Go back into the history of grand prix racing, and the only green you'd expect to see was the color of a British racing car and the vast quantity of cash injected into the sport. But today, Formula One is different scene, thanks in no small part to a push by the FIA for a more environmentally friendly form of motorsport. Just take a look at the on-again, off-again implementation of regenerative braking and the limitation on everything from fuel to tires.

That push is set to take a big step forward (or backward, depending on who you're talking to) when the current high-revving V8 engines are replaced by 1.6-liter turbo sixes in 2014. But that's not the end of the changes. The FIA has just published further modifications to the regulations, which will now include the necessity for F1 cars to run entirely on electric power for the entire time they're in the pit lane.

According to Rule 5.19 of the revised technical regulations (which you can find in PDF form here), "The car must be run in electric mode (no ignition and no fuel supply to the engine) at all times when being driven in the pit lane." The new rules, which come into effect together with the new engines in 2014, also mandate the inclusion of on-board ignition (as opposed to the external starter motors used currently).

In order to accommodate electric-only propulsion in and out of pit lane, the new Energy Recovery Systems have been increased in capacity to 120 kW, and theywill also be allowed to recapture energy from exhaust fumes as well. Unfortunately, that also means waving goodbye to the high-pitched whine of the engine holding at the pit-lane rev limiter every time it goes in for fresh rubber, but as they'd say at FIA headquarters in France, c'est la vie.


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  • 72 Comments
      Alan
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only question i have is WHY? Do they believe its safer? More "green"? What would cause this unnecessary rule change???
      beejreit
      • 3 Years Ago
      nice! more buttons!!!!
      Adam M
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Indy wants to grow it’s fan base, just put out a press release every time F1 does stating the exact opposite of the F1 press release.. “Today the Indy Car Racing Series mandated that all cars must go into the pits full throttle and stay on full throttle the entire time they are in pit lane… “ and so on…
      erjhe
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recall in the past they were talking about going to V8s to reduce development costs for teams. Now they're changing the entire drivetrain principle of operation and configuration all in the name of what? Green washing? Being the pinnacle of racing technology? I've got one question for you FIA, when are we going to get back to making cars simply go faster?
        glovesoff
        • 3 Years Ago
        @erjhe
        To answer your question: never. The prerogative of the FIA for a very long time now has been to make the cars go slower. Thankfully, engineers like Adrian Newey have the brilliance to find holes in the regulations that allow them to stay fast and legal. Well, legal until the middle of the season when Ferrari inevitably finds something to complain about, because they didn't think of it first.
      vtecgreen
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I'm opposed to the thought of them doing this to be "green" (how much fuel can this really save) , it does raise an interesting thought. Right now with no refueling in pit stops, the race is basically a glorified parade, since the pit crews have these down to a science and can easily crack off 3.5 second stops. But to cut the engine, then hope it restarts at pit out - multiple times per race - that might cause some drama! Although burnouts of the pitbox w/o the engine noise is going to suck. And how will this affect wrecks/spinouts where the engine dies - presumably drivers will be able to restart the car - that's cool.
        MachDelta
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        Sorry to break your heart, but starter-failures won't happen because they still won't have internal starters. They don't need them as the electric motor (which is all a starter is, really) can essentially push-start the car on it's own. All they need to do on exit is recouple the engine to the already turning drivetrain, fire it, and off they go. It's practically foolproof and requires no extra weight, just a beefier KERS.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MachDelta
          Until it doesn't fire. And this isn't just beefier KERS because the engines don't stop when KERS is active right now.
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      i hope they not gonna go totally electric. The sound of those cars is amazing.
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      yes, let's shut down a highly-strung, turbocharged F1 engine and try to restart it at 50mph at the end of pit lane... no need to worry about cooling issues ... the turbos will need to be rebuilt every race, or will the engine-limit prevent that? The mechanical engineer in charge of heat-exchangers will be making as much as the aerodynamacist (who already complain about how much airflow they need to give the thermal systems)
      ncw
      • 3 Years Ago
      because it's not nearly complicated enough as is...
      _M7_
      • 3 Years Ago
      ..............................THIS IS THE END ...my only friend the end (8)
      schatman
      • 3 Years Ago
      PitPass is known for getting it's stories wrong. Ironically, they don't actually attend the races, as they do not have a media "pit pass". Joe Saward, a long time F1 correspondent seems to dislike them immensely, according to his blog, joesaward.wordpress.com. I'd say don't worry about it. Especially since the other F1 sites, including the FIA run site doesn't say anything about this.
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @schatman
        yeah I find it hard to believe this just comes out of nowhere...we all knew they were gonna bump up the KERS max power but there's no way this system could even be integrated without a complete rework of the car. I know it says not for a couple years but I honestly don't see this happening. And I really don't want it to. Give me the turbo Sixes and thats it. And more aero. I hate these ugly tiny rear wings.
      NixiN
      • 3 Years Ago
      **** **** FUUUUCK................................................................. BLASPHEMY!
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      What would be cool is an all electric F1 class! If anything could spark research and have the financial back to further perfect electric propulsion it would be F1. The torque and futuristic whine of a powerful electric motor would be awesome. Pit changes could include swapable lithium packs(or element 115) if the government would get off the secrecy crap.
        Pak
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        Right, because we all want to watch an even longer pit stop so they may "swap the lithium pack". F1 is about being the cream of the crop of automotive racing. I'm all for electric vehicle development and even racing, but start a new class of racing for that, not F1. The F1 formula is fooled around with enough as it is. The last thing we need is for them to switch to all electric all the time.
        tinted up
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        @rmkensington He can't find the electric toothbrush... Methinks he sat on it...
        A_Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        @soundbar: I think it's a cool idea. I guess some didn't see that you said an electric CLASS and instead interpreted it as "F1 sound be all electric".
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        F1 should be 100% petrol powered, maybe some research into biofuels to keep the greenies happy. A small subclass in the Formula series slotting in between Formula 2 and 3 with electric propulsion would be interesting. With about 400hp and a top speed of about 160, it wont hold a candle to the 700hp 220mph F1 cars, but it would be good for publicity. You might say electric motors could easily make 700hp, but it would drain a lightweight battery pack in 1/2 a lap. A 'small' battery pak would lumber at least 100kg, so you dont want to resort to 500kg batteries to last the lenght of a GP race. By the way, there is nothing 'futuristic' about the whine of an electric motor. It just sounds like a dentist toothbrush or nails on a chalkboard. Making a single moving part spin to 18000rpm is easy. Doing that with 8 pistons, 32 valves, and various chains and gears while handling powerful explosions is what makes an F1 car engine as exciting as it is.
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