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29 Sept 2012

Pitpass recently ran a story in regard to Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemelo having disdain for the new V6 Turbo engines remarking that they sound awful (

As a few have tweeted me about this I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring on the subject and allay any fears over the situation.  I believe the story that Pitpass have run may be something that has sat around in the annuls for some time and has just come to fruition.  I cannot see at this late stage in the development of the engines that these won't be used in 2014.  The sheer costs and R&D for the engine manufacturers alone will be enough to force them through for 2014.  Bernie and Luca can have their opinions as the FIA are the rulemakers and so unless they can get Jean Todt to change the regulations the engines are coming

The new engines are quite a departure from the current 2.4 V8 format with a third of all the V6 Turbo's power being created by Energy Recovery Systems (ERS).  Unlike the wild and fragile engines used during the 80's turbo era these new engines are at the pinnacle of engineering.  Mated to a new 8 speed transmission the engines will be extremely frugal on fuel consumption with a fuel flow restriction placed on the teams. This will of course be music to Bernie's ears as it means his transportation costs will be dramatically reduced.  That's where it would appear though that Mr E isn't so pleased and so I'd certainly be interested to hear one of the new gen engines on a bench test just as he has.  I'd suggest, although they may not have the same sort of gravitas the current engines may have these new engines will have a unique and certainly F1-esque sound bringing F1 to a new generation.  This may be partly to do with the singular exhaust exit that will play havoc with how teams are able to generate additional rear downforce.  That also tied to a reduction in the width of the Front Wing and the loss of the Rear Beam Wing amongst other aero changes for 2014 may spice up the racing somewhat.

The V8 although relevant to sportscar manufacturers like Ferrari is somewhat of a cumbersome old beast and with a push worldwide to reduce carbon emissions, use less fuel and strive for better efficiency these engines tick those boxes.

Complaints have come from all the teams at the cost implications for the supply of the new engines but just as Bernie finds he will have to transport less fuel around the world so will they have less to buy.  Cosworth have yet confirmed if they will produce the new V6 but with only Marussia & HRT on their client list I can't see them being able to financially support the project.  Craig Pollock's P.U.R.E has run into financial difficulties and so their engine project may now be dead in the water too.  These leaves F1 with just three suppliers who are all well into their R&D of the new units with Mercedes and Ferrari already having them on the bench, testing.

Progress always comes at a cost and the teams will unfortunately bear the cost of this, meanwhile with so much power being available through ERS for the first time in a long time Aero won't be the only disparity between teams.  Whoever comes up with the best ERS system will have an advantage over their competitors just as I floated the idea of Mercedes doing just that in my article Technical Assessment of Lewis to Mercedes

I'll leave you with the thought that Mercedes have apparently now signed the Concorde Agreement, this document although never seen in the public is an agreement between the teams and FOM.  The new V6 Turbo engines will have been an intrinsic part of this agreement and as such Mercedes will have demanded the switch happen having invested so much time and money in the project.  If Bernie & Ferrari really do have a massive problem with the V6 then perhaps they should continue to use the current V8 and KERS packages, one things for sure if they did it would quickly show the merits of a new engine over an engine being used for over 6 years in terms of economy and tyre usage.

1 comment:

  1. I think the v6 will probably sound different, but exotic and unlike anything you here driving around town. The point is not about the size of the engine, number of cylinders, or rpm. It's in the ability to be just as quick or quicker on less fuel. Recovering energy and turning into lap time. Frankly everytime they show a preview of the next upcoming race they always show the record lap and its almost always 2004 or 2005. I watch F1 for the speed. I had a feeling we were headed in the right direction last year with Vettel pushing the fastest quali laps in this generation 2009+. I don't think EBD or DDD are really important to road cars but ERS recovering that lost energy is relevant. Frankly I would love to have a Williams Flybrid system in my next family vehicle. Give it that extra boost w/o 9 mpg.


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