, hiphip hurrah.

    1. And in doing so ensure that these midfield upstarts don’t start getting competitive in any way.

      Love the way the FIA cares so much about lowering costs.

      1. @dbradock, because it isn’t as if fans aren’t themselves reacting in an unpredictable manner and constantly calling for changes to the regulations or vacillating between banning and legalising different components…

        Again, this feels like one of those situations where, whatever the FIA did, fans would just moan at them. If they kept the regulations the same, the fans would moan about how the sport had “too much aero”, that the FIA was scared to take on the bigger teams and so on. If they do introduce changes, such as in this case, fans then complain that the FIA is “constantly implementing new regulations” and making the sport too expensive, or that it is entrenching advantages for the larger teams – nothing that you can do will ever satisfy them.

        1. @anon Agreed. Well said. And if it’s just a million dollars or even pounds, or euros, then that to me is well worth it for a chance for a bit closer racing as a stopgap measure ahead of the major 2021 changes.

        2. Regulators are meant to be a stabilising force as well as a destabilising force. However, I’m not surprised there has to be a new chassis for 2019, because there has to be one almost every year anyway. Don’t expect 2020 to be any different.

  3. The maximum fuel limit is being raised from 105kg to 110kg next year.
    “Mercedes plan to use all that fuel,” Green confirmed.

    Do we know what other manufactures going to do about that? I think ICE wise there should reach better efficiency next year. Shouldn’t they concentrated on more battery power deployment and having lighter cars instead?

    1. Increasing the battery size would pretty much require the engine manufacturers to redesign some part of the electric components to be able to take full benefit of the bigger battery. Increasing the battery would also mean either longer period when the battery electric power can be deployed or more power out of the battery while the time doesn’t change. Otherwise the battery size change would only help little bit in qualifying when drivers need to coast and recharge less between hot laps.

      In other words you need to be able to harvest more power so you can consume more of it OR if you need to consume it quicker you need beefier electric components. Just like if you increase the voltage in your hair dryer. The more voltage the hotter it runs and the longer you run it the hotter it gets. Not to mention changing the battery regs would require a pretty big rule changes when it comes to the engines regs.

      And battery has similar effect to car design as the fuel tank so it requires the team to redo the car design so they can fit a bigger battery. Batteries are also very heavy and the last thing the cars need is more weight.

      Increasing the fuel amount is easy because the fuel flow rate is not changing. You can just go flatout bigger percentage of the race. Adding more downforce allowed the cars to run higher percentage of the track length at full throttle which means bigger portion of the races can (could) be driven at full throttle. This means the cars consume more fuel during a race. And because there is not enough fuel you need to save fuel which means lift and coast. Lift and coast is also how you recharge the batteries so the importance on fuel saving is the highest in f1 it has ever been.

      1. @socksolid Is there nothing could be gain within current battery regulation and size? I was thinking about how the energy deployed, something Merc had complain about Ferrari twin battery. Or it was still minor improvement compared to having 5 kg more fuel?

        1. Of course there are gains but it is expensive thing to change as the changes affect everything around it. Bigger battery = need more room in the chassis. Battery that allows to deploy energy at higher rate or for longer = more electric power = new electric bits required to deal with higher power. More batteries simply means more complex electronics to run a double battery system because you can make the batteries different.

          The main problem with the batteries is that in a race car it is a net negative effect for lap time the more batteries and electric power you add. The f1 system for example does not make the car faster enough to offset its own weight penalty. For that 80kg the electronics weigh you can just replace with it with bigger engine and more fuel and go faster and be lighter. Hybrid is what makes road cars consume less fuel. Not make race cars faster.

          1. @socksolid I see…. All nice info. Thanks….

  4. So now I understand why force india was against of increasing the fuel limits. They don’t really care about improving the racing by reducing the fuel saving. They only really care about what is good for themselves.

    1. @socksolid can you blame them? the regulations changes in 2016 and 2017 forced teams to spend a lot of money in developing new cars and completely new designs and FIA is doing the same at the end of this year. A small team like Force India can’t afford it…

    2. Also, increasing the fuel was always likely to result in engine manufacturers deciding to use it, thus not reducing the fuel saving at all and defeating the point of the change. Mercedes is simply having its hand revealed before the other manufacturers.

  5. I don’t see why they need to increase the fuel limit as fuel saving isn’t really that much of an issue anymore. In 2014 the first year with these engines we did see a lot of it but it was less in 2015 & has been getting less of an issue each year as the engines & hybrid stuff have got more efficient.

    Whenever you see some lift & coast now it seems to be more down to teams been marginal on cooling or to try & cool the tyres than for fuel saving.

    Although thinking about it with the aero changes to the rear wing the cars will be producing more drag which will see them use more fuel so maybe it’s to compensate for that?

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