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F1 reveals new branding to promote “world’s most efficient engine”

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 will promote its V6 hybrid turbo power units as the “world’s most efficient engine” using new branding from this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The series is eager to highlight the efficiency of the power units which it believes has not been successfully communicated since they were introduced in 2014.

F1 previously used normally aspirated V8 engines, introduced in 2006, which from 2009 included a hybrid element known as the Kinetic Energy Recovery System. These were replaced with the current, more sophisticated hybrids, which harvest power from both kinetic and thermal sources using an MGU-K and MGU-H.

Bernie Ecclestone, F1 CEO at the time of the introduction of the new rules, was a vociferous critic of the units and strongly opposed FIA president Jean Todt’s efforts to bring them in. Stefano Domenicali, who replaced Ecclestone’s successor Chase Carey as CEO earlier this year, said in Mexico: “We are going to start actually to remind all of us who we are” with the new graphics.

“We have today, since 2014, the most efficient hybrid engine and this is something that we need to remember.”

In the eighth year since the power units were introduced, they now achieve around 52% thermal efficiency compared to around 30% for conventional engines. This means far less of the heat energy produced by F1’s engines is wasted.

F1 plans further changes to improve the efficiency and sustainability of its power units. This will include the introduction of new technical regulations in 2026, and a switch to synthetic fuel in 2030.

The new branding will be displayed around the television pen, paddock and hospitality areas at Interlagos this weekend.

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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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  • 57 comments on “F1 reveals new branding to promote “world’s most efficient engine””

    1. That is a literal lie.

      1. Also unnecessary? As if the world is clamouring for efficient ICEs right now.

        1. You might not, but the world would certainly be interested. Try powering airplanes or cargo ships with electric engines…

          1. Actually, cargo (and cruise) ships are in many cases propelled by electric engines and have been for years. In most cases the electric engine is powered by a diesel engine running an electric generator.

            As to airplanes, the electric engine is not the problem. Rather, it’s the storage of energy. Current batteries are too heavy. Whether the solution is improvement in battery technology, hydrogen, some other form of energy transport/transfer, or simply running existing technology on biofuels, no-one knows. But the engines themselves are hardly the problem.

      2. @proesterchen So name the “world’s most efficient engine”, if it isn’t F1 PU?

        1. Guinness World Records names the Wärtsilä 31 as the world’s most efficient engine.
          It is not really fit for use in a Formula 1 car, but at up to 12 MW it is powerful enough to power a ferry that could transport the whole roadgoing F1 circus several times over.

          1. Guinness World Records names the Wärtsilä 31 as the world’s most efficient diesel engine

          2. most efficient4-stroke diesel engine

        2. Just paiting your logo greem doesn”t make your brand environmentall less poluting lol

        3. Pretty much all electric engines placed in road cars today – I would expect that FE engines are even more efficient.
          No chance for an ICE engine ever to be more efficient than a BEV engine.

          That said 52% thermal efficiency for an ICE engine is very impressive however due to the very high speeds the F1 cars are doing the fuel efficiency remains appalling. Using 150-200 liters to drive 305km, even the Humvee did better.

          1. Oskari Kantonen
            10th November 2021, 14:03

            They can’t use more than 100 kilograms which shouldn’t be more than 40 litres

            1. I get 110 kg which is 242 lbs which is approx 33 gallons which is approx 150 litres and certainly not 200. Approx 2km per litre. I wouldn’t expect much better for an F1 car cranking some odd 1000hp as a power unit, and the point is as soon as they went hybrid they immediately used fully 1/3 less fuel than with the previous ICE only method of propulsion.

            2. Oskari Kantonen
              10th November 2021, 16:00

              @robbie I managed to misspell 140 lol. And I forgot that the fuel allowance had been raised through the years

            3. I do not know whether it is true, but I have heard from my native and fairly credible pundits, that most of the teams are not using the permitted 110kg fuel over a race distance, they are capable of doing it with less. (or at least were capable before this season, because the engines are turned a bit more up now :) )
              To me it seems logical, as this is another way of having a less heavy car with more options to balancing it.

          2. Formula E MGUs are around 97% efficiency (at least, at the start of the season – of course they take a beating over the distance but I’d be astonished if they ever go much below 90)

          3. @jelle-van-der-meer BEV’s don’t have engines.

    2. is it even true though? Guess I’ll call it borderline false

    3. What a comedy. Fans want real racing, not green lies!

    4. Meanwhile, let’s use (and ship around The world) tires that are designed to degrade and be useless after a bunch of laps

    5. F1 circus is hauled all over the world by not so efficient cargo jets and countless trucks, also the mandatory tyre change (not even mention the mountains of rubber dumped after practice days, qualy and now + sprint qualy) flush all this green agenda down the drain with a mighty roar and stink accompanied by the devilish laughter. Hope Greta doesn’t know about that…

      1. One the best things they could do would be to arrange the calendar according to the travelling salesman problem. It’s all about money though. Completely agree about tyres, although I think they’re moving in the right direction next year in many ways with that issue.

        1. The tires are recycled not ‘dumped.’

    6. The sentiment is right, but they could go about it in a more subtle way rather than blasting refutable statements on signs. I bet some engineers that work on these engines are cringing slightly.

    7. I don’t see the point of all this. F1 itself has always been synonym of the highest technologies, the cutting edge, the limit of what’s technically possible (within a set of rules). I’m guessing the general public already knows that, it’s like NASA: “you know NASA uses this” or “they use these in F1”. It’s like a byword for high tech.

      To label F1 engines as the most efficient engines in the world (which is debatable in itself), how does it affect us all anyway? People know F1 has the best technology… it’s the least you’d expect from it, to have the most powerful, most efficient engine possible? And it’s meaningless too… we’re not seeing direct benefits from that, are we? and they are still using a helluva lot of resources to achieve that, which isn’t green at all either. Being green is not only not using fossil fuel, it’s the whole chainlink from design to construction to usage… they can plaster a whole circuit in green IN BRAZIL (which has a baaaaaaad record regarding the environment with all the deforestation), it’s not going to change a thing.

      1. @fer-no65 I see great benefit in hybrid technology and making that more and more efficient and using energy recovery systems in domestic cars, as I don’t see EV as the way of the future that is any less ecologically abusive but is much less practical.

    8. Oskari Kantonen
      10th November 2021, 13:52

      Finally

      1. Oskari Kantonen
        10th November 2021, 13:59

        Though it could be considered a lie if you want to be specific about it. They are advertising the engine, while in fact the internal combustion engine doesn’t surpass 50% thermal efficiency, it’s the whole power unit.

        1. But isn’t that the way you should look at it?
          Especially the MGU-H part is using the excess heat of the PU to increase that efficiency; thus an integral part.

          The kinetic part is less straightforward, as it first leaves the PU through acceleration to be recovered when decelerating. I’m not even sure if/how they include this in the thermal efficiency calculations.
          And of course you can cheat with the MGU-K if running down the hill (or pushing the car by hand), but that doesn’t happen in circuit racing.

        2. Oskari Kantonen The are in fact truthfully advertising the Hybrid as is depicted on their new logo pictured above, not solely the ICE. As jff points out, the whole point is that through their ICE work married to their energy recovery systems they are achieving this efficiency. And from 2013 to 2014 they immediately started using 1/3rd less fuel.

    9. F1 plans further changes to improve the efficiency and sustainability of its power units.

      I thought that (the almost finished) plans were to drop the MGU-H from 2026.
      I doubt they’ll get to 52% (quickly) without that.

    10. Powered by the most efficient engine

      Partnered with the world’s worst polluter
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/revealed-20-firms-third-carbon-emissions

      If the marketing were proportional to the environmental impact, I’d be inscribing that second line onto the moon

    11. It’s a good move that should have been taken when the hybrids were introduced to capitalize on them. Now is it true? Hard to quantify probably. But if the claim is rebuked they can just change the text. Not sure why they didn’t do this before, but maybe the “gimme my V12 I drink my coffee with petrol in the morning” crowd has something to do with it. Either way, comment sections all over the world will criticize this because that’s what comment sections are for, outrage from the comfort of your home.

      1. Either way, comment sections all over the world will criticize this because that’s what comment sections are for, outrage from the comfort of your home.

        ;)

      2. I am not outraged, mildly amused.

        The old adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ fits. modern engines are all tell and no show. People see this really for what it is.

        You can write an 10,000 essay on the genius of Ben Johnston’s Suite for Microtonal Piano, doesn’t mean anyone will want to listen to it.

        F1 are trying to do two things here. They want to placate the march of environmentalism with this kind of political nonsense. But they aren’t stupid. They know it’s gonna be hard to sell out race tracks when it comes to electric racing, hence all the investment in synthetic fuels. F1 is part sport, part rock concert. They need both to thrive.

        1. Just wondering – you part of the crowd of people who started engaging with the sport in the 1990’s?

          Have you asked yourself if your perception of what the sport should be is biased by your first experience of the sport, and if your perception won’t match up with what other generations might expect?

          1. I think the notion ‘young people care about efficiency’ which is what is being inferred here doesn’t necessarily correlate to young fans of racing. I have been vegan over 10 years and am more than in the know about the ‘eco-brigade’. They don’t buy any of this nonsense from liberty, the same why I don’t buy the nonsense of ‘humane slaughter’ and that kind of thing.

            This isn’t aimed at the ‘young audience’ either. It’s a bunch of old men trying to position F1 politically so it doesn’t get targeted by other old people who are trying to take political advantage of the green agenda. This has nothing to do with ‘yoof expectations’. They are way too smart to fool for this kind of PR nonsense.

    12. I think this is a good move. I still think hybrid is bloated and make the car fat but efficiency is the right message. But they should ditch the synthetic fuel, there’s no efficiency whatsoever on producing ethanol from hydrogen from fuel cell from solar cell.

    13. F1 engines have had the reputation of being the most efficient ICE for many years when it comes to power produced for cubic capacity. Even though they are probably technically correct It would seen to be of little consequence in this day and age of Rd going EVs that can out accelerate an F1 car.

      1. @johnrkh Of course as we know it is about much more than that some very expensive EVs can out accelerate an F1 car. I believe F1 can be instrumental in furthering the hybrid cause for domestic vehicles during the time if/when EV’s can catch up in terms of practicality of range and recharging time and the infrastructure needed for such, all the while taking into consideration that the manufacture of EV cars and batteries is no less ecologically friendly than hybrid cars, and as well in places like China for example, the more and more EV’s they use the more those need to be recharged on what is primarily coal generated sources of electricity. EV may or may not get there, but it is not without an ecological cost, and in realistic and practical terms EV’s are not just around the corner for the vast majority of us. Hybrids can go a long way for the time being in helping save fuel without needing added massive infrastructure, and keeping the practicality of efficient ICEs but adding electric power while recharging batteries on the fly. And if F1 has it’s way domestic cars will do energy recovery more and more.

        1. @robbie While Motor Racing in general has contributed to improving many aspects of road going vehicles over the last century or so, it has become increasingly less relevant. Singling out F1 as having any significant influence over the future of the car industry in regard to emissions or fuel efficiency is wishful thinking at least.
          The rest of your comment is straight out of the anti-EV prayer book with no account given to the advances being made in battery technology the increasing use of renewable energy in the production of electricity, or the relatively simple task of rolling-out of charging stations.
          In your efforts to promote hybrids you fail to recognise that hybrids are seen as a stop gap measure at best and an attempt at green washing at worst. As is the fancy new logo and less than impressive slogan F1 are now pushing.
          F1 have made little to no effort to reduce their major contribution to pollution, which is the movement of the circus around the globe.
          Now with the increasing number of race destinations that only gets worse and still they make little effort to introduce a more efficient schedule or transport choices to reduce travel and their carbon foot print.

          1. @johnrkh It just seems to me that with the times we are in F1 can and will play a bigger role than they have in the past, and may well. It certainly seems it since they have gone hybrid and have been in discussions about the future and what is relevant going forward.

            As I have said before I am not anti-EV whatsoever, just anti-EV right now. There is no EV right now that would suit my needs. Not even close. You speak in ideals that ignore the toxicity of the batteries and the mining for the ingredients to make them, and the number of people in the world who would have no choice but to charge them off dirty electricity sources. You claim setting up charging stations is a ‘relatively simple task’ because it is easy to text that, when in fact to have many cars sitting there for much bigger junks of time than it takes to gas up a car means large areas made available for parking cars while they charge. Oh I get that over time there will me more renewable sources for electricity.

            I’ll just bottom line it with this. I look forward to the time I can buy a practical EV that suits my needs, and in the meantime I believe Hybrids are going to be the way for quite a while yet, so not just a temporary stopgap at all, but a necessary long-term solution while the world figures out EV or some other option that isn’t nearly as toxic and that has something much closer to the real world practicality that so many of us need. Obviously. Or sales of EV’s would be much higher in spite of their signs of some growth. I get that demand seems to be increasing, but I do question how far that demand will go once the main body of those that can deal with EVs has their cars.

    14. Coventry Climax
      10th November 2021, 14:33

      That’s ridiculous.
      True or false is even besides the point, as it’s simply not F1’s job to promote any type of power plant to start with.
      What F1 should do, is facilitate the environment where teams come up with what they think is the most efficient solution. Teams can prove their point by winning the championship. And if that solution was developed by an engine manufacturer, then that manufacturer can emphasize what they’ve achieved and collect the credits.

      But hey, F1 one has been getting ridiculous for quite some time now.

      1. Coventry Climax F1 already does collectively facilitate the environment where teams come up with what they think is the most efficient solution. They do it together and have currently been inviting entities that are not even currently in F1 to have their say on what they think the next iteration of power unit should be. And as we know they are very much considering what is relevant to the future. You seem to be advocating that each team be on their own to find their own pu solution, and that sounds extremely expensive when they have gone the other way in terms of cost cutting. And of course there’s the reality that some teams financially have to be customers of someone else’s pu.

        I don’t know why it can’t be F1’s job to be a leader in R&D as it comes to hybrid technology and energy recovery systems.

        1. Coventry Climax
          10th November 2021, 23:44

          ” F1 already does collectively facilitate the environment where teams come up with what they think is the most efficient solution.” Excuse me? That used to be the case – long time ago. The list of things mandated by the rulebook is growing every year, and has been for quite some time now, as is the list of things that were very clever, very efficient but are banned now. Lotus’s Colin Chapman’s adagio for example, was ‘add lightness’, and it made for very nimble, efficient cars. F1’s adagio now is ‘Thou shallst add weight’. More recent, prohibit DAS, but mandate using less tyres. Isn’t DAS about using the tyres more efficiently then?
          As for the invited entities not currently in F1 getting a say in a future engine formula, that’s because F1 realises that they are currently operating on a very thin basis. They are very lucky Red Bull took over the Honda engine, but they still muck up their pants for fear another manufacturer leaves. Renault is a quite likely candidate, and there’s talks about Merc quitting as well. So it’s just to lure in new manufacturers and nothing else. There’s other ways to do that.
          Had F1 not chosen to go the mandatory hybrid way, you’d still see all sorts of engines, and that problem would not be there.
          But anyway, F1 is not a manufacturer, and it is not their job to advocate for one engine or the other. F1 as such has no R&D, no factory, no cars to sell to the public, no … etc. The teams have those, although more and more pointless, thanks to the rulebook. F1 has no place ‘considering what’s relevant for the future’. That’s up to the collective people of this world, after being truthfully informed by those that truly investigate the environment and climate. (I’d say: vote green please.) ‘Considering what’s relevant for the future’ would allow any kind of R&D, consider any solution to the problem, instead of limiting the choice. But this is not ‘considering’, it’s totalitarian.
          I don’t seem to be advocating each team be on their own, I actually am advocating this. Anything less stinks of spec series. The whole costcap thing is a self fulfilling prophecy, due to wrong choices by F1 and the FIA. But even so, there is no reason why teams can’t be on their own, doing all of their own design (instead of copy/pasting) and still have the cost cap in place. I advocate free choice for the teams, but in current F1 there is less and less.

          Then, lastly, about the actual content of this ‘most efficient engine’ message. It’s crap, and if you -and they- do a little research on the laws of thermo-dynamics you will instantly realise they’re selling a downright lie. But then that’s become F1’s priority these days, selling lies and making money for the stockholders.

          1. Coventry Climax You’re spewing a bunch of disjointed nonsense imho. Sounds like F1 is not for you.

            1. Coventry Climax
              11th November 2021, 12:14

              Being an automotive engineer, and after keenly following and watching F1 for slightly over 50 years now, you’re probably right.

    15. At the risk of sounding cynical… Doesn’t it look rather like an aramco branded billboard.

      Which is slightly ironic.

      I mean we should have been shouting about this stuff in 2014 but better late than never.

      1. Show, don’t tell. if you need a PowerPoint presentation to explain why he engines are interesting… you’ve already lost.

    16. “sustainable” ~ “greenwashing” #pureF1hooey

    17. xDDDDDDDDDDDD. Great job, Dictatorship Media and Stefano “Camorra” Domenicalli.

    18. I just wish they said hybrid-powered rather than powered by hYBrID. It looks goofy and is bad English. F1 has doubled down on cheesy graphics the last couple years.

      1. @ryanoceros Very briefly that was my first reaction too, as we don’t often hear it termed, at least for domestic cars, ‘powered by hybrid.’ So to me that begs the question why they did it the way they did and not as you suggest. I wonder if they truly wanted to segregate the word Hybrid more, so that there is more of a distinction between Hybrid, and for example electric or EV. Where I’m coming from with that is that I think F1 and the potential new entrants that have been involved in the meetings as to F1’s next iteration of pu are all thinking Hybrid is here for quite a while yet due to the pitfalls of EV. I wonder if in the global sense Hybrid is more impactful than Hybrid-powered. Do we really hear the term Electric-powered used, or is it just Electric, or EV? Ie. perhaps there is a bit of a battle brewing between Hybrid and Electric in terms of global marketing, and again where I’m coming from on that is that while I think politically car manufacturers have to speak in terms of electrification to sound and to act like they are concerned for the planet, I think that in reality Hybrid will be with us for quite a while and I’m not even sure if full EV is a viable alternative, at least to take over completely the car market. That is years away if at all as far as I am concerned. And the reality is Hybrid is electrification too. Hence the leaf in the word as well as the lightning bolt.

    19. Hey peeps! F1 here. Just wanted to remind you all about our cool engines. They’re pretty darn spiffing. Don’t expect to see them in your cars. But just know that we have them in ours. Peace. F1 out!

    20. About time! It is a remarkable bit of kit.

    21. Ah yes. Nothing a fresh minty green-washing won’t fix nowadays! How’s that carbon foot-print looking boys? Oh. We are net-zero now! Yes. We still burn fossil fuels like no tomorrow but we do other stuff that we think somehow transforms the carbon back into being plants!

    22. In the modern, sight limited, rose tinted, Eco-World, this is like selling a slaughter house to the Vegan crowd.
      It may be the most humane, cleanest, environmentally efficient facility in the world, but it is still a slaughter house.
      Sell it on merit if you choose, but it will be a tough row to hoe in the hard-core Green Circles.
      But then, if Liberty can sell the upper echelon (read as local governments) on the merits of F1, give it a shot.

    23. Also – Anyone that is already watching F1 probably already knows this to some degree. Anyone who isn’t watching F1 won’t see this.

      So, why?

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