Audi R18

Le Mans follows F1’s lead with smaller engines

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The organisers of Le Mans racing series have followed F1’s lead by adopting smaller engines and reducing fuel consumption.


Le Mans 2011 Regulations Finalised (Speed)

“Downsized engines, essentially 2010-spec LMP2 power plants, will be enforced in new-for-2011 LMP1 cars. Teams will have a variety of options, including 3.4-litre naturally aspirated V8s, 2.0-litre turbos, or a 3.7-litre diesel turbo, which Audi has opted for with its V6 TDI. ”

How new rules could change the championship (BBC)

“It could be that, with this new rule, having track position could change from being a blessing to a curse. It may be that if there are evenly matched cars, they race in pack, in order to be able to overtake with your moveable wing later on.”

Move over, Lewis Hamilton (The Press and Journal)

“I learned everything in karting. Simple as that. As a kid people generally frowned when I said I was going go-karting. I think they thought I was just going to some random place down the road just to have fun for ??10, but it was an actual hobby and something that I really enjoyed doing that has grown into something even better.??

F1 to Watch ?ǣ Alice Powell (Will Buxton)

“I first met Alice last year when she was in the middle of her debut single-seater season in Formula Renault UK and I was immediately impressed with her maturity and outstanding racecraft.”

Formula 1 B?dzie tor wy??cigowy na Ukrainie (

Rumours of an F1 track planned for Kiev. Here’s an automatic translation of the article.

Thanks to Adam Glogowski for the tip.

Comments of the day

Yesterday was all about the top three drivers of the year with over 400 comments on the final part of the F1 driver rankings and driver of the year poll.

Here are three different comments from people putting the cases for different drivers.

First, nathancabopino argues for Sebastian Vettel:

I personally have to disagree, purely based on the fact of how many points Vettel lost due to mechanical/electrical failures. I know he made mistakes as well, but nobody has been anywhere near the perfect driver this season. As you say Keith, he lost 48 before Korea + 25 at Korea = 73. That?s a huge chunk of points. […]

So overall my rankings would be:

3. Hamilton
2. Alonso
1. Vettel

Here’s why Dan_the_McLaren_fan defied his username to back Fernando Alonso:

I hesitated between Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Kubica. But I then I remembered that Kubica wasn?t always on top form and I remembered him doing a few mistakes (Spa, Hungary, Abu Dhabi qualifying).

Despite being the quickest man of the year, Vettel doesn?t deserve to be named the best driver, he did two big mistakes which won?t be forgotten that soon.

Then I was left with a very difficult choice: Alonso and Hamilton.

But finally I chose Alonso, because from Germany, he did an almost perfect series of races (if you don?t count Spa and Abu Dhabi), and he managed to beat the Red Bulls twice in qualifying, without an underweight car. I might hate hate the character, but I truly respect Alonso as a driver.

Finally, part of Sean’s very long comment stating the case for Lewis Hamilton:

Hamilton and Alonso are both candidates for number one because they both outperformed their rides in many races. Vettel deserved the drivers’ championship but arguably should have made fewer errors given that he did have the fastest car by a mile.

The clincher for me between Hamilton and Alonso is that (a) Hamilton is clearly inside Alonso?s head, as we saw from, for example, Alonso?s radio transmissions in Melbourne, and his entitlement-based meltdown in Valencia, (b) on balance, Alonso?s errors were more egregious than Hamilton?s, as described above, (c) drives like Canada, Spa, Melbourne, Sepang and China from Hamiltonwere at least as impressive to be as drives like Korea, Brazil and Monza from Alonso, both of them being serially brilliant in any case, and (d) one of Alonso?s wins was simply gifted to him by his team mate.

Got a view on who was the best driver of 2010? Cast your vote here now.

From the forum

RIISE wonders if there’s something more to Stirling Moss’s recent comments about Michael Schumacher.

Site updates

Following the recent move to polls being restricted to registered users only, the “Pass of the Year” poll will be re-run later today.

You can sign up for an account here (you only have to fill in two fields) or read more information about F1 Fanatic accounts here.

Happy birthday!

It’s BasCB’s birthday today – a very happy birthday to the person who is currently our most prolific commentator!

On this day in F1

One year ago today, Michael Schumacher announced his return to Formula 1 in 2010.

NB. ‘On this day’ will return in three days’ time.

Image ?? Audi

91 comments on “Le Mans follows F1’s lead with smaller engines”

  1. Happy Birthday BasCB!

    1. Many Happy Returns of the day BasCB.

    2. Thanks, i am looking forward to another load of great F1 seasons.

      1. Enjoy the birthday Bas!

        1. Enjoy yours as well!

          1. Thanks, I did :)

      2. Have a great day BasCB! :D

    3. Hey, why was I led to believe it was BasCB’s birthday yesterday?! Now I have to say happy birthday again :)

    4. Happy B-day BasCB!!!

      Keep the comments coming!

      1. Happy birthday for the 23rd, BasCB. Sorry I couldn’t send my wishes on the day, but I’ve been quite busy lately. Hope you had a great day. :)

  2. “NB. ‘On this day’ will return in three days’ time.”

    Nothing ever happened on xmas eve or xmas day then?

    As for the rankings, I found it rather strange that people claimed Keith, with your well explained and reasoned views, was accused of being biased by people who claimed you were obviously wrong but with nothing to back it up.

    I happened to agree with the entire rankings apart from I would have switched Jenson and Mark around. It was good to see a well thought out, well reasoned article, not being swayed too much by the actual championship standings and taking the whole season into account.

    Great job Keith!

    1. Even more so – the people who accused Keith of being biased then often offered a biased arguement in favour of their prefered driver.

      We’re all sports fans, of course we’re going to be biased sometimes, but I think Keith does a far better job than some others (James Allen springs to mind in particular) or avoiding allowing this bias to show in his work.

      1. Quite so.

        It’s a damn sight less biased here than Ted “I’m down in the McLaren garage” Kravitz or David “Red Bull is an amazing team” Coulthard on the BBC.

        I don’t always agree with Keith’s views but he puts them well and appears to hold them seriously (unlike other places where sometimes you feel a position being taken for the sake of controversy).

  3. Yes Happy Birthday BasCB!!!

  4. That’s an odd pic of Kravitz, there’s a hint of James Allen in there somewhere. Anyway that was a good read, I love the way they have only made it allowable to change the rear wing angle if you are within 1 second of the car in front, and that the car in front can’t change it.

    I can imagine a train of 4 cars scrambling with the rear wings to try to gain an advantage.

    1. I’m still not convinced by it. Should have just seen how KERS worked first, and ofcourse the lack of the DD’s.

    2. i’m confused by how they’re only allowed to use it at one particular straight on the circuit… why not all straights?

      1. I can only assume it has to do with where the timing points are so they can judge whether the car is within 1 second of the car in front.

        1. I didn’t realise it was only one straight… how utterly stupid. So now we’ll see one designated “overtaking point” per track, and no one being creative and aggressive with other parts of the circuits; Hamilton on Rosberg in Melbourne this year springs to mind.

          Totally artificial and I hope F1 gets bored of it for the 2012 season, if not sooner.

    3. I am a bit curious, about how it will actually work out. What if the driver behind puts up his wing, and starts overtaking, getting a bit extra with KERS as well, then the guy in front kicks in with his KERS as well.
      Or would he use the KERS right at the beginning of the straight, to avoid the car in the back getting within 1 second?

      Also expect some heated debate about which strech of track will be used at some tracks.

      Are the teams going to test deployment in the February tests in Valencia? What if they find it does not work or is just to complicated to organise?

      1. It does seem way too complicated. I think it’ll be a relief when the smaller wings come in 2013 – a return to purer racing – and I remember quite a few cases of the adjustable front wings becoming non-adjustable during races.

        Will all the teams be using it? Hispania and Virgin have already opted out of KERS. I guess the control systems are in the standard ECU, but it’s emerging now that many teams really struggled with their stalled rear wings this year, and Hispania used the same size rear wing all this year!

      2. “…Secondly, drivers will only be allowed to use it in a specific zone on the straight. This zone is expected to start a few hundred metres down the straight and end at the braking point for the next corner. This is to allow the cars to be securely established at high speed before taking away downforce. The sudden removal of rear downforce has to be done with great care”

        So not only is the movable rear wing producing entirely artificial racing, where track position is now a curse, and not only are you limited as to when you can use it, but also where you can use it!? On one mandated straight, and what appears to me an entrirely useless set of restrictions. Of course the rear wing wil be disengaged at the braking point, the drivers need the downforce. Since when was it the job of the FIA to dictate how best for the drivers to brake for a corner? Or how to improve the show?

        One of the best thing about Grand Prix racing is that track position is indeed king and watching the battle betwwen the lead car and the car behind trying to pass is the drama of the sport. Its what makes Kobayashi barging past car after car, Hamilton finding passing places out of the blue and Alonso intimidating a car out of his way so great! Even when a driver (ahem, Vettel) gets it wrong its an event. To rob the spectators of that is not benefitting the sport, its entirely detrimental.

        Infact I would go as far as to say its monumentally more worse that the riduculous call of blocking that Castroneves suffered at this years Edmonton Indy. Its actually worse than that.

        1. By worse I mean detrimental to the sport

  5. Keith, the forum’s still really buggy for me. I usually have to stop the load and refresh after a bit, then it often loads on the second try. Sometimes it takes more tries. Same thing when I try to click into a specific thread as well. I’m running Chrome 8.0.552.231 for mac, but it seems to act the same with Safari and Firefox as well.

    1. OK, thanks for the info – will take a look at it.

  6. I did wonder what the “on this day” would be on these days. Turns out it’s what I expected. Not a lot

  7. Norm I.A. Lemming
    23rd December 2010, 0:52

    “Le Mans follows F1’s lead with smaller engines”? … First, while F1 continues to trundle along in “Specistan” with an I4 mandated from 2013, A/LMS actually has (comparatively) wideranging variety. Second, a smaller displacement does not a smaller engine make – one has to consider the entirety, as in all the energy recovery bits and parts as well. Bolting electronics on an ICE can make the whole more sustainable, but can just as easily do the opposite (e.g. the resources needed to manufacture the thing). F1’s newfound “fuel thriftiness” is a couple of steps below the least they can do; following the money it’s pretty easy to see why.

    1. All of that sounds really interesting, but most of it is way over my head. I just hope they get rid of those STUPID shark fins. I really, really hate them.

      1. Somebody said in a previous round-up article that those shark fins in Le Mans cars are for safety, in case a car rolls over. I don’t think they have too much of an aero influence. And they’re definitely not there for aesthetics!

  8. Happy Birthday BasCB!! Hope you have a great year! :)

    Dan_the_McLaren_Fan makes a very interesting point that I can sort of relate to being a McLaren fan, Alonso’s performance in the second half of the season was very strong, while Hamilton threw away precious points.. But when I look at the season as a whole, I still think Vettel is a deserving champion.. Lots of Alonso’s successes are because of Red Bull’s failures..

    1. gotta love BasCB!, a big fat happy birthday to him!

      I wish you the best!

      1. Really feels good, being wished a happy birtday by so many people, thanks everyone.

  9. RIISE wonders if there’s something more to Stirling Moss’s recent comments about Michael Schumacher.

    Wind your neck in kid, thats Stirling Moss, he’s an actual racer with a record that yet to be broken, when he says “that person doesn’t know how to race”, you listen to him.

    I’ll be registering onto the forums for that particular infraction.


    1. So a man who has won 7 WDC’s, regardless of how or why he won them, doesn’t know how to race? It seems to me that Moss just doesn’t like him, which is totally understandable to me.

      1. nah you just listen to Stirling Moss because secretly he’s every racing fans grandpa.

        1. Stewart is my Grandpa Thankyou very much…

          Moss’s words are nothing but senile drivel.

          1. Hear, hear.

            Stewart calls it how it is.

            Moss just calls out for attention.

          2. No way chaps!, Moss says CRUMPETS!

            1-nil to Moss

          3. Stewart says stuff that makes sense, and is respectful. Not necessarily positive things about Schu, but still fair comments aren’t reminiscent of a broken record.


            Jackie is the world champion here.

            2-1 Stewart. FT. The final whistle blows, and a late brace from Stewart confines Moss to another heartbreaking defeat.

      2. I like the old man. I remember reading about his racing and womenizing when I was a kid. This was before F1 was on the tele and all you had was your imagination about what was going on at a race. He raced formula 1 and sports with equal flair.
        I would love to see him race some of todays drivers at the same age. He would be the Mohammed Ali of Formula 1!

        1. typo “womanizing”
          sports cars with equal flair.

  10. keith have you considered increasing the width of these comment boxes. it would reduce the number of pages of comments on heavily commented articles, like the top 3 driver rankings article…

    1. I like it the way it is. The larger the width, the harder it is to read the comments comfortably.

      1. I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to have the like/dislike option for each comment. Would give a pretty quick indication as to what the consensus is on certain topics.

        1. The like/dislike is a great idea.

          1. Not really, because it would just be like immature F1 on Youtube.

          2. I don’t think it would be like Youtube… where you only get ‘thumbs up’ed by refering to Justin Bieber.

    2. I believe Keith actually shortened the amount of comments that could be made per “page” in order to facilitate loading times.

      1. That’s been done once or twice before, the last change was quite a while ago, though, I think at the beginning of the year. Page load time is always a concern, of course.

        1. Page load times are decent now though. Your Alexa ranking went from slow a few months ago to average now…

  11. DeadManWoking
    23rd December 2010, 3:38

    Le Mans follows F1′s lead with smaller engines

    The organisers of Le Mans racing series have followed F1′s lead by adopting smaller engines and reducing fuel consumption.

    Keith, this is just wrong, in fact the truth is the just the opposite. The reduction in LMP1 engine size was announced by the ACO in Sept 2008 and these cars will be racing on track next March while the F1 regulations have just been announced and the new engines won’t be used until 2013. Your own Round-up on Dec 11th featured the Audi R18 with the reduced 3.7L V6.

    1. Dead right. The ACO were committed to smaller engines in 2008.
      Quote from the ACO regs in June this year.
      “2010 LM P1’s eligible in 2011 provided that as announced two years ago, the cubic capacity of the LM P1 prototypes will be reduced. “

    2. It’s part of a wider trend – arguably F1 has been downsizing engines since they ditched the 3.5-litre units in the mid-nineties. I take your point, though.

  12. So, first a Vietnamese Grand Prix and now a Ukranian Grand Prix, huh? I reckon Bernie should just establish a race in one country for every letter of the alphabet and be done with it:

    Great Britain
    West Bank
    X – would be a “wildcard” race

    Thought ought to take care of it.

    1. *That ought to take care of it. I meant to say “that”.

    2. Can we swap Eygpt for England and then we can have a German Grand Prix, but let’s hold that at the Nurburgring…

      1. … and Brazil for Belgium, China for Canada, and Mauritania for Monaco please.

      2. Can’t wait for the West Bank Grand Prix. Is it large enough?

      3. Or keep Great Britain and Egypt, drop Denmark and add Deutschland!

        Racing on a bridge over the Sphynx leading to a tunnel through the great pyramids would be awesome!
        (and probably blasphemous as well no?)

    3. Wow, who needs testing, eh! A GP every second week for the whole year.

      It would need something of a regional competition to manage actually going to the races, or a winter season / main season setup.

      And would they run in alphabetical order, or the other way around?

    4. Honduras in, Hungary out, eh?

    5. Qatar is the safest Grand Prix on the calendar then. No other country’s name begins with a Q. And Rwanda? Vitaly Petrov and his Russian fans would be so unhappy.

      I am happy you chose Indian GP instead of Icelandic GP. Otherwise, all corners on that circuit would be named like their god-forsaken volcano Eyjafjallajökul.

    6. Missed out Alaska

  13. I have seen Alice Powell at quite a few race meetings now, and I have to say, though I may be being harsh, I felt that relative to the other drivers she was nothing to write home about. Of course she is fast… but consistently 4th, 5th, 6th etc in the lower series is not a good thing.

    I can’t help but think that she is getting this hype for the same reason as Danica Patrick; she is a women.

    I am completely for having a woman on the grid, I think it would add something new (probably more attractive too!) to the paddock, but they HAVE to be good enough. There is no point thinking about signing the fastest woman alive if she is only faster than the 100th fastest male!

    Rant over!

    1. That’s an old argument that is guaranteed to pop up in any and all situations that involve breaking gender or race or (insert any category here) barriers. “If they’re not good enough to beat us they’re not good enough to join us.” Thing is in real life that’s not how things work. You have to begin by bringing outsiders in before you can hold them uop to the same (or higher) standrds. I’ll bet you anything that if you ran an experiment raising girls like boys and boys like girls, the girls would be the better drivers. It’s all in what you’re taught.

      1. Interesting point
        My view is if you are quick enough you SHOULD get your chance, though this is hindered by the teams giving seats to drivers who pay rather than those who deserve it.

        To be honest she in today’s F1 she only has to be good enough to get a super licence then the race seat comes if she pays for it. The problem with this is any team taking a pay driver doesn’t have the will and/or cash to develop said car. So driver learns nothing and can’t get better and loses seat to another rubbish pay driver.

        1. You can still learn things in a back of the grid team. Webber and Alonso both started at Minardi.

      2. except, Maciek, this is not a social development program, this is a sport – so the you only get to the top level if you are good enough (hopefully).
        If you want more woman in motorsport, you focus on the bottom level of the sport, with equal opportunities for all (as much as possible), and let the cream rise to the top.
        I wold be against a grid wehere it is decided that we need x number black drivers, x number of Asian drivers, x number of woman etc etc.

    2. I read the interview. She didn’t only finish 5th or 6th, she won races too. And apparently she is much younger than most of the people she is competing with for the championship.

      She won. That’s a good start. It’s hard to argue with that. If she keeps winning championships then she’ll be good enough.

  14. @ “Hamilton is clearly inside Alonso’s head”

    At the start of the year that might have been true. But come the second half and I think Alonso had Lewis under control, and was perhaps inside Lewis’s head (Brazil was a good example).

    1. Uneven braking in the front brakes (left front locking up) was the only thing in Lewis’s head at Korea and Brazil. He understood he could not compete with Alonso and said so. When forced to pushed the car beyond the functionality of the brakes he lost the front end of the car.

  15. That article makes me feel a bit better about the new rules. Although it’s still a gimmick, every effort should be made to encourage drivers to make one more pit stop than their rivals in order to get ahead of them. They will also negate the effect of tracks unfriendly to overtaking (Barcelona, Monaco).

    Also, I think it’s disgraceful how many comments there were accusing Keith of a lack of integrity in his methods. If he had put a long list of why Alonso was #1 we wouldn’t have had half the amount of “complaints” and he would have been praised for having a thorough argument on his side.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree, it is awful. However, a lot of people just see the ‘’ domain, then look for something positive about a British driver, and, no matter how sound the argument, refuse to look at the issue from an objective point of view.

      As I said yesterday, you can make a sound argument for all 3 top drivers to be No.1. Most people on this site look at it objectively, but you will always get those who are blinded by their support for one particular driver, and will always back them no matter what.

      An excellent point Icthyes.


      P.S. Cool! My first (joint) COTD

  16. Great COTD choices. There’s a lot of interesting opinions flowing from the driver rankings once you filter out the noise.

  17. Well, I guess with things changing a lot in Formula 1, they couldn’t afford having Le Mans Series being faster than F1 itself. And that will happen with those new rules anyway. Can you remember the time when Rally cars were almost as fast as a Formula 1? Some say that Toivonen lapped Estoril in the S4 with a time enough for 6th place in the F1 grid in 85 if I am not mistaken.

    1. If it is not a myth it was in 86, not 85…

    2. That’s interesting if it’s true. It reminded me of this video of a 1 lap race around Silverstone a few years back. The staggered starts really show how fast a modern F1 is.

      F1 (Herbert in a Stewart) V Rally (McCrae in a Ford) V Road Car (J Clarkson in a Ford Cougar).

      note the clever product placement by Ford…

      1. I love seeing Colin with those wonderfull drifts in that video. And the F1 car is just amazingly fast.

  18. Happy birthday BasCB! I always read your posts (it can take a while given how many there are :P) and really enjoy your arguments and opinions. Have a fanatastic day!

    1. Happy birthday BasCB, and an advance merry Christmas to you too.

    2. Thanks Steph, maybe I’ll cut out on commenting for the hollidays, to make it easier on you ;-).

  19. Autosport are now running the story about a Ukranian circuit.

    Show of hands: who thinks Bernie has run out of big-spending countries we can visit and is now resorting to deciding where future races will be held by throwing darts at a map of the world?

    1. I don’t think he’s resorted to the dart throwing yet. But he’s definitely had his assistant bring him a list of the top 100 countries in the world ripe for pillaging. ;)

  20. Dan_the_McLaren_fan
    23rd December 2010, 11:54

    Wow, my first comment on the website becomes one of the comments of the day. Funny thing!

    1. Thought I hadn’t seen that user name before. Welcome to the site!

    2. Yeah, welcome to F1F, one thing however – I’m not sure it’s clear enough which team you support! :P

    3. Great entrance, welcome here Dan!

  21. Congratulations to the winner of Team Lotus’ livery competition – unfortunate really that you won’t see your design on track however. :(

    The designer posted 2 of his designs on here – anf to be honest both were better than the Lotus-Renault offering.

    1. This is a really amazing desing (although i liked his AS design even more personally).

      Now Lotus should do a quick competition on the yellow/green livery as well. Or just let Raphael Campos make some desing drafts!

  22. I noticed a pretty in detail reflection on the situation and the state of the planning done for the Austin GP on a american racing blog (3 parts):

    These guys are really pretty much involved with the residents and local fans as well.

  23. A bit of sad news. According to Finnish news sources Kimi’s father died yesterday. It has yet to be caught by English news sources. If you can read Finnish here is the article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.