• Sep 18, 2008

You'd think that the teams in Formula One would all be striving to eek out every little performance advantage they can, right? Well, not quite. It turns out that some of the teams are lobbying behind closed doors to equalize engine performance across the series.

The development has been prompted by Sebastian Vettel's landmark domination at this past weekend's Italian Grand Prix. The young German drives for Scuderia Toro Rosso, which essentially – and controversially – runs the same cars as the senior Red Bull Racing team, only with one major difference: the engine. While RBR uses Renault engines, STR is powered by Ferrari. And according to Red Bull chief Christian Horner, the performance advantage which Ferrari has cultivated over Renault is what allowed Vettel to beat out the Renault-powered Red Bull cars, to say nothing of the rest of the field. Horner insists that Renault has obeyed the engine development freeze currently in place, while Ferrari, BMW and McLaren partner Mercedes-Benz have taken advantage of loopholes that has allowed them to find as much as 30 extra horsepower. "We don't need an engine formula to completely open up," said Horner, "but there should be a parity as much as possible among the engine suppliers – otherwise we will all end up with one engine at the end of the day."

[Source: Autosport]



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  • 24 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      When they froze the design and capped the revs to 19000 the Renault was designed to rev to 19.8K and the Ferrari to 19.2K. And Ferrari have been making a lot of 'reliability' changes which can, to the FIA rules, result in more power.

      The whole freeze thing was ridiculous anyway. If they want to limit power, limit them to a production engine block - that'd do it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Reduce displacement to 2 liters, and limit revs to 20K
      Limit bore to 100mm, limit 3 spark plugs per cylinder
      Limit the transmission to 8 forward gears

      Lets see if they can get 325hp per liter at 20K revs (at 200mph forward speed)
      100mm bore x 31.83mm stroke is insanely oversquare, but who needs stroke anyway?
      • 6 Years Ago
      You can't really limit engines to one supplier in F1 at the stage they're at. Considering that F1 went all out to get automakers involved, do you really think they're going to not put their own motors in their own cars?
      • 6 Years Ago
      so they will call it A1 GP2 lol
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wouldn't things be simpler if they'd just impose a horsepower and torque cap? Doing so would force the manufacturers to focus on fuel efficiency and weight, producing more advanced technologies and materials in the process. Plus, it'd make the competition more about drivers' skill than it is currently and F1 gets a greener image. Seems like a win-win for all involved, including us who'd eventually benefit from those technologies trickling down to the mass production cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Makes sense in theory, but they would never be able to enforce it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The same way they have in other racing series, namely WRC.

        Seriously.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, Ferrari and McL may have squeezed out a little more HP.

      If you have been following this weeks tests at Jerez though, you will notice that Vettel took the fastest time on the wednesday with his ride for next year, the Renault powered RB4, leaving the Toro Rosso's a while behind him.

      So sure, some teams got more horsepower, but it seems odd that this is why they would make the engines all the same, because it shows that a driver can still make the combination work.

      As reported on www.f1-live.com it would make more sense that they introduce a standard engine to reduce costs, not to stop these whiny rich team-owners complaining because they decided not to take advantage of a few loopholes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      F-1 is supposed to be this way. They are the ones developing the technologies we will use in cars in the future. Let them extract 2000 HP from those engines... If you remember in the turbo era they were already extracting 1000 to 1100 HP from those 1.5 liter engines. That is awesome!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The word is "eke", not "eek".
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think you will ever see F1 going to a spec engine. The manufacturers won't stand for it. Remember the talk of a breakaway GPWC series that the manufacturers talked about a few years ago? Any more talk of spec engines and I imagine the GPWC talk would start heating up again.

      It's funny that we've always heard that F1 needs more teams to be competitive to stop 1 or 2 teams from dominating. So when one of the "minnows" starts getting more competitive and actually wins a race, suddenly everybody else wants to start talking about things not being fair.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wouldn't things be simpler if they'd just impose a horsepower and torque cap? Doing so would force the manufacturers to focus on fuel efficiency and weight, producing more advanced technologies and materials in the process. Plus, it'd make the competition more about drivers' skill than it is currently. Seems like a win-win for all involved, including us who'd eventually benefit from those technologies trickling down to the mass production cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Then it wouldn't be F1. We don't need another spec series.
        • 6 Years Ago
        F1 was already a spec series. With a displacement limit and a rev limit, the engine was pretty much spec. The tires are spec. The ECU is spec. The brakes are close to spec.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 6 Years Ago
      I got a great totally original solution for their problems. Buy all your motors from Ferrari!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not make the engine a black box design... Limit the input (fuel) allocation per race weekend / practice. Limit it either by volume (if it's only 1 type of fuel), or it's stored energy (is it measured in joules or calories?) if use of multiple fuels are allowed (diesel, petrol, alchohol, hydrogen)... Then limit the output, by that I don't mean power, but exhaust emission. Make them comply with current production car exhaust emissions (like Euro 4, 5?).

      I think that alone can cap the teams in terms of engine power output and it's equivalent weight penalty.

      That way, these manufacturers are spending their billions on something that CAN end up on our everyday cars.
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