Tag Archives: engines

Williams to use Renault engines from 2012

The coveted Renault RS27-2011 engine which Williams will use next year

The coveted Renault RS27-2011 engine which Williams will use next year

Williams F1 have announced that they will switch to using Renault engines from the start of the 2012 season.

This will cause quite the case of nostalgia for the sport’s more experienced fans, as the last time Williams and Renault teamed up were the glory days of 1989-1997. In this time, the team won 5 constructor’s titles and 4 driver’s championships.

This new deal will cover 2012 and 2013. With the engine regulation change set for 2014, talks are already underway to extend the contract past this time.

Frank Williams has stated:

We are delighted and excited by our new partnership with Renault. This reunites the 
F1 team with a leading car manufacturer and complements our new relationship with 
Jaguar.

At the same time, we are grateful to Cosworth: they have been a fair and reliable 
partner both on and off the track for the past two years and we look forward to 
working with them across our business in the future.

Our previous relationship with Renault was one of the most successful in Williams’ 
history but we will not allow ourselves to dwell too much on the past.

We must look to the future and continue to re-build our on-track reputation, which 
I am hopeful that today’s announcement will help us to do.

Apart from Williams themselves, who will now use the same power plant as world champions Red Bull, the biggest winner here is Renault. The French manufacturer will now supply engines to 4 teams next year, a third of the entire grid.

On the other hand, Cosworth have now been dealt a huge blow, with Virgin and HRT now their only customers, which will do them no good for their image.

Over the last few years, it has been believed that Renault have been allowed to make minor modifications to their engine package, despite the engine freeze since 2008. These changes were to balance the power output between their engines and those of Mercedes.

However, since the refuelling ban last year, it has emerged that the Renault engine is much more conservative in terms of fuel efficiency. It is claimed that teams with Renault engines can run with 10kg less fuel than their rivals (excluding modifications which increase fuel consumption, such as hot blown diffusers).

FIA explain V6 decision in Q&A

The recent announcement of a 1.6 litre V6 engine by the FIA has not been universally commended, with many questioning the benefits of such a change.

With this in mind, the FIA have released a Q&A session, in which they explain the thinking behind the engine regulation change, as well as state the detailed engine specifications:

1. The World Motor Sport Council voted on 29 June 2011. What did it decide?

Following consultation with the various Formula One stakeholders  and the current Formula One engine manufacturers, the WMSC has ratified the adoption of a V6 turbo engine to be used in Formula One from 2014 onwards. This required changes to the regulations initially adopted by the World Council on 3 June 2011. The full regulations applicable to the 2014 season will be published in due course.

2. Will a V6 use more fuel, or have inferior economy compared with the original proposal?

No. To push the engineers to develop engine efficiency, the technical regulation imposes a fuel flow control. When evolving the regulation to fit with the manufacturers’ new request this parameter has not been changed. Thus the efficiency requirement will be unchanged.

3. Why has the rev limit been increased from 12,000rpm to 15,000rpm. Is this purely to enhance the sound of a Formula One car?

No. This parameter has been updated from 12000rpm to 15000 rpm to allow engineers more flexibility in power and energy management. However, as a consequence of the new architecture (V6) and the change in rev-limit, the engine will sound different, but will remain representative of Formula One.

4. Will the increase in rpm alter fuel consumption?

Absolutely not. As mentioned above, the fuel flow limit will stay the same. The technologies are the same and as a consequence any increase in rpm will constrain the engineers to work harder on reducing friction and gaining on engine efficiency. The challenge will be even bigger than originally planned and will therefore enhance the technological lead of Formula One.

5. Has the FIA  retained the energy recover devices originally intended to be used in conjunction with the I4 engine?

Yes, the concept initially presented is respected. All of the technology intended for the I4 is still present. This new power plant will be a dramatic step forward in both fuel efficiency and in energy management.

6. Will those manufacturers already engaged in the development of a four-cylinder engine face increased costs now they need to redirect their resources toward designing a V6?

To our knowledge, five manufacturers were working on the proposed 4-cylinder engine. They will all need to adapt their project and this will surely involve some additional costs, depending on how advanced each project was. This evolution has been proposed and supported by all four engine manufacturers currently involved in Formula One.

7. Why is the introduction of the new generation of engines now being delayed by year?

The decision to delay the introduction until 2014 comes at the request of the four engine manufacturers currently involved in Formula One. Their request for extra time is linked to the change in architecture but also to ensure their projects are more robust (one of the goals of the project is to enhance engine durability to c.4000km)

8. Will these energy recovery systems and other efficiency devices ultimately influence the development of road cars?

Yes. The clear need for the automotive industry to reduce emissions means energy management will increasingly become a key factor in the development of more efficient powertrains. Kinetic energy recovery is already applied in Formula One and the introduction of exhaust energy recovery will add another technology route to be explored. Formula One will also return to its role as a developer of turbo-charger technology. This research will have real-world benefits, contributing valuable knowledge that will be of use to future road car development.

Combustion engine specifications:

1600cc, V6
15000 rpm max
Direct fuel injection up to 500bar
Single turbocharger
Controlled fuel flow

Energy recovery and storage systems specifications:

Kinetic, 120kW on the rear wheels
Exhaust energy recovery linked to the turbocharger

FIA approves V6 engines for 2014

Current F1 engines are set for an overhaul in 2014

Current F1 engines are set for an overhaul in 2014

The FIA has today approved the change in engine regulations for the 2014 season.

The move will see the sport switch from 2.4 litre normally aspirated V8 engines to more efficient 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 power units.

It has also been confirmed that this new engine formula will feature several energy recovery units, though this detail has yet to be elaborated on.

The last time turbocharged engines were used in F1 was back in 1988.

A statement issued today from the FIA reads as follows:

"Following a fax vote by its members, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified the
engine regulations recently drawn up in consultation with the main stakeholders in
Formula 1.

“he new power plant will be a V6 1.6 turbo unit with energy recovery systems. This
new formula will come into effect as from the start of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 world
championship season."

It has been revealed that the original push for 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engines, which was rejected several  days ago, was being put forward by Audi, a prospective engine supplier to F1 teams from 2013 onwards.

The switch to efficient turbocharged engines is not a surprise, considering the FIA has been keen to improve the “green” aspect of the sport in recent times. It is currently unknown how this regulation change will affect total power output, but it is expected that the energy recovery systems (KERS, exhaust gas recovery units) will compensate for any loss in engine power.

Update: The FIA has confirmed today that these new engines will use a 15,000 rpm rev limiter.

F1 to delay new engine rules until 2014

Formula 1 looks set to delay new engine formula

Formula 1 looks set to delay a new engine formula

Formula 1 chiefs have today agreed to postpone the introduction of new engine regulations, which were due to be enforced in 2013.

The original plan was to use 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engines, with turbochargers and various energy recovery units featuring. However, after mixed opinions from engine manufacturers, the FIA has agreed to change the new regulations, and delay them for a further year.

The new plan is to use 1.6 litre V6 engines, but still retaining the “green” technology that the FIA has been keen to introduce. Turbochargers are expected to remain as well.

While this change will not be enforced for some time, it has already been approved by the F1 Commission, which is made up of the teams and other of the sport’s representatives. The regulation change will now go to a vote at the World Motor Sport Council.

Mercedes and Cosworth were concerned about the cost of developing new engines, while Ferrari disagreed with the proposal of 4-cylinder engines. Only Renault was in favour of the original plan, however they have since agreed to the new engine formula.

1.6 litre 4-cylinder engines confirmed for 2013

The FIA has confirmed the new specification of Formula 1 engines to be used from the 2013 season onwards.

The current 2.4 litre V8s will be replaced with 1.6 litre 4-cylinder power plants. They will be assisted by high-powered injection, up to 500 bar. The engine rev limit has been reduced to 12,000 rpm.

The number of engines each driver can use will be brought down to 5. From 2014 onwards, this will be reduced to 4 per year.

The FIA claim that these new engines will deliver up to 35% reduction in fuel consumption, while providing the same amount of power (currently around 800 hp).Energy recovery systems and energy management will also be introduced, hinting that the FIA is looking at exhaust gases recovery systems to team up with the KERS unit used at the moment.

F1 2013 engine specs set to be revealed

Current F1 engines are set for an overhaul

Current F1 engines are set for an overhaul

During the World Motor Sport Council meeting this Friday, speculation is mounting over the possible announcement of the 2013 engine specifications for the F1 grid.

The general belief is that 1.6 Litre, 4 cylinder, turbocharged, direct injection engines will be the ones to be used. Compare this to the current spec of 2.4 Litre, 8 cylinder engines, non-turbocharged engines the grid are currently using.

Scarbs F1 is  reporting that further details include: “88mm bores, 100kg\h fuel flow rate.”

Power output is expected to remain around the same (if not slightly lower), and fuel efficiency should drastically improve by up to 50%. These changes are not to reduce the actual CO2 output of the grid, rather to encourage environmentally friendly engines to be used on road cars.

600 bhp is expected to come from the actual engines, while 150 bhp may be supplied from energy recovery systems such as KERS, and the possible introduction of an engine gases recovery system.

The one disappointing stat from this expected announcement is that engine revs will be reduced (naturally, not limited) to about 10,000 rpm. Further details should arrive in the next few days.

Ferrari to use Bahrain engines in China

The Ferrari 056 engine

The Ferrari 056 engine

Ferrari have said that they will use the engines that they had previously removed, during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

During the first race of the season, both Fernando Alonso’s and Felipe Massa’s engines became overheated after qualifying, and the team took the precautionary measure of changing both engines. They have not been used since, but Ferrari have since announced that they are fit to be used during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

The head of engine and electronics, Luca Marmorini, said:

We have carried out an in-depth study into what happened and the
two problems are not related to one another. In Sepang, Fernando’s
engine suffered a structural failure, of a type we had never
seen during the winter. We believe there was a role played by
the unusual way in which the driver had to use the engine during
the race, because of the gear selection problems he experienced
right from the start.

Additionally, there is no connection with the problem the Sauber
team experienced on the engine front at the last race, which we
believe was down to an issue with electronic sensors.

Each car has eight engines it can use per driver over the season
and we plan our usage strategy around this. As a precaution, we
opted not to use the Bahrain race engines in Australia, but they
will be used in China, having concluded that they are fit for
purpose, despite what happened at the Sakhir circuit.

Marmorini also explained that the Shanghai circuit wasn’t too stressing on the engines, which is why they put it in:

I would describe it as medium load. It features a very long
straight, but nothing that causes any particular concern for
the power unit and also, the ambient temperature is not usually
very high, which makes life easier on the engine front.

As we all know, each driver is allowed to use up to 8 engines per season, with each engine after this resulting in a grid penalty. Fernando Alonso has already used 3 engines at different points: two across the Bahrain GP weekend, and one for Australia and Malaysia, which has failed. It is unclear how many Felipe Massa has used, but I believe that he has used 2.

Renault allowed to make engine improvements

The Renault RS27 engine

The Renault RS27 engine

Renault has been allowed by the FIA to make changes to their engines, even though the governing body had previously rules out any power equalisation for this year.

The changes are believed to be to save costs and for reliability. This comes after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner complained to the FIA that not all of the engines were equal, after the engine freeze. He said:

"I think the problem is if you don't allow some development, then you freeze in an advantage for one team or a 
disadvantage for another.

So there has to be a balancing of that, otherwise we will end up with Mercedes-powered cars winning all the races - 
which I think is not good for F1. And other manufacturers may choose to leave F1 off of the back of that.

The engine isn't supposed to be a key performance differentiator and therefore hopefully the ruling body will balance 
out somewhat the differences there at the moment."

It has been understood that the FIA is moving away from engine equalisation because they do not feel there is enough power difference between the many engine types. Despite this, Renault has put in many requests to develop certain parts of their engine, for cost and reliabiliy reasons. These requests have been mostly accepted.

However, the FIA rejected the requests to make changes to help Renault’s fuel consumption, as they felt that it was purely for performance reasons. Already, teams who run Renault engines can carry about 10kg less fuel than anyone else at the start of the race. Therefore, any further fuel consumption improvements would mean too large a performance advantage to Red Bull and Renault.

At the moment, neither Red Bull or Renault are lacking in engine power – Robert Kubica got the fastest lap at one point in Bahrain don’t forget. But, the Achilles heel of these teams – the reliability – may be getting better, after these latest changes.

Engine changes for both Ferrari drivers

Both Massa's and Alonso's cars require engine changes

Both Massa's and Alonso's cars require engine changes

Ferrari have announced that both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso’s cars require an engine change before today’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Data analysis after qualifying showed “some abnormal parameters” on Felipe Massa’s car, which soon showed up on Alonso’s car as well. After many discussions, it was decided that both cars were to undergo an engine change.

Since both drivers are at the start of their 8-engine allowance for the season, Ferrari feel that they can use the old engines in other practice sessions in other practice sessions across the season.

No equalising of F1 engines for 2010

The Cosworth CA2010 engines, being used for 5 teams this year

The Cosworth CA2010 engines, being used for 5 teams this year

The FIA has decided that engine equalisation will not take place for 2010.

Engine equalisation is the process where all the different types of engines (4 of them next year) are balanced out in terms of performance, fuel consumption and reliabilty, by adding, removing, retuning and adjusting certain engine mechanics.

Engines in Formula 1 have been frozen (no development allowed) since 2008. However, teams  were allowed to change parts of the engine for reliabilty reasons. But, some engines had a definitive power advantage, and Renault were left behind. The Mercedes engine, for example, is believed to produce 18bhp more than the Renault engine, which is worth around to 3 tenths of a second per lap.

However, this season there will be an even bigger problem with the engines – fuel consumption. The Renault engine, if filled with the same amount of fuel as the Mercedes engine, can do 3 more laps. Because refuelling is banned for next year, it means that Renault can save around 7kg in fuel, which is a massive advantage to have. The Ferrari engines are the most thirsty engines on track, and they will be hugely disadvantaged by this.

Cosworth, as we know, will be returning to supplying F1 engines for the first time since 2006. The FIA has allowed them to develop their engine, as long as it balances out against the other teams. It is apparent that the most important factor for the engines next year will be the fuel consumption. If Cosworth fail to get their engines up to scratch, it will severely damage the Williams, Lotus, Virgin, USF1 and Campos teams.

So, if engines remain around the same as they did last year, Red Bull will be at the biggest advantage here. Their Renault engine means they have 7kg extra in ballast to move around, meaning more flexibility in their chassis design. Provided that Adrian Newey can deliver the goods, they may well be the team to beat next year.

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