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It's time to look at the engine formula says Brawn

NEWS STORY
15/12/2016

While there has been much focus on the negative aspects of the new engine formula introduced in 2014, there has been little public recognition of the positive aspects.

While much attention is still focussed on the noise and even the need to manage various aspects of the new power unit, the sheer reliability - unless you are Lewis Hamilton - and energy efficiency of the new rules has been woefully overlooked.

Technical guru Ross Brawn, who has been linked with a senior role in the sport under Liberty Media, believes F1's powers-that-be should be looking to the next engine formula change in 2020 and in particular decide whether the sport should continue heading in the same 'green' direction as road cars.

"F1 has to take a hard look at what it wants from an engine," he told the FIA's AUTO magazine. "What we've done in the last few years is align ourselves with road cars. We've got this revolution going on, and the road cars we'll have in five to ten years' time are going to be very different.

"Can we maintain the technological marvel of F1 but acknowledge that perhaps now is the time to start diverging from where road cars are going?" he continued. "If we don't, logic says we could have electric or fuel-cell F1 cars in a few years' time. We have Formula E and that's establishing its place, but for me F1 isn't just a technological demonstration, it's a whole circus, and what's the best way of maintaining that?

"It might be time to say, 'We've had this technological marvel, but we're going to step back and think about what F1 ideally wants from an engine, which may have to contain some technologies that are relevant.'"

"We have to sit down with the manufacturers, teams and interested parties and decide what we want beyond 2020," he argues. "Maybe it's what we've got now but refined in terms of cost and complexity, because the engine is too expensive.

"In some ways the current engine is a technological marvel and it did re-engage the manufacturers, but if F1 starts to look at 2020 now there's time to do it without anyone feeling any competitive disadvantage, with the investments and plans being made correctly.

"You need two years to sort an engine out. By the end of next year, Formula 1 needs to know what sort of engine it needs for the future."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Daydah, 19/12/2016 17:44

"Why not 2-strokes? 30,000 revs and a ear splitting headache."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Paul C, 19/12/2016 17:35

"Give teams real power unit options. Spend more on the cars and teams and open up the rules. F1 needs to be a race, not an economy run with a starting sprint. How about a halfway leader bonus or mid race sprints? "

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3. Posted by SideGlance, 18/12/2016 5:41

"Spindoctor, I disagree unless you view the current engines as nostalgia too, in 1980's they had the ugly sounding but incredibly powerful engine formula, and was at least a challenge to drive unlike today.

No the sound and the fury of the current engines are hardly exciting, and 1 direction would be indirect engine, engine acting as generator powering elec engines on 2 or 4 wheels or as RB says, totally elec w/ either fuel cell via hydrogen or battery/charging.

F1 does not nor should it 'have' to reflect road going cars at all - few to NONE road cars are single seaters, have open wheels, enable head of driver to be decapitated, etc.

No F1 is entertainment ! Period, sure it uses engineering but so does Nascar ! And surely F1 needs a more exciting sound than currently or more exciting than Nascar or other forms of racing.

So going back to V-10's or some such would add excitement, but maybe limit fuel or fuel flow or port sizes or some other limitation - but as Alonso says, the current cars are BORING & most of the time so is the racing !

And to me the current sound is dreadful, it is NOISE, whereas I thought the V-12,V-10, V-8 (except for exhaust flatulence) were musical, lovely, loud yes but hearing from a distance, very nice and exciting, the current diesel truck drone sound/noise is NOT !"

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 16/12/2016 10:09

"You can't swim in the same river twice.
Nostalgia for those fire-breathing V8,10,12's of yore is only that: nostalgia.
Maybe the current PUs are too complex, and expensive, but F1 is a very expensive business whichever way you slice it. Now the start-up R&D costs must be nearly amortised, the real-world per-unit cost of the motors must surely diminish, though that's no guarantee that Mercedes & co. will charge any less...

It wasn't so long ago that everyone was bemoaning the procession-inducing dominance of RBR and nobody blamed the boredom on the V8s. If you want every driver with the talent to have a "fair" chance of winning, you need a limited Formula. F1 is all about the startling innovation, or the sneaky rule interpretation and someone will always find that extra bit of performance....

If I had my way there'd be far fewer rules, and if Ross Brawn wanted to run a V8-powered team let him as long as he can do so within an overall fuel limitation. It seems to me that we need to look elsewhere to pep-up F1 "

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5. Posted by Paul C, 15/12/2016 22:11

"Let's go whole hog the other way from green idiocy. The next F1 formula should be 4 or 5 liter V8's with big injector stacks and dual exhausts. Let's have an F500 Revival formula! Toss out all of the hybrid/KERS/DRS stuff."

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6. Posted by Daydah, 15/12/2016 16:30

"F1 should never have to pay homage to the green do-gooders. It should not be necessary to have road car relevance. It is the delusions of the car industry advertisers that has brought this nonsense about. Let them go sports car racing.
F1 should be shock and awe, modern day chariot racing. Let engines scream, let the ground shake. "

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7. Posted by Tweek, 15/12/2016 16:09

"...."energy efficiency of the new rules has been woefully overlooked"...... no it hasn't. I don't care how efficient the engine in a 2 hour race is. I care about it making power, speed, and noise. I wonder how much faster a modern f1 car would be without the fuel sipping regulations, maximum boost levels, rpm limits, and a double sized gas tank. "

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