Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

F1 cars to use electric power in pits from 2014

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

  1. HounslowBusGarage
    21st July 2011, 18:21

    I’m not sure I fully understand the ‘electric-only in the pit lane’ rule.
    Would this be for the race only, with cars starting their engines only as they cross the pit lane boundary, or would it include practice and qualifying as well?
    Wouldn’t it make the speed lower as cars rejoin the track and therefore the speed differential between cars higher and more dangerous?
    As I understand it, F1 engines need to be pre-heated and carefully prepared before they can be fired up, whereupon they can only run at restricted revs until temperatures and presures reach safe levels etc. How would this be achieved if the engines cannot be run in pit lane?
    Am I missing something?

    1. I suspect that the engines will still be spinning but not fuelled.

    2. As I understand this, it will be a bit closer to how most roadgoing hybrids work or just the stop/start systems and is started from the electrical engine.

      It will be one of the things that will have to be built into the engines.

  2. Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
    21st July 2011, 20:33

    Okay, I am looking SO SO SO forward to 2014! I do have a point though, you may want to look this up Keith. The last time we had engine changes was at the end of 2005, we changed from 3.0-litre V10s to 2.4-litre V8s the following year, that may hinder some of the teams because I was watching the season review of the 2006 season and I think the switch from the V10s to the V8s meant a rush to develop it and there we loads of engine failures so I wouldn’t be surprised in 2014 if we had a few if not alot of engine failures.

    1. That was before the rev limit, now we are going to have a rev limit and a fuel limit but no doubt someone will manage to screw-up.

  3. This all sounds very daunting but exciting. I’m not going to kick up any sort of fuss until 2014 comes.

  4. i wonder which driver will suffer the fate of being the first to grind to a halt in the pits because of electrical failure, possibly after leading the race.

  5. Not sure about gears regulation change..what was the motivation behind this?

    Also we need a clear visual indication for when KERS is deployed! The only way we know at the moment is if an on screen display graphics come up. I’d like to see super bright led lights light up maybe the camera on the roll hoop..that’ll be cool! :D

  6. I am disappointed that they will introduce self starters, these drivers are the best and should be able to drive without stalling. I have watched for near 40 years and have seen some of the greats come and go and it was how well they controlled the car rather than how easy it was for them to recover that made them great.

  7. I’m concerned that we will see engines exploding all over the place; how many Massa like accidents does the FIA need to get with the program? Dear me; silent cars in the pit lane? How many mechanics need to be run down before someone gets with that program as well… What is F1 coming to – a vidoe game event; carting maybe? 1.6 lt has no business being pushed to this level its just too dangerous – I don’t care what the modern techno-geeks say about engine improvements!!

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