Should engines be equalised? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2010

Red Bull continue to claim they are at a disadvantage because their Renault engine produces less power than the Mercedes or Ferrari V8s.

The championship leaders want F1’s engine development ‘freeze’ restrictions lifting so that engine power can be equalised between the teams.

Should they be allowed to?

Pro

Christian Horner of Red Bull has claimed the Renault engines his team use are 20-30bhp down on the likes of Mercedes.

Mark Webber put the case for engine equalisation at the end of the post-race press conference in Hungary:

The reason our car is quite good on these sort of tracks?? we?ve been looking for engine parity for the last few years.

We know we don?t have the most powerful engine. When we go to a track where there are not many straights, the car is good because we?ve had to try incredibly hard to get the car performing in this type of situation, so we would love parity with the engine.

Other teams sometimes want everything, but we need parity on the engine and then it would be a fair game. That?s all we want, again, is similar horsepower to other teams and this is another example, when you go to different venues like here, we see who has a nice car. It?s not a one way street with this stuff you know.
Mark Webber

Red Bull tried to acquire a supply of Mercedes engines this year but McLaren and Brawn (now the Mercedes works team) blocked the deal.

Con

Red Bull’s case for ‘equalising’ engine performance is based solely around how much power their engine produces.

But there are other aspects which determine how good an engine is: physical factors like weight, centre of gravity and size but also how power is delivered and how much fuel it uses.

If engine power is going to be equalised, surely all these factors should be too? In which case, why not switch to a single specification engine?

Renault’s engine is believed to have the best fuel economy, which would allow teams using it to carry less fuel. So perhaps the trade-off for having a power deficit (likely to be less than estimate) is not so bad.

Webber’s comments were probably made with an eye on the next two rounds on the calendar at Spa and Monza, where engine performance is very important.

I say

The engine equalisation argument is a bit of a red herring. The real debate over engines is how they will change under the new rules due to be introduced in 2013.

It’s more important to solve that long-term problem. And that’s where the F1 teams should focus their energies – instead of equalising engines which are only going to be in service for two more years anyway.

You say

Should F1 engines have their power outputs equalised? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should F1 engines have their power outputs equalised?

  • Yes (18%)
  • No (77%)
  • No opinion (5%)

Total Voters: 2,919

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See more results of F1 Fanatic polls: F1 Fanatic polls archive

Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

158 comments on “Should engines be equalised? (Poll)”

  1. To get more representative poll results, you should consider posting your own view in a follow up post. Its testament to the trust place in your expertise, that the polls always strongly follow your views.

    1. I still got accused of “manipulating” the voting when I did that:

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/05/08/should-monaco-qualifying-be-split-poll/

      Better to mark my point of view clearly. People are entirely capable of making their own minds up and I’ve found myself in the minority on many occasions.

      1. I think that this is not the kind of poll in which you could manipulate people’s views in the first place. Also, since the polls are only really used for the site and the readers of the site, most people who comment and read are interested enough and knowledgeable enough to make their own opinion.

      2. I don’t think it really matters. I mean, what you do certainly biases the results, but self-selecting polls (rather than polls where you pick a sample at random) are hilariously inaccurate anyway, so it doesn’t really make much difference.

        The only thing that’s naughty is treating the results as being as reliable as scientific opinion polls are.

      3. Keith, you actually raise a bit of a red herring when you mention other factors in how good an engine is: minimum weight is specified, as is center of gravity. These are not modifiable factors. Neither is V angle, cylinder spacing, etc. Personally, I hate this engine formula.

        1. Sorry, I don’t understand your point. They can’t change engine power either, so how is it any different?

          1. Regarding Al’s original point, I am pretty sure most people have made up their mind by the time they have finished reading the headline. I voted no before I even read the article so I wasn’t at all influenced. And I am sure that I am not the only one.

          2. The point is that your article is about lifting “F1’s engine development ‘freeze’ restrictions” but in your “Con” you throw in “physical factors like weight, centre of gravity and size” which are specified in Article 5 of the Technical Regulations. If the “freeze on development” was lifted these specifications would still be in the Tech Regs and would still remain in effect.

          3. Thanks Gonzo, you expressed my point well. C.G., weight, and other fixed engine parameters are specified and are the same for all engines. Since they are the same they are neither pro nor con factors, just as, for example, all the cars are (I hope) at minimum weight so weight is neither a pro nor con for car speed (how that weight is distributed is of course another story).

          4. http://www.fia.com/sport/Regulations/f1regs.html
            In which you will find Weight and CoG indeed must be of a certain level as Gonzo said,

            But…
            The rules say the engines must be a least x weight with x high CoG, Unless you can prove that all the engines conform to this minimum, His point stands…

            Also,
            Size isn’t mentioned, He is correct there,
            A smaller engine would be very highly desirable. (Newey would love it).

          5. True, Mike, but the Cosworth V10 was lighter than the current minimum weight, 95kg, and the C.G. is specified to be at the geometric center of the engine ± 50mm. The cylinder spacing, V angle, and bore are also specified, pretty much fixing size. The engines are VERY similar. These are not values that can be deviated from. My point stands.

      4. Younger Hamilton
        10th August 2010, 19:22

        Hey Keith do you think you can do me a big favour,can you write an article of why Red Bull are so Fast.

        1. In two words:

          Adrian Newey

    2. I think it is only proper that we all get a proper perspective of an issue before we make informed decisions.
      We should have a reason for voting, yes or no.

      This is not a game of click and see the result.

    3. Theres more to horsepower then peak power in terms of tune/built, the renault engine may have more torque lower down which helps the renaults in the corners, etc.

      personally im against the equalisation of engines, i love watching races where some teams are stronger others weaker… Also on tracks with a mixture of both long straights and tight corners, mixes up the teams strategies and makes it more interesting to watch.

      1. It also makes it more special when a driver further down the order pulls out a really special weekend.

      2. @flatbeat,

        I agree with you. What is the point of having manufacturers if the engines have to be equal? To be honest I think the freeze should only be for 2 seasons at a time as F1 is as much about the tech as the racing. If they want to be green then they need to let the manufacturers design more efficient engines which is impossible while they are frozen. Also the freeze is pretty much a facade anyway as we all know that the engines have been modified under the guise of increasing reliability.

        Either relax the regs for engines and cars or do away with team designs and just have a single car and engine design and kill off F1 in the process.

        I do think though that if an equalisation is to occur then all parameters should be equalised not just power (i think it would be stupid but it would be the only fair outcome).

  2. My take on this is simple. Mr Horner doesn’t want equalization, Mr Horner wants the freeze lifted.

    Its entirely untrue Renault engines are worse. They may have less HP, but what we’ve seen over and over again thanks to the RBR’s is that HP is not everything this season.

    What they loose in sheer, raw horsepower, they more then make up for it in smaller (and thus lighter) tanks, helping in the early stages of the race. Just look how quick Renault’s are at the first few laps, till the felxible wing times easily matching the pace of the front runners.

    Answer to question “should they be equalised” is obvious for me – no, of course not! I’m all up for lifting the freeze though.

    1. I’m of a similar opinion, i’m against the engine freeze. But if they must be frozen they should be equal on power…

      1. If you’re going to freeze them they surely have to be frozen on everything – power, weight/size, fuel consumption, etc.

        You just know that even if they were all re-equalized on power then one of the teams would find another aspect they were down on and then complain about that.

        I think it’s just much simpler to let them develop it and redress the balance if they can.

        1. I think the current system is not bad at all. The engines are all optimised in various different ways – the mercedes has a little more power, but it the Renault has the best consumption not only does that mean less fuel and weight over race pace, it also means a smaller tank, which means they can package the weight lower and smaller; another large advantage.

          1. Exactly, i think most fans would rather like to see bigger differences between the engines to have a effect.

            The mercedes is seen to be most powerfull with a good fuel economy. Ferrari is close to that, maybe a bit better now, but slightly lesser fuel economy and is known for problems with heat. The Renault is light, fuel efficient and seems to give good traction out of curves as well as good heat management. Cosworth is cheaper, but it’s fuel management and power output will probably be a bit worse, even though Williams have stated it offers better thrust than the Toyota engine did.

            With as little difference as there is, why change anything (OK, Cosworth will still have some potential to get closer to the rest as it’s less developed).

            Now just let the engine suppliers focus on what to do from 2012 onwards.

    2. “What they loose in sheer, raw horsepower, they more then make up for it in smaller (and thus lighter) tanks, helping in the early stages of the race. ”

      So why, many would argue Mclaren and Ferrari as quick as Red Bull in the race, or at less closer on full tanks?

  3. You mention in your ‘Con’ section that, if we equalise power output, we should equalise all other aspects of the engine. I voted yes because I don’t see the point in freezing engine development if they aren’t equal in some intrinsic way – otherwise it’s unfair. Much better to give a basic spec, like power output, and then the teams can find the best way of achieveing that for their cars (a compromise on centre of gravity, power distribution etc)

  4. I think RB just want more power for themselves. If they had Mercedes engine, no equalisation would be needed according to them ;)

    And I agree that Keith should put his views in the follow up post If he wants a reliable poll. His views strongly influence the results.

    1. But you get a clue of Keith’s opinion from the article and the way the arguments pro/con are formulated, no point in hiding.
      And I think the influence from Keith by clearly stating his view is not that big, as most of us are pretty sure weather to have even more of a standard engine or hope for looser rules to have differences between the engines.

  5. If something is frozen, it needs to be equal.

    Imagine if the entire design of the car was frozen from the first race of the season. Then whoever has the best package at the start has the best package for the whole year and by far the best chance of winning the championships. Every race, all the other teams would start with a disadvantage they have no way of reducing.

  6. Why did Red Bull choose Renault as their engine supplyer for the year if their goning t complain about the engine

    1. They wanted to swap to Mercedes engines but Brawn and McLaren blocked the deal, as mentioned in Keith’s post.

    2. Because that was the best one that would have them.

  7. I’m surprised that Red Bull would consider giving up their aerodynamic advantage just for a few more horsepower, or are they looking to next season when all their wings etc are liable to be banned?
    If Bernie and Jean want to attract more teams and different manufacturers into the sport, they will have to allow for different engines and different power levels, otherwise as you say, it might as well be a single spec series (presumably with the Renault engine?)!
    Bernie should really be looking to Le Mans and Sportscar racing and entice new engine suppliers who can provide economical, clean and powerful engines which can relate back to the cars we drive, but still be different enough to be F1.

  8. The freeze to me, seems, unnecessary, and it doesn’t really make sense.
    If they won’t a freeze, I think having spec engines would be the way to go, that’s frozen, and fair.

    But… I really don’t like that idea, Why can’t they allow development, but regulate the financial expenses involved?

  9. The real problem is they “froze” the engines but they didn’t actually freeze them and all the teams made changes to the bits they were allowed to change and some of the teams probably made changes to the bits they weren’t allowed to, made them more unreliable, and then were allowed to make more changes under unreliability grounds.

    So the whole thing didn’t really help. Slowed down the pace of development and spread in performance, perhaps, but also limiting the ways of catching back up and expanded the grey areas, where some teams pushed the boundaries harder than others did.

    But to be honest I think the engine freeze should never have come in. I understand why, given the costs involved, but I see no point in everyone having something different that performs the same. You might as well just give everyone a spec engine in that case.

    I think it’s at least good that we can talk about little variations in the engines – the Renault being more driveable and fuel efficient but down on ultimate power, for example.

    But ultimately it’s clear we’re in a “holding pattern” until they actually decide what the new engines will be and what the plan is long term.

    1. Even if all the teams had the same engine (Of which I am against) they have different suppliers of fuel and lubricants etc that would squeeze more power and fuel efficiency out of their engines. So you would never get parity.

      1. I think if it went as far as a ‘spec’ engine, then that supplier would come only wanting their tame fuel and oil suppliers as well, otherwise they couldn’t guarantee the efficiency/power to the teams, and so be in breech of the contract…..

        1. The trouble is that oil & fuel companies are partners of the teams..

    2. What Robt Mckay describes is what F1 has been since the day F1 cars first turned a wheel way back in the fifties.

      The whole of F1 is high-tech pressure pot where brilliant engineers work every minute of their lives trying to get around whatever current regulations are running at any given moment. They will always use whatever means they can to beat the opposition.

      There will never be a time ( I sincerely hope) when one team hasn’t stolen a development march on all the other teams.
      Last year it was Honda/Brawn, this year, Red Bull. Next year….who the hell knows ?

      But this is exactly what makes F1 the pinnacle of all motor sport. The urge to beat the opposition by doing things nobody thought of before. When F1 ceases to do exactly what it does best, I shall no longer be interested.

      Long may it go on doing exactly what it does now.

  10. No. A couple of years back Ferrari were widely regarded to have the best engine, yet recently Mercedes seem to have usurped them. I believe there is some room for development in the engine freeze – if other manufacturers can find it then Renault should be able to as well. Besides, wasn’t the freeze for Renault lifted a while ago to give them a chance to equalise engine power?

    They just need to get on with racing. I’m all for lifting the freeze completely, but perhaps that would be better when the new engine regs come in 2013.

  11. why equalise engines doesnt make sense, if red bull are asking this then maybe other teams should ask for equal aero & downforce. Its part of being a different team

    1. The difference is the other teams can develop their aero to increase their downforce, Renault can’t develop their engine to increase power as engine development is frozen.

    2. I agree, Red Bull have a massive advantage in their chassis. This is because they did a better job in pre-season development and design. Equally, Mercedes did a better job than Renault in engine development. That’s what F1 is supposed to be all about.

      If Mr Horner is so keen on equality, maybe he should give everyone a RB6 chassis to use? That’d be fair.

      1. But the engine power development was done ages ago, and it can’t be modified so, IMO its unfair that the engine suppliers that didn’t have the opportunities to lift their engines as much as Mercedes or Ferrari in 2007 have to pay the consecuences forever.

        1. I didn’t find it unfair. Mercedes and Ferrari exploited the loophole in the regulations regarding engine design changes for reliability, and exploiting loopholes has always been a big part of Formula 1. Renault, Toyota and BMW snoozed, and in terms of engine power, Renault have lost.

    3. That’s a horrible slippery slope argument, and the 3 pages of comments so far are filled with different versions of the same argument.

      Seriously, people need to get over their respective RBR, Ferrari and McLaren-phobia. Supporting a team is starting to look like a political ideology.

      1. Does not compute. Why does one have to have something against Red Bull to be against their proposed next equalization of the Renault engine, after Renault already had a go at it?

        I can see that it helps to be for Red Bull to be in favor of it, yes, but what would it serve? Honest competition?

        Red Bull already have a downforce monster, they made the trade-off with the extra drag that produces leaving them down on top speed themselves. Renault themselves do not have a problem with their engine, after all.

        So far Red Bulls choices gave them the car on the grid that got round almost all tracks the fastest. I don’t resent them for that, I think it is good work by the team. They clearly made the right development choices there, others have to catch up. But they are now, again, asking to have that downside to their winning choice eliminated – why would anyone else want to oblige?

        And what purpose would it serve? To make them truly invincible, apart from engine failures due to the tinkering? What is in it for the FIA, for the FOTA, for the general F1 fans? Engine freeze was a practical matter, not an attempt at creating a spec engine. Everyone gets to work with what they have got – they can try to request permission for changes, as Ferrari has managed to obtain, sure why not, but if other teams decline to give that permission, no one should force them to, for some imaginary single engine spec, which does not exist. Red Bull should learn to live with their package as others have been forced to.

        1. Brilliantly put bosyber !

  12. I think you shouldn’t lose sight of why the engine development was “frozen” in the first place.

    To save money…

    The devolpment of a new engine used to be a very big part of the budgets. Even though manifaturers forked up the bill for the worksteams, the teams without a worksdeal were left with the option to buy the (usually) worse customer engines. Now offcourse we have that as well, but with mostly equal specs, and for far less money now that the engine is not under constant devolopment. And this also means that manufatorers like mercedes and renault and ferrari can actually supply more than on or two teams.

    The other reason for the freeze was to not let the available horsepowers run rampant like in the turbodays.

    But as you rightly say, horsepower does not alone make a good engine, other factors come into play as well.

    Now F1 is a technical sport, and I for one whish to see cutting edge engine technology. But I also understand the costsaving aspect.

    The key i think is to find a balance. When the new rules come into place perhaps they should restrict only certain aspect of devolpment. For instance, set a maximum horsepower, maximum displacement, but let them work out themselves how many cilinder/weight/economy etc

    1. Thats the absurd thing. No matter what you do the teams will not save money! If they save 30 million on engine development, they will spend it on suspension or aero or driver wages. They spend what they can raise, and any cost saving rule simply redistributes the spend.

      1. …what?

        All the teams have mentioned they have saved money, and cut costs dramatically since even just 2 years ago.

  13. I think F1 is confused as to what it really is and what it should be.
    Is it about the driver, is it about the team? Is it about the engine, is it about the aero, or the tyres? Should it be able to innovate in ALL areas? How should budgets be handled to make things fair? Should designers have free reign or should we constrain them? (and I don’t mean for safety)

    I think its incredible that within the FIA regulations the cars are as close as they are. F1 is doing well, but its walking a tightrope.

    I don’t know the answers to the questions above. Its about all those things, and if it lost any one, it’d lose a chunk of fans. I think we all know the dilemmas and I just hope the FIA can continue to tread carefully forward.

    1. Put it into F1 speek it’s all about the package!

  14. I think that I would prefer to hear about engine dev and maybe new “green” or efficiencies/tech and see real gains in this area vs that of aero. I thought that was one thing that did seperate F1 from other series. Otherwise cut costs and go to single spec and play the areo bits.

  15. I think there should be a few more options in the poll. For instance should engine restrictions be completely lifted or fully equalised against all parameters like you suggest. My thoughts are that it shouldn’t be restricted at all. After all it’s on the interest of f1 to promote highly developed and efficient engines.

  16. Keith, I suggest you do you homework a bit better, the engine size, minimum weight, and centre of gravity are already regulated as per article 5.3 and 5.4 of the technical regulation, and have been for years.

    Regarding the fuel economy factor, there is no secret, more power requires more fuel, so if the Renault engine max power goes up, so will its consumption. Likewise, teams with more powerful engines can reduce their power if they want to carry less fuel. The difference is, Mercedes-powered teams can reduce their power and consumption, Renault-powered ones don’t have the choice to increase it.

    1. Lol, was just going to point out article 5.4 but you beat me to it!

      1. wow, article 5.4…
        Most people working in the sport would not know about it.

    2. You beat me to it, RFB. The other issue of course is what Martin Brundle on BBC refers to as the ‘drivability’ of the engine, i.e. the shape of the torque and power curves (especially the former), which is another area in which the Renault engine is widely seen as being better.

    3. The difference is, Mercedes-powered teams can reduce their power and consumption, Renault-powered ones don’t have the choice to increase it.

      Um, they can. They can just put in more fuel and run a richer fuel setting. Yes, that will increase weight, but Mercedes teams would lose power for the sake of weight. It’s swings and roundabouts.

  17. Just a thought. How about letting those big teams who want to, spend as much as they want on their engines. Then also having a rule that allows any other team to “purchase” anyone else’s engine at a fixed price agreed before the season began.

    The engine would need a standard “interface” to the rest of the car which might place boundaries on weight, power and engine management. But if these units could be uncoupled from the car design in some way this would seem an ideal solution.

    Perhaps the engine design can be carried out the previous season and then details published to give the car designers time to integrate them before the new season begins.

  18. Engine equalisation may as well be single engine formula and where do you draw the line? It could all become GP1 if they aren’t careful.

    Horner would cry if everybody wanted Adrian Newey bodywork, the engine should be as much about ingenuity as the aero and I can’t wait for decent un-impaired KERS to make it’s debut in 2013 (even if it will be powered by engines that wouldn’t look out of place in a Fiesta).

  19. I know its been said before but Renault don’t seem to be complaining about their engine. Correct me if I’m wrong…

    1. They have even topped the top speed charts at certain circuits.

    2. Why on earth would they complain about their engine? Thats bad marketing.

      1. Fair point. In that case I’d want Red Bull to shut up. But its not my problem.

  20. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

    The fact that there is a freeze on development is an affront as it is. And besides, Renault have already been given an opportunity catch up so they shouldn’t be given another.

    1. If it was Mclaren who had the slower engine, you would be voting yes.

      Sad but true.

      1. Sorry Jack, but that is not true. Like most F1F readers I divorce my personal alliances from my posts.

        And besides, I’m an HRT fan.

      2. Ha, I love the way that anybody who disagrees with Red Bull or Ferrari is automatically a mclaren fanboy on this site!

        Sad but (apparently) true…

        1. I know. I guess assuming that everyone who doesn’t agree with you supports one of the other current big 3 teams is easier than having a constructive debate…

    2. Agree with GeeMac here. This half way house between a one make engine formula and a proper development race between engines is an affront to the concept of motor racing.

      Formula 1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor racing, but rules like this have my preference leaning more and more to LeMans cars. LeMans is now the true development category, F1 is just a side-show by comparison. If I could watch LeMans on regular TV (I’m in Australia and don’t have digital) I’d be following it with more enthusiasm than I am F1.

    3. Yes, Renault were already allowed to increase their power in-line with that of the other engines so why should they be allowed to do it again? And as mentioned, the Renault engine has other benefits, namely fuel consumption but I believe that it had good cooling which means less space needed for cooling radiators etc. I’m sure this is why RBR run Renault (as picked by Newey) and STR run Ferrari.

  21. If they equalised the engines, what would then be the point of the manufacturing trying to champion their products through Formula one? No point Mercedes spending millions to produce a brilliant engine, if it then has to be equalised with poorer efforts by other manufactures. These manufacturers would then see little benefit in using F1 as a platform to promote their goods, and we’d see an exodus into other series.

    We need less regulation, not more.

  22. NO!!!! NO!!!!! NO!!!!! Because all the engines have pros and cons there is not only the peak horse power….. And if we go to single specification engine then THE MANUFACTURERS WILL LEAVE F1……

  23. Red Bull want engines equalised because it is their weak point, what next? McLaren asking for front wing equalisation because Red Bull’s if more efficient

    F1 is not a single engine / chassis formula and should not go down this road

    1. Again, Renault are not allowed to develop their engine to make it more competitive. McLaren are free to develop their front wing to make it as good and even better than the Red Bull wing. In fact I think it was McLaren that asked for the flexing wing clarification so that they wouldn’t need to spend money developing their own.

  24. As little aspects as possible in Formula One should be equalised. Because if you equalise engine power output, shouldn’t you equalise, as Keith suggests, the power curve, or fuel consumption, or the amount of downforce, the tyre pressure, et cetera.

    There should be competition in as many a factor as possible, and there should only be standard suppliers or components when there’s little gain in those areas at large costs (like ECUs) or too much gain, which would kill off the competition (like tyres).

  25. Manufacturers would not want engine parity. I completely agree with them. The engine is the at the core of the manufacturer’s engineering, and not to mention branding activities. If we are equalising engine performance, we should try to equalise aerodynamic efficieny as well, and completely take the manufacturer’s importance out of F1.

  26. No of course!
    equalise engines to have fair games? why not equalise the chassis and the aero parts also then? a stupid idea

  27. Think about it having engine parity is ridiculous. F1 cars to not have the same design as others…so why should the engines share the same power. Each engine has different strenths. The Renault engine has great fuel consumption. The Cosworth engine is very reliable. The Ferrari engine is powerful but can be unreliable. The Mercedes engine is the most powerful and reliable on the grid. Its up to the teams to choose what engines they want. Engine parity is ridiculous.

    1. Except it isn’t completely up to the teams to choose which engine they want. There are rules and politics that also determine who is allowed to use which engine.

      To be clear, I am against the development freeze on engines, I just believe that if a freeze is in place, there should be as little as possible between the engines to keep it fair.

      1. It is not completely up to the teams your right, but they do have some say. For example Lotus are rumoured to be planning a switch to the Renault engine. But your right the teams dont have a 100% say in which engine they would like.

  28. How about a third option… unrestricted development again :D

    1. I meant 4th option ;p

  29. I understand the current regulations about cost-savings and development freeze on engines. Just bring the costs down to a “normal” level in 2013 and then engine development could be freed up again. If not, introduce a single-spec engine that everybody has to use, so it’s a fair game.

    About Red Bull’s constant whining (we definetely have to call it that!):
    The Renault engine might be a bit underpowered (most likely less than 20hp) but it is said to be better in drivability and fuel consumption, so not a bad engine at all. Besides this, Renault have been given several chances to improve the engine, that must have helped at least something. And about the “unreliability”: It is kind of strange that the Renault engines only blow up in RBR’s cars and not in the Renaults…
    Don’t get me wrong, normally I’m a supporter of Red Bull Racing, but their engie complaints are right up there with this rant of Marko: http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/07/marko-where-would-webber-be-without-red-bull/

  30. Rumor has it that Mercedes’ engine has the most raw power, but that, in conjunction with Mclaren’s stiff suspension, doesn’t really bring the desired performance, right ? It’s quite clear that HP is not everything – RBRs are clearly dominating most of the time, so they will make themselves a bad favor if Renault has to refactor the engine. Aerodynamics is what’s important, as well as reliability – we’ve seen many mechanical issues with RBR car.

  31. Geordie Porker
    10th August 2010, 12:01

    I agree that the Freeze is a red herring. F1 is all about innovation – surely this should be true for all aspects of the sport, including the engine. I’m happy for a 19k rev limit and a fixed capacity, but teams should be able to select a V8 / V10 / V12, whatever makes them happy. Let the engine manufacturers work on their engines constantly over a season – might introduce some frailty and therefore some interesting results.

    But if there is a worry over costs, simply have a price for the engine supply fixed. I don’t know the numbers, so I’ll make up some silly ones:

    Mercedes: supplies Factory Team, Mclaren and one other (sorry, memory bad), so they get in £1 per team – £3 to be spent on engine development over the year. If they want to run their engine making department at a loss, they can – their call.

    Cosworth: supplies Williams, Lotus, HRT, Virgin etc, etc (again, memory bad; maybe more, maybe less), so they get £4 each year for engine development.

    Will ensure that the current money concerns in F1 aren’t made any worse, while adding some form of development race. Everyone wins, surely?

    However, I’m also a fan of not closing loopholes in the rules. I want the Red Bull front wing banned because I’m a McLaren fan, but in principle I actually want innovations to be allowed (F-duct, Double Diffuser, Flexi-wings) as long as it is safe and doesn’t prevent racing – so I support the banning of the double diffuser next year, and think it was handled very correctly. The teams spent the money developing it mid season, race it for a whole year, then ban it for 2011 because it has a negative impact on racing.

    But that’s just my thinking / rambling. Looking forward to being roundly flamed!

  32. Equalize this, equalize that… With all this equalisation and standardization going on in recent years I keep getting the idea that in 20 years or so F1 will be a spec series. But instead of having 1 chassis and 1 engine manufacturer everyone will build their own version of the same car.

    It would be so perfect. No more whining about advantages other teams have, close racing as the cars would have less aerodynamic grip, cheap so that everyone who wins the lottery can run an f1 team and safe because cars wouldn’t go faster around the track as for example a GP2 car.

    It would also be very boring and a massive kick in the face to f1 history. So please, don’t equalize the engines, and while you’re at it unfreeze regulations please.

  33. Compare the level of combined support for the teams with allegedly strong engines to that of RBR and you have the results for this poll.

    It was never going to be anything other than a definitive no as the vast majority vote purely on personal allegiance (if your honest?).

    It will take a decision of courage and unbiased conviction to get this over the line against the combined might of the 2 largest teams and their large fan bases who both have everything to lose.

    1. Are you saying over 80% of visitors here are McLaren and Ferrari fans, who are all biased and want to block Red Bull from getting a more powerfull car?

      Or maybe Red Bull has 16% fans who are the only ones thinking it would be good to have them get a more powerfull engine for top speed?

      1. For the former, PREDOMINATELY yes. The latter, yes.

        If it can be argued that certain car developments (eg aero) are or aren’t in the spirit of a rule, and that there is a bigger picture in relation to the consideration of these ideas, then why can not the same analysis be applied to engines.

        They were frozen. Some adhered to that, others didn’t. The rules and their intention are pretty B&W for engines (and measurable) unlike body attachments and associated engineering and design.

        Maybe we need to formally document the rules that state you can’t have the best aero with an equal/superior engine, or horsepower and fuel consumption must be inversely proportional.

        To use those 2 rationales as justification for keeping the status quo is weak and if Macca were ‘the competitors’ the claim they are they would say bring it on and lets lift our game rather than bleating and moaning about everyone else after having subverted other rules and then falling quiet when redress is proposed.

  34. No- Renault made certain engineering decisions and they should live with the consequences. Red Bull see an opportunity to drive a spike thru the hearts of the competition by picking up some horse power.

    If they want them all equal give all the team Cosworth’s and be done with it.

    Let it ride until the new engine rules come out.

  35. William Wilgus
    10th August 2010, 12:33

    If you’re going to equalize the engines, then you’ll need to equalize the cars as well. Both ideas are equally bad.

    1. A rule was created to equalise the engines. Like it or not.

      To my knowledge, there has been no rule introduced to equalise cars….yet.

  36. When the engine freeze came in there were no parameters,other than any development to increase power stopped,and since only the FIA know how much power each engine produces or what the manufactures tell them,none have been independently dyno tested so how Horner can state the Renault engine produces 20/30bhp less is nothing but guess work,i believe Newey who is a very clever man,has worked out precisely this is the amount needed to make the aerodynamics work more efficiently than they already do,let the engine manufactures develop as they wish,though i can see this area not being a priority now,all efforts will be focussed on 2013,small 1500cc turbo,s,probably V6,or i,d like to see V12,its been done before.

  37. I don’t know, I’m not keen on removing the engine freeze, but the freeze should have been better regulated in the first place so certain teams couldn’t have made “reliability” improvements and whatnot to them.

  38. Could someone explain how the engine development freeze actually works? Are mechanical parts left unchanged whilst ecu’s free to play with? If they’re all 2.4l V8s are they not as “equalised” as possible without being made to the exact same design? Also peak power advantage, as with the turbo engines of past, is not the be all of engine performance. Power delivery counts as much or more and it’s surely impossible for the power curve of rival engines to be made the same.

  39. No. I am completely against “equalising” anything.

    F1 is as much about car development as racing, for me at least. If you are going to “equalise”, why not just have a standard engine? A standard chassis?

    I don’t particularly like the testing and development freezes they have at the moment, but I can see why they do. But it is up to the teams to produce the best car they can within the rules. Favours should not be done for teams who’s development was not quite up to scratch.

    The day they start “equalising” things is probably the day I stop watching F1…

    1. “Favours should not be done for teams who’s development was not quite up to scratch”

      That’s the point. There was no development. The rules prevented it.

      The favour, as you put it was given to those who added performance under the guise of other modifications.

      You would expect engines to have different strengths and weaknesses at the time of the homologation. That is fine and acceptable.

      The problem is that a number of engines have had their characteristics changed since then. How does the sport reconcile that when the rule is very specific and without room for mis-interpretation this situation has occurred?

  40. No way in hell. In fact I think more powerful and different engines should be allowed into the grid. Trying to find nanoseconds of performance improvement in aerodynamics is what is killing small team.

  41. No for equalizing engines, yes for unfreezing engine development!

  42. There is more to an engine than total horsepower, some rival teams commentated that one of the things that helped Red Bull at Hungary was that the Renault engine has the best driveability.

    Also I seem to recall that when Newey joined Red Bull he got them to change from Ferrari to Renault engines, with Toro Rosso taking the Ferrari units because the contract wasn’t finished, because the Renault engine didn’t require as much cooling.

  43. You raise very valid points in your article Keith.
    Is power the only important factor in an engine?
    How about Torgue and drivability?
    Fuel consumption and Heat Rejection?

    I believe the teams were allowed to retune their engines to meet the new 18,000RPM rev limit. Why didn’t Renault make use of that opportunity to boost power?

    Perhaps they didn’t know how to improve performance a while back, and have suddenly developed something that requires the engine to have certain components changed.

    1. Thing is, Renault did use it to up the power, just their engine has a little bit different characteristics from say a Mercedes engine.

      Not a disadvantage (said to offer great drivability and better fuel/heat management, see Monaco), just a different package.

      Red Bull wants to go faster with it, while not losing the drivability and fuel economy. Very understandable, who would not want to get their drivability without losing power, but not a demand the FIA or other teams should support.

  44. I am sure Red Bull would like to have a 30hp more powerful engine to get them fastest on the straights as well as through the corners. Renault has had opportunities to work on the engine to equalize it – and the engine seems to be great on other things than HP (although even there, the less downforce heavy R30 seems to have no problems getting near to be fastest on the straights). I would like to see an end to the engine freeze, if a way can be found to note make costs skyrocket, but the equalizations stuff is silly, and Red Bull really should stop whining about it while they are so far ahead at creating downforce, which obviously will create drag – so far it gets them the fastest around just about all circuits.

  45. tomhitchings (@)
    10th August 2010, 14:26

    Let’s keep competition between engines.

    In particular, in 2013 I’d like the see real competition on fuel-efficiency standards by severely limiting fuel tank sizes. This could lead to some really useful innovations.

  46. The “equalization” discussion is a bit of a red herring not because we should ignore the next 2.5 seasons, but because the FIA currently allows teams to “equalize”—to up their horsepower—by using “reliability” improvements. Ferrari solved their pneumatic valve issue in this way this year. Did it allow them to increase power or use more power more reliably? No doubt. Teams can fiddle around with various things ancillary and within the engine for “reliability”, provided the FIA approves and the other teams get notice. RBR have had the same opportunity to do these things, or demand them of Renault, as everyone else, so they should stop their crying. If they want a Mercedes engine next year, money talks, and I’m sure Dieter M. sells enough soda every 15 minutes to meet Mercedes’ demands.

  47. I would like them to be equalised so that Cosworth would be right up there.
    I believe the 2013 engine should not be too high-tech so that new teams have a chance, and this new engine should be equalised after each season.

  48. If Red Bull can carry 3 laps’ worth of fuel per race because of Renault’s fuel efficiency, that more than compensates for their power deficiency at all tracks except the totally straight-line dominant ones, like Monza – and how many more tracks are dependant on their superior aerodynamics for speed?

    Red Bull moan they don’t have Mercedes. Well, no-one else has Adrian Newey either, who has been a vastly more significant factor over the season. Seeing how much aero dominates F1, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to limit and freeze the aero and open up the engines, but you could imagine how Red Bull would cry at that.

    This is typical 2010 Red Bull. They were supposed to be the fun team in F1, now all they do is moan like hypocrites depending on whether they have the technology or not. At least the other teams don’t pretend.

  49. I think anyone advocating for engine equalization should not be viewing F1. Should switch to CART or NASCAR for sure.

    And we should bring back those lovely V10s :(

  50. i feel there is no need to allow Renault improve their engine performance… all engines have some positives and some negatives… if Renault are allowed, it will not be fair on other engine manufactures… i’d rather have engine freeze removed and allow them to continue development under tighter regulations and also under a conditions of maximum fuel allowed for qualifying & race.

  51. I dont necessarily agree with teams having equal power. However, the fact that Mercedez and Mclaren have blocked RB from allowing them to use Mercedez engines is unfair. Its about as injust as team orders.

    I think teams should be allowed to develop their engines. As a Renault fan id be happy to allow Renault to fully exploit their potential, and they would probably be as powerful as any other engine or better if they were allowed to do so, as they have so often done in the past.

    Saying that though, If RB were to have the same power as Mercedez then they would probably run away with the championship and it wouldnt be so close in the fight for world champion. It would also make overtaking harder for most teams than it already is.

    The fact that Mclaren can overtake a few cars at the start(although frustrating for me) gives the race a twist and puts pressure on rivals who may have qualified higher and have a faster all round car.

    I think allowing manufacturers to develop their engines to some kind of capacity can help the race development scenario, and could change the pecking order from one year to the next or even one race to another, depending on what extra developments to an engine can be made. DNF’s could become a factor as engines may be over stressed and can make things interesting for the championship fight as teams push their limits.

  52. I say we need to think about how we got here .. Actually engines were “equalized”. But then Merc and Ferarri got opportunities to improve their engines in the name of reliability and SURPRISE .. more power just happened to be added to the mix. Renault did not do the “dirty deed”, instead staying to the rules. Now they are behind the power curve in a series that proports to have engines equalized.

    So let’s call this what it is .. a chance to re-equalize engines like they used to be.

    1. Renault had their own chance in 2008 and did just that. It’s not Mercedes and Ferrari’s fault they didn’t choose to go all-out on power.

  53. I wonder what RBR says about “equalising” chassis ? RBR is the team that wants everything. The same engine for everybody but because we (RBR) have the best chassis we are going to win in every place :D.

  54. if the development on engine is frozen (which is rubbish in my opinion), then yes, of course!… all engines should be equal…

    but you also have to take into account that weight, torque, fuel economy… a lot of things come into play… so an equalization is nothing more than impossible to do… you can fix the revs and horsepower, but a lot of characteristics will be a lot different between the engines.

    So, yes, theoretically, across every variant… but no practially, because it’s impossible.

    Best thing would be to get rid of the engine freeze. But that won’t happen as well because of the cost-cutting policy FIA (and the teams) are trying to impose.

  55. NO. There is no need to get too analytical on this topic. This is F1, not Indycar. If you want to equalize engines, merge with Indycar. Teams should be left to develop engines as they see fit.

  56. The teams say they want technical freedom, to develop innovative designs and devices to push the boundaries ever more.

    Then they want the engines to be equal.

    Pot, kettle, etc.

  57. Im sure Cosworth would be happy to supply Red Bull next year.

  58. No. I think they should lift the engine freeze and have a budget cap on engine development. Then it we will see who can extract the most performance from their engine and car as a whole. If you start equalizing engines then I might as well go and watch GP2 or something.

    This is supposed to be the “pinnacle of motorsport” and we have manky cars with wings out of proportion what have you… Equalizing engine is not the way to go.

    In case you haven’t guessed, I voted no.

  59. i think the drivetrain is the most critical area for technology to migrate towards road cars, and to achieve that i would not only open developement but open the specification. if someone wants to run a wankel rotary, a flat four or a v12, why stop them? each will have their own advantages and disadvantages. it may be necessary to introduce a restrictor plate, as the fia successfully did with wrc ages ago.

    restrictor plates limiting power to 750ish hp.
    $5 million customer engine packages.
    $1 million customer kers packages.
    blocks homologated for 2-4 years.
    blocks made from a homogeneous material with a minimum iron content.
    exotic materials forbidden.
    engines required to do x races.
    allow kers to be used in any manner.

    also, i’d like to see electric drive. to comply with the ban on driver aids, it would need to be a single motor driving an existing differential. perhaps 2 motors could be used if there were a sort of virtual diff, but that might open a real can of worms.

  60. “Oh teams should stop crying about us hvaing flexi wings and better aero…..”

    “*crycry Our engines are down on power *cry* ”

    They’re such a bunch of hypocrites that team.

    1. You’re right.

      Horner really has been moaning about that engine for the past 2 years. It can’t be that bad, ok it’s a little down on HP but it’s very efficient and that counts for quite a lot I think.

      Why would Renault even want to supply a team that keeps on moaning about an inferior product?… that’s what I can’t understand.

      1. not only is it efficient, but it seems the packaging offers newey advantages too.

      2. Why would Renault even want to supply a team that keeps on moaning about an inferior product?

        Because if it wasn’t for Red Bull everyone would think you couldn’t win in F1 with a Renault engine – at least not in the past two years.

        1. It’s still bad for the brand. It’s commonly accepted among the sport’s observers that, of the three roadcar manufacturer engine suppliers, Renault makes the worst engines. The fact that wonky people like the F1Fanatic audience know better would be no comfort to the marketing department. And the fact that the factory team lately is seen only at the starts or in the gravel only makes it worse.

          I’m certain that Mr. Goshn would like Horner and Webber to shut up about the engines for once, and may consider it better for the customer team to be a Lotus or a Villenueve rather than a team that wins but doesn’t credit the engine.

        2. I see your point of view, but people are not going to be complementing the engine if they win the championship(s) I’m sure!

          It does seem a little strange that they publicly slate their own engines so much. I mean, no one forced them to sign up for the Renault lump in ’07.

  61. Red Bull want they cake AND eat it.Not possible Mr Horner sorry!!

  62. Younger Hamilton
    10th August 2010, 19:31

    F1 is about development ans innovation and many other reasons.I Have to say if Renault can’t develop or improve their engines its their loss and Red Bulls.I Know there’s this engine freeze going on and is hampering the development part to F1 but they just have to accept the fact that its the rules.I say Engines should be equalised!!

  63. theRoswellite
    10th August 2010, 19:56

    The classic F1 triad of performance: driver, car, engine is sacrosanct, so no discussion about a spec engine is, hopefully, relevant.

    The goal of equalizing engines was to equalize performance so as to promote closer racing. Giving Red Bull more power…at this time…would appear to compromise that goal.

    As the regulations regarding engine specification are not absolute in there application over time (I believe the FIA is open to individual engine updates when they feel it necessary?) there will always be some variations in the engine characteristics, which is the case at present.

    And, even though it is The Bull’s job to petition for assistance, surely it must be the FIA’s to affirm the status quo.

    Isn’t is a bit difficult to view them as needing “hardship” assistance of any kind?

    More importantly, as Keith mentions, how is the FIA going to view the engines starting in 2013?

    Will there be any attempts at greening of the engine regulations, especially in the areas of fuel efficiency or alternate power sources?

    Those are very important questions which should be addressed as early as possible.

  64. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    10th August 2010, 21:30

    It is stupid and insulting peoples intelligence that Red Bull and Renault claim they are disadvantaged by their horsepower deficit.
    The great Mario Illien believes that out of the three main factors: power, drivability, and torque, drivability is the most crucial. It is clear Renault engines have the best drivability, consider Hungry, and their top three at Monaco.
    In 1994 Benneton were 60 Hp down on ferrari, 40 on renault,30 on mercedes and peugeot.
    If Renault are allowed to catch up on power they will walk away. Renault in many ways may already have the best engine.

    1. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
      10th August 2010, 21:36

      oh yeah i got all that geeky info from the book The Science of Formula 1 Design.

    2. 1994 Benneton were running traction control

  65. Why equalize the power put performance of the engine? F1 would just become another GP2 series. You might as well call Dallara to build your chassis and insert Ford Cosworth engines into every car. We already lost refuelling, so by taking away different engine power settings, F1, especailly qualifying, would not be as exciting. In my opinion, the more the merrier, so I’d like to see more engine manufacturers like maybe VW and Hyundai.

  66. NO! Don’t turn F1 in to NASCAR. Next thing you know they will want to take all the right hand turns out of it.

  67. You watch – Red Bull and Renault will run KERS at Spa and Monza – hey its in the Technical Regulations

  68. to put it plain and simple, Webber’s statement revolves around the erroneous assumption that in a modern F1 car, only aero can define its edge-cutting performance. Webber seems to forget the HP isn’t the only important variable regarding motor engines (torque, power curve, rpm, weight, consumptions, etc).

    Obviously, I can’t agree with his statement so I voted no.
    I also don’t agree with all the freezes put on engine development. Let’s not forget that in this eco-green world of ours, the only technological inovations F1 can offer are related to the mechanical side of it. A middle term must be found between technological development, proper needs of F1 racing and eco-mumbo-jumbo.
    That’s the only way to guarantee a worldwide, global stable future to F1: let’s hope 2013 regulations will provide the right environment to these needs.

  69. If the engine are equalised then it will be GP2 not F1, so I voted No. I think last year or in 2009 Renault were given a chance to improve their engine so that they can cut the deduction of horse power but I don’t think that it worked well. I don’t know what are they planning for 2013 & onwards but I think besides working on the engines they should spent more time on KERS.

  70. Sorry for off-topic.
    Here are the graphical visuals of how Indian Grand Prix track will look like http://fb.me/FVURSNgi

  71. Team’s engines shouldn’t be equalised because as we know technology from F1 cars geos to raod cars and alot of the teams are road car companies. So it will just hinder development.

  72. 2006 Renault engine was equal or better than a ferrari with Merc behind both of them.

    The engine freeze allowed for changes to be made on reliablity, but how is it that Ferrari and Merc were allowed to add performance to their units?

    The engine freeze was poorly policed by the FIA. It is fair for calls of engine equalised as it is FIA’s fault.

  73. if engines are to be equalised then so should be done with the aerodynamics as well – they’re equally (if not more) important for the F1 car’s performance

    1. Spaceman Spiff
      11th August 2010, 14:21

      Good point. If they want equalized engines, simply have the FIA/FOTA mandate a single engine supplier. And in the spirit of equalization, why not just mandate a single chassis supplier as well? This way the “teams” could compete as maintenance mechanics and drivers only. Just think of it… we could finally put the whole argument of development and testing costs to rest.
      Of course, they may have to drop the “Formula” designation for this class of racing. Or perhaps it could be called something like “Formula Dallara/Cosworth”.
      But wait, wouldn’t that be just another version of an Indy Car?
      Maybe we should re-think this……

  74. wayne south africa
    11th August 2010, 16:12

    I’m from south africa!anyway I think the fia should allow for some sort of formula where u hav a choice,for example every1 is given a set budget to work with.how ever teams can choose any of a certain number of diferent packages that’s offered by the fia.in these packages the team has certain options that r limited only by the amount of money that is set for each option in this case 70@ercent can b for aero dynamicsand 20percent for engine development and 10percent for some other area of development.there should be diferent packages with diferent options in relation to the percentage of money each area of development has.

  75. Truth is Ferrari have caught Red Bull up,and Mercedes GP and Maclaren are probably next in line.

    This always happens in F1,we get an untouchable team that “happens” to press all the right buttons for a year or 2 (or more with Ferrari when they notched up constructors championships wins for years)and then their winning streak is swallowed up by the rest,and they get pushed back down the ladder.It happened to Williams and it will happen to RBR.

    Horner knows this and is getting hot under his collar.

  76. Tell you what, give everybody your car first and then we will think about it.

    I think even Marko would see that to do that would be against the very spirit and health of Formula One. Im excited about the possibility of limited race fuel being allocated so that engine development is stated with the new regulations in 2013 – and the amount is being reduced season on season, if Im right.

  77. The only way to find out about the engine power is to put every engine on a dynometer and the test it and this is the critical part USING INDENTICAL ENGINE MAPPING.
    If you were to use indentical engine mapping during the race you would see very different results.
    And top speeds are comepletely irrelevant to engine power.
    The current engines are very close in absolute power terms.The engine mapping is the difference.

  78. I voted Yes, but also the way the Red Bull has been dominating Qualifying this race, and the potential for more race wins that they have already bagged makes their complaint about engine parity seem a little over the top… and would justify a No vote

    the RBR6 has been utterly dominating with its feeble engine, so perhaps red bull should be quiet about that, and focus on the obviously right thing they have been focusing on which is Chassis and Aero.

    on another note, my initial yes vote was for the fact, that if engine are to br frozen for 5 years, it’s only fair that they are producing the same power and torque so that a team’s disadvantage drags on for 5 years.

  79. What’s the point in engine parity? It’s always been the case that a team brings a package to the table based on what deals it can make with suppliers. If you allow engine parity then what’s there to stop McClaren asking for Aero parity and sharing of other technical developments. Football teams don’t have transfer budget parity, sport is about performing to the best of your abilities within the rules. If Renault missed out on their engine development then that’s there problem!

  80. I don’t think their should be equalisation. Of course it’s only a couple of years away until the new engines come into play and it’s up to the teams to really drag as much out of the car as possible, e.g aerodynamically..RBR have no problems in that field!

    It’s another competitive element and I always welcome that.

    Besides..equalisation means that undoubtedly the Renault engine would be retuned..for better or worse..can RBR or anyone else afford that gamble given how tight things are at the top?

  81. I think people are forgetting the context in which Webber made those comments. These were in response to the issue of flexi wings brought up in a press conference.

    What he is saying is, yes, they have more downforce but then McLaren and Mercedes have more horsepower, so they shouldn’t have sour grapes about flexi wings. If they want to take downforce out of our (RB) cars then we should be able to equalise our engines too.

    Basically he’s saying that McLaren are hypocrites.

  82. While I voted ‘No’ to the survey I should add that I am against the engine freeze. Therefore, I believe that engines should not be equalised but should be constantly developed. Yes, I know, costs, budgets, spending, blah, blah blah.
    HOW can F1 be the pinnacle of motor sport without development? I would love to see many design rules relaxed to encourage creativity, I’m tired of the stifling, suffocating regulations that make all the cars on the grid slightly modified versions of each-other.

  83. I voted no.

    As an engineer it would be great to see the regulations relaxed in all technical areas but I can’t help but think that the last 2 or 3 years have been the best to watch from a spectators point of view. This is partly because engines are so heavily restricted and reliable these days. They are no longer the performance differentiator they once were. maybe there should be another formula for engineers.

    Keith – would that be a good topic for discussion? how we would write the regs for an engineering focused formula.

    I dont know where this data has come from that the renault is down on power but I can assure you, if they were down by more than 5% peak power then they would never have won so many races as someone else pointed out, they have a downforce ‘monster’ so its no wonder they are consistently down in the speed traps.

    remember downforce = drag and drag increases with the square of speed. this drag must first be reacted by the engine before the engine power can be used to accelerate the car. eliminating drag in a straight line is essentially the same as increasing horsepower.

  84. Keith,
    Nobody in the world whines more than an Australian, whether they are winning or losing, please remember that in future. Basically, he’s trying to justify the cheating (flexiwing) by saying that they are unfairly disadvantaged by their engine power. Several things spring to mind.
    1, they’re pretty competitive anyway, even before the flexiwing.
    2, they picked the engine knowing it didn’t have the power of some, and it’s only Renaults fault that it’s down on power and not the FIA’s.
    3, if they had better reliability and more sense in the drivers’ heads they wouldn’t need to worry about it anyway.
    And 4, equalising engine power seems a pretty ‘communist’ way of doing things in a very ‘capitalist’ sport. It’s about differences and competition, it’s not a one make race. If you want that, go drive in one-make touring car races.
    F1 has always been about who makes the best chassis, engine, tyres and who has the best driver. Equalising engines or chassis, or both, is usually something that happens in American motorsports, so that the attention span or IQ of the viewers isn’t too badly challenged.

    1. Stop your whinging Phil.

      1. You’re Australian, aren’t you? Think you’ll find it’s Webber doing the whinging.
        I’ve been watching F1 for 30 years, and in all that time nobody, except Webber, has proposed to equalise engine power across all the teams. That kind of thing is for feeder formulae, so the driving skill can be better identified.
        It’s up to each team to strive for continuous improvement, not to try to dumb everyone else down.

        1. I’m pretty sure in all that time there has never been an engine development freeze either..

          The point is, when development is frozen you’re advantaged/disadvantaged from the start. Aero and chassis development isn’t frozen, everyone has the same opportunity to make a car as good as Red Bull have.

          The freeze came in for the 2007 season, at the end of August 2006 the team announced they would use Renault engines. The decision was probably made internally before that, and in 2006 Alonso won the championship with Renault – there was no talk of the Renault engine being down on power.

          It was after this that Mercedes and Ferrari rightfully exploited the loopholes to increase their engine power.

          The problem is this performance advantage has been locked in since 2007. That’s three and a half years so far. I challenge you to find another period that long where there has been a locked in performance advantage.

          I can understand getting the jump on other teams and that advantage being held for a season (McLaren with an optimal F-Duct setup, Red Bull with an optimal blown exhaust setup, Ferrari with their wheel vanes to mimic the covers of previous years), but three and a half and most likely four? Surely that’s ridiculous.

          1. Correct Sam, there hasn’t been a freeze before. I didn’t say I agreed with the freeze though, I think it’s a bad thing done for a good reason, to try to keep costs down and preserve the number of teams on the grid. But I’m against equalising things artificially, I think competition should have as much free rein as possible. I’m not even against the flexiwings, although you might argue that they are moveable aero devices, which are still banned(?). In the 30 years I mentioned, there has been a lot of ingenious tweaking of the rules, some of it from my favourite team, Williams. As I said, free rein for all things, especially the ones you think you can get away with, just improves the competition I feel.

          2. Phil, completely agree with you about not liking the freeze but it being a bad thing done for a good reason.

            I am also against artificially equalising and would prefer for the freeze to be lifted, but don’t think it’s fair for the performance advantage to be locked in for so long.

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