Tag Archives: F1 2013

New Jersey to host F1 race from 2013

A first look at the newest F1 race to be hosted in the US

A first look at the newest F1 race to be hosted in the US

New Jersey has become the latest venue to confirm a Formula 1 race in the future, announcing a 10-year deal yesterday.

The race will be promoted as the Grand Prix of America, as opposed to the United States Grand Prix, which will be held in Austin, Texas from next year.

The Port Imperial-based circuit features an elevation change of approx. 150ft, as well as running through two parks and having the Hudson river and Manhattan area as a backdrop.

The uphill section of the track is causing the most interest, with several fast sweeping corners and plenty of elevation changes.

This race will commence in 2013, meaning that the F1 calendar could possibly expand to 21 races – 22 when Russia joins a year later.

This is the best visualisation of the track as of yet:

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.

Ground effect and turbos to return for 2013 with new regulations?

Formula 1 teams are closing in on finalising the regulations for the sport from 2013 onwards, which is understood to include the reintroduction of turbochargers and ground effect. This is being done for two reasons: To improve the spectacle for the fans, and also to make the sport more environmentally friendly.

The F1 grid looks set for huge rule changes in 2013

The F1 grid looks set for huge rule changes in 2013

The most interesting changes being suggested, and nearly definitely being introduced, involve the complete reshuffle of the engines of the cars. The engines will be 1.6 Litre 4-cylinder models, and boosted by turbochargers. These new power plants should produce 650bhp, and should be powered by numerous energy recovery systems. While this last section cannot be fully explained, I would guess that it would involve the revival of KERS, as well as generating energy from exhaust gases.

Also added onto the engine regulations is a plan to limit each driver to 5 engines a season. On the environmental side of the engines, there will probably be a fuel flow limit introduced, which will limit and reduce the amount of fuel entering the engine. This will make the engines more fuel efficient, as Sam Michael, Williams technical director, explains:

"Rather than dump as much fuel in as we can at the moment, there 
will be a fuel flow metre - so you won't be able to blow more 
than a certain amount of fuel. It is a good chunk less than we 
had at the moment."

As for the cars themselves, Patrick Head, co-owner of Williams, and Rory Byrne, a former designer for Ferrari, are working with the FIA to write up new rules. On the safety front, the cars are being planned to have greater crash protection at the front, with the sidepods being moved forwards being the main objective.

Also, all of the teams are collaborating on changing the aerodynamic setup of the cars to improve overtaking opportunities, and ground effect is the main suggestion in this area. Put simply, ground effect reduces the pressure under the car, meaning that the area above the car will have higher pressure, therefore pushing the car onto the ground. This produces a huge amount of downforce when it is used correctly, and also does not turbulate the air as much as rear wings, meaning the car behind has a better chance of following the car in front.

While it cannot be 100% guaranteed that these changes will be implemented, I would still say that it is very likely. Personally, these all look like great changes, especially the ground effect, as the aerodynamic flow of air to a car running behind should be much cleaner, and could well be a good idea to improve overtaking without making it too easy (ie. proximity wings).

Also, Formula 1 does have a role to pay in promoting environmentally friendly technology for the road. While KERS technology is being implemented on a good few road cars already, the cars' exhaust gases are certainly untapped in terms of power potential. I will note though that the cars themselves weren't awful in terms of efficiency (the entire F1 grid, over an 18-race season, uses less fuel than a single Boeing 747 trip from London to Japan), it is a good improvement to make.

It is still unclear when these new rules and regulations will be fully released.

Briatore and Symonds accept 3-year ban in Crashgate settlement with FIA

Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore

Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore

Both Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have agreed not to pursue further charges, after a settlement with the FIA that resulted in both effectively receiving a 3-year ban from Formula 1.

In exchange for the FIA dropping charges against the two, they have agreed not to take any “operational role” in Formula 1 until the end of 2012, or any FIA competition until the end of 2011. However, it still seems that no charges are to be brought against Nelson Piquet Jr, the driver who conspired with Briatore and Symonds to cause a deliberate crash, and give Fernando Alonso a huge advantage in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The full FIA statement reads as follows:

The decision handed down by the Tribunal de Grande Instance of 
Paris on 5 January 2010 at the request of Mr Flavio Briatore 
and Mr Pat Symonds, which the FIA has appealed, revealed a poor 
understanding of how the disciplinary procedure before the 
World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) works. In accordance with the 
undertakings made by the FIA President during his campaign, it 
will be proposed at the next General Assembly, at the end of 
2010, that a structural reform, on which the FIA Statutes Review 
Commission is currently working, be adopted to prevent other 
misunderstandings.

In the meantime, at its meeting in Bahrain on 11 March 2010, the 
WMSC decided on the one hand to adopt a Code of Practice to 
clarify the working of its disciplinary procedure, and on the 
other hand to give the FIA President full authority to seek a 
definitive outcome, whether judicial or extrajudicial, to the 
disputes with Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds, best 
preserving the interests of the FIA.

After discussions between their lawyers and those of the FIA, 
Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds have each made a settlement 
offer to the FIA President with a view to putting an immediate 
end to the legal proceedings.

Each of them recognising his share of responsibility for the 
deliberate crash involving the driver Nelson Piquet Junior at 
the 2008 Grand Prix of Singapore, as "Team Principal" of Renault 
F1 where Mr Flavio Briatore is concerned, they have expressed 
their regrets and presented their apologies to the FIA.

They have undertaken to abstain from having any operational role 
in Formula One until 31 December 2012, as well as in all the other 
competitions registered on the FIA calendars until the end of 
the 2011 sporting season.

They have also abandoned all publicity and financial measures 
resulting from the judgment of 5 January 2010, as well as any 
further action against the FIA on the subject of this affair.

In return, they have asked the FIA to abandon the ongoing appeal
procedure, but without the FIA recognising the validity of the 
criticisms levelled against the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 
2009, as well as to waive the right to bring any new proceedings 
against them on the subject of this affair.

Considering that the judgment of 5 January 2010 concerned only the 
form and not the substance of the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 
2009, and that the undertakings and renunciation of all claims 
expressed by Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds are in line 
with what the WMSC is seeking, the FIA President has considered 
that it is in the best interests of the FIA not to allow the 
perpetuation of these legal disputes, which have received a great 
deal of media coverage and which, regardless of the outcome, are 
very prejudicial to the image of the FIA and of motor sport, and 
thus to accept this settlement solution, thereby putting an end 
to this affair.

If you actually read all that (bit heavy-worded wasn't it?), you would also know that Briatore and Symonds have both rejected the £18,000 and £4,000 compensation packages that the FIA were forced to give to them in January, after a court ruled that their previous life bans were illegal.

Now though, they must bide their time, as they have to wait until the 2013 season until they can apply to get back into Formula 1. The question is, will anyone take them? Symonds might get in with a team, since he's a nice guy, and certainly didn't play as big a part as Briatore, though he still deserved the ban. Briatore might go back to driver managment, but it is unclear if any driver would want to work woth him after all of this.

However, the FIA have the option to turn nasty. A few months ago, the idea of driver managment liscences was suggested, to stop Flavio Briatore from getting back into Formula 1. If they were to bring it in, they could stop Briatore, without the threat of court action, since they are in the legal right this time.

Alternatively, we could just hope that the 2012 doomsday predictions are right, and they will never get into F1 again.

Ecclestone to cut older races

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has said that he is ready to cut older race venues from the Formula 1 calendar, in order to make way for the new proposed races in New York, Moscow and Rome.

The Korean Grand Prix joins the list this year, and India in 2011. With New York, Russia and Rome all tipped for places in 2012 and 2013, Ecclestone has said that older races will have to be cut. In an interview with Autocar, he said:

We’re going to lose some races for sure, there are some races we can afford to
lose without too much problem. I’ve spoken to the countries to see what we can
come up with.

This was to be expected. With 2 races joining in the next 2 years, without other races being dropped the calendar would be raised to a record-breaking 20 races per season. If New York, Russia and Rome all get through scrutineering, that means there must be around 4 or 5 venues that must be dropped.

I like change in Formula 1, and there's a few circuits I'd like to see go. Valencia is the most obvious, as it simply cannot produce anything interesting, and also had difficulties repaying their contract to Ecclestone, because of low ticket sales last year. Barcelona could well be a target because, though attendance is high, it is not the most characteristic of circuits.

Another one is the Hungaroring. While it is the only race in Eastern Europe, the circuit is neither a challenge to the car or the driver, apart from the high temperatures. Overtaking is also extremely difficult, and I doubt there's much cash in the hands of the race organisers. Now personally, I'd like the Shanghai circuit to go, since the races aren't great, the organisers cannot keep up the payments either, and attendance is very low, with empty grandstands littering the circuit.

After this, the Bahrain Grand Prix should go, since the racing is terrible, and the circuit organisers were pure arrogant earlier this year, by claiming the new sector would increase overtaking, when they knew bloody well it wouldn't. Also, the German Grand Prix should be either the Hockenheimring (old one please) or the Nurburgring, not alternating between them.

I would hope that at least 3 of those races will go in the next few years. But what do you think?  Have a say in the new poll:

Rome Grand Prix confirmed for 2013

Formula 1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that there will be a Rome GP from 2013 onwards. This will see the F1 calendar expanding to 20 races, the highest ever.

Last year, it seemed that Ecclestone was drifting away from the idea of having a street race in Rome, but a deal seems to have been made, according to Ecclestone:

"Rome will come into the programme for 2013. We will have 20 races 
and the teams will be happy with it."

Another street circuit, oh goody. That was Monaco's idea, now we already have 4 imitations (Canada and Australia technically count), and there's another one on the horizon. Only 2 of these races are any good, and Ecclestone doesn't seem to like either of them. I'm sure you're wondering will this circuit be able to match Canada and Australia, and here's your answer: It's being designed by Herman Tilke. You know what that means.

Even if the tifosi come out in force (almost definitely), I can't see this circuit having any heart in it, and I'm saying this a year before we will even see drafts of the track design.

But, there's a much more serious problem. The organisers of this race, and many others, seem to be implying that this is an attack on the Monza race. I can't find a link for this, but I will add it as a separate post in due course. In summary, the organisers want only 1 Italian Grand Prix,and of course it's the Roman one. I'm telling you now, if Monza if thrown off, Ecclestone is a dead man. Not by me, of course, by the thousands - millions, even- of livid Italians living in the north. This will hardly end well.

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