• Jan 13, 2008
The FIA and the teams participating in F1 have agreed to shorten the ban on engine development to five years. The FIA, which forms the rules for Formula One, had previously instituted a freeze on the development of every team's engine program for a staggering ten years in an effort to reduce the rapidly escalating costs involved with running an F1 team.

At a meeting called by the FIA in Paris, the principals of each team agreed that a ten year ban was too long, but begun discussions on how costs could be curbed in the sport. Rather than continue imposing half-measures aimed at reducing costs, most of the teams agreed that the FIA should actually reduce costs by instituting an overall budget cap, as many had suggested... Autoblog included. Although Ferrari remains opposed to a budget cap, its former technical chief and now head honcho at Honda, Ross Brawn, has been a vocal proponent of the idea.

With the freeze now cut down to half, the FIA announced it would begin working on a new engine formula for the series. F1 has gone in the past couple of decades from turbo eights to V12s and then to V10s before arriving at the 2.4-liter V8s currently used. Insiders expect the next formula to be unveiled within two years' time and to be both more environmentally-friendly and more cost effective.

[Source: Autosport]



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  • 23 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think they're doing the right thing here. The 10 year ban was definitely too long.

      I also like the idea of the budget cap. Nowadays, the idea seems to be just to throw more money at it, in any racing series. It would be nice to see an incentive to get teams to be more efficient with their money, and to give the smaller teams a fighting chance of some success. Where would they spend the money? Aerodynamics? Engines? With a cap in place, they have to be more strategic with their spending, and you could see some great battles between constructors with completely different approaches. I think that would be really cool.

      This could also make race winnings more significant in the sense that they would add a greater percentage to the bottom line - does anybody know how much a Grand Prix win is worth nowadays?

      It would also make sponsorships potentially more affordable, thus enticing companies who couldn't justify a sponsorship before because of the high entry fee. How many companies can afford a $10 million dollar sponsorship? How many can afford a $1 million dollar sponsorship? I think it would open a lot of doors that would give the sport even more exposure. If the FIA isn't too greedy about it, the saving could even trickle down to the fans - perhaps ticket prices would be more affordable.

      I just see the budget cap as a win for everyone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It'll be interesting to see how a "budget cap" pans out. I guess that by doing relevant research or making development tools tools applicable to manufacturers' road cars, they can use it for f1 but not put it on the budget. This is kind of a good thing really.

      Also, presumably they can take development information or buy discounted parts or something from a third party, in exchange for publicity or advertising. Not sure how it's all going to work exactly.

      Regulations are very complicated. I feel they should try to make them a bit simpler.
      • 7 Years Ago
      F1:
      Please allow downforce to be reduced on high speed straights (like the old Chapparal car). This is just a waste of energy/fuel. If this is allowed, the engines could probably be downsized further to 2.0L (keep the V8 though) and maintain similar speeds on straights. The reduction in HP would lengthen the acceleration zones, and rules on brakes could lengthen the braking zones, both of which will allow good drivers to figure out new ways to pass.
      • 7 Years Ago
      one of the Primary reasons that Ferrari and Schumacher were so dominant(according to Racer Magazine) was tha the average F1 team spent 20-30Million (US) in the late 1990s on F1 development...Ferrari spent an average in the 1990s 4x the average on yearly development...
      Schumacher was not that good, his development team was.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ya because its not like he didnt win a championship before even getting to ferrari.....oh no wait
      • 7 Years Ago
      environmentally-friendly and cost effective? haha
      • 7 Years Ago
      Max & Bernie should run Big Al Gore's PR office with this spin...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Turbo eights? Hmmm, I seem to remember turbo I-4s and V-6s...

      I think the best thing for F1 would be if the FIA got rid of Max Mosely. He's too much like his mom and dad. He's obviously biased towards Ferrari and always has been.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Iam lost when it comes to the idea of short stroke making it hard to pass emissions...
        • 7 Years Ago
        But at lower rpm's there is simply less fuel being used since less energy is required to push the rotating assembly that shorter distance. You could argue "high duration cams designed for the high RPM usage of a short stroke motor would lead to a richened lower rpm state" but that has effectively been taken care of in mass production thanks to Honda in 1990 or whatevs.

        so mreh? what?
        • 7 Years Ago
        i'm thinking and i could be wrong, that becase its a short stroke there is less compression of the fuel/air mixture. thise reduces the engine's efficiency, thus pumping more unspent fuel through the tailpipe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The way the FIA rolls it will be 3 cylinder 1/10 ltr ethanol powered engines.

        • 7 Years Ago
        No other league even comes close to challenging F1's supremacy in having the quickest cars in the world. If they can maintain that edge, while being environmentally-friendly and (dare I say it?) relevant to the real world, I can't see why anyone would complain.
        • 7 Years Ago
        turbo diesel maybe?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why on earth can't there be displacement limits on the engines involved without any other idiotic restrictions? Even a five year freeze on engine design is a little too much. If F1 wants to be environmentally responsible, then there could be fuel quantity restrictions in addition to reducing the engine displacement.

      As things stand, what Max Moseley seems to want to do is to put a freeze on the engineers' brains so that they are in parallel with his own severely limited intelligence. What a clown! The end of F1 is certainly nigh!
      • 7 Years Ago
      environment friendly?

      Please dont tell me that for a race that is raced maybe 2 times a month while billions of cars are being driven EVERYDAY that are not environmentally friendly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        F1 is Carbon Neutral since 1997, when nobody cared for that.

        Their reflorestation program in Mexico absorves more Co2 each year than all the races, tests, transportations, team and promotors activities produce in the year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        F1 cars use about 100 liters of fuel a race. That's like 22 gallons of fuel. They race each weekend or every other weekend during the summer. I use about 60L every week and a half or so.

        So these F1 cars are using as much fuel as I am when they race every other weekend, or twice as much when they race every weekend. And this doesn't count qualification, practice or testing. And they don't have catalytic converters or EGR systems.

        So yes, it sounds like F1 is actually pretty bad for the environment.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Carbon emissions aren't the only emissions.

        And I find it HIGHLY unlikely F1 has been buying carbon offsets since 1997, since the market for them didn't exist 10 years ago. Perhaps they bought carbon offsets to "backdate" their net zero to that date.
      • 7 Years Ago
      2.4 L V8s.

      Don't you wish road cars had those?

      Who decreed that when engines got smaller, we had to lose cylinders?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Uh, physics and costs kinda dictate that.

        There is no replacement for displacement, so in a racing series, displacement is limited to keep power under control. The only way to make large amounts of power from a low displacement engine is to up the revs.

        Keeping the number of cylinders low means less frictional losses, but it's difficult to get the revs up due to the fact that you have to accelerate a large piston up and down.

        More cylinders mean more frictional losses, but it's easier to rev, and you can ultimately get more power from it.

        However, a high revving engine requires extremely high tolerances, is more susceptible to failure, and requires more expensive exotic materials and manufacturing techniques.

        So, if given 2.4 L, a race car designer makes a V8 or V10 to get the revs and the power. A road car designer makes a 4 cylinder to keep the costs down and the reliability up.

        So, there is a reason.... but yeah, it'd be cool.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Displacement is not a measure of engine size, only the amount of air pumped through the engine in two turns of the crank.

        You think these engines are very small, well, they're not. They're not huge either, but because they want a LOT of revs, the engines use a very short stroke (like a sport bike). A short stroke reduces the shear forces on the pistons as they reciprocate.

        Since displacement is bore^2/4*pi*stroke, reducing the stroke reduces the displacement even though it doesn't make the engine much smaller. Since these engines are comparable in size to a street V8 (albeit a small one) they are also V8s.

        Short strokes makes it difficult to meet emissions on a street car.
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