Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

No Ferrari power unit upgrade for Haas in Austria

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Following reports Ferrari will have an upgraded power unit for the first race of the season, customers Haas confirm they won’t have a new specification.

Speaking in a media conference yesterday, team principal Guenther Steiner confirmed “we will have the same engine like in Australia” when the championship begins at the Red Bull Ring in July.

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Comment of the day

Formula 1 needs to put entertainment before road relevance, Jamie argues:

F1 is entertainment – this, I couldn’t agree with more.

The future of road cars is electric, and I look forward to owning one, but F1 is entertainment and I couldn’t care less for it being relevant to what I drive. It doesn’t matter what the big manufacturers think either, there will always be somebody willing to make F1 engines and I’d take F1 with independents over large corporations.

I’m okay with prescribed regulations, but make those prescriptions exciting. Naturally aspirated or turbocharged, but if it’s turbo, bring back the lag and the wheelspin, make them difficult to drive. Make them loud, they don’t have to be as loud as the V10s.

The current engines are dull, that’s why people won’t stop whinging about them – this is a great opportunity to reverse these mistakes.
Jamie B

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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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  • 45 comments on “No Ferrari power unit upgrade for Haas in Austria”

    1. The Dolphins
      19th June 2020, 4:47

      Re: the CotD — Engine noise is as relevant as road relevance. Having been to V8 and turbo V6-powered races I can say both were loud enough.

      I agree it’s about the entertainment and to me that means closer racing (the whole field) and more wheel to wheel battles. If aero regulations are preventing that let’s fix them and if the tires are part of the problem let’s fix those as well (regardless if the solutions to those problems have any road relevance.)

      I doubt, however, that making the cars more difficult to drive is a sustainable solution; these are top drivers and we saw how quickly they adapted to the power delivery of the V6 turbos.

      1. I think the CotD was referring not just to exhaust volume, but also to tone.
        The current turbo/hybrid system destroys that raspy, aggressive ‘F1’ sound by harvesting that additional energy that was previously wasted as ‘noise’.

        Agree with fixing the problems with related solutions rather than just coming up with a distraction – as has been the F1 ‘problem-solving’ mantra for quite a while now.

        As to making the cars more difficult to drive – totally agree with that. Reduce the assistance available to the drivers.
        Power steering is a safety requirement given the loads these cars are dealing with now – but certainly many controls could be removed from the cockpit and less instruction given to the driver from the pit bunker.
        The team gets 2 days to deal with the car, the driver should have two hours on their own.
        I’m really liking Aussie Supercars latest change to this area – limiting the telemetry available from the car and when the teams can access the data. They won’t get full access to the data logging system until after the final race of the weekend is finished.

        Was it Leclerc (?) who said that the cars felt more like the real thing when traction control was turned on in the F1 game?
        Says a lot about how much control there is in power and torque delivery with the modern cars. Not explicit traction control obviously, but certainly some clever and helpful engine mapping.

      2. @The Dolphins I couldn’t agree more with you.

      3. Having lived next to Spa-Francorchamps for the last 24 years, my experience is that F1 doesn’t make any noise whatsoever anymore.
        The VW fun cup is louder than current day F1 cars.

      4. Gavin Campbell
        19th June 2020, 11:53

        I never got to hear V10s but the V8s were SO loud – Sat at the old final corner at Silverstone with the wrap around grandstand it was intense to say the least. I would argue that they were almost too loud – you HAD to use ear protection in that setting, you can get away without them in open grandstands at breaking zones (or when the exhaust wasn’t pointing towards you as they floor it). In fact I’m actually shocked they were allowed to run in Singapore, the noise of 20+ of those beasts in the heart of a city – it must of been insane.

        I’ve not had the pleasure of hearing the V6s but they still chuck out around 135dB versus 145 odd for the old V8s – but I assume its the Turbo arrangement that is muffling most of the sound.

        Also controversial opinion – the sound the V8s make in real life isn’t as pleasing as on TV. As they revved to 19,000rpm they are incredibly high pitched and TV microphones significantly filter out that high end. Its the opposite of Formula-E which sound like drowning Cats on TV but much more futuristic sounding in the flesh (also theres a lot of road noise due to the bumpy surfaces – which is missed on the broadcast).

        As for the next engine I actually hope for more road relevance – the engines require huge teams, engineers and costs to run. So much so that Ferrari aren’t “selling” V6 cars via the clienti program as the transport and maintence of them is too high. It has also left teams unable to run old cars due to engine leasing deals and not having the correct engineers. Clever engineering should be simple to use and maintain – so whatever they move to next I want to see it not require a Nasa setup to turn some laps. Or you know go bonkers and make them run Hydrogen Fuel Cells/Nitrogen/Nuclear – something properly futuristic.

        1. I think the reason why Ferrari is not making the V6 engined cars available is because they come under the current restrictions on testing and development.

          Even if it is a few years old, because it features a current engine, it’s subject to restrictions because it could be used as a test bed for the current cars. The V8 cars are obsolete, so that isn’t a problem, but anything with a contemporary engine is not possible.

          1. They clearly stated they won’t sell old V6 Hybrid cars to potential customers due to the large amount of technicians required to operate them compared to previous non-Hybrid engines.

            1. Bio, for a start, the FIA’s technical regulations ban the sale of cars to third parties if the cars were built within the three years prior to the current season, unless the FIA gives an explicit waiver to that team – it is part of the mechanisms that the FIA has in place to stop teams from unauthorised testing.

              Even if Ferrari were to make limited use of some of the current cars, it can only be used for a limited distance (total of 50km) – the team must also notify the FIA a minimum of 72 hours in advance and instruct them on the exact specification of car to be used, the driver, the test locations and so forth.

              However, if you want to use the older V8 engined cars, because those are classified as “historic cars”, it’s basically unrestricted – the only constraint is that they must use tyres made solely for that car, or a historical compound of tyre appropriate to that era.

              Some private individuals who have also bought historic F1 cars have also indicated there are also problems with obtaining the IP rights to components from third parties, particularly for things such as electronic components, in order to use them.

              That is also a problem for Ferrari as, from 2014 to 2017, Ferrari subcontracted design work on their power units, particularly the engine, to AVL – and I believe AVL are still the holders of the IP rights to those designs. For cars that Ferrari built from 2014 to 2017, there is a question of whether Ferrari would have to buy the IP rights to AVL’s work first before they could then sell it to a third party. IP rights are issues that are a problem for contemporary engines now – there was a suggestion that part of the reason for the FIA coming to a secret agreement with Ferrari over their 2019 power unit was in part because it involved items supplied by a third party that was threatening to sue the FIA for breaching their IP rights if they published the details in any public enquiry.

              To me, it seems the legal restrictions on selling the cars to third parties and the issues surrounding IP rights are potentially bigger issues to deal with there.

      5. Thank you for comment of the day Keith!

        My problem with road relevance is that I currently drive an NA 1.5L straight-4 hatchback, and it works perfectly, my next car will probably be electric, and that’s that – F1 simply isn’t and doesn’t need to be relevant. If Mercedes use some F1-tech in a high-end sports car that’s all very well and good, but it does little to benefit F1, nor ordinary people driving normal cars. In most cases, in its attempts to stay road relevant, F1 copies what road (sports) cars are doing – prime example being larger wheel rims.

        As others have said, the power delivery of these V6 Ts might as well have traction control, the mapping is so advanced. And yes, the microphones don’t do the current or previous engines justice, which is a real shame.

    2. Ferrari new engine – new fiddle.

      Move on nothing to see says Todt

      1. Really? You’ve seen it then? Which bits are changed?

    3. Sky are seeking a rebate from F1 on their payments.

      “…Sky Sports’ managing director Rob Webster tells the Financial Times, describing the deal as “balanced and fair”…”

      No doubt advertisers will be in the queue too.

      1. Gavin Campbell
        19th June 2020, 12:09

        Also the customers haven’t been paying – I’ve not paid for BT or Sky sports since the lockdown (still have access to the channels – but its not costing me anything ontop of the usual broadband and enertainment channels). Its a very simple sports having nothing to sell the channels, which have nothing to sell to subscribers so everyone needs their money back.

        Advertisers I’m sure have different packages for live sports, theres probably a package for football, cricket, golf, F1 and then general advertising (so for niche sports, replays/historical, sky sports news). With no live sports I’m sure its only the last catergory of adverts they are showing.

    4. I thought those people who want loud F1 engines like yesteryears stopped following the sport when the grid girls left.

      1. Maybe they are arguing for that as a reason that they will return?
        Who would it hurt if the cars were a bit louder?

        1. Pretty much everybody’s ears will hurt again?

          1. Bring earplugs.

        2. First of all it’s funny to see people shouting for louder engines and then wearing the ear protection.

          But more importantly, IMO F1 stands for the pinnacle of motor sports engineering. I don’t agree with so called fans who long primarily for the loud noises; they will be gone when the next loud show spectacle visits their shores.

          1. Yeah, some people do that. As is their right.

            Sure, it’s loud – but it’s also an experience in and of itself; part of the atmosphere and appeal. It promotes a feeling that can’t be reached any other way and gives a sense of awe and reverence for what those machines are really doing and are capable of.

            Why do people go to loud music concerts? Who’d go to a concert that you can talk over, or can’t hear properly because the people next to you are having a normal conversation? Moreover, who would remember that concert in a positive way?
            Old people, perhaps.

            It takes all kinds, and your opinion certainly doesn’t represent every motorsport fan.
            Personally I find it extremely anticlimactic that the ‘feature’ race at an F1 event is the quietest, and the only one that doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of the neck and make you run to the fence to see what’s going on.

            1. If loud noise is what you’re looking for, go watch Top Fuel dragsters. At night if you can.

              F1 doesn’t compare to feeling the rumble through… well everything; your chest, your crotch, the ground, your eyes even shake and your vision goes blurry. Feeling the heat from the 10ft flames shooting out the exhaust as they fly past. Unreal.

      2. It is strange how all the fuss goes away after some time. For a long time they were one part of F1 but now after a few years it doesn’t feel strange at all.

        About CotD. I agree that F1 needs to be entertaining and I prefer louder and petrol smelling V10s but as the time changes they need something else that gets new viewers next to TV. I don’t know what it is. It could be cool looking aero, some 21st century tech but I think V12s and V10s will only live in our memories

      3. @coldfly With that same logic only those people are left who want f1 to be computer driven and fully electronic silent race series. Making strawman arguments like you are doing right now is just really weak and lazy.

        1. My comment was sarcasm and not a ‘straw man argument’; though probably too subtle for some, @socksolid.
          I could explain it but that would undermine the sarcasm (happy to do so in DM though).

          If you want an example of a straw man fallacy then your own reply is probably the best example, albeit I would call it ‘argumentum ad absurdum’.

          1. @coldfly
            It had as much sublety as a brick.
            “I was just joking!” Whatever.

      4. I still follow F1 as closely as I did before but whilst I used to regularly go to see Friday practice and test sessions, I wouldn’t bother these days because I don’t really find the cars that exciting to see in person.

        I used to enjoy F1 regardless of whether the race was good or not. A processional race was OK because just watching the cars circulate was an exciting thing. These days, if the quality of racing isn’t good, I get bored and play on my phone instead.

    5. Why the seat-fit even though he already did it earlier this year before the pre-season testing?

      If Mugello comes in I don’t mind. I’ve pointed out before that having two races in Monza would be better to minimize transportation between circuits as everyone’s already going to be there, but the Mugello circuit has a nice flow, so I’m not against the possible addition of it either.

    6. I wonder if I will get a rebate on my sky F1 subscription. Doubt it….

      1. I think Sky should pay more.
        Their subscription business must be one of the few sectors benefiting from the lock down.

      2. @paulcook sadly you’re probably too late for a rebate.
        I only found out 3 weeks ago that they were “offering” to not charge you for sport until it came back. You had to actively log in to your account and request this, then it would happen immediately. However by that point I’d already paid it for 2 months.

    7. I’d rather want the other 3 races touted than Mugello but I’ll take it

    8. Another thing on engines, they need to be easy to make. In the early 90s the engines were pretty easy to make and it resulted in a massive variety of engine suppliers. Just in 1994 you had Ford, Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes, Mugen-Honda, Hart, Ilmor, Yamaha, Peugeot.

      There were also attempts by Lambourghini and Porsche around then (a particularly bad attempt by Porsche).

      The point is if you simplify the engine regs you’ll get a number of interested parties involved. Some will be manufacturers, others will be independents. And some in between. But it’s got to be better than the same 4 we have at the moment.

      1. Mercedes and Ilmor are the same thing – when Mercedes entered F1, it was through Ilmor (which they eventually bought out).

        Furthermore, quite a few of those efforts were quite short lived – Porsche didn’t last a season, and a lot of the other outfits you name were gone within a few years. It is one thing to say there were a lot of different engines, but it wasn’t a sustainable situation.

    9. Regarding today’s engines, a comment is just a comment, but the lack of information sometimes gives us some treasures…

      Just to stir a little bit of facts, today’s PU produced around 1.000 BHP while sipping only 30L/100km (3km/L or 7mi/gal roughly). For me that is just impressive as is road relevant.

      The electric motor associated with it (it’s a hybrid, remember?) makes it possible to map the deployment almost corner by corner according to speed, throttle position and steering wheel settings. This is done circuit by circuit, mostly as gearbox ratios were done in the past.

      And it lasts around 5.000km, opposed to one per race around some time ago.

      If they will change it, I hope is for something better, not simpler or worst.

      1. Remember, though, that both the fuel economy and reliability came about not through natural evolution and development, but through regulation.

        What it did, in parallel, was make F1 even less attractive to manufacturers who did not wish to build this engine or risk massive financial stress and corporate embarrassment.
        Where are VW Group? Where are GM and Ford? Where is groupe PSA? Toyota? How about Cosworth?

        Is this better than what came before it?

        1. Those manufacturers were not in F1 even before the Hybrid era.

          In the last 30 years only 4 manufacturers dominated F1. Honda, Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes. BMW and Ford stole some bits only.

          We had plenty of formulas during those 30 years. V6T, V12A, V10A, V8A+kers, V6T hybrid. Can we blame on regulations?

          1. None of those I listed are interested in entering F1 with the current engine regs – that’s the point.
            These regulations were specifically targeted at enticing more manufacturers into/back to F1. They have failed miserably in that sense – and others.

            This era with the V6 turbo hybrid has attracted the fewest engine manufacturers in F1’s history with the exception of the period when the DFV was far superior and was available to every team.

            Does that not say enough?

          2. And just to touch on your final point – yes, we can, and should, blame the regulations.
            It is the regulations and cost which determines whether a manufacturer sees F1 as an attractive medium to show their engineering talents and advertise their brand.

            Throughout all of those regulation sets/engine eras you listed there is a common theme – ever tightening technical restrictions on the manufacturer to build the engine their way.
            Over that time the rules have gone from simple capacity limits to the current specific prescriptions of induction type, hybrid system specifications, V-angle, stroke length, bore diameter, number and type of valves/timing, compression ratio, fuel flow and usage limits, fuel specific gravity and chemical signature, cooling components, metals/alloys/materials and even the maximum speed that the MGU-K can operate at.

            Yes, I definitely think we can blame the regulations…

        2. Remember, though, that both the fuel economy and reliability came about not through natural evolution and development, but through regulation.

          That’s technically a correct statement only if you realise that regulations were relaxed since 2014, S. Before 2014 turbo’s were not allow, heat-energy recovery was not allowed, KERS was limited, etc. etc. It wasn’t the prescriptions of these technological advancements which drove fuel economy, but the lifting of the ban on them.

          The only limiting regulation change which drove fuel economy was the banning of refuelling in 2010.

          1. When has F1 ever stipulated the minimum amount of fuel a car could use during a race?
            Well, yeah, sure some technical devices were not allowed during the 2.4L V8 era. Many things are not allowed now either – that’s the problem with F1 engine rules – they are too prescriptive.

            I would disagree that the removal of refuelling was the primary driver behind increased fuel economy.
            Fuel is weight, and weight is time. The less fuel you need to carry, the faster you’ll be. That has been the case forever.

            1. S, I presume you meant stipulating the maximum amount of fuel rather than the minimum amount of fuel, as there are no minimum fuel usage requirements.

              If you did mean maximum fuel, 1982 to 1988 saw explicit limits on the maximum amount of fuel which the teams could use during the race by a fixed limit on fuel tank size.

      2. Current PU era is like spaceshuttles. overcomplicated and expensive, reusable just for winks.

    10. I’m really not sure about Dirt 5.

      I don’t want a narrative driven experience, I don’t want to continually have people telling me how ‘awesome’ my last race was & I don’t want to be constantly taken out of doing the thing I want to do (Race cars) to do some tedious nonsense on the side. I just want to drive rally cars on rally stages, Progress through a career & unlock new stuff as I go.

      I know that the mainline Dirt game have always been a more arcadey experience & i’ve always enjoyed them for that. But A lot of the side stuff & ‘wow you did great there buddy’ sillyness always tended to annoy me & seeing them seemingly go full in on all that stuff with a story etc… frustrates me.

      Was the same with the F1 games. I enjoy the driving/racing but when you had the extra stuff in the career mode (Interviews etc…) it just made me not want to bother with the career mode.

    11. Re CoTD I’m not in favour of attempting to re-introduce turbo lag or increase the noise level just to improve the show. Turbo lag existed because of relatively undeveloped technology and was a flaw that engineers later were able to counteract through new innovations. To reintroduce it would require the regulations to force manufacturers to intentionally make an inferior product, which is the opposite of what F1 is about. It would feel really artificial to me if F1 drivers have to deal with turbo lag for this reason, while road car users have superior technology available to them. There are better ways to improve both the driving challenge in F1 and the show.

      I know the noise is important to some fans but I have similar feelings on this too. Noise is essentially wasted energy and the more efficient the technology is, the less noise will be produced naturally. So I think the noisy engines of the past are gone for good, especially now that the ICE is responsible for only a percentage of the overall power production (a percentage that will likely decrease in future power units). However, if there is a compromise that would increase the noise level (or improve the sound quality) with minimal effects on performance then I wouldn’t necessarily be against it.

      1. I hear this nonsense all the time. Noise is wasted energy, yes it is, are turbo engines more efficient because they make less noise or as they make less noise? No. Am I being pedantic? yes. as the decreased noise is a consequence of part of the air being used to spin the turbo, though most of this reduction comes from muffling the exhaust system beyond what it generally is.

      2. If people really must have noise to convince them that the race is exciting then pipe it through the PA.

        While you’re at it you could add some oil to the water that the hosepipes are spraying on the circuit.

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