FIA could postpone 2013 F1 engine rules

2013 F1 season

Cosworth CA2010 engine

Cosworth CA2010 engine

The FIA may delay the introduce of four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines in F1, the World Motor Sport Council confirmed today.

A statement issued by the FIA said: “In consultation with the main stakeholders, and following the outcome of this consultation, a fax vote by the WMSC could be considered by 30 June latest to redefine the implementation date of these technical regulations”.

The WMSC confirmed the planned rules changes for 2013 included the new engines, with “high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar with a maximum of 12,000 rpm, with extensive energy management and energy recovery systems (now known as ERS)”.

It also promised revised aerodynamic rules “based on 2011 rules, with modifications in order to improve the aerodynamic efficiency: together with the power train rules, this will enable a 35% reduction in fuel consumption”.

The heights of the cars’ noses will be altered for safety purposes and the number of transmission units teams may used will be further reduced to cut costs.

The minimum weight of the cars will be increased from 640kg to 660kg.

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83 comments on FIA could postpone 2013 F1 engine rules

  1. Rob Haswell said on 3rd June 2011, 15:52

    Why must we keep increasing the weight of the cars every year? Surely with smaller displacement powerplants the weight should be coming down.

    • Tom Chiverton said on 3rd June 2011, 15:57

      Not with battery (or flywheel !) technology the way it is…

    • Martin (@martin1) said on 3rd June 2011, 15:58

      Why must we keep increasing the weight of the cars every year?

      To pack in KERS or some other ERS and don’t disadvantage taller drivers so much.

      • Though because it’s the overall weight that keeps increasing, the exact same disadvantage will continue to remain for taller and heavier drivers.

        • newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 3rd June 2011, 17:40

          There shouldn’t be a maximum weight, it should only apply to the driver and seat.

          • newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 3rd June 2011, 17:41

            any chance of that edit button soon? *minimum

          • Rocky said on 3rd June 2011, 21:45

            I like this idea.

          • Mike said on 4th June 2011, 6:36

            But there’s a safety aspect as well, if teams can make a 300kg car, they will, even if it’s a potential hazard.

          • james_mc said on 4th June 2011, 12:08

            newnhamlea – That’s a good idea, because it would give the smaller drivers less weight to distribute which the still gain an advantage from

          • SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 4th June 2011, 19:26

            The minimum weight should be, as I have argued before, a “dry” weight. Weighing the car without having fuel, water and oil in it, would really help because a low fuel consumption would now be desirable as you would be able to save weight. Voila! Efficiency is quicker, and you do not have to force the teams to use a special fuel management system.

        • Damon (@damon) said on 3rd June 2011, 18:24

          Though because it’s the overall weight that keeps increasing, the exact same disadvantage will continue to remain for taller and heavier drivers.


    • Douglas 62500 said on 4th June 2011, 20:02

      Yes exactly. If they’re making it green they should not increase the weight I guess. On the unrealistic side I would love to see them ditch all the politics and propose unlimited weight deductions, so we could see ultralight F1 cars and possibly pass on the technology to road cars to save fuel as well !!

    • I think the FIA is increasing the weight to add more competitiveness to the game (and therefore increase the TV ratings). Because the poorest teams cant afford such light-weight components and designs as the big teams, the FIA is forcing the top teams to bring their cars weight close to the weight of the bottom and middle teams. On the other and, if a team can build a competitive car with only 620kg, if the minimum is raised to 640, the team can spend 20kg for the improvement of reliability and drivers safety

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2011, 15:54

    So will that mean possibly getting a move to bigger wheels (15′ or 18′) simultaneously with the new engines in 2014?

    Not sure this is a good thing, but I guess they would put it on cost factors.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:31

      Someone ‘Photoshopped’ a car with larger wheels, and it looked ridiculous. But if they insist on changing the engines, I don’t want them revving any lower than the GP2 cars, because they do sound great.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2011, 21:38

        They will probably change the GP2 (and GP3) as well to be in line.

        I just hope they make something nice of the engines and their sound when they are in. Looking forward to having 750hp from them.

      • Rob said on 3rd June 2011, 23:19

        Of course a ‘photoshopped’ car will look ridiculous – it has been artifically manipulated. IRL cars have larger wheels and I prefer them to the over-sized ‘novelty’ tyres F1 cars have.

    • Rocky said on 3rd June 2011, 21:50

      What size wheels did the UOP Shadow in CanAm have the was a great sounding car?

  3. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:17

    The heights of the cars’ noses will be altered for safety purposes

    OOH. OOH. Does this mean we can go back to the days of Indycar style low noses? 8D

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:41

      I don’t understand how that would work at all. Some of the biggest and most dangerous aerial accidents have happened with low noses. There’s no escaping it. Examples include: Christian Fittipaldi’s backflip in 1993 at Monza, Patrese’s half-backflip over Berger in Portugal back in 1992 and more recently, Ralf Schumacher going over Rubens Barrichello at the start of the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.

      • Damon (@damon) said on 3rd June 2011, 18:34

        But what had low noses got to do with those?
        Plus, Ralf Schumacher’s car had a high nose. And in that particular case it was the high nose responsible for the crash, because it made the car slide onto the back/rear tyre of Barrichello’s car.

        • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 3rd June 2011, 18:43

          Beat me to that comment…

          What Damon (not Damon Smedley) said. Everyone of those accidents are directly due to unusually high closing speed onto the back of a car and climbing some part of it (wheel to wheel or the Ralf crash climbing over the low back end after the rear wing of Barrichello broke). Almost every wheel-wheel hard hit causes at least one car to get soem air, its the nature of bouncing a giant rubber pad (tire) off another giant rubber pad.

          • The restriction of the nose height is for t bone accidents according to another website.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 4th June 2011, 3:01

            Well, how can people blame the high noses for Webber’s crash in Valencia? That was all to do with closing speed. I just can’t see lowering the noses will do anything.

          • Mike said on 4th June 2011, 7:27

            Part of it is that, stripping away the front wing, the nose provides a ready made ramp. With a low nose the car won’t be as inclined to ride on top of the car ahead.

          • SteveH said on 5th June 2011, 20:32

            Hey Spaulding, it’s not the bouncing off tires that launches a car, it’s the fact that the wheel of the car in front is rolling forward, as is the wheel of the car behind, so when a wheel of the car behind hits the one in front it tries (and usually succeeds) to climb the front cars tire. Basically, the wheel of the car behind is rotating at road speed and hits a surface (the leading wheel) that is also rotating at road speed. The wheel behind climbs right up and the car is launched.

          • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 6th June 2011, 5:50

            Low nose likely would help; in Indy for next year they’re also introducing rear “bumpers” that would stop the car behind from immediately coming into contact with the rear wheels.

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 5th June 2011, 17:38

          Agree. The length is the same, just the noses end lower than current ones.

  4. Pika said on 3rd June 2011, 16:21

    I can’t believe that the pinnacle of motorsport is considering to keep these frozen (I repeat FROZEN) engines for so long.

  5. MarcusAurelius (@marcusaurelius) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:24

    Only 12.000 RPM? Oh no!

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th June 2011, 10:42

      It really doesn’t matter about the RPM. It’s the efficiency of the engine that matters the most. You can rev an F1 engine to 20,000rpm…but how much of that is transmitted to the wheel?

      Of course, the irony of the situation is that people want to retain the current sound of F1, but you lose so much energy in sound! ;)

      • SteveH said on 5th June 2011, 20:39

        I disagree with that, Andrew, rpm REALLY matters. For the same torque, an increase in rpm means an increase in horsepower, as horsepower is basically the integral of torque over time. Ignoring friction (that would be nice!), if you keep the same torque (again, that would be nice) and double the rpm you will have double the horsepower. I know this is not real life and I am making this too simple, but I hope you get the gist.

        • VXR said on 6th June 2011, 8:25

          A V8 2.4 F1 naturally aspirated engine does not have any more physical torque than a 2.4 V8 naturally aspirated road car engine (typically around 280Nm). An F1 car can multiply that torque (by a factor of 3 if a road car engine typically revs to 6000 rpm) by having much lower gearing and by having the torque peak very high up in the rev range.

          A 1.6 turbo engine will not only have vastly more torque than a 2.4 V8, but will also have more torque throughout the whole of its rev range.

  6. no…lower noses wil be out..and high noses wil be the norm, preventing the cars sliding over the wing and into a driver.abit like liuzzi schumi crash at abu dhabi last year

  7. Bigbadderboom said on 3rd June 2011, 16:38

    The reasoning for “revising” these engine regs was to make the cars “Road Relevant”. 12000rpm 500 bar injection? If people wanted to see a road relevant development then watch GT cars or WTCC. I’m all for F1 developing technologies, I actually think KERS will prove better when output/deployment is increased and I’m not against deveoping other ERS ideas, but to change the core design like this for me is a bad idea. Hopefully there can be a compromise reached, but the last thing i want is a 4 pot 1600 sounding like a prius through a megaphone.

    • MuzzleFlash said on 3rd June 2011, 16:53

      Can’t help but agree on this, touring cars or rallying should be used to push road relevant technology. History has shown they can draw just as big crowds as F1.

  8. Calum (@calum) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:47

    This is one of the best non- race weekend F1 days ever!!

    We’re getting a bonus race this year!

    The biggest ever calender is released!

    And V8 engines are staying a bit longer!

    Can’t complain with any of that! ;)

  9. xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 3rd June 2011, 16:49

    12000 RPMs is a joke, in my opinion. That’s getting down to IndyCar level, yet not even touching their max speed. 18000 is beautiful, but still leaves me wanting because I know they could do much more.

    Curse you V12 at 22000 RPM, why does your mystical visage haunt my dreams?

    • Dipak T said on 3rd June 2011, 21:28

      Nah mate, 25000rpm W16 is where its at!
      But seriously, restart engine developemnt using max starting fuel mass as a limiting factor, not rpm.

      • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 3rd June 2011, 22:17

        Haha, that would be like setting a Bugatti’s balls on fire.

        But I do agree about the fuel mass as a limiting factor. It would be “green” (depending on the fuel amount used), and allow for some ingenious non-aero development.

      • Cluffy_Wedge said on 4th June 2011, 13:33

        But then wouldn’t you just have bajillion PSI turbos creating gargantuan voids of air behind them?

        • hohum said on 4th June 2011, 14:23

          Exactly, turbos are bolt-on Horsepower, higher RPM, better breathing these are things that need development that can benefit road going engines, 12000 rpm can already bought for less than $10000 in motorcycles.
          The Tifosi still wave the flag for Ferrari,not for Alonso or Massa, why should they bother when F1 becomes a virtual 1design series, and what will it mean if they do, best pit-stops?

  10. DavidS (@davids) said on 3rd June 2011, 17:02

    I may sound like a broken record, but find a way of capping power output at a particular level and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

    The way the engine regs are now is like having an art contest, but telling contestants what and how to paint.

    • Dr. Mouse said on 6th June 2011, 13:21

      find a way of capping power output at a particular level and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

      I disagree.

      Find a way of capping power input and teams will pursue efficiency in a quest for performance.

      Of course, capping RPM (and, in the case of turbo’ed engines, “boost”) effecively does that, but IMHO a better way would be to remove many of the current restrictions and just limit the maximum fuel input per second, and possibly the total fuel capacity.

  11. Stephan88 (@stephan88) said on 3rd June 2011, 17:14

    Good news the FIA is delaying ruining F1.

  12. Todfod said on 3rd June 2011, 17:15

    1.6 litre V4 turbos with an RPM cap of 12,000. F1 drivers definitely wont be driving the fastest cars in the world once the engine regs are implemented.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 3rd June 2011, 17:23

      Why not? They are turbo engines, so they won’t be much less powerful then todays engines.
      If the KERS power limit is raised on the same time they implement the turbo engines, which is very likely, i don’t think the cars will be any slower then they are now.
      That is if they don’t change much to the aerodynamic regulations and tyres of cause.

    • Burnout said on 3rd June 2011, 19:14

      In any case, F1 cars aren’t the fastest single seaters right now anyway. They accelerate faster, brake faster and corner faster but they definitely aren’t the fastest in a straight line.

      Williams engineers said recently that with turbos and ERS the new engines should be able to produce close to 800bhp. Pretty close to current engines.

      • Hallard said on 3rd June 2011, 19:56

        From what I’ve read, that figure of 800bhp includes the power output of the KERS, meaning about 650bhp when the kers is not engaged (most of the lap) and an extra 150 when it is. Sounds like they are limiting the boost pressure way too much to me, otherwise they could have way more than 650 or even 800bhp.

        • Dipak T said on 3rd June 2011, 21:37

          Personally I Ddnt see whats so wrong with a equivalency formula for two different engine architechtures in F!. Sure, it wont be perfect, and it would in no way make them completely equal, but hey, who honestly wants completely identical engines anyway. I want to see things like Turbos dominating in Interlagos, but stuggling in the harsh humidity in Malaysia.

          The back and forth between the low revving turbo I4s and high revving NA V8 would bring an extra level of competion into the sport – is that such a bad thing?

  13. Hallard said on 3rd June 2011, 17:29

    I find it infuriating that nearly every time F1 goes through a rule change, the cars get slower. Cars seem to be getting faster as the years go on in other motorsport series, yet F1 cars were faster 7 years ago than they are now.

    Im all for F1 being road-relevant, because that could mean we get better performing road-legal cars, but why cant they be blindingly fast and road-relevant?

    Safety gets better every year, and every new track that is built seems to be wider and have more acreage of runoff than the last, so why are the cars not allowed to evolve in terms of speed year over year? Im not saying it needs to be unlimited but the gap between GP2 and F1 is just too small right now.

    • The biggest driver of overall lap time has been aerodynamics, as cornering speeds increase. Aero has been cut back on for all sorts of reasons, firstly because it is possible for the cars to become too fast to be safe regardless of how much run-off you put on a track (particularly in corners with high G-forces), and also because a greater reliance on aerodynamics is generally thought to reduce overtaking.

      It would be nice to have engines with masses of power like the 1980s but the teams can’t “unlearn” everything that they have learned in the last 30 years with regard to aerodynamics.

      I don’t think the engine changes will “ruin” F1, but I do think they’re the wrong type of change. Teams should be allocated a fixed amount of fuel and told to build the best engine possible to make use of it.

      • Hallard said on 3rd June 2011, 19:40

        Totally agreee with you, and I didnt actually mean to imply that the engine change rule would be a detriment to the sport. Im fine with small 4 cylinder engines, in fact, but I feel like they should have more power than the “650+ BHP thats been touted. It’s just dissappointing that, as you said, the cars get faster and faster due to aero developments, and the FIA has shown an affinity for freezing or restricting engine development/power to counteract this, instead of revising aero rules in a way that will actually work.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2011, 21:42

        Fully agree with that. Although I would probably want to take that further and go with allowed energy input in kW hours and leave it to the team what kind of fuel or to pre charge batteries or whatever.

        • gDog (@gdog) said on 6th June 2011, 1:20

          Totally with you on that BasCB, exactly the same thing I’ve said a few times now.

          With a fixed amount of energy to play with but no restrictions on fuel type then we’d see some real innovation that could actually be useful to the world. Not only could significant development be made moving away from hydrocarbon based fuels to keep the greens happy (me included) but we’d also start to see massive differences between the cars.

          The problem is that the innovation involved would be very expensive, which is why it is extremely unlikely to happen in the current cost cutting world.

          • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 6th June 2011, 5:57

            I agree with the idea as well, and regarding cost — some manufacturers already spend a fortune exploring alternate engines for Le Mans, so road relevancy can to some extent counter cost.

            With engine manufacturers increasingly supplying multiple teams, a free engine formula but with limited energy input, combined with a cap on the cost of said engines and a requirement to supply at least a minimum number of teams on request, might work.

      • hohum said on 4th June 2011, 14:28


        • hohum said on 4th June 2011, 14:29

          Thats, here, here to Red Andys post.

          • hohum said on 6th June 2011, 15:07

            With income from F1 projected to be nearly 2 Billion ( 2,000 Million ) dollars next year surely we should not be fobbed of by the excuse that engine development is is to expensive, the problem is that half the pie goes to management ie.Bernie and the TV distributors whose only expenses are running an office to negotiate sales and collect the loot.the other half gets divided amongst the 24 teams who have to design, build and race the cars. You would think that 100 million dollars a year would be more than enough to cover the costs of organising a calender and selling the rights to a product whose demand exceeds supply. When the Concorde comes up for renewal the teams should demand at least 90 percent of the take and maybe then we can again have the excitement of seeing teams bring new and different engine configurations with different power bands and varying reliability contribute to success or failure, not just aerodynamic configurations with no practical value elsewhere. Of course making best use of a fixed amount of fuel would be part of it and efficiencies developed would benefit passenger vehicles also.

    • mikef said on 3rd June 2011, 19:18

      “Safety gets better every year, and every new track that is built seems to be wider and have more acreage of runoff than the last, so why are the cars not allowed to evolve in terms of speed year over year?”

      Your comment says it – every NEW track built. While new tracks come in nearly every year, there are still plenty of old tracks that just cannot take the ever-increasing speed/acceleration; Monaco is the topical answer.

      • Hallard said on 3rd June 2011, 19:44

        But even for tracks like monaco, safety improvements must have been made in the last decade, and they’re proposing that more be made for next year.

        Also, that was just one part of my argument. Even on classic tracks that havent had (or havent been able to accomodate) new safety revisions, the cars are getting stronger and safer, and the driver’s helmet and restraint systems are getting safer too. Simply put, F1 is getting safer overall (obviously a good thing), but it isnt getting faster.

  14. JohnBt said on 3rd June 2011, 17:42

    So the screaming and howling of V8s can continue. That’s good news, not Bahrain though.

  15. Robert McKay said on 3rd June 2011, 18:52

    I think it’s a bit strange that the FIA makes a big song and dance about announcing major rule changes ages in advance, and then as they get a bit nearer suddenly they either get postponed, watered down, or completely ignored.

    We had the ground effect aero rule “changes” and the engine “changes” for 2013 and of both these major aspects the first one has been severely altered by the teams because they think they can achieve an equivalent or better effect in a more conventional and less expensive way, and we have the engine package which despite apparently having been locked into place for ages seems to stir massive discontent with most of the teams whenever it is even mentioned.

    Why is it always like this?

    Is it the case that even in the era of unprecedented FOTA cooperation the teams still can’t remotely agree on anything, so the FIA is forced to come up with something merely to spark the teams into action by actually giving them something to unite and disagree against?

    It’s an odd way to frame such important regulations, whatever the reasoning.

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