The FIA and Formula 1 have outlined their plans to simplify the current V6 turbo hybrid power units from the 2021 season onward.
The future direction of Formula 1’s engine regulations has been a central topic for a number of years, and the FIA and Formula 1 have worked together to develop proposals with a focus on a number of key topics “which include a reduction in cost, maintaining road relevance with hybrid technology and improving the sound of the cars and the appeal for the fans.”
The new proposals suggest retaining a 1.6-liter V6 turbo power unit, which will rev 3000rpm higher to improve the sound. The simplified unit would feature a more powerful MGU-K but remove the MGU-H, add more restrictions to the turbocharger regulations and a standard energy store and control electronics.
The key proposals suggested include:
- 1.6-liter, V6 Turbo Hybrid
- 3000rpm higher engine running speed range to improve the sound
- Prescriptive internal design parameters to restrict development costs and discourage extreme designs and running conditions
- Removal of the MGUH
- More powerful MGUK with focus on manual driver deployment in race together with option to save up energy over several laps to give a driver controlled tactical element to racing
- Single turbo with dimensional constraints and weight limits
- Standard energy store and control electronics
- High Level of external prescriptive design to give “Plug-And-Play” engine/chassis/transmission swap capability
- Intention to investigate tighter fuel regulations and limits on number of fuels used
Following the meeting in Paris, Formula 1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn says the proposals are the product of close collaboration between a number of parties aimed at improving the spectacle as well as remaining technologically impressive.
“The 2021 power unit is an example of the future way the FIA as regulators, F1 as commercial right holders, the teams and the manufacturers as stakeholders will work together for the common good of the sport,” Brawn said. “The proposal presented today was the outcome of a series of meeting which took place during 2017 with the current teams participating in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the manufacturers who showed their interest to be part of the pinnacle of motor sport.
“Also, we’ve carefully listened to what the fans think about the current PU and what they would like to see in the near future with the objective to define a set of regulations which will provide a powertrain that is simpler, cheaper and noisier and will create the conditions to facilitate new manufacturers to enter Formula 1 as powertrain suppliers and to reach a more leveled field in the sport.
“The new F1 has the target to be the world’s leading global sports competition married to state of the art technology. To excite, engage, and awe fans of all ages but to do so in a sustainable manner. We believe that the future power unit will achieve this.”
The overall framework for the 2021 power unit regulations is scheduled to be in place at the end of 2017, however the task of defining certain elements of the rules will continue to develop over the next 12 months. Design and development of a complete power unit will not be possible before the complete set of regulations becomes available at the end of 2018.
The FIA and F1 also intends to continue working with teams through the remainder of 2017 and 2018 to establish power unit test and development restrictions, as well as other cost-containment measures.