F1 teams lobby for equal engines (Poll)

Renault want engine performance to be equalised in F1 in 2009

Renault want engine performance to be equalised in F1 in 2009

Honda and Renault are leading the push for F1 engines to have equal power outputs in 2009.

Renault?s Flavio Briatore is said to have demanded the equalisation because Renault, unlike many other teams, did not get around the ??engine freeze? rules to enhance its power output in 2008.

Should the FIA equalise engine power in 2009? How could it be done?

Coming only a few weeks after the Formula One Teams Association argued strongly and successfully against standard engines , it seems strange that some of those teams now wants the FIA to make all engine power outputs the same.

It seems like a very complicated proposal to me. The characteristics of an engine are not simply defined by its power output – torque and the nature of the power delivery (is it smooth and progressive or does it all come in one big lump) also play an important role. Would these have to be equalised too?

Would it even be technically possible for the FIA to monitor the different variables and ensure the teams don’t make further performance tweaks to their engines? Presumably it would have to be done by the standard ECU introduced this year.

The attraction of equalising engine power is that it would help keep the racing close. But is equalising engine performance an artificial device that contradicts the ethos of Formula 1?

Do you think the FIA should try to equalise the power of teams’ engines in 2009? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should F1 teams get equal engines in 2009? (Poll)

  • Yes (16%)
  • No (80%)
  • Don't know (4%)

Total Voters: 497

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2009 F1 season

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40 comments on F1 teams lobby for equal engines (Poll)

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  1. What is Flavio looking at? Reduce all the constructor advantages of the other teams and try to have a sort of equal machines in the field (not by his team’s improvement, and by depreciating the other machines) and try to win the championship with Alonso?

    Come on Flavio, make a fair play. Try to equal other machines (McLaren and Ferrari) on the field technically, and not like this.

    Of course, you can’t make a competitive machine right from the season start for 2009 but to retain Alonso you must give him a competitive car somehow and you’re doing it (but int he wrong way). As someone said earlier in this blog, you’re trying to make the constructor championship points meaningless!!! Bravo!

  2. Max, please stop spoiling the sport. If you just need the driver’s race, try to watch GP2 or some other spec series. For god’s sake leave F1, you’re becoming the best example for the worst rule-maker of the sport.

  3. Have clear limits on chassis , aero etc. , but let the teams do the rest in terms of engines and gearboxes – just limit the rev’s and specify the number of races engines and gearboxes must do – that will limit costs as well. But to try to put specific constraints on engine power or have one engine supplier will take away a lot of the sports uniqueness.

  4. I support Flavio and Ross Brawn on this issue. My argument is simple, what did the ‘Engine freeze’ mean? It was done for the teams to stop developing thier engine to cut costs (coz engine development took a huge chunk of money out of the F1 teams).

    It was a valid clause to allow unreliable parts of the engine to be worked upon… that made sure that if someone had made a major mistake at the engine freeze they wouldnt have to suffer for the next few years.

    Now if teams bent the rule to take advantage and continuously improve the performance, that was sneaky but counter productive to the whole cost cutting issue.

    I would personally prefer if there was no engine freeze in the first place but if you are going to put down a rule then make sure nobody gets an advantage.

    Im not sure if standard engines are possible (I actually hope that does not happen) but I would like it to atleast make more stringent checks to stop teams from taking advantage.

  5. ceedas said on 11th November 2008, 8:03

    The freeze was introduced at a time when the engines were all at about the same level, but that’s no longer the case. Therefore, either the engines should be equalised or the freeze should be lifted (or you provide the teams with a specification for an engine that they buy or build themselves…).

  6. FOTA stand together under Ferrari and Toyota and unanimously declare they are against any levelling of engine performance, apart from Renault and Honda. This is what I predicted when I first heard of FOTA – the teams just don’t agree enough on anything to be seen as an ‘Association’.
    Interestingly, neither Honda or Renault did any engine development last year, concentrating on 2009/2010 and KERS. Does this mean they have already scaled down their development departments? So they no longer have the people around to make continous changes in a season?
    This might be the beginning of the end for these Manufacturers in F1, if they can no longer keep up with the spending power of the other teams…….

  7. The FIA cant equalise engine power but im sure they will try tho for 2009…..
    I still find it hard to believe there are 5,000 individual parts to an F1 engine so theres allways room for some bright spark to gain an advantage for his team.
    November 28th will be an interesting day when the 2010 tendors are announced or FOTA announce they will break away and refuse the FIA’s ‘rulings’
    I believe 2009 will be an important year for F1 and hopefully the ‘push to pass’ button (kers)and new aero changes will be a success and then the teams can get over any problems about 2010 whether they have the ‘same’ engines or not.

  8. PinballLes said on 11th November 2008, 9:21

    Rather than engine freezes, or limiting horsepower, how about limiting the amount of fuel that is allowed be used by each car in the race, thereby forcing the different team’s engineers to look at ways of maintaining performance, whilst using less fuel.

  9. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 11th November 2008, 9:27

    I fully disagree with this policy. I like F1 because it’s the maximum when we think about materials research, technical development, aerodynamic science, fluids, simulation, CAD, and on and on and on….. The only limit teams know, respect, and obbey is called MONEY. They will spend till the last cent of their budget if they can. When they run out of money, well, that’s their limit. If you want fair play, then a maximum amount of money to spend will be fair, clear and easy to understand. Rest of this story is just to steal a piece of F1’s soul, IMO.

  10. just found some more info on engines….

    2006-2007
    2400cc engine with 8 cylinders in a 90° V bank, each one with 2 inlet and 2 outlet valves. An engine must weigh at least 95kg, mainly limited to be built with Aluminium alloys (with ceramics, metal matrix and magnesium alloys forbidden). Variable geometry intake and output systems forbidden.
    750 hp at 19000+ rpm

    2008-2012
    2400cc engine with 8 cylinders in a 90° V bank. Regulations identical to those set since 2006. Engines are homologated by the FIA and development is freezed for 10 years. Therefore, because of a WMSC decision on 7 December 2007, no engine other than those available at 31 March 2008 can compete in an F1 event between 2008 and 2017.
    The world motor sport council also issued the followin on 7th December 2007:
    The following aerodynamic testing restrictions will be applied from 2008:

    • Teams to use no more than one wind tunnel.
    • Test fluid to be air at atmospheric pressure.
    • Maximum test section wind speed 50m/sec.
    • Maximum model scale 60%.
    • No more than one model to be tested during a run.
    • Maximum usage to be equivalent to 15 runs per 8 hour day on 5 days per week for team F1 purposes. Tunnel may be contracted out at other times.
    • Aerodynamic testing may only take place in wind tunnels if at reduced scale or at FIA approved test tracks if full scale. Full size testing to be subject to the F1 testing agreement.
    • Full scale specific aerodynamic testing is to be reduced to 5 days/year.
    • Restrictions will be imposed to stop shift of resource from wind tunnel testing to CFD.
    • The number of people involved in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) development will be limited to a number to be agreed.
    • CFD computer systems will be characterised in order to set hardware performance limits but growth will be allowed year-on-year to allow for hardware / software development.

    Other restrictions will be placed on Rig Testing, Design and Manufacturing, Suspension and Brakes, Hydraulic Systems, Bodywork, Weight Distribution, Circuit Testing and the number of personnel at races.

    Further details of these restrictions will be given to the teams at a meeting on 11 January 2008 and detailed regulations based on these principles will be put forward at the spring meeting of the WMSC.

    The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), to be introduced in 2009, will continue to be an entirely open technology. As such, the use of any type of KERS storage/transmission technology will be permitted.
    Source FIA

    For 2009 each engine must be used for 3 races, slicks will be back and tyre warmers are banned

  11. Oliver said on 11th November 2008, 11:56

    I really would like to know how, Honda and Renault plan to go about upgrading their engines. Are they planning on using a new engine or upgraded parts. Clearly the same avenue by which some teams where able to improve on their engine performance, was available to these teams. Why didn’t they make use of it. They can still make use of it.
    The manufacturers where allowed to re-tune their engines for the 19,000 Rpm rev limit. If they chose not to then they should hold themselves responsible. Power output equality was never the reason for the freeze. Engine reliability and performance reduction was why the rev limit was decided upon.
    The only solution would be to allow all manufactures upgrade then re freeze. Allowing just a few the permission to upgrade will be most unfair and potentially dangerous.

  12. Kester said on 11th November 2008, 12:27

    Surely if Renault and Honda are aware of updates other teams have done they should just be free to do the same updates to their own engines.

    Problem solved.

  13. schumi the greatest said on 11th November 2008, 12:47

    nooo!! i dont want f1 getting any closer to a spec series…i undertsand the need to cut costs but it doesnt need to be done by equalising everything. part of f1 is the technical challenge to design a better car than your rivals, thats why the best engineers and the biggest car manafacturers are in f1, to prove they are the best!

  14. The Renault gripe about the engine freeze was that they’d stuck to the spirit of the scheme, whereas others (Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW) had snuck in power increases under the guise of reliability improvements.

    Equalising the power output of F1 engines just seems pointless – it would just shift the focus onto torque curves, fuel efficiency, weight, etc. Ultimately, one team would still have some sort of advantage over the rest. Finding a way to completely standardise engine performance across the full range of metrics is difficult, and ultimately wrong. Otherwise, what distinguishes a Renault from a Toyota or a Mercedes? Essentially nothing, just like the standard engine concept.

    However, Renault do have a valid point – if some engine suppliers have managed to gain a power advantage by making “reliability” upgrades then why should they be permitted to carry that forward on an ongoing basis?

    The answer may be allowing the suppliers who didn’t upgrade their engine to catch up or by allowing a new homologation round. But it sure isn’t equalisation.

  15. Robert McKay said on 11th November 2008, 15:03

    I still fail to understand the logic of all these different teams building their own engines just so that the FIA can then all equalise them. It’s silly and wasteful.

    I know the teams don’t want a spec engine, but this is not a better way of doing things.

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