F1 cars to use electric power in pits from 2014

2014 F1 season

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

F1 cars will have to run on electrical power only in the pit lane from 2014.

The technical rules for 2014 published by the FIA state cars must run “in electric mode” with “no ignition and no fuel supply to the engine at all times when being driven in the pit lane.”

Teams will be able to use both kinetic energy recovery and, for the first time, also recover energy from exhaust heat.

The kinetic element of the system will be twice as powerful as that used today with 120kW available.

The rules also define the new 1.6-litre V6 engines which will be introduced. These will be limited to 15,000rpm, down from 18,000 today.

They will retain the same 90-degree V-angle, and be restricted to a maximum fuel flow of 100kg/h.

The design, dimensions and materials used in the new engines are defined in more specific terms by the rules than the current V8s, which were introduced in 2006.

Self-starting motors

A further change to the rules will enable F1 cars to do something every road car is capable of – start on its own.

The rules will require drivers to be able to start the engine “when seated normally at the wheel and without any external assistance.”

This should put an end to drivers retiring from races because of stalled engines.

Minimum weight increase

The minimum weight of the cars will increase again, to 660kg (from 640kg).

A minimum weight for the power unit (including the engine and energy recovery system) has been set at 155kg – previously the engine alone was subject to a minimum weight of 95kg.

Smaller front wings

An addition to the rules on bodywork will reduce the size of front wings. At present these may use the full 1,800mm width of the cars – from 2014 they will be cut to 1,650mm.

Further tightening of restrictions at the front and rear of the car, and around the middle of the car to continue the work begun in the 2009 regulations changes to ‘clean up’ the appearance of the cars and reduce the number of small aerodynamic appendages.

Extra gear

The number of forward gears will be increased to eight – and no fewer.

The FIA will allow a dispensation in 2014 when teams nominate which gear ratios they will use: “For 2014 only, a competitor may re-nominate these ratios once within the Championship season, in which case the original nomination becomes immediately void.

“Ratio re-nominations must be declared as a set and may only be effected by the substitution of change gears.”

See the changes to the rules in full on the FIA’s website.

What’s your view on the rules changes for 2014? Are you pleased with all the changes? Have your say in the comments.

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221 comments on F1 cars to use electric power in pits from 2014

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  1. US Williams Fan said on 20th July 2011, 23:58

    between this change and the upcoming engine change…. seems like too much.

    i hope that the smaller teams don’t suffer or lag with development because of this.

    • Calum (@calum) said on 21st July 2011, 0:12

      The fact the big team blocked ground effects because they feared the little teams would be able to compete better, suggests all the new rules are a subtle way of the big teams stretching the gap back to the little teams, since the little teams haven’t used KERS because it’s too expensive it seems odd to bring in what is essentially a mandatory KERS…

      • I’m really, really sad to see us loose ground effect. Whats the point of a recource restriction agreement if F1’s big players stamp on possible innovation due to “cost”. Surley the point of the RRA is about getting more for less.

        If the RRA is what they say it is, why on earth have we lost a technology that will allow F1 to stay at the pincale of motorsport, dump the need for controversial gimmicks like the DRS, an possibly shake up the feild for a few years?

        Booo i say, boo to smaller wings for the wrong reasons.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st July 2011, 7:23

          I agree with you guys that doing hardly anything with the aerodynamics is a big opportunity missed for F1.

          Getting Turbos AND groundeffect would make just about as much a feelgood announcement as having WilliamsRenault!

        • There are two sides of the coin, as usual – the fans, some of them very geeky, and the ‘other’ guys, who are talking about “cost cut/savings”, because every time it’s about money.

          Some, like me, would prefer the engineering freedom, but the regs say: no slotted endplates, restricted vanes, controlled engine layout and turbo placement, etc.
          Tight control.

          The ‘money’ people say: “It’s all about cost savings and bringing F1 closer to the road techs.” Why don’t you put a cruise-control, then? Or even sat-nav? It would be useful for the new drivers. Automatic gearbox, perhaps?

        • Calum (@calum) said on 21st July 2011, 16:03

          Think about shaking up the field for years to come. After many years of Mclaren and Renault V Ferrari, the biggest rule change in decades was introduced to F1. The consequence was a shake up of running order.

          Honda, a massively underacheiving midfield team became a front runner.
          RedBull, made a huge step up.
          Ferrari, Mclaren and Renault, all World Champions under the previous set of rules were pushed right down the grid. 3 teams with championship winning drivers who were struggling to get to Q2 and even get points in races. It was a huge embarassment for these “big teams” and there were further red faces when it became apparent they had missed a huge loophole in the new rules about a performance enhancing double diffuser. So bad was the interperatation of the new rules for Ferrari, they felt they had to stop midseason and develop a whole new concept for 2010, Mclaren also came up with whole a new concept for 2010.

          The truth is, now the bigger teams, and most powerful politically teams, ie Mclaren and Ferrari were humiliated because of there poor representation of the 2009 rules, and introducing ground effect tunnels would possibly be an even bigger change than the 2009 aero change, because it requires a complete rethink of how their aero works, and because Mclaren and Ferrari have worked their way back to the front of the grid and are now about on top of the original 2009 rules, they will not want a new radical overhaul of rules.

          Therefore they would have done everything in their power, of which they have a lot since they are the biggest teams, to make sure the current rules stay, so they don’t have to make a new concept and risk falling to the rear end of the grid again.

      • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 11:10

        what makes you think that ground effect would reduce the gap between the top teams and the rest? how on earth did you come up with that?

        could you please also provide a source of the conspiracy theory that the big teams are blocking the introduction of ground effect?

        i personaly dont see whats the bid deal with ground effect. you will have millions of pounds spent on developing something which the fans cannot see (unless the car flips over). And you can bet that Ferrari and McLaren will be able to design a abetter ground effect car than HRT and Virgin. i dont see what people saw in the ground effect era anyway. the races were not as spectacular as some people make it out to be.

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 21st July 2011, 11:15

          Downforce generated by ground effects produces proportionately less turbulence than that generated by wings and other “over-body” aero devices. A greater emphasis on generating downforce by ground effect should allow the cars to run closer together, addressing some of the overtaking issues caused by “dirty air.” And all without the need for gimmicky flapping rear wings or overtake buttons!

          • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 11:28

            true, but thats not what Calum is talking about. he is making a different point which has nothing to do with overtaking.

            and if you watch the old ground effect races, the amount of overtaking is not that different to non ground effect years. plus i dont think increasing overtaking is the alpha and omega of what makes good racing. i actualy liked the fact that it is hard to overtake. its more like a goal in football rather than a basket in basketball if you know what i mean. but i guess i am selfish in that way since most people watching F1 just want to see plenty of overtakes and crashes. otherwise they just watch the start and swicth of the TV (not refering to the members of this website obviously)

      • randomman said on 21st July 2011, 13:40

        But this year the red bull was designed without kers, with the recovery technology essentailly being an after thought. Clearly this has been a fairly substantial advantage so legislating for effectivly madatory kers at least levels the playing field for car design

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st July 2011, 16:37

          Gonna thump my drum again, all these design restrictions have nothing to do with improving racing, and everything to do with cutting costs. And why do costs have to be cut, because CVC and Bernie take home half the total revenue and the teams have to get along dividing the other half amongst themselves.

          • javlinsharp said on 21st July 2011, 17:29

            Im with you there HoHum. I dont really care about cost restrictions. F1 is supposed to be expensive. If you have to ask how much, then you cant afford it. Thats why I dont have my own F1 team. If cost restrictions are absolutly necessary then do what every other sport does, an absolute spending cap, not these stupid and arbitrary rules designed to cut costs.

            As for Ground Effect, I think the reason teams are hesitant is a saftey factor. GA works great when the car is flat and level, but COMPLETELY DISAPPEARS

    • The Sri Lankan said on 21st July 2011, 22:15

      they didn’t address a single technology that’s road relevant. all more of a reason to keep auto manufacturers away from F1 and push them towards LE MANS

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st July 2011, 22:51

        Yup, I just got round to reading the regs, not only is the engine format laid out but also the bore stroke ratio,the number of valves, the location of the exhaust (outboard) and intake (inboard), the rotating assembly must be all iron based except pistons which must be Al. a variable valve timing profile is forbidden. Seriously it is almost like Nascar with their pushrod V8s. Consider Audi and Ferrari had road cars with 5 valves per cylinder years ago, Corvettes pushrod V8s have titanium conrods etc. in the top performance options, I can’t list all the cars with variable valve timing profiles. It’s no wonder the big car manufacturers aren’t interested in wasting money developing an engine of such restricted design and ancient materials technology.

        • FormulaVee#7 (@) said on 21st July 2011, 23:39

          Unbelievable! No variable valve timing? You must be kidding! What about variable geometry turbos (variable vanes)?
          Bore/stroke ratio locked? rediculous! That’s what gives an engine it’s power/ torque characteristics! And as for locking inlet and exhaust arrangement i.e. exhaust outboard, well other road car manufacturers (BMW) have proven that inboard turbocharging is a viable option. I think this stinks! I want variety and new technology! Grrrrr!

  2. Jacob said on 21st July 2011, 0:00

    Hopefully cars will look better with the smaller front wings. And looking forward to seeing a silent f1 car travelling at 62kmph!

    • Mike said on 21st July 2011, 0:50

      And looking forward to seeing a silent f1 car travelling at 62kmph!

      Turn the volume down on the TV and that’s pretty much it.

      I don’t think it will help, the low rumble as the cars go down the pits I think are nice for the atmosphere.

  3. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 21st July 2011, 0:01

    I’m all for this, but one thing…Eight gears? Honestly, that’s too many. I know some road cars now have eight gears – it does improve fuel economy slightly, but where does it stop? Seven gears are plenty, any more is a little bit too Volvo FH12 for my liking…

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st July 2011, 0:34

      What makes me wonder is why the FIA felt they needed an extra gear?.

      I’d have been better if the teams themselves started wondering if another gear was necessary, like they did when the 7th gear started to appear.

      • James Williams said on 21st July 2011, 4:44

        Maybe an extra gear can help mechanical grip in low speed corners. I’m no technical expert, Scarbs would know but it could help from what I have heard.

      • ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 21st July 2011, 11:56

        It will help make up for the reduction in engine rev’s and slightly reduced horsepower. By allowing shorter gear ratios, or a longer top gear.

        Also I remember reading somewhere that the limit on the KERS harvest energy will be less than the KERS output, meaning drivers can be more tactical for overtakes i.e saving it up over two laps etc. Does anyone else remember this.

        • Bigbadderboom said on 21st July 2011, 13:52

          Yeah I do remember a discussion about this, but I think it was only with brake harvesting in mind. If as per the new regs, KERS can be harvested from exhaust heat as well then I’m sure that will be plenty per lap. I’m pretty sure KERS will be optimized per circuit and deployment will be pre decided. However I suppose that will also depend on DRS.

    • Victor. said on 21st July 2011, 0:57

      Seriously, why change something that doesn’t need changing? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why is the number of gears pre-set anyway. Similarly, why cap the gear ratios – that’s just stupid. Circuits differ, that’s why there is a garage to set up the car. The wrong gear ratios could spoil someone’s weekend completely. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

      Regarding weight, why does a V6 weigh much more than a V8? Why increase the minimum weight again? I understand that taller drivers are disadvantaged, but I’d rather see the FIA get rid of excess weight – F1 cars should be as light and agile as possible.

      I’m not too fond of the self-starting motors either – I actually like the fact that they’re so obsessed with weight saving that they start them up from the outside. Makes it seem extraordinary and surreal. It’s not a massive negative, though.

      Why does the FIA always try so hard? Not every single thing has to be fiddled with. The gear cap is a complete joke.

      • DVC said on 21st July 2011, 1:09

        Why force 8 gears? That’s what I don’t get. If you think you can be faster with 3 go for your life I say.

        • Trpzip2 said on 21st July 2011, 1:53

          They will not be able to change gear ratios at all (except once in 2014) during the season. I guess it will give teams flexibility to run at different tracks. They may use up to 6th gear on Monaco and max out at Monza at 8th.

          • CarsVsChildren (@carsvschildren) said on 21st July 2011, 2:12

            My guess is that the 8 ratios is to help solve the current problem of drivers hitting the limiter half way down the straight.

            How often have we seen a car unable to overtake because the car runs out of revs in the tow?

            If it works its a brilliant idea.

          • Mike said on 21st July 2011, 7:16

            Except if the revs are further limited the same problem is likely to exist.

          • bosyber said on 21st July 2011, 8:34

            Right, and that explains why they add in a mandatory 8th gear too. Makes some sense, in a weird way.

            Not sure about how well that would works and I feel it is a bit too much fixing things that should be up to the teams to get right, not the rules.

      • Burnout (@burnout) said on 21st July 2011, 5:28

        155kg will be for engine plus KERS. The 95kg minimum was/is for the engine alone. Plus I bet they’re cutting out the more exotic lightweight alloys so you should expect the V6 to be nearly as heavy as the current V8.

        I don’t think the gearboxes should have a minimum number of ratios either, it doesn’t intuitively make sense as a cost-saving measure.

      • Coefficient said on 21st July 2011, 10:43

        V6 will be heavier because exotic materials used to manufacture the lump will be banned and the Turbo and Hybrid tech is inlcuded in the minimum engine weight.

        • SteveH said on 21st July 2011, 13:03

          Exotic materials are already banned. I don’t like the regulations that define V angle, CG, bore, cylinder distance, etc. for the engines. Where is the possibility of innovation? As far as self starting is concerned, with the requirement of pit lane electric running a starter motor is built in; simply use the KERS drive as a starter. I see over regulation, lack of innovation, and a general dumbing down of F1. Boring.

      • Tiomkin said on 21st July 2011, 10:48

        Why does the FIA always try so hard? Not every single thing has to be fiddled with. The gear cap is a complete joke.

        Because this is not a real sport, just like the non wheeled version (Pro Wrestling) the rules change all the the time. It is to make it impossible to compare drivers from year to year. They even fiddled with the rules mid season (British GP) to ‘spice up the show’. If it’s sport then let’s be sporting and allow racing consistency.

      • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 11:17

        i agree completely.

        i personaly dont like the “go green” atitude of the FIA but if that is what they want, why increase the minimum weight of the cars. that doesnt make any sense if you’r trying to develop a more efficient machine. all the fuel that you save by having an extra gear and having KERS will be lost by carrying more weight.

        I want F1 cars to be the fastest cars around a circuit. But these changes (especialy the fixed gear ratios!) will threaten the position of an f1 car in the future.

        Once the ecenomy recoversd we might have a competing series who focus on speed rather than the environment and f1 will be playing second fiddle. The best drivers will go elsewhere. I dont think that will happen but if the FIA continue on this path it might not be so far fetched.

      • Randy said on 21st July 2011, 11:40

        Some cheese with your whine?

        8th gear is likely to aid overtaking in long straights where cars today are hitting the limiter.

        It’ll also give a bit more room for a driver mistake, remember it’s drivers who operate theese gearboxes. Hook it all right, and you’ll get a bit of an advantage over other car. That’s a good thing in my opinion.

        “F1 cars should be as light and agile as possible” – says who? I think the fastest F1 cars in history raced in 2004 and which F1 season was better – 2010, or 2004? It’s not about that at all.

        Guys, there’s a lot and lot and lot of people and thinking behind setting theese rules, why there’s always someone who looks at them and immediately thinks he knows better? Just chill out.

        • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 12:02

          “8th gear is likely to aid overtaking in long straights where cars today are hitting the limiter”

          cars roday have a limit of 18k rpm. so in 2014 they will hit the limiter sooner at 15k. how this improves overtaking is beyond me. (you actualy need less gears with a lower rpm limit)

          teams will still chose the gear ratios in such a way as to compromise between top speed and acceleration, so they will still hit the limiter even if the had 25 gears.

          i dont think the 8th gear was added to aid overtaking, its probably another fuel saving measure (which is cancelled by the increased minimum weight btw)

          • Randy said on 21st July 2011, 17:11

            I don’t argue that it was introduced to aid overtaking, only that it’ll be that accelerating and braking before the corners will be that bit more driver-dependant. Better drivers will be able to shift gears better, which may give them an edge over other drivers.

            That’s my thinking. It may be insignificant, i know, but downshifting rapidly before slow corner from eight to second gear will require some skill and may provide some errors, especially at Monaco when they go up and down through gearbox constantly.

          • SteveH said on 21st July 2011, 18:59

            Randy, driver skill has nothing to do with shifting gears in an F1 car. The gearboxes all use hydraulics to change the gears, the actual shift takes milliseconds, electronics control the engine revs during the shift, and it’s impossible to miss a shift unless the box breaks. All the driver does is pull on the paddle. He doesn’t use a clutch or lift off the throttle during a shift.

            As far as the cars hitting the rev limiter, you use a final ratio that won’t let that happen. If the car is hitting the limiter then the last gear (seventh now, eighth later) is too short and needs to be changed.

        • javlinsharp said on 21st July 2011, 17:43

          While agree there are alot of people’s thinking behind these rules, I just dont have the feeling that they have any respect for the hardcore fans, that made this sport what it is. Dont forget, hardcore fans are the best way to get new fans. I alone have created 50 new hardcore fans. Without hardcore fans you have no F1, just a bunch of nimrods zipping around in circles. No sponsors, no merchendising, no glamour, no huge paydays.

          Am I a bit self-important, perhaps, but just a bit…

        • Naren said on 21st July 2011, 17:49

          “Guys, thereā€™s a lot and lot and lot of people and thinking behind setting theese rules, why thereā€™s always someone who looks at them and immediately thinks he knows better? Just chill out.”

          SEE that’s the problem there are too many smart people and when you put too many smart people together they are extra careful extra considerate and extra everything and that takes the whole fun out of racing

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st July 2011, 22:54

        I think the batteries are part of the increased weight.

      • FormulaVee#7 (@) said on 21st July 2011, 23:47

        Extra weight comes from the turbocharger, intercooler and associated plumbing…. probably. That’s my guess

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st July 2011, 7:25

      With the 8 gears, it looks like they are also getting down on the different gearbox mappings used though.

      So that extra gear might be needed to manage all tracks from Monaco to Monza and Silverstone!

      And I wonder weather whole ES motor can be used as a starter engine as well. Still 155 Kg for an engine is pretty heavy for any race car.

      • ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 21st July 2011, 12:03

        Is quite heavy. I can tell you last year at le Mans (2010) an LMP1 engine produced 750 bhp from 4.5l 90 degree V8, revving to about 9500 revs and weighed 120kg. Also they made an awesome noise when in a small room with one at 5000revs with no silencers or air box on

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st July 2011, 10:16

      They should stop at some point, they can’t add a gear regularly, otherwise there would be too many.

    • Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 3rd July 2012, 12:36

      i saw somewhere that the 8th gear is effectively the electronic pit lane gear, and not in the traditional 1-7 which will be used in race.

  4. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1) said on 21st July 2011, 0:02

    8 Gears? Thats a lot

    • Derek said on 21st July 2011, 10:13

      The 8th gear must be to compensate for the reduction in engine revs 18,000 to 15,000. Otherwise 7th gear in the long straits 15,000 revs would be reached and the car would be on the limiter too early.

      • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 11:33

        if you have less revs you need fewer gears. not the other way around.

        if you would limit the current V8s to 15000rpm, then 6 gears would be enough since you dont need to rev beyond 15k therefore you dont need to change up after you hit sixth gear.

    • William Wilgus said on 21st July 2011, 11:18

      Some trucks have 28. I think that’s what the new rule should be: 28, not a paltry 8!

  5. Cornflakes said on 21st July 2011, 0:05

    So what you can only change ratio’s once a season instead of changing it for each track? I don’t get that

    • Kyle (@hammerheadgb) said on 21st July 2011, 0:46

      No, I think it’s staying the way it is now; prior to the start of the season, teams have to nominate 30 defined “sets” of gear ratios to choose between throughout the season, and these are locked in for the duration. Only for 2014, each team has dispensation to re-nominate these 30 sets just once during the season in case they get them horribly wrong first time.

      That’s my interpretation of the change, anyway.

      • hawkfist said on 21st July 2011, 0:54

        Aye that was my read on it too, and the dispensation for 2014 was due to it being a new setup so teams have a joker to play if they find their ratio’s to be completely wrong after a couple of races.

  6. Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st July 2011, 0:05

    I’m happy about the self starting motors and the minimum weight increase, but I do not know what to make of the 8th gear and the 1.6l V6s.

    • TheBrav3 said on 21st July 2011, 0:24

      There have been few enough retirements this year as it is let alone with the addition of self starting motors i am dead against that.

      • Mike said on 21st July 2011, 0:55


        Do you think the FIA have noticed F1 cars arn’t er… you know… Road cars?

        Part of the fun (and pull) is that they are so different.

        • DVC said on 21st July 2011, 1:12

          I don’t understand why you are against this. They should have brought this rule in years ago. What it means is less yellow flags/safety cars because a car has stalled and needs to be cleared by marshals, which can only be a good thing.

          • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 21st July 2011, 6:52

            Some teams might make the starter so fragile that it just passes a technical check, like reverse gears back in the day. Doesn’t sound very flattering for the driver if a team says “Oh, here’s a heavy and reliable starter motor, because we know you’re going to spin at least three times in this race.”

          • Mike said on 21st July 2011, 7:20

            Well, the starter better work because they have to use it every time they leave the pits… :D

            My problem is that F1… It won’t have the same pull if it’s just another car.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st July 2011, 7:28

            well, to be honest, the weigth might not be that much of a concern when the engine minimal weight goes up from 95 KG to a pretty heavy 155 KG! (Ok, this is for KERS etc as well, but still)

          • oh c’mon, are you really saying the only difference between a road car and an F1 is a starter motor?

            Adding a starter motor won’t make F1 “just another car”. If it does….. well I *really* want to see your road car.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st July 2011, 9:29

          Come one Mike, why have any road relevant technology if F1 cars are so different from regular road cars? I think the self starting motor is a great idea, and I do not understand why anyone would be against it. We have seen drivers spin off track and stall their engines on numerous occassions, and it would be great if they could fire them back up and get back into the race.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st July 2011, 10:41

        I am for more techincal problems, but retiring for stalling is more depressing than retiring for clutch/engine problems.

      • Swampie said on 21st July 2011, 14:18

        There won’t be any need to add a starter motor. The KERS currently augments the engine by hanging off the back of it – in 2014 the cars will be able to drive completely on KERS in the pits due to the larger storage capacity and power output.

        All that’s required to start the car then is to engage the KERS (which rotates the engine) and then start injecting fuel/sparking. Shouldn’t require any additional hardware over what is already required.

  7. The 8 forward gears and the gear ratios change restriction seems silly (though the latter pretty much requires the former given the range of circuits F1 visits). It will reduce the top speed of the cars and/or make the power band inefficient, it won’t save a penny and it causes artificial restraints on teams catching up with runaway leaders.

    KERS is something I object to as a push-to-defend button and it looks like the FIA isn’t going to do anything about it.

    However, the pit lane electric ruling is good because it will reduce the noise in the pit lane and encourage the development of technology in that area. Self-starters are a practical and cheap way of improving a cumbersone starting situation.

    • bananarama said on 21st July 2011, 0:20

      The gear regulation seems rather .. stupid. Tracks are very different, weather conditions ever changing and nit even the cars stay the same so this doesn’t make too much sense to me. Also it might disadvantage small teams a bit since they probably can’t run billions of simulations a day to make up the best ratios.
      Also, who really cares what cars run on in the pitlane so I think thats not a bad idea.
      The frontwings might get nicer .. and if they also get simpler, Merc could suddenly be at the front again, they just have to cut that old Brawn wing a littlebit and it’ll be just fine (just kidding, I know they have moved on).

      Lets see how it’ll be (and how much of it the teams will pressure to change again) but I’ll try to stay as optimistic as ever :-)

    • KERS will not just be push to pass anymore, the paragraph in the current rules saying it has to be controlled by the driver is gone, so teams will think about different ways to engage the recovered energy.

      • DVC said on 21st July 2011, 1:15

        Fantastic! Even better would be getting rid of the energy limit altogether. Let them use as much energy as they can recover, then this would actually be useful for development.

        At the moment why would you bother developing an exhaust gas recover system if you can ket your 120kW from KERS?

  8. MVEilenstein (@mveilenstein) said on 21st July 2011, 0:12

    Heavier, slower, quieter, spec rules. Remind again, is this F1 or Indycar?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st July 2011, 3:17

      The minimum weight is to offset the advantage of lighter drivers or teams who do not run devices such as KERS.

      As for slower cars, that’s unlikely. The FIA tries to slow the cars down, but the teams always find ways of going faster. If anything, the FIA is just trying to keep the cars in balance so they don’t get to the point where they are impossible to drive.

      You cannot prove that the cars will be quieter. They certainly will be in the pits, but the cars are already speed-limited there. As far as the V6 turbo engines are concerned, there is no evidence that they will be quieter. Indeed, they are being designed with the noise in mind. And it’s not such a big deal if the cars are quieter – the battle between Arnoux and Villeneuve at the 1979 French Grand Prix is held up as the sport’s greatest moment. Those cars were turbo-powered and sounded nothing like the current generation of engines.

      As for the spec parts, some of them well be. But none that affect performance. For example, the front wings are only being trimmed. They are not spec parts. You’re grasping at straws here.

    • bosyber said on 21st July 2011, 8:57

      The heavier comes in right with the extra weight for the engine/KERS package, I think.

  9. Frederick said on 21st July 2011, 0:13

    yes, I am also confused by the bit about gear ratios. You hear comments these days suggesting they choose them race-by-race, is that not the case? is this new rule saying they can only have one set of gear ratios all year (special 2014 one-change aside)? That seems bizarre. we’ll have cars bouncing off the limiter like mad on straights like china.

    • Kyle (@hammerheadgb) said on 21st July 2011, 0:50

      Which ratios to use can be chosen race-by-race, but the way it works now (which I think will be the same in 2014, dispensation aside) is that 30 sets of ratios have to be submitted pre-season and these are locked for the championship duration. The teams then pick which set is most adept to the circuit and weather etc.

  10. matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st July 2011, 0:13

    I care about virtually none of these developments except the smaller wings. I don’t like the rpm limit being cut back. Will suppliers be free to develop engines from the V6 introduction? If so, will it be allowed through the season, and is there an engine limit? If development is derestricted then I can ignore the rpm limit.

    • bananarama said on 21st July 2011, 0:25

      If I read the article correctly, rules will define everything even more detailed than it is now so .. that leaves pretty much no room at all. I guess the engine suppliers pushed it to be like that so that none of the others could get any advantage, completely forgettimg that it leaves them without room for improvement or creativity. But I guess its more important not to possibly look bad than to possibly look good.

      • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 11:56

        “But I guess its more important not to possibly look bad than to possibly look good”

        I hope F1 teams dont have this attitude. they should be confident and believe in their ability to outperform the competition. They should be taking risks in the hope it will give them extra performance. Otherwise whats the point? just stay home and you dont risk looking bad.

        in a perfect world the engine weight would not be restricted and teams would be free to develop superlight super powerful engines. yes they would need exotic materials and it would cost a fortune but thats what F1 should be about in my oppinion.

        i used to love the “qualifying engines” that lasted one flying lap. i feel the rules are too restrictive nowadays. for most of f1’s history the teams were on the edge of what is possible. now we are not even at 20% of what the teams could de of given more freedeom.

  11. TYMUL said on 21st July 2011, 0:15

    I don’t like the gear ratio bussiness or the more specific terms on engine dimensions, the rest is fine.

  12. John H said on 21st July 2011, 0:19

    I really want to be positive, but I don’t want F1 to be more relevant to road cars. Then its not F1.

    • verstappen said on 21st July 2011, 8:38

      Although I would love to see a car off track in the wet gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh gh … gh gh gh gh gh gh …

      teamradio thereĀ“s some starter spray in the glove compartment…

  13. Reducing the front wing is the best I’ve heard about car changes so far… It will allow closer overtakung without running over the rival’s front wing. On the other hand there’s going to be more “dirty air” on the fron tyres, but obviously, that’s something engineers will figure out. About the unique gear ratio for the whole season, that means teams will have to plan an “average circut” gearbox, and of course Monaco speed trap is not the same than Shangai or Monza. All this can bring better overtakes than DRS, the racing can be more “human” and we will see if people still complain about “That car can make a granny world champion”

  14. dyslexicbunny said on 21st July 2011, 0:25

    New engines
    Self starting
    Electric pit
    Smaller front wing
    Exhaust energy capture

    Minimum weight
    Extra gear
    Cap on changing ratios

    I really don’t see the point of limiting the ratio changes. It makes it feel like golf, you have one set for the front nine and another set for the back.

    What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone? I know you can use ballasts to balance the car but I just think more weight, more fuel.

    Even though it’s not a huge reduction, maybe we’ll see some less clipping of front wings. I like less bits on the track.

    But I think it’s all less horrible than DRS. Hopefully we can get less marbles on the tarmac and going off line won’t be so bad. I haven’t noticed them as much in the last two races in comparison to Australia so maybe that’s already getting under control.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st July 2011, 0:30

      What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone?

      I believe it is to accomodate things like KERS and other electrical systems that are only going to become more common in F1.

      I’m interested in this however, because the engines are going to become smaller. Is the weight of a V6 engine lighter than a V8? If so, is it that considerable? Otherwise the weight increase in other areas of the car is going to be quite significant.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st July 2011, 7:38

      What does increasing minimum weight do for anyone? I know you can use ballasts to balance the car but I just think more weight, more fuel.

      the weight of a vehicle has no direct effect on fuel consumption.

      • bosyber said on 21st July 2011, 9:01

        So why then do teams under-fuel, and say that an 10 extra kilos of fuel costs them a certain .x seconds? Solely due to the change in centre of gravity? Seems unlikely.

        • bosyber said on 21st July 2011, 9:04

          Hm, maybe that wasn’t making clear what I mean. They under-fuel because the weight makes them slower,but the speed also determines how much fuel they use (via drag, I guess). So it does influence their fuel use, if indirectly. But maybe you are right that the effect is small compared to the drag they have to overcome anyway thanks to their aero needs.

      • Chris P said on 21st July 2011, 9:08

        You’ll have to explain that one to me I’m afraid? How can increasing the weight of a car not have a direct effect on fuel consumption?

        • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st July 2011, 15:11

          as frederick explained below, the same motor produces the same energy whether a vehicle is 3000 pounds or 10000 pounds. Force = Mass times Acceleration, or F/M=A. same F, divided by more M, gets you less A.

          generally speaking, a heavier vehicle gets less fuel economy because the driver is demanding more energy to accelerate at the same rate as a lighter car.

          this doesn’t apply to race cars, since they’re already at maximum power regardless of the vehicle’s weight

      • vjanik said on 21st July 2011, 12:11

        you’re joking right?

        if you keep speed constant and increase the weight, then you have to burn more fuel. so weight dirrectly effects fuel consumtion. this is elementary physics.

        having a dead body in the back of your car will increase your bill at the petrol station. towing a caravan will have a similar effect.

        • MaksutovCG said on 21st July 2011, 12:24

          having a dead body in the back of your car will increase your bill at the petrol station.

          lol, i love that explanation ;)

          • Frederick said on 21st July 2011, 13:45

            If weight is increased, more power is required to overcome the increased inertia and go as fast as you did when you were lighter. With the same level of power, you will be slower.

            If we were to just add 50kg to all the current cars with no other changes, they would be slower, but you probably wouldn’t notice an increase in fuel consumption, because in both cases they would be extracting the same amount of power from the engine, thus the same amount of fuel would be burnt.

            Note that I am speaking strictly about inertial effects here. working in a vacuum, so to speak.

        • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st July 2011, 15:13

          when you learn the difference between speed and acceleration, then tell me about elementary physics ;)

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st July 2011, 16:58

        F1 Yankee, how could you get such basic physics wrong and yet feel qualified to comment on these technical rules?

        • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st July 2011, 22:15

          please, explain how i’m wrong

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st July 2011, 23:16

            You are only right in the case the case of cars maintaining a steady speed on a flat track, add variations in elevation or speed(eg.corners and straights) and the extra mass has to be lifted or accelerated, this requires additional power which requires more fuel burnt. A lighter car will require less fuel to run at the same speed or will be faster for the same amount of fuel, pity Colin Chapman is no longer with us to preach his mantra.

          • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 22nd July 2011, 3:58

            like i said earlier, that’s a case of the driver


            to burn more fuel. also that doesn’t apply to race cars, since full throttle doesn’t get fuller.

          • Chris P said on 22nd July 2011, 8:52

            I now understand. Your explanation is poor F1Yankee! But you are correct. A heavier F1 car will still need to do the same distance (~190 miles) as a lighter F1 car. Both running at full throttle will use the same fuel, however the heavier one will take longer to complete the distance. If it were possible for the heavier car to use more power to do the same distance in the same time then it would use more fuel to reach the same speed as the lighter F1 car. This isn’t a real world explanation as various G forces, extra braking effects etc… need to be considered also but in essence F!Yankee is correct.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2011, 17:46

            Full throttle may not get fuller but not even F1 racers use full throttle all the way round a track. I suspect you have been led astray by some Nascar engineer suggesting that weight is unimportant because they are flat-out all the way round the oval.

  15. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st July 2011, 0:26

    The electronic power being used whilst in the pit lane is a very interesting way to build fuel-free power further into the sport. Why burn fuel carrying out what is an effortless task for a Formula 1 car?

    The gear ratio thing is confusing but I’m guessing, like all the rules adjustments, there is more detail to come.

    I’m not for the tightening of the rules on wings however. It’d be good if they found a more interesting way to place restrictions whilst introducing interesting possibilities for designers for exploit. I suppose someone will find the loophole, though!

    • unocv12 said on 21st July 2011, 5:06

      I wonder how many cars will be using KERS to defend and make the most of their IN LAP before a pit stop only ot have the car run out of power half way down the pit lane….

      • Adrian J said on 21st July 2011, 9:37

        Any sensible team would have a system in place that constantly stores enough energy for the pitlane.

        What I want to know is whether the energy used to travel through the pitlane comes out of the overall energy cap or not?

    • DASMAN said on 21st July 2011, 14:17

      How safe will a silent car be in the pitlane tho? Mechanics are going to have to be extremely vigilant not to be run over.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st July 2011, 14:24

        I don’t know, it’s not as if you often see them running into the fast lane without looking!

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st July 2011, 21:13

        I’m not sure that’ll be an issue. I mean yeah, obviously, unless you actually work in the pitlane, you cannot know for sure.

        But there’s nothing discreet about a Formula One car heading towards you at 60mph. We take it for granted how extreme that would be through the TV screen, but I’m sure someone would have to seriously screw up to be hit by one.

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