How many drivers have raced in F1 – and more of your questions

Your Questions Answered

Lots of questions on engines this week plus a tricky one on how many drivers have raced in F1.

Here’s the latest batch of your questions answered. If you’ve got a question for F1 Fanatic, see below for details on how to send it in.

F1 engine sizes getting smaller

Wimo is disappointed to see F1 engines getting ever smaller:

Renault RS25 V10 engine, 2005

I am just curious on why the F1 engines are sort-of threatened to be reduced in terms of capacity on the next few years, while Moto GP has increased their engines from 800cc up to 1000cc.

It is somehow unfair for F1. If F1 should reduce the engine capacity to achieve lower level emission and fuel efficiency, why doesn’t Moto GP do the same?

I really wish you can write an article about it and enlighten me and other confused F1 fans out there.
Wino

Following the departure of car manufacturers such as Honda, BMW and Toyota in 2008 and 2009, the F1 rule makers’ attention turned to how they can be enticed back and new manufacturers encouraged to enter.

Rising fuel costs and environmental considerations have created a trend for smaller engine sizes in the road car industry. For example, Ford’s flagship family car the Focus is now available with a comparatively small 1-litre three-cylinder engine.

The trend for smaller engines doesn’t just extend to family run-arounds but performance cars as well. For example, BMW fitted their previous M5 with a delicious-sounding V10, and introduced it in 2005 when F1 engines last used the same configuration. But the current M5 has been downsized to a V8.

With road car engine technology focussed on extracting more performance with greater efficiency from smaller engine sizes, it’s logical for F1 to follow the same path. But, for whatever reason, it has not been sufficient to bring new manufacturers into F1.

Indeed, with doubts over the future of Cosworth’s engine programme, and PURE halting their development of a 2014-specification engine, F1 may have fewer engine suppliers in two years’ time than it does today.

I don’t know enough about the situation in Moto GP to comment on that but I’m sure a few readers will be able to give you more information on it below.

2014 F1 engines

Speaking of the forthcoming change in engine rules, Crispin has this question:

I was quite interested in whether the regulations for F1 (in I believe 2014) specifically say the engine has to be a V6 turbocharged engine?
Crispin Zuercher

Yes they do – the new engines rules, agreed in June last year, are quite restrictive. Here’s the relevant details from the 2014 Technical Regulations:

5.1.2 Engine cubic capacity must not exceed 1600cc.
5.1.3 Crankshaft rotational speed must not exceed 15000rpm.
[...]
5.1.6 Pressure charging may only be effected by the use of a sole single stage compressor linked to a sole single stage exhaust turbine by a common shaft parallel to the engine crankshaft and within 25mm of the car centre line. An electrical motor generator (MGUH) may be directly coupled to the same shaft.
5.1.7 All engines must have six cylinders arranged in a 90-degree “V” configuration and the normal section of each cylinder must be circular.

You can read the regulations in full here (PDF).

How KERS works

Energy Recovery Systems will also play a major part in the new engine formula. Sohil asks:

I am a final year mechanical engineering student. I have taken Kinetic Energy Recovery System as my topic for my seminar. I would like to know its working details to its full depth, especially how the braking energy is stored. Kindly do provide me with necessary details.
Sohil Varghese Samson

The current KERS rules are much the same as they were when KERS first appeared in F1 in 2009, so we’ve not had many new articles about the technology on the site since then.

Here’s a selection of earlier articles on the topic, which includes details on both electrical and mechanical KERS, the latter never raced in F1, as well as some of the other areas where F1 teams have used KERS technology. Good luck with your seminar!

How many F1 drivers?

Drivers, Interlagos, 2011Finally, Leif writes in with a short question that’s going to get a long answer:

How many drivers from 1950-2012 have driven in Formula 1?
Leif Svensson

This looks fairly straightforward at first glance, but once you get into it you discover it’s rather more complicated than seems.

Today ‘Formula 1′ and ‘the world championship’ are synonymous. But, as many readers will appreciate, that hasn’t always been the case.

For example, there used to be non-championship Formula 1 races. And some races run to non-F1 regulations have counted towards the world championship, such as the 1950-1960 Indianapolis 500s, and every round of the 1952-1953 seasons, which were run to Formula 2 rules.

So do we count drivers of these races as people who have driven in Formula 1?

And what of drivers who have driven at F1 race weekends but have not raced – such as Jules Bianchi, Valtteri Bottas, Alexander Rossi, Giedo van der Garde and Dani Clos, all of which have done so this year?

So let’s refine the question and come up with a version that’s more straightforward to answer and hopefully gives Leif the information he was looking for: How many drivers have competed in races which counted towards the world championship?

I’ve compiled a lot of statistics of my own for use on F1 Fanatic but they aren’t sufficiently complete to answer this so I chose two statistics sites to look up an answer: Forix (subscription required) reckons there are 743, while Stats F1 put the figure at 735.

Why does one have eight more than the other? Seven of the drivers who have been excluded by Stats F1 only started F1 races in F2 cars on occasions when this was allowed, including the 1957 German and 1958 German and Moroccan Grands Prix.

They include Robert la Caze, the only Moroccan driver credited with starting an F1 race at his home Grand Prix in 1958. The other six drivers not counted because of this are Paul England, Christian Goethals, Francois Picard, Tom Bridger, Andre Guelfi and Dick Gibson.

That’s seven of the missing eight accounted for. What of the final driver? This is even more curious: Bernd Nacke appears on Forix but not on Stats F1. Several other sources confirm Bernd Nacke did start the 1952 German Grand Prix in a BMW and retired after five laps.

Nacke returned the following year but this time he did so under his real name: Gunther Bechem. While Forix lists them as separate drivers (while noting one is a pseudonym for the other), Stats F1 groups both their appearances under Gunther Bechem.

So including the seven drivers who started F1 races in F2 cars, and recognising that Gunther Bechem and Bernd Nacke are the same person, I reckon the number of drivers who have started races which counted towards the world championship is 742.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if there are a few more curiosities lurking in the data I haven’t seen yet. If you spot any further information of use in answering this or any of the other questions, please post it below.

Got a question for F1 Fanatic? Send it in via the contact form. Please include your real name.

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51 comments on How many drivers have raced in F1 – and more of your questions

  1. JMLabareda (@jmlabareda) said on 14th August 2012, 12:14

    Suppose Hans Heyer has not been credited with starting the 1977 German GP after not qualifying for it?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th August 2012, 12:24

      @jmlabareda He has been credited with starting the race because he did start it. Whether that means he qualified for it is a whole other controversy!

      • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 14th August 2012, 13:00

        He failed to qualify for the race, but he was then disqualified 10 laps into the race having got his car onto the grid. It still counts as his only entry, but it was not a legal start.
        That was according to Wiki, your source may be more reliable.

      • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 14th August 2012, 13:01

        @keithcollantine Just because something wasn’t supposed to happen doesn’t change the fact that it did happen.

        At least, that’s how F1 Rejects sees it, and I agree.

        • Drop Valencia! said on 14th August 2012, 13:43

          So do we include drivers who drove in WDC races, but the races were later stripped of that title, either due to a restart, or internal FIA financial reprisals, or international political interference? Yep it gets complicated!

          • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 14th August 2012, 18:53

            In 1984, post season, Tyrrell were excluded so Bellof/Brundle have a load of DSQs and Excluded (for the races they qualified for). They are still classed as starts and entries, but any race where they scored points, are now counted as DSQ’s

  2. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 14th August 2012, 12:55

    Keith, I’ve been using Wiki and Forix to compile a complete database of every driver’s results in every races.
    As of now (before Belgium 2011) there have been 869 world championship races and 801 drivers who have either taken part in a race or have attempted to take part in a race (but didn’t either by DNQ, DNPQ or withdrawals/exclusions).
    I have 62 drivers who entered at least 1 race but never started one- Pedro Chaves tried 13 times but never qualified. Ricardo Londono entred the 1981 Brazilian race but did not practise (as the FIA wouldn’t give him a licence). It was his only GP entry

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th August 2012, 18:30

      801-62=739 Participants according to Keith’s defenition.
      Very close to Keith’s 742 but why the 3 difference? @91jb12

      • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 14th August 2012, 18:58

        Could be human error.
        What i did was search wiki “1950 formula one season” and then on the WDC table, any new drivers (all of them in 1950’s case) would be added and all that seasons results would be put down.
        After I did this for all seasons, I clicked on the link for each driver and it lists their F1 results in colour coded tables and I checked them, though sometimes there were differences- most notably drivers who races in the 50s and 60s when you had shared drives/F2 entries etc.
        I could well have missed one or two out or some new additions (previously unknown) have since appeared.
        I have only included entries by the way, so no practise stars like Bottas/Bianchi etc as they’ve yet to enter a GP.

  3. According to Wikipedia 827 drivers have driven in a World Championship race weekend, including F2 drivers like Andre Guelfi. This doesn’t include test drivers like Valtteri Bottas, Jules Bianchi etc. but takes into account drivers who intended to start the race but for some reason couldn’t due to a failure to qualify (e.g. Claudio Langes) or suffered an accident in a practice session or qualifying.

    • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 14th August 2012, 13:17

      Taking out friday drivers, the list is quite easy, but once you get to races from the 70s and 60s (and especially 50s where you had shared drives) there are a lot of oddities with drivers being on the entry list but not having a car to race or it being given to someone else and stuff like that.

  4. AndrewT (@andrewt) said on 14th August 2012, 13:10

    seems like i have to doublecheck my own datas, as i have 747 drivers on the list, which is close to 743 and 735, but not the same…

  5. wificats (@wificats) said on 14th August 2012, 13:11

    Here’s my explanation of the situation in MotoGP. The reason why MotoGP bikes are moving to a larger engine size, is because FIM (governing body) and Dorna (commercial rights holder) are trying to make the formula more accessible to new teams. Until this season, grids at races were very small, due to the high cost of building or leasing bikes. This was because the bikes were incredibly developed prototypes, with very sophisticated engine electronics (traction control, mapping, wheelie control etc.).

    Now, Claiming Rule Teams (CRT) are being allowed onto the grid. They use more production derived engines and components, for which presumably 1 litre engines are more readily available. At present, they are miles off the pace, because the leading teams like Honda and Yamaha have much more sophisticated technology, and better engine mapping. However, it is believed that the rules are changing, moving to ban many of these features, aid the CRT teams and close the gap.

    Some, like current champion Casey Stoner, feel that this is not the direction that MotoGP should be going, and arguably it is a step backwards technologically, although it might make the racing rather better. So, although MotoGP bikes are getting bigger engines, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean a step forward, as power is very hard to deliver on a motorbike, and the extra weight of a larger engine is a further disadvantage.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th August 2012, 14:02

      @wificats Thanks for that!

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 14th August 2012, 15:10

      “Some, like current champion Casey Stoner, feel that this is not the direction that MotoGP should be going.”

      …Which is why he’s retiring this year, if I’m not mistaken.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th August 2012, 18:39

      And here I was, thinking it was more about the different buyers of bikes (basically looking for petrolized fun) and cars (looking for transport).

      • it is in a way, the move from 800 to 1000 also meant that a owner can say ‘ i have a 1000cc honda too’ tho clearly very very different to the track bike.

        When it was 800 there was no connection to street bikes, as who makes a 800?? and 750 yes, 900 yes, even a 850 tho rarer but 800 no.

        Though you could argue that superbikes is for those wanting to watch bikes like they can buy. Superbikes produces far far better racing and level playing field with less politics. Where as moto gp is fine if your a certain individual riding badly or not you will get a good bike due to your money making potential. SBK is a bit more pure IMO

        • Drop Valencia! said on 15th August 2012, 0:31

          The best racing is in the 250 class anyway…. the rule makers do setup the engines to be slightly road relevent, the best piston motor for a race bike seems to be a 500cc 2 stroke, (much like a piston F1 car wants to be a V10) but 2 strokes have been phased out for green reasons….

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th August 2012, 13:28

    I must say I totally agree with the engine reduction in F1. I’m not a green purist or anything like that, I just love how we’re still going to expect the teams and suppliers to give us the F1 we know and love but with further restrictions and seemingly reduced power. Any F1 fan in the know should respect that F1 isn’t all about speed and there are many factors to take into consideration. It would be easy to build a fast car but to offset it against all the countless variables in F1 such as aero rules and tyres makes the sport as appealing as it is, for me at least anyway.

    Extracting similar levels of power to current engines from future ones is far more interesting than just bolting a V10 in the back and watching it ruin lap records. Using that with ERS and turbo is spoiling us as far as I’m concerned.

    • xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 14th August 2012, 14:07

      … but the sound, man. The sound.

      V8’s, and subsequently upcoming V6’s had robbed me and my ears from the glorious experience of V10 engines, and this is why I’m against engine reduction.

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 14th August 2012, 15:54

        It hasn’t robbed you of anything. You can still continue to listen to the old engines. It’s like saying because the Beatles broke up, they robbed you of listening to their music.

        It’s better for F1 to continue to try to stay relevant than to fold in on itself just because people want it to sound how it used to. The cars don’t look or smell like they used to either, but those senses aren’t holding back it’s progress and change.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th August 2012, 16:17

          Well said @joey-poey, like you I love to hear these sounds back (the V12s, V10s, 1.5 l V6 Turbo, inline engines etc.) but its nice to get something new and hear what new sounds that brings to the sport.
          As companies are getting more out of a litre of fuel with smaller engines it would be crazy for F1 not to go down that path. After all F1 has often been rather about getting the power to the track exactly right than brute force as such.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th August 2012, 13:31

          @joey-poey Yeah, well said. For such a forward thinking sport it just seems to be the complete antithesis of it’s values if it is not willing to change the formula every few years or so.

    • frood19 (@frood19) said on 14th August 2012, 17:28

      though it must be said, lap times are not quite where they were in 2004/5, though most of that difference must be attributed to the tyre war. it is amazing how quickly the teams catch up. even in 1995 (when engine capacity went from 3.5 litres to 3 litres), they had caught up, in lap time half way through the year.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th August 2012, 14:03

    I don’t know enough about the situation in Moto GP to comment on that but I’m sure a few readers will be able to give you more information on it below.

    I believe that one of the major reasons behind MotoGP upgrading to 1000cc engines has to do with the restructing of the category. Originally, Grand Prix bikes came in 500cc, 250cc and 125cc variants. The 500cc category because MotoGP, and in 2010, the 250cc categroy was reimagined as Moto2. Where the old bikes used 250cc two-stroke engines, Moto2 uses a 600cc four-stroke engine. Likewise, when Moto3 was introduced this year, the engines were upgraded to become 250cc four-stroke engines.

    So if MotoGP had not upgraded to 1000cc engines, the Moto2 category would actually be more powerful today.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th August 2012, 14:05

      The 500cc category because MotoGP

      Oops – that should read “the 500cc category became MotoGP”.

    • vjanik said on 14th August 2012, 15:24

      that still leaves Wimo’s original question unanswered. how come MotoGP engines are getting bigger and stronger and F1 engines smaller and weaker (greener).

      I think the intention to attract the likes of Honda, Toyota and BMW back into formula one by introducing these V6s will fail. I think formula 1 has to face the fact that its no longer as road relevant as before. In its early years, F1 innovations used to trickle down to road cars all the time (seat belts, abs, traction control, etc) Nowadays with most of the innovation happening with aero, the relevance to everyday road cars is next to nothing. Its much more attractive and cost efficient for car manufacturers to invest in Touring cars, WRC or GT to develop their ideas and promote their brands with racing pedigree. Why spend 10 times more on F1 to do the same thing?

      I don’t believe this is necessarily a bad thing though. The important thing is for the FIA to recognize that and promote F1 as a high performance sport with the best drivers and the most competitive formula in motor racing. (rather than road relevant environmentally friendly cars). People are not watching F1 for its relevance to their Honda Civic or Mercedes E-Class.

      Some people say that this would be a disaster because if F1 loses its touch with everyday cars, manufacturers will leave and F1 will decline. But in the last 3 years we had excellent racing, and viewership in F1 is at its peak (despite BBC losing ten races) so i don’t really miss the manufacturers that left. I don’t understand the expensive experiment with the V6s to bring them back.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 14th August 2012, 16:28

        It’s actually a ridiculous compromise. The original intention was for 1600cc 4 cylinder engines which would form part of an all-encompassing set of homologation rules across lots of different series’. So you could take a 1.6l 4 cylinder racing engine and then you could put it in a touring car, or a rally car, or an F1 car, or a Le Mans prototype, or a GT car, and so on. The only thing that would change would be the amount of power delivered by its energy recovery and turbocharging systems. Then you’d have a massive return on the investment. It was a brilliant idea but unfortunately a few people moaned that it wouldn’t sound as nice as a V8, and so the whole thing was scrapped. Because they thought people might not bother watching if it didn’t sound right. So instead it’s a V6 which rules it out of most other race series.

        All that is fairly by the by, though. The engines themselves will never make it into a road car, of course, however the technology they’re developing for these engines undoubtedly will. When they started out, there wasn’t a means of regulating the fuel flow with the kind of precision that was required. The technology simply didn’t exist. Now it does. The work going into the advanced regenerative power systems replaces the fairly rudimentary KERS system with something new and cutting edge. Again, something which will make road cars much more efficient.

        it would be extremely short sighted to insist that they keep using the ancient V8 engines. Yes, the new formula isn’t attracting new entrants (mostly because of the stuff I mentioned above) however the three remaining engine manufacturers are all representing road car manufacturers. F1 can’t be a showcase of technology when that technology is over 20 years old and locked into a formula which allows for no development. There are only three engine manufacturers currently looking at 2014 onwards, and that tells you all you need to know about why F1 desperately needs to try and drum up more interest from the motor industry. unless they can make it attractive again, they may find they have only one or two engine manufacturers which would be disasterous for the sport.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th August 2012, 4:38

        how come MotoGP engines are getting bigger and stronger and F1 engines smaller and weaker

        How come motorcycles have two wheels and cars have four?

        Although the MotoGP engines are getting larger and more powerful, and although Formula 1 engines are getting smaller and less powerful, Formula 1 cars still produce more power than MotoGP engines.

        But the underlying reasons for the differences in the approach both categories are taking is simple: Formula 1 and MotoGP are governed by totally different bodies. The FIA has no jurisdiction over MotoGP. That is FIM’s job. And both the FIA and FIM have to make decisions that they feel are best for their premier racing categories, irrespective of what another category is doing.

        A lot of people seem to think that Formula 1 should be chasing bigger and bolder engines, because bigger engines mean a better sound and more power. Personally, I think this is the wrong approach. For one, it’s irresponsible in an age where environmentally-friendly technology is in demand. And secondly (and more importantly), you eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. Sure, a V10 engine produced more power than a V8, but it is also bigger – which means it has more weight. Sooner or later, engines will get too big for the amount of power they produce. Since Formula 1 is all about precision engineering, we should be embracing smaller engines and refining them to produce more than larger engines would.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 15th August 2012, 9:04

          Exactly this. In fact F1 needs to be eyeing the likes of the DeltaWing concept to see how the same speeds can be achieved with dramatically less power, if they would only open their eyes to other concepts. Even with the new engines, F1 cars are still going to be more or less the same as thye have been for decades; same sort of aero concepts with a spec floor, same sort of power levels, same sort of grip and speed levels. It never really changes.

          People have forgotten about innovation somewhere along the lines. There was a time when each new F1 car brought something new and interesting to the table. Proper innovation, not just tweaks made to bypass the rules. There was a time when an F1 team whcih rolled out a car which looked and went the same as the previous year’s car was considered dull and lacking in innovation. Now we seem to have gotten to a point where fans actually want cars to be the same and never to try anything new. it’s a real shame that the ‘show’ has been used as an excuse for letting technology within F1 stagnate to the point where all the cars are roughly identical. I miss the days of ground effects, fan cars, six wheeled cars, 1500bhp qualifying engines which would blow up after a few laps, etc etc. Those were exciting times even if they did lead to one team often dominating a season, because the tech war was just as interesting as the championship.

          Sadly F1 is no longer the premiere racing series in the world in terms of technology. Le Mans prototypes are actually generations ahead. And for that reason everyone who talks about the ‘show’ and favours rules which allow the technological battle at the heart of F1 to stagnate, needs to hang their heads in shame.

          Anyway, that aside, there are one or two other things to consider about motogp compared to F1. For a start the engines are significantly smaller, where the losses for making the cylinders bigger are far smaller. With the very low vehicle weights, ultimate torque is less of an issue so small incremental increases in bore sizes are a cheap and easy way of making the same power for less money. That also means that if you reduced the size of the engine you wouldn’t make the power plant significantly lighter, you’d just make it more expensive to produce the same power. Or you’d end up having to look at forced induction, which is much harder to package on a motorcycle and has to incorporate the weight of the compressor.

          The only sound technical justification for using the V configuration for F1 rather than the I configuration is that a V6 will work well as a stressed component, whereas a straight 4 won’t. That would mean a fundamental change in chassis design to incorporate a tubular powerplant frame. That’s seen as something of a regressive step since using the engine as a stressed member has been a staple of F1 for decades and was seen as an innovation in its time. The flipside of course would be that if you remove the need for the engine to be stressed then it would be very easy to design a chassis into which any of the three engines would happily fit with only very minor modifications to the mounting points. But since there’s no indication that teams would be changing engine suppliers mid season, this seems a bit of a moot point.

          Sorry, long and rambling post. As usual.

  8. Nick.UK (@) said on 14th August 2012, 15:15

    Personally the engine change does not bother me that much, it’s just one of those things that we will complain about until the day they actually arrive; then seemingly forget about after the first race of 2014, having realising that the world didn’t end and that the racing is as great as it ever was.

    • JB (@) said on 14th August 2012, 18:24

      @nick-uk

      I also agree…. besides… the engines were even smaller when formulla 1 began…. it seems they´re just going back to the roots.

      The new V6´s being turbo, aren´t going to be slouches… and with all the new technology and improvements on the turbos themselves, they are gonna be much better and reliable than the past turbo era. I believe they might even be able to use anti-lag on the engine mapping. I wonder if the regulations have thought of that…

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 15th August 2012, 9:15

        Anti lag uses the same principle which has been employed over the fast few years to generate off-throttle hot blowing of the exhausts. Since the rules are being refined to eliminate that effect, they would also make this sort of anti-lag impossible. Assuming those rules are carried forwards of course. Remember that turbos these days are much more complex pieces of technology than they used to be, and the days of turbo cars suffering huge amounts of lag are very much in the past. These turbochargers will be very small and designed for a good torque spread rather than outright top end boost, so the torque curve shouldn’t be radically different to a naturally aspirated engine anyway. If you’ve driven any turbocharged road cars made in the past few years you’ll see they’re nothing like the laggy monsters of 30 years ago.

        One thing I don’t think they’re allowing, however, is variable geometry turbochargers, like you find on a lot of modern sports cars. These effectively alter the airflow in the compressor to give the best possible power at any given engine speed, thus smoothing out a lot of lag. But I don’t believe these will be part of the rules.

        One other thing that they will be able to do is use the energy recovery systems to smooth out the torque curve, using the energy boost at lower rpm until the turbocharger gets up to full boost. This is similar to what Toyota are doing in their TS030 prototype, to deal with the deficit in torque at the corner exit compared to the masses of low end torque being made by the Audi’s diesel engine. That seemed to produce a good level of torque at lower engine speeds, and I’d imagine a similar technique would work well in F1 as well.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2012, 9:55

          I think it will be possible to use the exhaust energy recovery options in the new engine packages to get the turbine spinning before any lag would occur @mazdachris. If I remember right, ScarbsF1 highlighted that possibility in his analyses of the new rules (the variable geometry is indeed not allowed in the rules, probably deemed too powerfull a tool). Off course the hybrid energy would also be used to get better torque at low revs, as you describe. After all, isn’t that the big advantage of electrical engines?

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 15th August 2012, 10:37

            That’s probably so, although I don’t think it will be the traditional wasted-spark style anti-lag, but likely using some other form of energy storage to recycle the energy from the exhaust gasses expelled while on the throttle to charge the compressor while off it. This would make a lot more sense since it would be an efficiency driver, whereas misfiring anti-lag systems deliberately sacrifice efficiency to generate power.

  9. black (@black) said on 14th August 2012, 16:36

    Nice article but here’s another question, might be a bit off the record but I’ll ask it anyway. Looking at that drivers photo, I remembered it’s been a long time since we last heard something about Robert Kubica and when (or if) he’s coming back. Well if anyone knows something, comment…

  10. they should never restrict the engine type-size, they should just give a certain amount of fuel for the weekend and let the teams decide what they ll use to burn this fuel…15.000 RPM+Turbo+Kers, sounds good to my ears

  11. Gridl0k said on 14th August 2012, 18:08

    Even shorter engine answer – F1 used to be Big Tobacco’s pet. Since then it has been casting around looking for a replacement, dabbling with ‘sovereign wealth’ (aka oil-rich aristocracy), telecoms, financial services etc. These are all well and good, but the real prize is automotive manufacturers, and they continuously plead ‘irrelevance’ when asked about F1.

    This is of course in conflict with us racing fans, who (99.9% of us?) just want F1 to be the premier motorsports formula and believe they should run V12s until the very last drop of oil is used, whilst building a model that makes ‘garagista’ outfits and classic racing circuits sustainable.

  12. F1 will regret not going with the I4 turbo. Sticking with a V6 format, it seems ridiculous that we are trading capacity for turbo-charging, but sticking with a quasi-spec V6 design. What’s the point of the shift? F1 will end up just where we are now with this new formula, but quite a bit less wealthy for the trouble. The I4 turbo is today’s engine, run in premium cars by the manufacturers F1 should hope to attract. Doesn’t anyone think that Cadiillac and Audi and BMW want to say, the I4 tubo (with hybrid/stop-start/etc) in your (expensive, premium) car uses the same technology as in our F1 car?

    Yes, to be the pinnacle you have to be apart from the rest. But size and cylinders is now a poor basis for saying you are better than mere road cars. In any case, if F1 wants to be the technical pinnacle, it seems that the lowest-tech and least impressive way to get performance is by increasing cylinder swept-area. There is nothing technically interesting about making an engine bigger and no longer any trick to making one with 12 small cylinders instead of 4 bigger ones.

  13. xeroxpt (@) said on 14th August 2012, 21:41

    The reason why motogp raised their engine capacity is the same as F1 has decreased, to get the capacity at the same level as the comercial vehicles.

  14. I don’t see why the FIA would restrict aerodynamic development slightly and allow the engine manufacturers to build different engine configurations (whilst still sticking to the 1.6 litre, single turbocharged, fuel flow restricted rules). That would allow teams to use flat engines (to lower the centre of gravity) V’s (for a compromise between low centre of gravity & aerodynamic design) and change the number of cylinders: 4 for a tighter package or 6 so the engine can be used as a stressed member.

    • SempreGilles (@sempregilles) said on 14th August 2012, 23:04

      Imagine the uproar if Ferrari’s V6 turbo was quite a bit faster than Renaults inline 4. Since this season is hailed as one of the best ever, I wonder how long it will take Formula 1 to make the switch to spec cars, just like Indycar did.

      I do hope that with the new engines we see some noticeable difference between then. It’s nice they tell us all the time that the Mercedes is the more powerful engine and the Renault fuel efficient, but I can’t tell the difference.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 14th August 2012, 23:55

        Those Indy cars are plain ugly this year. For some reason they don’t feel like a formula type cars to me or that they are going fast, more like V8 super car of some sort.

  15. McBride (@mcbride) said on 16th August 2012, 9:16

    So I have better odds of driving an F1 car in the WDC than I do winning the UK Lottery! I’ll take that Ferrari seat if it’s still available!

    F1 Drivers to World population = 1 in 9,421,265
    UK lottery jackpot = 1 in 13,983,816

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