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Todt admits hybrid formula is too complex

NEWS STORY
22/05/2018

In a bid to reduce costs and also entice new manufacturers into the sport, it is planned to introduce more standard parts, while simplifying the engines, a move that will mean the removal of the MGU-H.

Acknowledging the technical achievement of the new formula introduced in 2014, Todt admits that perhaps it went too far in terms of its technical complexity.

"I think we wanted to take as much as we learned from the existing regulations, and try to make things more simply," he said.

"It's a beautiful piece of art, of technology," he continued, "but I hear, well, that it's maybe not what the fans are expecting. It's not something that is absolutely needed to have a good championship.

"So I think it's important that we can learn out of it, and propose something which is supposed to be more simple.

"For me, motorsport, and I have been saying that every time, is on one side a show, but it is not enough, it has to be also a laboratory," he admitted. "A laboratory for the manufacturers, a laboratory for the teams, and a laboratory which can then be profitable on road cars as much as we can. And it is what is happening.

"Saying that, if you think that it has been maybe a bit too far, you must be prepared to go a bit backwards.

"At the end of the day I'm sure that over the years the engine will be even more efficient without MGU-H," he insists.

"We are progressing quite well on the engine," he said of the 2020 formula, the initial proposal for which has already unsettled both Ferrari and Mercedes. "I mean we are close to respecting the deadline we have to publish the engine regulations for 2021, and I hope that it may create some interest for some new manufacturers.

"There is interest, but between interest and commitment, there's a big difference," he admitted.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 25/05/2018 17:34

"How about more than 3 or 6 of any components? If a team wants to spend more on the car and testing, so be it. Just hire a local restaurant as a caterer and stay in a close hotel. Focus on the racing, not the rest."

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2. Posted by mickl, 25/05/2018 2:09

"So bear's really do defecate in the woods then."

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3. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 23/05/2018 16:54

"@Reindeer: Sound doesn't have to come at the expense of efficiency, and Leading-edge engineering will always extract the maximum under the rules in force at any one time. However, here's a fundamental point - why does F1 have to have "efficiency" and "road-relevance" as it's seemingly primary mantras? The WEC is a far more appropriate series for such criteria, given the race durations, and various classes (including those actually derived from road-going cars). Even Jean Todt as admitted as much, about the PU complexity. What should be (and is) of more concern, is the present largely processional racing we are stuck with under the present aero regs. To simplify those should be of more concern if we want to have more genuine passing, rather than the artificial DRS manouvres. In the 40+ years of watching, and spectating at GP's, races have rarely been close affairs (Monza aside). However, seeing, hearing, and knowing that the very best drivers are clearly taking these machines to the absolute edge set F1 apart from the lesser formulae. "

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4. Posted by Uffen, 23/05/2018 14:32

"The manufacturers are talking out of their smelly place. You don't need racing, and certainly not F1, to develop new engines. If these engines are so important to Ferrari, for example, why threaten to quit F1 if the formula changes? After all, they (i.e. FIAT) can afford to do some proper development with no restrictions on engineering changes, parts replacement, etc. They can even work in cold weather and use street fuel and put catalytic converters on the exhaust, and on and on. They cannot claim that the last few years would be "wasted" years. And why did Ferrari stick around when all the other formula rules were in place? What the heck did 20,000+ RPM V8s have to do with the realities of the street? Hybrids had been on the road for many years already. And, what, Ford and GM and BMW and Geeley, etc. can't manage to do this because they're not in F1? C'mon.

No, this is all about power - boardroom-style power. Liberty has studied the landscape and talked to many stakeholders and potential stakeholders and they have concluded that simplifying the engines will attract manufacturers, not drive them away as a whole. Now, I am not a huge fan of Liberty, nor do I care for manufacturer involvement (to a point), but in this case the Ferrari reasoning is bogus.

If the fans don't matter and Liberty is set to destroy F1 then those manufacturers truly concerned can start a breakaway series with evermore silent and efficient power plants and let the chips fall where they may. "

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 23/05/2018 13:58

"I agree in many ways with Insane Reindeer, except that I should have rather more serious constraints on matters of aerodynamics and wing-areas. Otherwise, a near 'formula Libre' approach seems in order.
A weight-limit, the car to fit in a box of X Volume, no limits on Engine type or capacity, maybe a limit on fuel-tank capacity and maybe total consumption per race.
Tyres need to be freed from the need to work poorly, and wear-out in arbitrary ways just to 'spice it up'. NJo cost cap, which will never be achived anyway."

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6. Posted by V10s4Me, 23/05/2018 12:33

"6 engine manufacturers already have proven designs for V10's. If you want Formula 1 cars to sound like Formula 1 cars put the V10's back in them. There is nothing wrong with the Minardi 2 seater Cosworth V10 except it only does a few demo laps at some GP's. Let Formula E hug the trees and get back to real racing in F1."

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7. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 23/05/2018 11:57

"@ClarkwasGod Make your mind up. Do you want lazy, inefficient, engines that make a lot of sound or do you want powerful, bleeding edge, engines that make lots of power and bugger all noise? Because expecting some of the best engine builders in the world to "forget" everything they know just to make a fan pleasing noisy engine is never going to work. I honestly can't remember the first time I read of a road car that had a synthesised engine sound pumped through the speakers into the cabin but it was a good few years ago. You are more likely to have your aural senses assaulted with some "microphone equipped" or otherwise synthetic sound than to have anyone willingly build an F1 engine that wastes energy making a loud exhaust note.

This strikes right at the very core of all the issues I have with F1 since Liberty took over. They want to slow it down, make it a "show", sell the glitz and the glamour, make it simple so that don't have to think to hard when it comes to explaining it to people. Honestly if Liberty really wanted to do something to make F1 an easier show to sell, especially in the US, they should bang some heads together from the IndyCar and NASCAR world and arrange for those two series to also run at COTA. Maybe even send a couple of top teams for some proper full speed runs on the GP weekend. Then publish the lap times. Once people see how much faster a current spec F1 car is around the same track compared to a well driven IndyCar and NASCAR I don't think they will have much of an issue. "

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8. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 22/05/2018 20:41

"@Insane - for fans - particularly those actually at the circuit, the sounds are a fundamental part of the spectacle - back in "the day" when there was only a capacity limitation, we enjoyed the varied sounds of V8's, V12's, H16's assaulting our eardrums - there was completely different music even between different V12's - Matra's and Ferrari's sounded totally different. Allied to this were cars that were not painted to the track, so could be SEEN to be on the limit. Certainly, today's cars are way faster. But their impact is significantly less. Particularly as they are unable to race nose to tail with the crazy aero rules in force (hopefully soon to be simplified/reduced). WEC cars are able to generate stupendous levels of downforce AND race closely by using ground-effect underbody profiles - anybody who watched the Silverstone round in 2016 and the fight between the leading Audi and Porsche, particularly through the Maggots/Beckets complex - side-by-side will know what close racing is all about!
Note - as for the noise, the one exception to that was the (diesel) Audi - almost silent, but when unleashing it's almost 1000bhp out of a slow corner, the acceleration alone is spectacle enough - staggering!

Having superior computer software, or thermal efficiency greater than a competitor leaves most fans absolutely cold - remember at Le Mans for many years the category "Index of Thermal Efficiency" - there, primarily so that a French car (usually an Alpine) could be recorded as a winner - but largely ignored by the rest of the racing world.

Whether the engine rules are simplified or not, the engines will always be the cutting edge of technology (just as the DFV was at the time) - if we, once again get a variety of sounds and a decent volume, I, for one, will be a deal happier.
"

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9. Posted by klmn, 22/05/2018 20:10

"The funny thing with these existing rules is that the Kinetic energy recovery is limited to 2 mega joule per lap.
right ? And this is energy for free."

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10. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 22/05/2018 18:07

"I give up. Why does it matter to the fans what engines are used? These engines are hitting levels of thermal efficiency that only a decade ago where the sole premise of large scale diesel engines and are not far off from gas turbine engines! All because the people who build these engines want to win. They don't build these engines for the fans. The build these engines to win. To. Win! Back in the V10 days the engines used some metal blends that would never ever be seen in road going cars but I never once heard a fan complain that because of that F1 should go back to DFV family of V8 engines. In the dying days of the V8 engines some of them red lined at over 21,000 rpm. Didn't hear anyone complaining about that! F1 engines should be cutting edge. They should take the rule book and shred it to within a picometre of being illegal. They should make immense levels of power from a tiny package and they should do it all while making what ever sound is the unfortunate by-product of what ever little bit of wasted energy they spill out.

With the way that Todt and the others talk about these new rules I can see F1 going back to the DFV days. They will try to engineer just enough leeway in the rules to mean that Ferrari can build their own engine and everyone else will run a Mercdes/Renault/Honda/Ilmor/Cosworth (delete as so desired) engine. This will work fine for maybe five years until one of the old guard realises that there is a tiny tiny loop hole that they can exploit and bang, before you know it, it is engine war time again and the "fans" rejoice as they were fed up sick of everyone using the same engine. All while failing to remember that it was their very own wailing and moaning that got them into this place in the first place.

F1 should be, should always be, about covering the race distance as fast as possible, the overtaking and the "noise" should be so far behind this as to be meaningless. Pushing the envelope. Breaking it if the teams can get away with it. If Liberty and Todt and the FIA want to get rid of these amazing engines then it should be every team for itself. Oh, by all means let a team supply one or more extra teams if they want to, but if Mercedes or Ferrari or Renault just want to run their own engine in their own team then let them. The engines should be allowed to be updated as often as the teams want. There should be no limit on the number of engines used. There should be no limit on things like oil burn or the number of cylinders or materials used to build them and they must all make and use all of their own electronics! No "unified" ECU and associated from McLaren or anyone else for that matter. And if the FIA wants to "keep costs down" it can just remove F1 completely and make F2 the premier single seat class that they run. Or maybe they should all just realise that if costs really are something that bothers some of the teams, then those teams can quit. Or they can run to a "spec" class for those teams that want to be in F1 while saving money but those teams will be forever banned from competing for the overall driver and team championships, something that has been done before during the last turbo engine era and it worked OK then.

I say yes to as much aerodynamics as the teams want. I say yes to these engines. I say yes to allowing them to develop both the cars and engines under the current rules for at least another five years, a decade would be better. I say yes to allowing new tyre manufacturers being able to come in and supply just one team if they want. I say no to Liberty trying to turn F1 into the "World Championship of IndyCar". I say no to the so called fans of a sport they barely understand being given so much say in how the sport is run. I say no to being able to hear the pit to car radio transmissions.
"

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11. Posted by Mad Matt, 22/05/2018 18:05

"One of Renault's engineers said
“The MGU-H is more of an F1 thing. We have started to see a similar device in production cars. It’s called an e-turbo, and it is designed to spin the turbocharger at lower revs.”
.....and as said below it's already developed, removing it will probably drive up costs as the manufacturers look for alternative ways to smooth out the torque curve.

Besides which none of this will effect overtaking or the ability to run close to the car in front and jockey for position."

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12. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 22/05/2018 17:18

"@Greg
You are right that only Toyota run LMP1H cars now that Audi & Porsche have departed. I have always maintained that the hybrid PU's have little or no place in F1 - Endurance racing is far more relevant for that equipment. But, as with any series where manufacturers are involved, costs spiral out of control.

As for Todt now admitting the F1 PU's are too complex (and basically that Ecclestone was right all along), I wonder how much of this about-face has to do with Macron's election to President of France stymieing his (Todt's) long held desire to achieve that post?"

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13. Posted by Greg, 22/05/2018 16:52

"@Ro. WEC alreasy has hybrid engines so not sure how the F1 style fits in here. Making the F1 simpler is 1 way to cut some costs but i cannot see just the MGU-H getting to tje road cars either. WEC coukd lead but only toyota are still in hybrid i think. The rest run "normal" engines."

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14. Posted by Ro, 22/05/2018 16:39

"Sorry @teds there is no way that the MGU-H will EVER be found in future road cars. Its complexity and cost will be out of reach by all on Earth. The current engine would be better suited to endurance racing, not F1. Finally the FIA is seeing the light and the sooner these awful sounding engines are scrapped for the benefit of F1"

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15. Posted by TedS, 22/05/2018 16:21

"Well, Mr Todt, I'm not sure about your efficiency claims. the MGU-H is turning even more of the waste heat into power. if that just goes out the tailpipe, by definition the engine will have less efficiency.

At this point development of the MGU-H is a sunk cost, and ridding the sport of it simply throws away a crap-ton of R&D. With only 3 engines per year to be used it isn't as if the MGU-H will be a huge extra cost, nor will they be bringing a new one each race.

Yet one more time the FiA shows how stupid they can be by 'going to far' one way, and then retracting too far.

MGU-H is a technology that could well end up on road cars and is well worth the investment for Honda, Renault and Mercedes. "

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