I st the hybrid formula a flop? Too quiet, too weak-chested, was the devastating verdict after a season. At the moment there is the all-clear. The engines have gotten louder. At least those from Mercedes and Ferrari. Because both drive at higher engine speed and have changed the exhaust architecture. Renault is not there yet. But still will. The Honda V6 sounds interesting. Completely different from the rest. The volume will also come with the power.
The pilots can't complain about power. Nevertheless, Bernie Ecclestone and some teams want to bury the hybrid technology as soon as possible. But there you will meet resistance from Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda.
In principle, there is nothing wrong with hybrid technology. When the costs for the customer teams remain within limits. And when the new engines face other concepts. The WEC shows that different engine concepts can drive against each other with equal chances.
In our idea for a new engine regulation, we want to try to bring both under one roof: Technical freedom that is affordable and understandable.
10 million dollars for the Formula 1 engine
The rule-keeper's mistake in thinking runs through all series. They do everything to keep the automakers happy. And so drive out the private teams because they cannot bid in the arms race. Le Mans is making this mistake. Imagine three people losing interest in Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan. Then the FIA must declare the LMP2 to be the LMP1. Manufacturers come and go. They always leave when they lose too often and when defeats become too expensive. That is fatal, because the private teams are the foundation of the sport.
If the car companies want to use motorsport as a platform for technical competence, they have to pay for it. Why should Force India share the development costs for Mercedes? Why should Toro Rosso participate in solving Renault's engine problems? That is the manufacturer's risk. You have the image benefit, not the customer. He just wants to take part in car races.
That is why a maximum price for the drive sources is imperative. Whether the manufacturers like it or not. And that can't be over $ 10 million a year. Each additional drive source for test drives comes with aMillion calculated. That's a fair price. Nobody can tell me that the pure material costs for one of the current drive units is over a million.
A flat rate for 5 engines per driver applies for the season. If a driver needs more units due to defects, this is at the manufacturer's expense. The specifications of the motors must be identical for each customer. Development steps can only be carried out on unsealed motors.
The supplier rule applies to motors. We explained how this works in Part 2 of our series. Exclusive contracts like the one currently between McLaren and Honda are not possible. An example: With 11 teams and 4 engine manufacturers, the number of customers per manufacturer including their own requirements would be three. That is minimum and maximum at the same time. Any further request can be rejected.
Strict framework for engine development
The same applies to engines as for the cars: Open competition requires cost control. Either through upper limits on development budgets or restrictions on staff and tools. The construction, quality control and all test bench tests have to take place in-house. External orders are prohibited.
Here, too, a list of test stands that are approved should be drawn up. An upper limit for test bench runs keeps costs under control. The model are the wind tunnel restrictions. VTT (Virtual Test Track) and dynamic test stands can no longer be banned because they are already there. So everyone can have them. A swiveling test stand for simulating centrifugal forces belongs on the index. So far, only BMW had it.
Perhaps the number of test bench engines should also be limited. To protect the works from themselves. The same computer characteristics apply to the engine manufacturers as to the vehicle engineers. So 20 teraflops.
In order to prevent the use of exotic materials, the current material list is being tightened. Everything in it is allowed. The development is optional. The manufacturer has to decide for himself whether he wants to turn it into a business model or book the costs as image maintenance.
The argument that more engine damage is possible with limited options in the laboratory is not tenable. Before that happens, the technicians are more cautiously pushing their way to the limit. The same rules apply to everyone. And sometimes the reliability of one beats the horsepower advantage of the other. Has everything already happened in motorsport? Just think of 1966. Brabham-Repco won the title mainly for its stability.
Fuel limit is the best regulator
The central point is a fuel limit in the race. It has to stay. Not just to calm the green conscience. It's the perfect oneRegulatory, so that the engine performance remains within limits during the race and the aerodynamics do not get out of hand.
However, 100 kilograms must be the end of it. This number is a real marketing meltdown. Because nobody can do anything with it. The vast majority of people still calculate and think in liters. So let's say 140 liters for a race distance. All teams get a standard tank that takes exactly this amount. Refueling at the launch site is permitted. At the end there has to be one liter left over for FIA checks.
The petrol must be commercially available super fuel. The FIA should set the limits of the composition a little closer. The fuel must be free for the participants. Both to avoid the oil companies brewing a special mix that costs 10 dollars per liter. And if it does, it's on your budget. In a second step, one could think about producing fuel exclusively from waste. Technically feasible for a long time. That would then be really green.
The flow rate for turbo engines is limited to 160 liters per hour (currently 135 l /h). It is free for naturally aspirated engines. Theoretically, the drive sources will then unleash over 1,000 hp during training. The use of maximum power will be reduced to the qualification rounds and a few test runs due to the restriction to 5 engines per participant.
The manufacturers will design the engines to be correspondingly more stable. The short-term increase in performance for a few laps is also a challenge for the pilots. You have to adapt and deliver the perfect round to the point.
In the end, the best compromise wins
The engine concept is free. The speed too. The fuel limit, the minimum weight of the car, the price and the number of engines per driver are natural limits. The minimum weight is an interesting point. 640 kilograms speak against the hybrid technology in terms of weight. The fuel limit for it.
The vehicle engineers will advocate small engines. But a four-cylinder turbo without electric assistance would have a performance loss when accelerating and it would consume more gasoline.
The bottom line is that the best compromise wins. If in the end everyone ends up with a similar type of engine: that's fine too. The message is not: We drive with hybrid technology. Rather, we are just as fast or faster with 30 percent less fuel. It's all about, not showing what is technically possible. It doesn't matter how the goal is achieved.
Naturally aspirated, turbo, hybrid, 4 or 12 cylinders, 1.5 or 5 liter displacement, Kers, Ers: Everything is allowed. One restriction: the propulsion must be delivered via a coupling on one axle. Otherwise, manufacturers will think again about wheel hub motors or aircraft turbinesafter. The Wankel engine is forbidden for reasons of fuel consumption.
Can you imagine what kind of soundscape this gives? Experts could already recognize the individual motors by their noise. However, only one engine concept may be used per year in order to prevent someone starting the season with a naturally aspirated engine and ending it with a turbo engine.
The pivot points of the engine on the chassis and the gearbox are standardized. A V12 has to fit just like a four-cylinder in-line engine with turbocharger and electric motors. If necessary by means of a subframe. In this way, the teams do not incur any extra costs if the engine concept changes over the winter.
Telemetry is prohibited. This ensures that engine development does not turn into space technology. The driver must be able to make all engine settings himself without consulting the box. Warning messages can be sent automatically via the display.
Here are the links to the other parts of our collection of ideas for a better Formula 1:
>> Part 1: Money distribution
>> Part 2: Costs
>> Part 3: Technical Regulations
>> Part 4: Motors
>> Part 5: sporting regulations
>> Part 6: Fan-Service