Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

Plans for refuelling and two mandatory pit stops dropped after Strategy Group meeting

2021 F1 season

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Proposals to revive refuelling and make F1 drivers pit twice per race have been dropped following the latest meeting of the sport’s Strategy Group.

However a source told RaceFans the meeting was constructive and progress was made towards finalising the sport’s new rules package for 2021.

Potential changes to race strategy for 2021 were taken off the table following criticism of a proposed reintroduction of refuelling, which was last seen in 2009. FIA president Jean Todt had suggested it as a means of reducing the weight of the cars, a problem several drivers have highlighted. However some teams warned allowing refuelling would increase costs and make races more predictable.

Another rules change for 2021 could have seen drivers required to use three different tyre compounds per race and therefore make two mandatory pit stops. This plan also failed to find favour.

No other means of reducing the cars’ weight has been agreed due to the costs involved, which coincide with the introduction of the budget cap. Despite complaints from Lewis Hamilton and other drivers about the rising weight of F1 cars, the problem is now unlikely to be addressed in 2021.

While Pirelli today continued its preparations to switch to 18-inch tyres after next season, a proposed ban on tyre warmers is still being debated. Teams are questioning the change, which FOM and the FIA are keen to push through.

A further Strategy Group meeting will be held early next month ahead of an electronic vote of the World Motor Sport Council to approve the 2021 rules ahead of the deadline of October 31st. However some questions over the governance process have been raised, including the applicability of Ferrari’s veto power. That team’s concern over the proposed standardisation of some parts in 2021 was noted during the meeting.

While most of the meeting was focused on 2021, plans for next year’s tyres were also debated. Following a series of lively races, the appetite for changing tyre compounds next year has diminished.

Pirelli’s 2020-specification tyres are due to be tested for the first time at Yas Marina following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. These will be used unless teams agree to a reintroduction of this year’s rubber.

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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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85 comments on “Plans for refuelling and two mandatory pit stops dropped after Strategy Group meeting”

  1. Good and bad. Good that they didn’t go forward with it and bad that it’s always the same stuff that gets discussed to “spice up” racing.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          13th September 2019, 11:11

          yet another

    1. @fer-no65 Good for pitting twice, that would be pointless and predictable. F1 has forced teams to run race fuel since 2010, they’re running 110 kg? I guess predictable strategies will ensue. Like top teams care about costs. You poor b teams, there is a reason why there have been very few new winners since 2010, no strategy.

      However some teams warned allowing refuelling would increase costs and make races more predictable.

      Lies, lies, lies. It’s the opposite, not allowing strategy makes races more predictable, but I guess it’s better than losing a race on refuelling like singapore 08.
      I hope dropping this was a bragaining chip to get the right aero for 2021.

      1. @peartree Forcing two-stops would be “not allowing strategy”. It’s not clear where refuelling fit into the conversation, but if the two-stop proposal was discussed afterwards and the teams thought that might get through, they may not have considered refuelling to have that advantage. After all, if nobody wants to stop twice if they can help it now, they certainly won’t want to stop three times, and if all three compounds had been mandated, the tyres would have fixed the strategy rather than the fuel.

      2. not allowing strategy makes races more predictable

        I agree to an extent. However, refuelling has many downsides, the main ones being that it’s expensive and dangerous.

        Also, different strategies only make a race less predictable if they are viable. There are reasons that most use the same strategy, and that’s that there are normally a very limited number of viable strategies (often one clear winner and one which may, possibly, work if circumstances are perfect for it). We saw in the last refuelling era that things weren’t a huge amount different in those terms, and it’s likely that teams would converge even more now due to the massive increases in modelling accuracy.

      3. I’m sorry, but I disagree with your belief that refuelling improves the race. Refuelling is dangerous and shouldn’t be part of the race, so a mandatory stop time is required. I believe an 18 second minimum time is what is now required.
        I’m really surprised Jean Todt would even think to forward this as a remit for the 2021 rules, but apparently he did.

        1. They also banned refuelling because the race-deciding overtakes all happened in the pits. Overtaking doubled when they got rid of refuelling.

        2. @drycrust superformula proves that having a more organic regulation, in particular, not forcing teams to start on race fuel, helps racing and the spectacle. Different strategies mean you can’t predict a race winner, you watch the race unfold. Safety? WEC has refuelling, no incidents, f1 hasn’t had refuelling for a while now, unfortunately the pit lane is as dangerous as ever, a camera man almost died a few years ago in spain, loose wheel, also Kimi ran over a mechanic.
          @alianora-la-canta you make fair points. People thought banning refuelling would improve racing, they thought races wouldn’t be won in the pits. As dictated by the tyre strategy, drivers under and over cut, it’s all about the pits, so people conclude that racing improved without refuelling because the everything remained the same..
          I get that refuelling might not change anything in some races, like you said tyre might be the limitation but that would be natural rather than artificial as is now.
          Just look at how many new teams have won since refuelling was banned. A lowly teams can’t hedge their bets and get lucky, can’t ran long in a race because the rain may come again or ran short because there might be an SC, take full advantage of the softest tyres by running low on fuel.

          1. @peartree, as has been pointed out repeatedly to you, the accident rate for mechanics during the refuelling era in F1 was higher and there were far worse injuries in that era as well, with several mechanics nearly being killed when they were dragged underneath the car by the refuelling hose if the driver departed prematurely.

            Even in the Super Formula, which you keep banging on about, how much variety do you actually see in terms of strategy? The variety that you talk about rarely happens in practise because in reality there is usually only one optimum strategy with refuelling, and once you have committed to it, you are locked into that strategy.

      4. as many of us have said, allowing the teams to participate in developing the rules is the biggest mistake and it continues to be highlighted by all the progress (or lack thereof) so far. besides a slightly different looking car on bigger rims, F1 will likely remain exactly the same in 2021.

  2. As there is now a mimimum-weight for driver+seat protecting drivers from having to go underweight, the mimimum weight for the cars can be dropped significantly lower without any further rule-changes neccessary. The teams will find a way to drop those kilos, even if it may take some time.

    1. Dropping the minimum weight for the cars is meaningless because the engine is too heavy. There is just nothing else in the car that could be considerably lighter. And not because the f1 engines are heavy because of the engine rules to save costs. They are heavy because they have turbo, they have electronic motor, they have battery and they have a lot of additional electronics to control all that. Back in the day before kers, ers and having these massive amounts of electronics in the car the teams used to run a lot of ballast weights in the cars. This has not been the case since 2014.

      Let’s say we drop the minimum weight by 50kg. At best a team like ferrari or mercedes can find 5-10 kilos to remove from the current cars. The mid field teams have no chance even getting to that number. I’m not even sure if all the teams in f1 are even reaching the current minimum weight… In that new situation everybody would be running overweight. However it is super easy to make an engine that weighs 100kg less than the current engines with the same power.

      It would not surprise me if F1 just dropped the minimum weight by 50kg and then pretended that the cars then weighed 50kg less because the rules say so. The car weights are not published so unless some team tells us they are running almost 50kg overweight then we simply would not know. They could even make a rule that forbids everyone to talk about the weight. In the end reducing minimum weight achieves just as much as removing it altogether. Nothing.

      1. Cars are bulky as hell. If minimum weight was lowered by 50kg or better yet 10kg each year, teams would have to make cars shorter, improving the show for my eyes.

        Look at Mercedes over last few seasons. F1 car is longer than their flagship S-class. Why would you want a race car that long? More downforce / mass. If minimum weight was lower, they would either have to shorten it or be uncompetitive against say Ferrari and their shorter wheelbase car.

        Minimum weight of the driver + protective seat should be enforced + minimum crash structure requirements. Minimum engine weight should be kept aswell, then everything else let teams get to work on their chassis.

        1. Almost all F1 cars have footprint of large SUVs. Atleast this season changes in minimum weight meant the drivers were able to put on some mass and be healthier in general than last few years.

        2. @jureo

          If minimum weight was lower, they would either have to shorten it or be uncompetitive against say Ferrari and their shorter wheelbase car

          The Ferrari and Mercedes wheelbase it pretty much the same now, I believe the Ferrari is approximately 4mm shorter than the Mercedes rather than the 100mm it used to be a couple of years ago. The Redbull still retains the shorter wheel base though.

          This is why Ferrari no longer has the competitive advantage at the twistier tracks that it used to have, such as Singapore, Monaco etc.

      2. @socksolid The weights do get “published”, but only if contravening the regulations. The FIA wouldn’t need to pretend anything, because reducing the weight limit in that scenario would not result in any further official talk at all.

        I’d also add that F1 teams gossip like starlings, especially when there’s complaining to be done, and that this is part of the reason the attempts to restrict radio transmissions earlier this decade failed. If there’s communication to be done, they’ll do it, and if necessary force the regulations preventing it to be abandoned. The only defence the FIA would have is that having an overweight car is seen as embarrassing. (Note that most teams do run some ballast for balance purposes – more for cars further up the grid – even if that makes the car slightly overweight, because it’s worth gaining 0.1 seconds of laptime in weight if it loses 0.2 seconds of laptime in driver ability to place the car).

      3. Everything you are saying is false, the PU is not the reason the cars are heavy. The cars are heavy because the safety standards are much higher, including the halo. The other reason the cars are heavy is because the tires weigh 3x what the did in 2010.

        While the PU weighs a little more than the v8 did, it uses much less fuel, to the extent that the 2014 cars weighed less on the start grid than the 2013 cars.

        I suggest you watch the video about ERS evolution on Mercs youtube channel to see just how small and light these PU’S are.


  3. “No other means of reducing the cars’ weight has been agreed due to the costs involved, which coincide with the introduction of the budget cap.” In an ideal world it would be interesting to get rid of the minimum weight completely (or set it ridiculously low, like 500 kg), and let the teams try to reach that within the boundaries of the budget cap – or then spend the money elsewhere and try to gain speed in other ways.

    1. Remove the hybrid junk crap and remove fuel flow and weight restrictions. (Burn the planet, yay).

      In terms of speed over the whole race it is not efficient power engineering for racing fast..the faster the laps are done, the greener :-)

      1. that doesnt make sense.

        1. @maxv @Yaru Your assertion and implied counter-assertion depend on a couple of factors, namely:

          1) How much energy is used per second at a given speed
          2) How much more energy is used per second for a given increase in speed.

          You’ll never get exact real-world factors from where we’re sitting for F1 cars because both figures are a highly competitive secret. Fuel efficiency is one of the significant differentiators in performance. So instead of pretending I have such figures, I’m going to use a different hypothetical example set. (It’s the numbers and content that matter here).

          Let’s say I want to go 100 miles from where I live to Silverstone for the Grand Prix. But for some reason my hometown hasn’t left the 19th century and I’ve got to pick from 4 horses (the rest in the stable won’t do the distance) so I can ride to the track to see these new-fangled “racing cars”. Among my luggage, in my portion of a completely full carriage, I’ve got 20 bags of carrots and have paid for a stable to feed and look after my chosen horse near the track. (For the sake of argument, this carriage is being pulled by my old-money weathly friend from up north’s team of horses and can keep up with anything this stable can offer, and said friend is waiting impatiently for me to make a decision, so I can’t just tell the proprieter to fetch another horse, let alone call up ye olde taxi company to give us a lift in something more modern).

          The grey gelding eats 8 bags of carrots to the track, and 8 back. will take me 4 days to get there (2 bags per day). That’s fine, because I have more carrots than that – but it is rather slow. Do I really want to leave on Monday to see first practise?

          The chestnut mare covers more ground per stride but uses as much energy to do a stride as the grey gelding. It only needs 3 days to go to the track… …but as it does so with the same efficiency, it will only eat 6 bags of carrots each way (2 bags per day). This is excellent news, and there is no reason to consider the grey gelding any further.

          The sorrel stallion has a less efficient stride but has been trained to maintain its speed over long distances. It eats 10 bags of carrots each way (20 bags total). It’s much faster and will only take 2 days to reach Silverstone. It’s less efficient than either of the other horses (5 bags per day), but worth it because I will travel faster than either of the other examples… …assuming I trust the source of these consumption figures. With that trust, I’d choose the sorrel stallion. Without it, I’d pick the chestnut one (a hungry horse is an unhappy horse, and I don’t like riding unhappy horses).

          The bay mare is a champion at 100-mile races and likes nothing more than to get riders from A to B at top speed. It can get from my hometown to Silverstone in 6 hours and still have enough energy to do some light dressage afterwards. But it eats 12 bags of carrots each way (that would be 48 bags a day if I’d told it to ride that far). That means I will run out of carrots partway home, and 21st century Britain doesn’t accept Victorian coinage as currency, and what’s with all this “decimal currency” anyway? This is no good to me. The bay mare can neigh about its bad luck on missing out on my journey to the grey gelding.

          What this shows:

          1) If you can make the car go faster without burning any more fuel (for example, by removing waste in the energy extraction process), let alone by burning less fuel (for example, by removing friction from the air), it is always worth making going faster than slower.

          2) If you have to burn more fuel to make the car go faster, it may still be worthwhile to do so in a racing context.

          3) If you burn too much fuel to make the car go faster (e.g. by exceeding the fuel allowance!), it is definitely not worth it.

          1. Lets remove the fuel limit, its another.part of artificial “economic cars” marketting. For economic and reliable cars, go see WEC.

            F1 needa to be 1engine for qualifying, 1 per race. Go to the limit. If a team wants to be economical, their choice. Long distance reliability racing =WEC.

            F1 needs to keep to its dna better. Cutting edge ridiculous technology, no compromises to race fast.

          2. @maxv, having disposable engines is not “in the DNA of F1”, as that attitude was really only introduced in the 1990s.

            The turbo era might have had disposable qualifying engines for some teams – not every manufacturer actually bothered making qualifying engines – but, even then, most teams would re-use a race engine for multiple races (Cosworth and TAG-Porsche used to reckon on getting at least 3 race distances out of their race engines, for example).

            I guess you think it was normal for the sport to have disposable engines because that is what the sport started doing when you began watching, but that is not the case – that is really more of an aberration in the way that the sport has operated, as normally engines were expected to last for qualifying and then multiple races before being rebuilt. Even in the supposedly “disposable” engine era, it wasn’t really what you think it was – it was more of a case of having a service after each race, as most manufacturers would usually reuse over 90% of the engine components.

      2. Old Kers was what 80 hp for a few seconds. Now hybrid part is responsible for maybe 25-30% power during general use. any team not running it would get destroyed. extra mass is about 80kg, for 200-250 bhp?

        1. It is about 100kg for 4 megajoules for 33 seconds for mgu-k. That is 161 horsepower for 33.3 seconds. However the car can only harvest 2MJ per lap so that is going to be the maximum output as well. In monza in a 53 lap race that means your total energy output from those systems is 106MJ (53*2). Let’s say 200MJ to make this really biased towards the hybrids because the 2MJ is not the complete number anyways. We don’t know the full numbers (they are not using full numbers throughout the race anyways). 200MJ per 100kg means we get 2MJ energy per kilogram we carry.

          So let’s calculate how much fuel we’d need to carry to get that same 200MJ amount of energy. First is the engine efficiency which is not 100%. Let’s use 30% efficiency to make this really super biased towards the hybrids. F1 fuel is about 50MJ per kilogram. Out of each kilogram of fuel we get 0.3 * 50MJ = 15MJ of energy out. To get 200MJ of energy out of the fuel we need to carry this much fuel: 200MJ / 15MJ/kg = 13.3kg.

          Needless to say 100kg is a lot more than 13.3 kilograms even if we totally skewed every number to the hybrid’s advantage. Even better or worse for that 100kg we could actually carry 5000MJ worth of fuel (50MJ * 100kg) which translates to 1500MJ of actual energy at really low 30% efficiency.

          I think everybody can draw their conclusions which of the two belongs into a race car and which belongs to a road car…

          1. However the car can only harvest 2MJ per lap so that is going to be the maximum output as well.

            The limits you specify are only for MGU-K harvesting, IIRC. There is no limit for MGU-H harvesting. This would at least double the amount of fuel needed in your calculations.

            Added to which, the efficiency of the cars would be reduced (the main increase in thermal efficiency of the engines has come from MGU-H harvesting, IIRC). This would mean more fuel would be needed on top of this for the same performance.

            Overall, you could probably produce a better racing car with just an ICE. However, manufacturers know that pure ICE cars are on their way out. They want to be investing in future technologies, not developing faster versions of the horse and cart. F1 needs to be at the forefront of technology, not lagging behind, or it will lose manufacturers, lose it’s image as the pinnacle of motorsport, and generally just lose.

          2. As Dr mouse has said, your numbers are totally wrong.

            MGUH harvesting is UNLIMITED, and can be 3 to 5x as much as the 2MJ allowed from mguk harvesting. And no the PU is not 100kg heavier than the v8

            Watch this



          3. Andy Cowell, says 200kW is current output. probably more they might be underplaying it.

            161 bhp is MGU-K part, meanwhile all the emphasis is on MGU-H where they are doing as much witchcraft as possible. So nearly half of Hybrid part comes from MGU-H.

            And weights 20kg. 20KG!!! First version was 107kg for 80bhp now its closer to 270 bhp total output @ 20kg. Quite amazing. I wish I had that in my car.

          4. @megatron
            No my numbers are all correct. And that youtube ad for mercedes doesn’t say anything of interest.

          5. @jureo

            And weights 20kg. 20KG!!! First version was 107kg for 80bhp now its closer to 270 bhp total output @ 20kg. Quite amazing. I wish I had that in my car.

            What weighs 20kg? The motor, the batteries, the electronics, the mgu-h, the additional radiators, the wiring…?

          6. @drmouse
            I rounded up the per race value from 106MJ to 200J for the calculations which more than covers any increases you can think of. That is effectively taking it from 2MJ to 4MJ. Mgu-h harvesting is less than mgu-k even if it unknown. The efficiency numbers I chose are extremely low and biased towards hybrid engines. I could have picked even worse numbers for the fuel. I also left out any efficiency numbers out for the electric bits which in reality are not 100% efficient either. The fuel amounts presented in the calculations are heavily underestimated yet fuel still comes ahead by a country mile. Please look at the numbers and do your own calcs and you’ll figure it out…

          7. @socksolid exactly, sorry was too lazy to show the calculations. It is really that easy.

            Hybrid in f1 = just marketting
            Hybrid in f1 = one lap wonders (which is cool)
            Hybrid in F1 in race = better to use fuel, cars will not carry around batteries.
            Hybrid in normal cars= makes a lot of sense and is great
            Battery stuff= see Formula E

          8. @socksolid

            Your figures are reasonably accurate. Based purely on “Extra fuel to replace the battery”, your 13kg works out correct.

            However, you are wrong that 30% efficiency is an under-estimate. The v8 engines, which were very well developed, had 29% efficiency. The current power units reach 50% thermal efficiency. Therefore, extra fuel would have to be carried to deploy the same amount of energy over the race (based purely on efficiency difference that would be an extra 80kg). Let’s assume that the cars are lighter so need less to reach the same performance, say only half of that extra is needed: That still brings us to 53kg, which is over half of what you assumed to be the weight of the hybrid components.

            The ICE would also weigh more, as it would need to be larger to reach the same performance. Therefore, the weight saving would likely be less.

            Even if it was worth saving 50kg to ditch the hybrid tech, it still doesn’t address my final point: F1 needs to be at the forefront of technology to maintain its position as the pinnacle of motorsport. Going backwards to a screaming V8 gives the impression of a sport stuck in the past.

            And on top of all of this, the hybrid units will only improve. Battery weights have already been significantly reduced, efficiencies and power outputs significantly increased.

          9. @drmouse
            You are indeed correct about the 30% efficiency. But in the end we are still talking about couple of percentages which is easily within our error tolerances. Just the fact alone that I gave 100% efficiency to the hybrid electric systems should more than enough counter act it.

            I don’t know where you are getting that 53kg so let me do another calculation. Race is 53 laps long and lasts 4500 seconds (race length in seconds minus 2 * 30s pitstops). We have 110kg of fuel and 50% effiency. At 50MJ/kg we get total energy for the fuel of 2750MJ. We also have 4MJ of electric energy per lap which over race distance amounts to 212MJ. Altogether 2962 MJ for the race. This energy is made by engine and the fuel which weight together: fuel is 110kg. Engine weight for the hybrid is 200kg (1) which makes the total of 310kg.

            Let’s just compare it against a v10. 950hp, a lot lower fuel efficiency. Say your 29%. Starting weight 105kg plus ancillaries at 20kg making it 125kg (2). If fuel is 50MJ/kg, our efficiency is 29% and our target is the same 310kg then we can now calculate how much energy we can fit into the remaining weight: (310kg – 125kg) * 50MJ * 0.29 = 2682MJ which is less than the hybrid has. However we can calculate further. The v10 is at full tanks now the same weight as the hybrid. But at empty fuel tanks the v10 weighs a massive 75kg less. This is a massive performance advantage for the v10 as it can either drive around most of the race much lighter or it can take even more fuel and more energy so it is heavier at the start of the race and 75kg lighter when they cross the finish line.

            For reference 10kg of more weight adds about 0.3s to your lap time. So a car weighing 75kg more is 2.55s slower per lap. If go at this lap per lap the hybrid is int bit faster for the first 19 laps peaking at 2.2s ahead at lap 10 but then after that the rest of the laps from 20 to 53 the v10 gains a 46 second lead. This is simply because it is incredibly wasteful to carry so much dead weight on the car.

            If we absolutely want the same usable energy at the start of the race then the v10 would weigh 325kg. 15 kg overweight at the start but it would still be the lighter car most of the way through the race. Unlike the hybrid gizmos the fuel burns off. The hybrid junk you need to carry all the way through the race. The minimum car weight in 2019 is 740kg. With v10 that could be dropped to 660kg.

            All in all the hybrids are just too heavy. For f1 car simply from performance perspective a v10 is simply better. If you want to focus on fuel saving and corporate pr then the hybrid obviously wins. And once again all this is done using numbers that heavily favour the hybrids.

            (1) Racecar engineering 2013 engines special issue, page 11.

          10. @socksolid, your constant repetition of the line that “the car can only harvest 2MJ per lap so that is going to be the maximum output as well” is wrong and has never been true.

            Your subsequent claim that “We also have 4MJ of electric energy per lap” is also wrong as well – in fact, the Racecar Engineering article that you repeatedly claim is the source of that figure helps prove that your statement is in fact wrong.

            In the article that you quote, Rob White, the director of Renault Sport, explicitly states “[…]the energy that is provided directly from the MGU-H is unlimited and is on top [of the 4MJ battery limit]”.

            Your calculation is therefore wrong because you have based it on a fundamental misunderstanding of the regulations and have applied a limit on energy transfer that only refers to a single specific part of the system, when in reality there is a mechanism that allows for an unlimited amount of power to be transferred directly from the MGU-H to the MGU-K.

          11. @socksolid, your constant repetition of the line that “the car can only harvest 2MJ per lap so that is going to be the maximum output as well” is wrong and has never been true.

            Maybe mercedes does not know about it then:
            Sure, the 2MJ harvesting limit was wrong. But even for calculations I used 4MJ and even if you double that to 8MJ the total of that is still just 53*8MJ=424MJ which is 29kg of fuel. Much less than what the electric junk weigh in the car. And that 8MJ per lap is a massive over estimation!

            Your subsequent claim that “We also have 4MJ of electric energy per lap” is also wrong as well – in fact, the Racecar Engineering article that you repeatedly claim is the source of that figure helps prove that your statement is in fact wrong.

            If you believe they are getting the maximum out of the system on every lap then you are quite optimistic.

            In the article that you quote, Rob White, the director of Renault Sport, explicitly states “[…]the energy that is provided directly from the MGU-H is unlimited and is on top [of the 4MJ battery limit]”.

            No matter what kind of miracles the mgu-h does it still doesn’t work out in favour of it.

            Your calculation is therefore wrong because you have based it on a fundamental misunderstanding of the regulations and have applied a limit on energy transfer that only refers to a single specific part of the system, when in reality there is a mechanism that allows for an unlimited amount of power to be transferred directly from the MGU-H to the MGU-

            I used ridiculously high 8MJ per lap for the hybrid and still arrived to the same conclusion. My calculations did not only show the hybrid engine is too heavy but also to show the weight difference is so massive that over one lap pace the hybrid has no chance against any traditional engine and over a race distance the same is true. The weight difference is just too massive. And In the calculations I have given all the benefits to the hybrid. It has peak efficiency imaginable and maximum possible output for every lap. But even then ironically going from 4MJ to 8MJ effectively doubling the system output still did not turn things to its favour.

          12. @socksolid

            I don’t know where you are getting that 53kg

            Fuel equivalent of 4MJ/lap at 29% efficiency was 13kg.
            The addition 40kg came from the additional fuel required to make up for 29% efficiency rather than 50%.

            I will, however, quote myself:

            Overall, you could probably produce a better racing car with just an ICE. However, manufacturers know that pure ICE cars are on their way out. They want to be investing in future technologies, not developing faster versions of the horse and cart. F1 needs to be at the forefront of technology, not lagging behind, or it will lose manufacturers, lose it’s image as the pinnacle of motorsport, and generally just lose.

            You still haven’t even come close to addressing this.

          13. @drmouse
            You are reading my post wrong. I don’t care about how and what the current hybrid v6 engines do if you take out the electric parts or not. It is not about comparing v6 turbos to v10s. It is about the hybrid engine itself which is simply too heavy. It is slower than traditional engine over any kind of distance.

            Anyways let’s assume 8MJ per lap for the whole race out of the mgu-k and -h. Total power unit + fuel weight is 310kg. Total energy out of 110kg fuel at 50% efficiency and 8MJ per lap is 3174MJ. A v10 weighs 125kg. To have 3174MJ of energy output it needs to carry 212kg of fuel. Which makes the power unit starting weight 212kg + 125kg which is 337kg (27kg more at full tanks compared to the hybrid). But at the last lap of the race the v10 is still at least 75kg lighter which translates to speed advantage of 2.25s per lap if 10kg of weight adds 0.3s to lap time. My point is that these current engines are simply too heavy and slow. Too slow for f1 car.

            As for your second point. The hybrid junk we have in f1 cars is essentially toyota prius tech. It is not new cutting edge tech. It is old road car tech. It is too heavy for f1. I also disagree with the idea that to be forefront of technology f1 needs to go back in time and put existing road car tech into the cars just because it makes pr sense for the big car manufacturers who want to sell more hybrids. While at the same time seriously hurting the racing. After all the current massively expensive hybrids have done nothing good for f1.

            Hybrids make sense for lemans prototypes which ca take benefit of short burst of electric power to overtake lower class cars. Focusing only on fuel saving makes also sense for lemans style long races.

            If f1 wants to be green reduce the cargo they move around world by 10%. That alone saves the environment a lot more unburned jet fuel than hundred hybrid engines. If f1 wants to be road car relevant the only way to be at cutting edge is to make the cars fully electric. I say go race car relevant. Fastest engines on the car, focus on fuels and other new technologies (5 strokes, new valve designs). Or go fully electric. Worst what they can do is what they are doing now. Have these insanely heavy and expensive road car power units while pretending they are fast when a 15 year old v10 beats them in every single performance metric except fuel efficiency. Which in itself is moot point because to get that high efficiency you need to carry so much weight around that the lap times suffer.

          14. @drmouse, it should be noted that the power figures that BMW are quoting for their V10’s sound on the high side when you compare them to the figures quoted by other engineers at the time. There is published dyno data from Ferrari from that era which points to lower power figures, and similarly Mario Illien also gave a detailed breakdown of the power output of the Mercedes V10 engines during his time in F1.

            When you look at the power outputs he is quoting and the figures that Ferrari were quoting, then there are times when BMW supposedly had a peak power advantage that was meant to be getting on for nearly 100bhp and circa 10% more than their rivals (circa 2003, BMW were claiming 940bhp against less than 860bhp for both Ferrari and Mercedes) – that does sound a little too large to be entirely credible.

            That figure of 29% efficiency for the V8’s also sounds rather favourable when compared to the earlier V10’s, as the BMEP figures for the V10’s were quite a bit lower than the V8’s could achieve (about 13.5 bar – indicating an F1 V10 was less efficient than the two-valve pushrod operated and carburettor fed V8’s used in NASCAR at the time, where the BMEP figure was closer to around 15).

  4. They keep on about cost reduction and of course, safety.
    Ya gotta luv the picture above. It took me 3 tries to count all the Ferrari guys (apologies for the sexist assumption) in the picture. Finally came up with 18, but that includes two guys standing around looking on.
    If NASCAR can do it with 5, or at some events, 6, why is it that they don’t limit the over-the-wall numbers in F1.?
    Spice up the show, introduce more variability, showcase the choreography and training as well as reduce the risk of injury …. it would seem logical to reduce the number allowed to work on the car. Eight has a nice ring to it.
    Yes, I marvel at the under 3 second stops to do all of what needs to get done in an F1 stop, but you really do have to admire the ballet of a NASCAR stop. Four tires (with lug nuts), two cans of fuel, suspension adjustment, windshield cleaned and a drink for the driver … under 15 seconds. Incredible.

    1. @rekibsn, the thing is, those mechanics that you see involved in the pit stops are the same mechanics who service the cars during the race weekend. The idea of cutting the number of people involved in a pit stop to cut costs is therefore flawed, as you’re not going to be cutting the number of people there.

      The pit stop crew are not hired specifically to do that job – they are doing it as a side task to their primary role as a mechanic, so the team will still need that person there irrespective of whether they are or are not taking part in the pit stop.

      1. anaon … understood and agree with that. One does wonder if the teams would have as many staff on hand if they didn’t “need” 18 to 20 to man a pit-stop.? Yes, they probably would, but don’t the rules limit team personnel currently.?
        The other card is the safety issue. Is there an improvement opportunity available in reducing the numbers that are out in harms-way.?
        Having two mechanics “hold” the car and two guys standing by watching, somehow seems like low hanging fruit to reduce the number. I am sure the guys watching are doing something useful, but could be done from another location.
        The picture still fascinates me. Anyone come up with more than 18.?

        1. Three per wheel (one for the gun, one removing the old tyre and one fitting the new tyre) so that’s 12 for 4 tyres.
          Two for the front/back jacks so that’s 14.
          Two on either side of the car to steady it, up to 16.
          Two for front wing adjustment, one on either side for 18.
          And there are at least a couple spotters – one checking up the pitlane for oncoming cards and another checking the stop itself so 20.
          Typically there are back-ups to the jack men, usually they step back once the stop has begun, so that’s 22.

        2. I can only see 17, but I think there are actually 18 as you say.

          3 on each wheel = 12
          2 on the jacks = 14
          2 guys watching = 16 – the one on the right is probably a spotter watching for other cars in the pit lane, the dude on the left looks a bit sad like Marvin
          2 guys holding the T-cam = 18 – I have no clue what these guys are up to
          + 1 driver ;)

          Maybe they have 18 to completely surround the car and block the guy spying from the (Williams?) garage.

      2. So you say ANON, but once upon a time that many people constituted a whole team, and in those days they used to tear down and rebuild engines between sessions. One wonders what all those mechanics actually do in the garage when they are banned from working on the drivetrain, other than removing and replacing whole units, could it be that the team would be just as efficient if the number was halved ?

        1. Those people are there to do a job. All 18 of them, people bring like 40-60 personnel to races?

          18 mechanics in pitstop are just the tip of the iceberg.

        2. @hohum, from what a number of drivers have suggested in the past, “efficient” sounds a lot more like a euphemism for “overworked” in the era you are thinking of – I am sure you would be familiar with John Miles and Jochen Rindt’s observations of how fatigued the mechanics at Lotus were when they were racing there, for example.

    2. It is about how the sport wants to be perceived. Nascar wants to have an image of low tech, high individual skill and effort and hard racing. F1 wants to portray an image of high tech, highly coreographed and efficient people working on specialized tasks and fair racing. I’m not saying either of these things is that but that is the image they want to have.

      Rows and rows of technicians, mechanics and engineers work really well with f1’s high tech wannabe perception as it gives usthe impression of high tech and specialization. But it would not work in nascar because it wants to portray an image of relatively low and simple tech and high personal skill and effort. For nascar it works much better when you have as few mechanics as possible who can be visually seen working hard to get the job done. In f1 when we see a pitstop we go wow. 2 seconds! So well coreographed, so quick and so elaborate. They even have a spare guy for the guy who pretends to tie his shoes! In nascar during pitstops we see couple of people running around the car, wheelguns revving all the way through the stop, 5 lugs per wheel off and back on with guys jumping between tasks. Look at the athleticity and skill of these folks. That’s hard work.

      I don’t think it would do any good for f1 to have slow nascar style high skill and high effort pitstops. It just creates a conflict in the viewer’s mind when they hear mercedes has 900 people just designing screw threads at their factory but then they see 5 cars jumping around the car changing tires one side at a time using equipment that is less advanced than what randy’s pizza place uses to move around pallets of cheese.

  5. I believe a very simple solution would be to follow the IndyCar model and issue a safety car period for the slightest thing. It will bunch up the field and a handful of random drivers will get an advantage by being near the pit entrance when the safety car period is issued. Someone spins, safety car. Some gravel is brought on track, safety car. Debris on track, safety car. It’s not a model I like or enjoy watching, but I think it will improve “the show”.

    1. Man, i hope you’re trolling

      1. They could always throw out a safety car when there’s a safety car

    2. It won’t improve the show. It will just destroy strategies. I hate to see a win off the back of a lucky safety car period.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        13th September 2019, 11:15

        Man, shhtt! There are Canada 2011 Jenson Button’s fans reading this.

  6. I imagine that not introducing the new 18 inch wheels/tyres would save a bit of money but they seem quite happy to press ahead with this. I am not sure there is any real demand for this change and I am not sure what it’s going to add to the spectacle.

    1. I am not sure there is any real demand for this change

      IIRC it was Pirelli who requested this change, @phil-f1-21, one presumes for marketing reasons and not engineering ones.

      I can already see the ad: after a lot of quicks cuts of F1 cars doing impressive stuff like overtaking and sparking the floors, an F1 car rolls up behind a fancy road car, the tyres get removed off the F1 car and bolted onto the road car, which then drives off. Tagline: “Our F1 tyres on your car“.

      Those who don’t follow F1 might be impressed by the ad, and what it entails – “Ooh, F1 technology on my pedestrian Ford? Sign me up!”

      Those of us who do follow F1 are likely to go – “Dear God, not those tyres, please no. I can’t be bothered with having to generate heat in them just to drive safely to work! The commute’s bad enough as it is.”

      1. LOL.

        I don’t think anyone would make Pirelli their first choice based on their current F1 offerings.

      2. “Designed specifically to improve the show on your way to work”

    2. @phil-f1-21 The demand comes from Pirelli as well as all the other tire suppliers that have shown interest in supplying F1 over the past decade.

      Part of it is marketing as most high end road cars use 18″ tires now with most of the sports/performance based tires also been 18″.

      Part of it is also to bring F1 in line with other categories who have been running larger tire sizes for a while now. F1 is pretty much the only top category still using such small tires.

      Additionally it allows for more sharing of technologies, data & manufacturing across categories. Right now there is nothing you can do with a 13″ F1 tire that transfer’s to an 18″ WEC/LMP tire, But when F1 moves to 18″ it will open up the possibilities of more been shared. Not just in terms of compounds & construction but also manufacturing as things like tire molds will (In theory) be the same.

      There is also seemingly a performance benefit. Some years ago Michelin tested 18″ tires on a Renault World Series car at both the Valencia & Catalunya circuits & found upto a 1 second a lap performance gain over the 13″ tires the series usually ran. They had intended to introduce the 18″ tires into that series until Renault withdrew it’s support from it.

      1. @gt-racer, in the case of the WEC though, the fact that the teams use 18″ rims is mainly due to the regulations being framed to make that the most favourable option – in order to maximise the size of the brake disc that you can use, you are pretty much left with no option but to opt for an 18″ rim.

        It is true that there was also that test with 18″ tyres on the Renault World Series Car by Michelin, but when you look into the details of that test, there are also doubts as to whether it really was representative.

        Some of the journalists who were present noted that Michelin never confirmed that the 18″ tyres were definitely the same compound type as used for the 13″ tyre runs they were comparing against (i.e. that Michelin hadn’t brought a softer compound type for the 18″ rim tyres to ensure it was faster), and they also noted that they weren’t allowed to directly compare the 13″ and 18″ tyres back to back on the track – they were only allowed to test the 18″ tyres under constrained conditions. There was also a suggestion that Michelin weren’t entirely clear about what track conditions the two sets of tests had also been undertaken under either.

        Whilst it is therefore true that Michelin announced that the 18″ tyres were quicker, it seems that, at the very least, Michelin wasn’t being fully transparent about how those results were obtained and whether the results were biased in any way.

    3. I think the new 18″ tyres will be a good step forward. Currently, about half of the suspension work is done by the tyres, which is bonkers when you stop and think about it. Smaller, stiffer sidewalls will mean that the teams will have more control over how the car handles.

  7. Get rid of hybrids.
    1.5L turbo or 3.5L non.
    As many cylinders as they want.
    5 engines/trans per season.
    More fuel with no flow restrictions, no refueling.
    Penalize teams, not drivers for equipment changes.

    1. Insert defenestration meme. Bottom line top teams want to keep being top teams, complex engines, no refuelling, lots of aero wake help big teams.

    2. Fuel and boost limited 1.5L turbos won EVERY race in 1988 against unlimited 3.5L NA. Everyone would run turbos, and everyone would want hybrid turbos.

  8. Despite complaints from Lewis Hamilton and other drivers about the rising weight of F1 cars, the problem is now unlikely to be addressed in 2021.

    In F1, will an 18″ wheel with tyre be lighter or heavier than a 13″ one?

    While most of the meeting was focused on 2021, plans for next year’s tyres were also debated. Following a series of lively races, the appetite for changing tyre compounds next year has diminished.

    I think this is a mistake to declare the tyres are fine on the back of a few good races which – as I recall – weren’t good because of the tyres (at least not primarily) but other factors. Hungary and Monza were probably the only two venues where the tyres caught my attention in an interesting/good way.

    1. @phylyp: In F1, will an 18″ wheel with tyre be lighter or heavier than a 13″ one?

      In F1, an 18″ helium 3D graphene/beryllium composite wheel and tyre will be lighter than air. Hence the need to strengthen wheel tethers – especially in the pitlane.

    2. @phylyp 18″ will be heavier at least a couple kg. These f1 top people release this stench of incompetence. Ticking checkboxes.

      1. @peartree – thank you for clarifying that. So, not only will the weight of the cars go up, but the suspension designers get a double whammy – cater to a heavier unsprung mass whilst also compensating for the loss of tyre sidewall.

        While that is likely to offer the potential to shake up the field, the fact that this work will happen in 2020 (i.e. unbounded by budget caps) means that once again the rich teams will steal a healthy march on the midfield.

        I think the separation between the head of the field and the midfield is a feature of F1 that is here to stay in a post-2020 regulatory environment as well :(

        @jimmi-cynic – LOL :) Install a few aero components upside down to generate lift, and we can have the Red Bull Air Race instead.

  9. Good news, but why haven’t they thought of making the batteries and the Halo lighter?

    1. @jerejj – interesting questions.

      I think the whole world is waiting on a breakthrough in battery technology applications to reduce weight and improve energy density. Graphene batteries seem to be the next big thing here, but there’s still a challenge around getting them into real-world use (we don’t even have graphene batteries in mobile phones or laptops yet, so seeing them in cars will take some more time).

      The Halo is an interesting question – maybe they can’t reduce its weight without compromising its structure. Or, maybe since it is a spec/standard part, no one is really bothered with investing in the R&D required to bring in a lighter equivalent. This latter possibility makes one wonder what will be the development path for the standard parts proposed by F1. It’s the drive by individual teams to improve speed/save time that brought about innovations we see on pitlane equipment and in cars, but that drive might not be as strong for a standard parts supplier.

    2. @jerejj The batteries will get lighter anyway as technology improves.

      The battery packs in use now are already lighter than what they had with KERS 10 years ago yet are producing significantly more power for longer periods of time with better regeneration than the KERS systems.

      Mercedes put out a video about a month ago that detailed some of the weight, power & efficiency gains they have found since the KERS days – .

    3. @jerejj Halo 2 probably will be lighter, but it’s not due for release until 2021. In the meantime, teams are working to reduce the weight of the secondary required fixings needed to make the cars pass crash tests with it in place.

  10. These are the same clowns who’ve driven the cost of F1 up astronomically by forcing teams to spend their way around “cost-saving” measures. They’ve made development so difficult and expensive, and change the rules so often, that only the top three teams can actually afford to keep up. Mercedes has nearly *doubled* their budget since 2016– primarily to keep up with the aero changes.

    The Strategy Group has lost contact with reality. I’m still gobsmacked they actually decided venturi tunnels wouldn’t destroy the sport and kill people (since they’ve banned ground effects for 3 decades on cost and safety grounds).

    1. Yep, they are pretty idiotic

  11. Well at lease something sensible has come out of those meetings.

    Perhaps now they can stop introducing furphies and get it he with sorting our the technical regulations.

  12. Predictable?
    You scrap hidden qualifying fuel!

  13. Great. Now how about no mandatory stops and let teams choose any combination (or not) of tyres. I’d love to see a no stop gamble on hards v a one or two stop on med/soft like the old days.

  14. Good decisions to drop refuelling and more mandatory stops. Both would lead to more predictable strategies which are predetermined through simulation before the race, and less adapting during the races.

    Are they ever discussing the Q2 tyre starting rule for the top 10? I feel like this rule has never worked as intended. It was probably designed to give a small advantage to those who qualify outside the top 10, thus levelling the playing field and encouraging more position changes during the race. I think it had caused the opposite – it has cemented the advantage of the top 3 teams who can sometimes qualify on the harder tyre, thus gaining a bigger advantage in the race.

    Additionally, it means a large part of strategy is dictated by your qualifying position, meaning cars close to each other on the grid also end up on the same strategy more often. Another minor quibble is that it benefits drivers who fail to reach Q3, sometimes making spots 11 and 12 on the grid more desirable. Is there any reason this rule never seems to be brought up in these meetings?

    1. But qualification race had been approved. That is a disaster.

  15. Good news and Bad news. Good: because the stupid ideas are rejected. Bad: because its 2019 and the sport is still looking for silly ideas to improve the racing and spectacle. One thing that’s hard to understand is the self-determined co-relation between pit stops and exciting races in the view of rule makers. Why? Just why?

  16. I wouldn’t mind seeing refuelling back in F1, but I wouldn’t make it mandatory. One would keep the 110kg fuel tank, so they could decide to go full race distance or stop 1 or 2, or 3 times… for this I would also get rid of the Q2 tyre rule. Think it would add depth to the overall race strategy and keep teams on their toes watching or trying to antecipate their competitors strategies… and of course we would need better tyres all around…

    1. In traditional tracks it would be so much faster to refuel at least once per race that I doubt we would ever see someone carry a full race load of fuel and go the full race distance without stopping. And that’s without even considering that you probably want to stop to change tyres anyway. The only exception I could see would be Monaco where if you stick it on pole it doesn’t matter how slow you are as long as you have track position. Agree on Q2 tyre rule though, as per my comment above.

  17. It is astounding that Ferrari will be allowed to keep their veto power. In this day and age? It is simply ridiculous that a team that is a part of a competitive sport would have such an advantage over their rivals. Jaw-droppingly wrong.

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