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In-season engine development to be allowed

NEWS STORY
15/10/2015

It is understood that following today's meeting of F1 engine manufacturers with the FIA in Geneva, the aim of which was to try and level the playing field in terms of engines, in-season development has been given the green light for 2016.

The controversial development system, which is based on tokens, involves a sliding scale which originally saw manufacturers allowed to use 32 tokens this year, 25 in 2016, 20 in 2017, 15 in 2018 and just 3 in 2019 and 2020.

However, today's meeting saw the manufacturers agreeing to allow 32 tokens again in 2016 and at the same time remove restrictions on those areas in which development was banned next season including upper/lower crankcase, valve drive, crankshafts, air valve systems and ancillary drives.

The move will be welcomed by Renault and Honda, as the 28 February deadline is now removed and they can continue development in to the new season.

At the same time, the plan to force manufacturers to supply the same spec power unit to customer teams as their works team has been thrown out.

However, the decisions following today's meeting still have to be agreed at the next meeting on the F1 Commission and then ratified by the World Motor Sport Council. As yet, there is no date set for the next meeting of the F1 Commission.

Below is the homologation and token system as it originally stood.

Annual Power Unit Homologation

Function Function Details Token Value
(Weight)
'15 '16 '17 '18 '19/
'20
Upper/lower crankcase Cylinder bore spacing, deck height, bank stagger. 2 X X X X X
Upper/lower crankcase All dimensions including Cylinder bore position relative to legality volume, water core. 3 X X X X
Cylinder Head Except modifications linked to subsequent modifications. 2 X
Combustion All parts of parts defining combustion. Included: Ports, Piston crown, Combustion chamber, Valves geometry, timing, lift, injector nozzle, coils, spark plug Excluded: Valves position. 3 X
Valves axis position Includes angle but excludes axial displacement 2 X X
Valves drive From valve to camshaft lobe. Position and Geometry. Exhaust and Inlet. Including valve return function inside the head. 2 X X
Valve drive - Camshafts From camshaft lobe to gear train. Geometry except lift profile. Includes damping systems linked to camshaft. Exhaust and Inlet. 1 X X X X
Valve drive Gear train down to crankshaft gear included. Position and Geometry. Includes dampers. 2 X X X X
Covers Covers closing the areas in contact with engine oil Cam covers, Cam-timing covers… 1 X X X X
Crankshaft Crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter. 2 X X X X X
Crankshaft Except Crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter. Includes Crankshaft bearings. 2 X X
Con rods Including small and big end bearings. 2 X
Pistons Including bearings and pin. Excluding crown. 2 X
Air valve system Including compressor, air pressure regulation devices. 1 X X X X X
Ancillaries drive From ancillary to power source. Includes position of the ancillaries as far as drive is concerned. 3 X X X X
Oil pressure pumps Including filter. Excluding internal if no impact on body. 1 X X
Oil scavenge systems Any scavenging system. 1 X X
Oil recuperation Oil/air separator, Oil tank, catch tank. 1 X
Engine Water pumps Include power unit mounted water pipes. 1 X
Injection system PU mounted fuel system components: (e.g. High Pressure fuel hose, fuel rail, fuel injectors, accumulators). Excluding injector nozzle. 2 X
Inlet system Plenum and associated actuators. Excluding pressure charging, trumpets and throttle associated parts and actuators. 1 X
Inlet system Trumpets and associated parts and actuators. 1 X
Inlet system Throttles and associated parts and actuators. 1 X
Pressure charging From compressor inlet to compressor outlet. 2 X
Pressure charging From turbine inlet to turbine outlet. 2 X
Pressure charging From Engine exhaust flanges to turbine inlet. 1
Pressure charging External actuators linked to Pressure charging. 1 X
Electrical system Engine mounted electrical components (e.g. wiring loom within legality volume, sensors, alternator). Excluding actuators, ignition coils and spark plugs. 1
Ignition system Ignition coils, driver box. 1 X
Lubrication All parts in which circulates oil under pressure (Oil pump gears, channels, piping, jets) and not mentioned elsewhere in the table. 1 X
Friction coatings 1 X
Sliding or rotating seals 1 X
MGU-H Complete. All internals including bearings, casing… 2 X
MGU-H Position, Transmission. 2 X
MGU-H Power electronics. 1 X
MGU-K Complete. All internals including bearings, casing… 2 X
MGU-K Position, Transmission. 2 X
MGU-K Power electronics. 1 X
ERS Wiring loom. 1
ES Cells (Article 5.4.3). 2 X
ES BMS. 2 X
ERS - Cooling/lubrication Cooling/Lubrication systems (Including ES jackets, pipes, pumps, actuators). 1 X

Note: X = No modifying/development allowed

Details 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total of weighted items 66 66 66 66 66 66
Total of weighted modifiable items 61 51 51 43 3 3
Quota of total weighted items allowed for modifications 32 25 20 15 3 3
% of modifications allowed vs. complete weighted PU 48 38 30 23 5 5
Total of frozen items 5 15 15 23 63 63
% PU being frozen 8 23 23 35 95 95

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 26/10/2015 3:39

"What absolute idiocy! How about allowing tokens to customers for suggested innovations. Give Williams, Force India and Manor tokens to help development of their power units. Better yet, just dump the tokens and start penalty system. "

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2. Posted by scf1fan, 17/10/2015 19:34

""I see no restriction on the use of my Illudium PU 36 Explosive Space Time Modulator!!!" Marvin thought. Now my cars will be able to reach the finish line before the lights even go out!!! Ha, ha, haaaa . . . "

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3. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 17/10/2015 8:18

"@slracer. That list was published *before* the meeting enabling in season development was held. As the article states. I am sure they will publish a new table as when the groups decisions have been ratified by the WMSC. "

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4. Posted by slracer, 16/10/2015 17:24

"I first read this and I thought "That is a lot more development being allowed!" until I got to the END of the list when I see that "Note: X = No modifying/development allowed". So now, there are 15 FROZEN items for 2016(compared to 5 this year) and 23% of the engine (vs 5%). The good news is that there are still 32 "tokens" allowed (even if they can't all be used where necessary)?

INSANE - I don't know if "...in this day and age of hyper detailed modeling and forecasts we are not going to see a new spec engine go bang ten laps in to the race..." would be too accurate, maybe you should read about the newest spec engine as installed in Fernando's McLaren last race? It didn't go "bang", but it certainly didn't perform as expected and spent a bit more time in the garage than anticipated. JMHO"

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 16/10/2015 14:41

"The madness goes on.

So does this mean they can or can't actually "develop" as much as is needed or does it mean that they can develop a "bit" dependent on their ration of tokens and Bernie's state of mind at the time?"

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6. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 16/10/2015 14:39

"Well this die hard F1 fan of over 30 years thinks that this is all sorts of great news! The teams run by the engine manufacturers now get the added benefit of having proper customer teams. If Mercedes would rather be racing Williams than Ferrari or McLaren then they now have the ability to stack the field. I can't really remember a time when this wasn't so, and just the idea of forcing the customer teams to have to the same spec engine was a desperate ploy to keep the Austrian vodka mixers in the sport. As for the in season development, brilliant! Fantastic! Best news around! These engines are at the beginning of their time in the sport and this should of been allowed from the get go. Yes, I have no problem with the token system although if they got rid of that and just said to hell with it let's go nuts then that of course would be even better! Now of course in this day and age of hyper detailed modeling and forecasts we are not going to see a new spec engine go bang ten laps in to the race, but, the teams will still have to carry that weight in the back of their minds when they are rolling out a new spec engine. Do they do it before a power circuit and hope the extra power helps them or do they wait until after the power circuit and play safe on the reliability?! Another fascinating level of intrigue back in a sport, that let's face it, is under constant threat of being dumbed down at every turn.

No, I don't think they also need to bring back in season testing or, if they can get that rammed through, then it should be at somewhere where they don't race and only the third/reserve/test driver gets to drive.

And if all of this just hastens the departure of the Austrian vodka mixers then so be it. Of course they could just put up and shut up, accept being a customer team for a while and work on getting a new engine partner into the sport (GM anyeone?!)."

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7. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 16/10/2015 9:57

"So, now that the promises made to Mercedes to let them win for a couple of years have been "honoured", emergency action to try to keep Renault on board...
"

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8. Posted by ryanhellyer, 16/10/2015 7:23

"Copy the Indycar engine rules. Problem solved. Is there something I'm missing here?

Indycar has high powered turbo charged engines, which can easily be moved between cars, don't cost much (in comparison to their F1 counterparts) and manufacturers provide the same spec engines to all of their customers.

This doesn't seem like rocket science to me. These problems have been solved by others, so I don't see why F1 feels it needs a convoluted complex set of rules to achieve exactly the same thing."

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9. Posted by BWesty, 16/10/2015 7:16

"Huh? Okay, at the risk of making a complete fool out of myself...please can someone explain this to me? Read quote below:
"At the same time, the plan to force manufacturers to supply the same spec power unit to customer teams as their works team has been thrown out."

How is this a good thing for the customers teams??? Are the like of Williams allowed to modify/upgrade or experiment on the engines given to them by Mercedes for example?
That would seem crazy, if they break the engine Mercedes can just turn around and say "You bought it, you broke it, sorry.."
The only people developing engines are the manufacturers!!? So if the manufacturers are allowed to develop an engine in season and they do not have to give the customer the newly developed engine (as per quote above) How is this helping the customer teams??? I'm I not understanding this?

PLEASE enlighten me someone!!!???"

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10. Posted by TimothyWilliams, 16/10/2015 6:56

"The fact that this gibberish exists and that I have read through it shows just how much in need of reform and simplification Formula one has become. I fear that the paying public and fanbase see these technical obfuscations in the same way that they view the fraud perpetrated by VW. A simplification of the rules will reduce costs and increase trust in the manufacturers who now effectively own F1."

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