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Schmidt's F1 blog: Looking for a new engine formula

Schmidt's F1 blog
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I I admit. I, too, was one of the proponents of the new engine formula, which heralded a new era in Formula 1 in 2014. Because it gave the engine more importance again. The dictate of aerodynamics did not do justice to the word motorsport. I can live with the sound and also with the complexity of the drive sources. The principles are not that difficult to understand.

The speed is okay too. The fact that the cars are slower on most routes than in the V8 era is not due to the engines but to the castrated aerodynamics. The horsepower figures have long been well above those of the eight-cylinder. And in a few years the V6 turbos, including the MGU-K and MGU-H, will scratch the 1,000 hp limit. And that with 100 kilograms of gasoline over a race distance.

Formula 1 in the dead end of the engine

Nevertheless, the experiment failed. Why? Because the premier class has maneuvered itself into a hopeless situation. There are six vulnerabilities that cannot be fixed:

  1. The motors are too expensive. A price below 10 million euros cannot be represented. If the FIA ​​wants to push through their wish for 12 million, the development would have to run on a narrow track. But then Ferrari, Renault and Honda never catch up. It is a doom-loop. If you release the development, it becomes too expensive. If you limit it, Mercedes will still win in 10 years.
  2. The technology is too complex. For the normal viewer, but much worse for the engine manufacturers. It is unthinkable that Cosworth or Ilmor would ever build such a monster. Even Renault and Honda are overwhelmed. Ferrari only caught up because they poached 5 Mercedes engineers. The Ferrari engine is a copy of Mercedes and is being mocked in the paddock.
  3. The gap to Mercedes cannot be made up in the medium term, even if Mercedes claims the opposite. The adage that the air is getting thinner and thinner for the best does not apply to this technology. It's still way too new. Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell does not rule out that 200 hp will be found in the next 10 years. The persecutors' problem is not money. Not even the ideas. You can buy them. It is the time. Mercedes has a year lead on Ferrari, two on Renault and three on Honda.
  4. The engine formula is unattractive for newcomers. The longer the Audis, BMWs or Toyotas wait, the greater the lead of those who have been there from the start.
  5. The manufacturers take itSports held hostage. You determine the rules and thus also who gets good and who gets bad engines. It is even up to you to throw a team out of the sport altogether. See Red Bull. An unacceptable condition.
  6. The hybrid formula does not go down well with the fan. Because it was badly sold. There are no photos, far too little information for reasons of secrecy, and the wrong key messages. They advertise a consumption of 100 kilos of fuel, but the normal person cannot imagine anything under the number. You keep silent about the horsepower and don't realize that that's exactly what matters to the fans. The complexity of the technology provokes an abundance of starting place penalties, which is just as annoying as saving fuel. The safe operation of the hybrid monster is only guaranteed if the driver is remotely steered from the pit. In the meantime the child has fallen into the well. Even the best marketing campaign cannot help here. The current Formula 1 engine is simply negative for the majority of the audience.

More horsepower, better sound, less Costs

What do we learn from this? Formula 1 needs a new engine formula. Introducing a parallel universe with a cheap engine is just as wrong as continuing the hybrid formula until 2025, when the manufacturers give in on the price issue. And what should the new beginning look like?

Hybrid, efficiency and good racing are not mutually exclusive. How about a small biturbo and a powerful KERS that only the driver operates? We would have 1,000 hp and a better sound. Fuel limit and 4 engines per car can remain. The engine should not cost more than 10 million euros. And it must also be possible to build it by an independent manufacturer.


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