F1 teams lobby for equal engines (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. The curent situation of unequal engines is the result of the anti-autosport freeze on engine development. Allow any development and manufactures will get their chance to equal their engines by innovation.

  2. Haas,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).

    Forgive me if I’m wrong here, but I thought the reason that the FIA introduced the engine freeze was so that people would spend their money and research into something else, ie. KERS

    I don’t think that any of the teams developed any component for reliabilty, and in it’s newest guise it developed less power, and Renault went from the mid of the grid to poles and front three rows, so I suspect that they did the same.

    I think really Flav is trying to buy time and establish the rules, as he did last year in the spying rows.

    Does anybody really think that Flav only found out about the McLaren information on his teams computers the week following McLarens ruling? His team had actually questioned the legitamacy of some of that years car- McLarens j damper, because Renault backroom staff couldn’t understand it.

  3. @ PinballLes

    I think the limiting of fuel is a great idea,I echo the the first paragraph of what Dan M said….but,I am not quite sure about the rev limiter thing Dan,seems to me that frying an engine undermines the purpose of trying to go green.(of course Formula 1 and GREEN are a contridiction in terms to begin with)

  4. I voted yes, though I felt the wording was loaded! What I feel is that teams should be given an equal opportunity to develop their engines before the start of next season. Then freeze them again (according to Mad Max’s wishes), and this time do it properly. If any team is left behind after that, well tough luck.

  5. Limiting the amount of fuel available to a car during a race will require the different team’s engineers to get smarter about creating high powered engines that are fuel efficient.

    The research and development required to create a high powered fuel efficient engine may require a fair chunk of cash to do, however by “forcing” the teams to engineer fuel efficient high performance engines, not only does it “look green”, it also has a major benefit to the actual road cars that the different manufacturers build and sell to us, the public. If the manufacturers can use the knowledge they gain by creating fuel efficient formula one engines, and apply it to the engines used in road cars, we can all start driving around in cars that use less fuel without compromising on power, which is good for our wallet, and kind of better for the environment at the same time.

    If I was in charge, I’d set one rule regarding engines – each car is allowed to use “x” number of litres of fuel per race, and forget about power limits, rev limits, engine size limits etc, and let the engineers get innovative and create a fuel efficient high powered engine.

  6. As no-one, not even Bernie or the FIA, know the exact recipe that makes F1 work as well as it does you would have thought that they’d bring any fundamental changes like this in slowly. In order to reduce the risk and resolve it if it fails (such as qualifying over the last 10 years).

    To level the aero, bring in KERS, allocate slicks, reduce costs AND limit the engine outputs all at once will make it easier for die-hard petrol-heads to walk away from the sport should it not work.

    The big question is – does F1 really need these sorts of changes? Based on this article in The Guardian, the need to reduce costs doesn’t wash with the teams.

  7. PinballLes –

    Limiting the amount of fuel available to a car during a race will require the different team’s engineers to get smarter about creating high powered engines that are fuel efficient.

    Lots of people have made that point and I’ve still not heard a good argument against it. Yes, it would open up engine development and increase costs, but it’s not as if KERS is inexpensive is it?

  8. Certainly NOT!

    I think they can just equalize engine geometrical measurements and weight. The power of the car now depends (and should not be equalized) on the efficiency of the manufacacturer’s design.

    If they are to equalize the power, i think it much is better to have a pedal-powered F1 car and strip the constructors title as well.

  9. AmericanTifosi
    12th November 2008, 4:33

    One problem with KERS that has been cited, besides the danger, is the weight. If KERS must be implemented (please, no) I propose that they lower the minimum weight of the cars. This would encourage the teams to design lighter gearboxes, engines, KERS systems, and a host of other things.
    Maybe this idea is rubbish, but I think that the weight restrictions are too limiting.

    And to get back on subject, standerdised F1 engines is a horrible idea and if it is passed, the best option would be all-out revolt.

  10. Thinking about it , specifying a maximum capacity of 2.4l is already a form of standardisation , so I say they should leave it at that , and with the 19000 RPM limit. If teams like Ferrari and McLaren are innovative enough to extricate more out of such a spec. engine than Renault and Honda , then it’s up to the latter to get off their tails and do some more development to catch up. A large part of F1 is all about continual development and must be left that way.

  11. I wonder if the rules could change to be more like those used at Le Mans:
    The races are run to a set time limit (set by the tv broadcasts and satellite time).
    The cars carry (or are only allowed) enough fuel to last that long.
    Therefore, the more efficient cars can go faster for longer. Which will also reflect the driver’s style and the efficiency of the pit crew.
    There ought to be enough technology about to use telementary to show the more efficient cars.
    And it will relate whats happening on the track to normal cars.
    And it will show a ‘green’ side to F1 as its about speed and efficiency together.
    And the engines themselves don’t have to have equal power etc.
    I know Le Mans has been doing this for years, but it would be a better show case in F1……

  12. As far as the history of F1 goes (more than 5 decades) “formula” (rules, limits) was changing ever since, so changes aren’t anything new. This decision is quite controversial, but maybe it’s really needed. If few teams will leave F1, because they simply don’t have enought money to keep up with leaders, than who will be left to fight? Car industry is quite in f-up situation right now (just lost my job because of it) and i just hope it will not influence F1.

  13. Brilliant debate as ever Keith.

    And you have it spot on ! Surely fuel consumption is the only thing that gets the attention of the average joe these days. ‘Wot does it do to the gallon ?’ And obscure and deeply complicated costs of F1 development are entirely lost on him. Get F1 sending a message that if your car is super fast but guzzles gas at won’t make the chequered flag ! It’s a nice simple ‘Red Top’ publicity cert. As for all other arguments,just read some of the text stevepCambsUK gives us. Jeez……

    Always remember that however complicated and watertight you think you’ve made the rules, within a couple of weeks of presenting them, a couple of brilliant young engineers will blow a hole in it ! It’s the name of the game.

    And one final point. Has anyone looked closely at relative qualifying time across the 2007/2008 seasons lately ? The top ten cars are so close to each other, it hurts. So we need to make cars MORE competitive ???

  14. If Max and Flavio keep this foolishness up, they might just get outpaced by NASCAR. Yes, I said it.

  15. Oops. I meant to vote no but my hand leapt out of its own accord and clicked on yes. My bad.

    To me, there appears to be very little difference between ‘equal’ engines and ‘standard’ engines.

  16. I say bring back the odd angled V engines of Renault, a very clever workaround to having less power, better wieght distribution.


  18. Max. Youre being an F1 dictator. Max, the Saddam Husein of F1.

  19. Rudy Van Goolen
    21st November 2008, 17:44

    the same engines would take out the soul of F1 Wat would a ferrari be whit a honda engine

  20. Same engines say Honda. Yeah right and that’s from a team that less than 1 month later pulls the pin…

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