FIA confirms 1.6-litre engines for 2013

2013 F1 season

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, Bahrain, 2006

The 2.4-litre engines used since 2006 will be scrapped

The FIA has confirmed a reduction in F1 engine capacity for 2013.

The World Motor Sport Council met today to approve the changes to the engine rules.

F1 teams have been required to use 2.4-litre V8 engines since 2006. There will be replaced by 1.6-litre, four-cylinder units.

The number of engines each driver may use per season will also be reduced.

A statement released by the FIA said:

The WMSC approved the introduction of a new specification engine from 2013, underlining the FIA?s commitment to improving sustainability and addressing the needs of the automotive industry.

Following dialogue with the engine manufacturers and experts in this field, the power units will be four cylinders, 1.6 litre with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar with a maximum of 12,000 rpm.

The engines will deliver a 35% reduction in fuel consumption and will feature extensive energy management and energy recovery systems, while maintaining current levels of performance.

In 2013, five engines will be permitted per driver, but each year after that the limit will be four.

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108 comments on FIA confirms 1.6-litre engines for 2013

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  1. Renault introduced them and now they’ve gone and packed it in

    • bosyber said on 10th December 2010, 18:22

      Yes, it is rather sad. On the other hand their engine is still around, and I would guess this is one reason to keep the engine in F1 – maybe they will even use some of the money for the F1 team to invest in a great package for the new regulations. I certainly hope so.

      • on James Allens site, he responded to a question of mine, commenting that Renault was one of the main parties to push forward the 1.6 turbo engines for 2013. It would appear that as far as engine supplying goes, their in it for the long haul.

  2. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 10th December 2010, 15:06

    Excellent! The only part of that I don’t really like is that there’s still a rev limit, but you can’t have it all!

    • Forgive my ignorance, but what will change, if the engines will maintain

      current levels of performance.


      • CarsVsChildren said on 10th December 2010, 15:35

        The amount of fuel they use getting the performance…

        I.e lighter faster cars. Sweet.

        • also the weight of the engine will be reduced…

          Am I being stupid or does it not state that they can be turbo charged? is the “high pressure gasoline up to 500 bar” meaning they can be charged or is that roughly what happens with the normally aspirated engines?

          • ajokay said on 10th December 2010, 17:16

            The Turbocharger is what highly pressurises the gasoline in a turbocharged engine. Normal aspiration has normal fuel pressure.

            It’s what makes the turbo a turbo baby, wooo!

          • ajokay said on 10th December 2010, 17:18

            Wait, not it’s not, my bad. It’s the air that is pressurised, not the fuel.

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 10th December 2010, 17:32

            @ ajokay- I thought turbocharging was using exhaust gas to turn a motor which increase the power? or something like that…?

          • Snobeck said on 10th December 2010, 18:07

            Turbocharging is using the exhaust gas to turn essentially an air compressor, which is used to compress new inflowing air. More O2 molecules in the cylinder = more fuel can be added = a bigger bang = more power.

          • Franton said on 11th December 2010, 0:11

            I’m not sure anymore, but they appear to be using Direct Injection technology similar to the common rail system found on most car diesel engines. The curious reference to injection pressure rather than combustion chamber pressure tipped me off.

            See .

    • With refueling banned, I don’t understand why they can’t just say to the teams– “Here is 20 gallons of fuel, we don’t care what lump you use to get there, we’ll see you at the checkered flag.”

      What would be sweeter still would be for KERS to be unleashed instead of being carried in its limited form as a token “green initiative.” Let it go unlimited(except for battery size) and you would see some actual development that could trickle down to production cars.

      • Scalextric said on 11th December 2010, 5:49

        That sounds like fun. Both ideas. All kinds of strategies would mix up the racing. Burn fuel early or late to match or to counteract tyre wear. Go for max. KERS or none. Different engine notes depending on the number of cylinders, boost etc. Might bring back James Hunt’s mobile chicanes though.

        Why limit the battery size?

        • Yeah, I don’t know why I threw that in there. Battery size would take care of itself on a F1 car… I guess I was trying to think of how to let development loose on KERS without it turning into some kind of spending race between the teams.

          • Scalextric said on 11th December 2010, 16:53

            A spending race could be the downside. Maybe make every engine manufacturer supply at least 3 teams. Limit the number of engines/year. But that takes away the fun of the free-for-all.

      • I’d like to see this. Get the teams to be inventive on ways to maximise fuel efficiency. Might even have some benefit to engines in road cars too.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 18th March 2011, 2:25

      Dan I think I’ll add to my list of dislikes is that the teams will be limited to 5 engines per season by 2013 and possibly 4 after 2013. I’ve nothing against 4 pot engines, I just don’t like the way the FIA is doing it.

  3. I hope they will still sound good. I couldnt stand quiet F1 cars the noise is half the spectacle

    • They are going to sound like Indy cars! :-(
      It sucks that F1 can’t be ALL it can be. gone are the good old days when you could make as much power as you wanted from a 3L engine.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th December 2010, 7:25

        I don’t know if I will be able to continue watching if they are only putting out 12 000 RPM. That will sound awful I think. Not F1 at all. If they do sound like Indy cars then that’ll be terrible, because 90% of the reason I don’t bother watching them is because the monotonous drone of the cars is enough to drive me to the point of insanity, so I watch F1. But maybe not for much longer. It seems all this nonsense about the environment is even ruining F1. :(

        • It seems all this nonsense about the environment is even ruining F1.

          My thoughts exactly. And all this “road relevance” talk is gettin annoying now.

          F1 cars are not road cars.

          My car doesn’t have slick tyres or big wings or a KERS button or anything like that.

          It is a 02 Mazda 323, will do 75 ish at a push and you can’t go faster than that legally on the road anyway so thats not that important. It has all weather tyres a radio electric windows and all thast sort of stuff because thats what road cars are supposed to have.

          To me, racing cars are supposed to have big screaming engines, not motors from a hairdryer like my car has.

          If Jean Todt happens to be a reader on here, can we please not dilute F1 down anymore? Everytime someone comes up with something innovative i.e. double diffuser, f-duct etc., they go and ban it.

          The teams should be allowed to develop their cars freely. Maybe the budget cap wasn’t such a bad idea after all….

  4. Good move. Good for the sport.

    12K rpm is pretty low, but there will be a lot of boost. The lowered consumption will also hopefully slim down and shorten the cars by shrinking the fuel tanks; they are growing more bus-like all the time now.

    Passenger cars are moving toward smaller displacement, direct injection, turbos, and myriad recovery systems, and this gives F1 a chance to be out front technically in powerplants relevant to the road for the first time in 20 years.

  5. Bullfrog said on 10th December 2010, 15:20

    The drivers will have to make their own engine noises.
    Fortunately they’re pretty good at it…

    I hope the drone of a GP3 or F2 race isn’t the future sound of F1. Gordon Kirby had a lovely expression for it: “Bumblebee racing”

  6. Flibster said on 10th December 2010, 15:23



    Shame about the cylinder restrictions, no 1.6l V16’s :(

    • Franton said on 10th December 2010, 16:42

      Yeah but that’s the pressure in the fuel injection system, not the resulting cylinder pressure. It just means the fuel gets squirted in REALLY quickly!

    • Feynman said on 10th December 2010, 18:48

      Usual lack of clarity in the FIA communication, par for the course, I presume it is supposed to be unlimited turbo pressure, (5 or 6 bar perhaps) and using maximum fuel-flow rates and the rev-limit to keep things under control.

      Who knows?

      5 race engines, that’ll be kinda tedious, and as per usual won’t save a single penny.

      • Franton said on 10th December 2010, 19:36

        I doubt cylinder pressure will be that high. The infamous BMW F1 turbo ran 5.5bar in qualifying trim to produce 1200hp. More details on .

        It’s odd they’re measuring it by the “fuel squirt” pressure, almost like the common rail of a diesel engine. Everyone else measures it by combustion chamber pressure which is far lower.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 10th December 2010, 15:51

    Can anyone tell me how much power will they produce? Haven’t the FIA did anything on aerodynamics to reduce turbulence?

    According to my knowledge 2010 spec engine consume 1.4-1.5 litre of fuel per kilometer.With 35% efficiency they will travel 1.902 kilometer per litre so they will carry less fuel with them & with using less engine they will too consume less money.Have they stated how many gear box they will use?

  8. I’m eagerly anticipating the new Mclaren supercar powered by an in-house 1.6l 4 cylinder turbo, so the same engine, tweaked and powered up for F1 can be used to make Mclaren a proper manufacturer factory team!!

    • Burnout said on 10th December 2010, 17:21

      What Mclaren supercar is this with a 1.6 litre engine? The MP4-12C has a 3.8 litre turbocharged V8.

      • Oh, they haven’t announced any, nor are there any publicly released plans for a new engine in the 12C, I’m just suggesting that if Mclaren are serious about having their own engine in 2013 they will probable produce a similar engine for use in the MP4 12C.

        Are teams allowed to build new spec engines, and put them in previous F1 car models to test them during a pre 2013 season?

        • LewisC said on 10th December 2010, 23:23

          McLaren won’t build any cars with a 650bhp 1.6 turbo any time soon.

          The requirements of road cars and race cars are different.

          • McLaren live for F1! I’m quite sure they want to build their own engine to race in F1 so they do not have to rely on a third party.

  9. Flibster said on 10th December 2010, 16:14

    Can anyone point out where it mentions forced injection?

    I think they’re talking about 1.6litre 4cylinder normally asperated engines with direct injection.

  10. Cipher said on 10th December 2010, 16:21

    Flibster says:December 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm
    Can anyone point out where it mentions forced injection?

    I think they’re talking about 1.6litre 4cylinder normally asperated engines with direct injection.

    I think you may be on to something here Flibster. I do’nt see the words forced inductions or turbo anywhere. Will need to defer to the official and complete specs to be sure. Wouldn’t that be a thing though? 1.6L NA 4’s at 12K RPM’s Bumblebee deluxe. The Civic tuners wo’nt have anything on F1 any longer. Honda might actually want back in as their entire “tuner” world was based on 1.6L NA engines with VTEC.

  11. Franton said on 10th December 2010, 16:52

    I’m a bit concerned there’s been no mention of the fuel regulations. Honda’s race dominating turbo engines ran a nasty combination of 84% toluene and 16% n-heptane to meet the octane regs but not have the fuel detonate (re: knock) in the cylinder at the 2.5 bar or more pressure they were running.

    How are they proposing to solve that issue with “pump” fuel?

  12. cyanide (@cyanide) said on 10th December 2010, 16:59

    Assuming these engines are going to be turbocharged, a lot of naysayers are in for a shock, sound and power-wise. What will be interesting to see is the level of standardisation. Assuming the manufacturers are allowed to choose their own turbochargers and size them as per their own needs, the first year is going to be a huge lottery for a team that is going to run away in the first leg of the championship.

    The sound is going to be orgasmic and 12000 RPM of F1 engineering is going to easily push the power figures above 800-900 bhp unless FIA set a maximum limit.

    Limiting the amount of boost they can run would be a pointless way to try and cap the power as the manufacturers can simply opt for a bigger turbo/turbos that will flow more air at the same pressure. Hopefully the FIA get the regs written in properly or we’re going to be in for a lot of mudslinging among the teams.

    • Burnout said on 10th December 2010, 17:34

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but the press release says nothing about forced induction engines (and there’s no way you can run 500 bars of turbo boost. 500 bars is only for the fuel injection system. The best they could get in the ’80s was about 5.5 bar of turbo boost)

      That said, there must be some sort of forced induction. There’s no way an engine with half the cylinders, 2/3rd the capacity and a rev limit that’s 2/3rd of the current engines can make the same amount of power without forced induction or an exotic new fuel.

      And you’re not seriously saying that a 4 cylinder engine at lower revs can make as exciting a sound as a V8 at higher revs, are you?

      • cyanide (@cyanide) said on 10th December 2010, 18:28

        I do know that there’s no way they can run 500 bars of boost. I build turbocharged race engines creating over 400 hp myself. And naturally aspirated 4 cylinder motors with individual throttle bodies like superbikes/F1 engines.

        A turbocharged 4 cylinder engine at 11,000 revs will sound a lot more throaty than a naturally aspirated V8 running at 17,000 revs. Been around naturally aspirated 14,000 RPM motors and turbocharged 8000 RPM motors. The turbocharged motors sound as good as the 14,000 RPM NA motors.

        • US_Peter said on 10th December 2010, 21:26

          I agree. They might not be as loud, or howl like banshees, but they’ll definitely be a lot throatier and meaner sounding. It’ll be a different sound, not better, not worse, just different.

          • cyanide (@cyanide) said on 10th December 2010, 23:07

            Then again, Burnout sounds like someone who has won a lot of keyboard wars. I bet he knows what these engines are going to sound like even before an F1 engineer has put pen to paper and planned out the specs.

          • Burnout said on 11th December 2010, 13:11

            Didn’t mean to sound like a douche there. But I will miss the banshee howling. Hope someone builds a 2013 spec engine soon enough so we know for sure what they’ll sound like.

  13. My immediate worry is whats that going to sound like…

    deisel lemans cars? with big turbo whines and electricity batteries like hoovers and scalextric ??

    • Adrian said on 10th December 2010, 17:35

      Ever heard a flat-4 porsche engine? No danger of them not sounding good!!

      (Hell, even my ex’s Citreon Picasso sounded half decent when the exhaust fell off!!)

      • We’ll see if I can get a good revving sound out of my Mum’s 4 cylinder Chevrolet once I start learning in January. :D

      • Snobeck said on 10th December 2010, 18:13

        Subaru flat 4s sound really wild. Imagine one at 12K RPM!

        • Jarred Walmsley said on 10th December 2010, 20:02

          Oooh, now that would be awesome, I vote that in 2013, we have Subaru and Porsche entering highly tuned flat-4’s in F1. With turbo’s they would sound awesome.

          • so far we know nothing about the alignment so in theory there could be straight 4s, V4s and Boxer 4s on the grid in ’13. they all sound very different!

            If they do use turbos, teams will adopt variable veins (used in WRC) which results in virtually no lag and a wall of torque from zero revs. To achieve the same BHP at 6000 less revs than the NA units, the engines will have considerably more torque overall. This can only mean that pirelli are going to have to develop special rear tires, otherwise they will be shredded in a few laps. I for one expect the 2013 cars to be harder to drive, bringing the focus back to driver skill.

    • Scalextric said on 11th December 2010, 21:30

      Hey! :)

  14. These 1.6L turbo cars are going to be a handful in wet conditions.

  15. Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 10th December 2010, 17:40

    I am quite concerned about limitation on the about of engines. The units will be designed to last longer but if in 2013 you have even one engine failure on a new engine you may end up with a massive problem in the final races. Also with the new calendars having 20+ races it seems we should see them get at least 5 if not 6 long term per season.

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