F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013

2013 F1 season

Formula 1 engine design is set for a radical overhaul in 2013.

Multiple sources are reporting that turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines will be used from the 2013 season.

The move to four-cylinders engines has been mooted for some time and has been reported by Craig Scarborough (see yesterday’s round-up) and the BBC in the last two days.

The smaller capacity engines – reduced from the 2.4-litre V8s used since 2006 – should be much more efficient than current units. Power output is likely to be kept at current levels and augmented by the use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems.

Teams also hope to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport through more road-relevant regulations. The recent departures of BMW, Toyota and Honda have left only four engine builders in F1: Mercedes, Renault, Cosworth and Ferrari.

The FIA intends to publish the definite 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting and Technical regulations following its World Motor Sport Council meeting on Friday. Further details on the future engine formula are also expected following that meeting.

Read more: Turbos and ground effect ?σΤιΌ?τback in 2013?σΤιΌ??

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174 comments on F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013

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  1. I can still remember when a good majority of the grid were powered by Cosworth DFVs, and no one complained. And then 1.5 litre turbos came along to compete with them and still no one complained. Who can forget Keke Rosbergs 160mph average speed lap of Silverstone in 1985? How many of us were actually born then?

    • Ismail said on 6th December 2010, 19:35

      There is no way that the FIA will allow a return to those 1500hp+ monsters, and the tracks are way slower now, with all the ‘safety’ buzz. Why did they switch from 3.0L V10s to 2.4L V8s in the first place?

      I am 99.9% sure that these new turbo engines will have a further reduction of power from the current V8s. Teams will definitely find new ways to maintain laptimes. That is not the ‘progress’ we want to see.

      Why are most of the current-day course records from 2004? When Juan Pablo Montoya set pole position at Monza in 2004, his average speed was 161.4mph (259.827kph).

      What we don’t like is forcing the teams to run turbos. At least give the teams a choice of NA engines or similarly powered Turbo engines. F1 is becoming more and more of a spec-series with each passing year.

      • Patrickl said on 6th December 2010, 22:53

        Why do we need progress?

        “Progress” is exactly what the regulations are trying to keep in check. If the cars go too fast, the safety features would need to be altered to compensate. What’s the point? Just keep the cars at the same speed. There is no need to have shorter laptimes.

  2. “Why did they switch from 3.0L V10s to 2.4L V8s in the first place?”

    They were first of all given the option of running rev-limited V10 3 litre engines. STR did just that a while ago. But manufacturers being what they are, decided that spending trillions on pointlessly uprating V8 2.4 litre engines was the right way to go instead. And then when everyone realised that it was another pointless excercise, they rev-limited those too.

    • Just to give you some idea of how things are looking in the road car market, Nissan’s “Leaf” electric car has just won the coveted Car of the year award for 2011.

      A taste of things to come I wonder?

  3. You are all whining about engine power and noise, and overlook the fact that the cars are CORNERING faster than they ever have in history, grooved tires or no grooved tires, fighter jet aero(2008) or no fighter jet aero. The cars are currently cornering at their limit given aero restrictions. Lift aero restrictions and sure the cars would have more power but you would have ferrari vs. mclaren every race as nobody else would even bother showing up given how much money would need to be spent on aero.

    Right now its a tradeoff, cornering vs top speed. Frankly I think the at speed cornering is more thrilling than an f1 car running down a straightaway. Lighter I4 cars with turbos will corner even faster than the current v8s, less fuel load will create better racing. This year was a procession at best.

    And to the losers ripping on I4 engines, you overlook that the most POWERFUL ENGINES EVER IN F1 were I4 Turbos.

  4. Another nail in the coffin! F1 is supposed to be the PINICLE of motor racing – not the environment!
    Doubt if I for one – after 50 odd years will be watching

  5. kowalsky said on 7th December 2010, 6:34

    i don’t care about the size of the engine as long as the power and the sound is there. Can they be sure they can keep that up. Or better still, are they going to make an effort for the fans? The turbo bmw that used brabham in the early eighties was a four cylinder, that gave more than 1000 bhp. And we the fans didn’t complained at all. Give me 1000 horses, with a good sound, in the historic circuits, with a better chance to overtake, and i might go to see a race live again. Otherwise i will keep watching them on tv.

  6. Zayan said on 7th December 2010, 14:53

    Just make the cars produce up to 1000 horses, give limited amount of fuel per weekend. Don’t dictate the configuration, and let the teams find out the best engine type for themselves.

  7. Pingguest said on 7th December 2010, 15:59

    I can’t see how Ferrari is going to accept this mandatory configuration. Their road car engine may well become more advanced than their Formula 1-engines. At least, such a small engine configuration doesn’t suit their marketing.

    • AFAIK, Ferrari have already agreed to these rules. Should be published on the FIA website shortly.

      They don’t really have a choice, unless the FIA Formula One World Championship is to be contested by just Ferrari and Mercedes.

      The only reason that Ferrari’s are allowed to sell so well in America at the moment is because they pay the US government vast sums of money to side-step its pollution laws (CAFE).

      Ferrari can put whatever emission controls and energy recovery systems it wants to put onto its current road car line-up, but the plain fact is that they just eat too much fuel and spit out too much C02.

      • Also, Ferrari’s other big markets (Russia, China, India) don’t really have any pollution laws, so it’s fair game for any gas guzzlers in those regions at the moment.

  8. QuadQuantum said on 7th December 2010, 18:09

    I think this has a lot more to do with making F1 ‘Look’ more green than actually being green. There are a lot of potential sponcers who had stayed out of F1 as its seen as being wasteful with resources.

    From other sites, I’ve also heard that the engines will be limited to 10,000 RPM. I’m going to enjoy the high pitched scream of F1 engines while I can, coz if the new limit is true, they are going to sound very different in 2013!

  9. Lennon said on 8th December 2010, 8:39

    24 Solar powered F1 cars sitting on the grid at Silverstone, tension builds, crowd noise level increases, lights flash through red to green, they’re o……Nothing, Sun buggered off behind the famous UK Summer cloud cover. But the planet’s safe, phew!!!

  10. pratik said on 8th December 2010, 9:41

    F1 well, is becoming uninteresting…..I mean for normal fans we want to know the speeds..coz thats what keeps newbies hooked in!Till 2006,the tv displays at least showed speedtraps at regular intervals and now…What are people going to do, by knowing laptimes only!That makes the race so boring.They are probably shy to show the slow speeds because now even a MotoGP bike reaches 349kph!!!Its been since 2005 I haven’t seen that number in F1. Do they expect us to imagine speeds by just looking at those crappy broadcast angles where just a car comes and brakes!If they think F1 is losing its sponsors,then please bring back to its old glory,people will flock from all places to watch it.Where other sports are trying to increase its fanbase these people are trying to deter them.F1,I think has seen the largest number of rule changes than any other sport!!Please leave the sport as it is!!And God forbid if they change the engines any further,I’d stop watching the sport alltogether.:-(

  11. Charged said on 9th December 2010, 12:53

    Well the thing is , Its supposed to look at a perspective that there would be less and less cylinders in a car when they eventually disappear in that kind of form , so yeah let the future begin . Happy holidays and lets carry on .

  12. ATB said on 5th April 2011, 9:34

    I definitely disagree on the concept of Patrick head and Bryne on changing the formula 1 engines from V8 to 1.6L turbo engines to be used in 2013. Hell the SOUND!!!is still the trademark, if it change? Would it still be the same or more than a hell it will sound?! and the speed will be less than 5sec/lap on the current formula1 car according to the research. If it sounds the same and the speed will increase then go for it but if not, then dump that engines.

    Yes formula1 is the number one in terms of technology and speed in any other motorsports racing. We should admit that technology plays a bigger role in F1 but we cannot deny the fact that the fans wants to see the SPEED as well. I would rather suggest the increase of SPEED, FIA should consider of using V12 engines.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th April 2011, 9:36

      and the speed will be less than 5sec/lap on the current formula1 car according to the research.

      I don’t know what research you’re referring to but from talking to people in the sport about the regulations the intention is to maintain roughly the same performance as they have at the moment. A greater proportion of the total power will come from hybrid propulsion (i.e. KERS).

      • ATB said on 5th April 2011, 9:48

        I”ve read in the news that using the 2013 engines will slow down the car of less than 5sec/lap according to Patrick Head and Bryne.

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