F1 to allow more fuel in 2019; no MGU-H in 2021

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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

The Formula 1 Strategy Group and the Formula 1 Commission met on, 17th April, at the FIA headquarters in Paris with Jean Todt and Chase Carey. The concerns were centered around the fuel allowance on the cars for 2019 given the increase in chassis weight as well as increase in downforce.

The fIa said the meeting consisted of positive and constructive discussions regarding the future of Formula 1 in 2019 as well as a new engine formula for 2021. So what do we think about these changes? Here is the FIA’s press release:

Firstly, regarding technical regulations for the 2019 season, the following changes were agreed, subject to World Motor Sport Council approval:

• Increase the fuel allowance for the race from 105 to 110 kg, in order to be able to use the engine at full power at all times

• Separate the weight of the car from that of the driver

• Require all drivers to wear biometric gloves to increase safety and facilitate medical rescue.

Discussions will continue on proposals relating to aerodynamics, with a view to taking a decision by the end of April, once research being conducted by the FIA, in consultation with the teams, has been concluded.

Secondly, the FIA presented its proposals for the 2021 power unit regulations:

• 1.6 litre engine

• V6 Turbo Hybrid

• Deletion of MGU-H exhaust energy recovery.

The FIA Technical Department will now meet with current and potential power unit manufacturers to discuss in more detail, with a view to concluding the 2021 regulations by the end of May.

Hat Tip: FIA

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41 Comments on "F1 to allow more fuel in 2019; no MGU-H in 2021"

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sunny stivala
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sunny stivala
Re the announced increase in fuel “load” of 5kg, as I said in the other page am still trying to figure out what’s behind the increase, can’t yet make any sense of it, as the increased weight of the cars is already there, and there is only two races in the season were 105kgs of fuel might be used. But the confusing thing is, they didn’t said that all cars must start the race with a fuel load of 110kg. Teams have learned that going to the grid with the least weight possible and save fuel at some point in… Read more »
Member

Hopefully it will become clearer how the changes in p.u regulations will work. As you say, it isn’t going to be as simple as just deleting the mgu-h. it will require a complete redesign and redevelopment of the p.u – and that’s going to cost a bucket load of money, and ‘new F1’ is supposed to be spending less money.

Singletrack74
Member
Singletrack74
The MGU-H concept is fundamentally flawed; as the entire purpose of this set of engine regs are to imply road relevance. MGU-H simply isn’t proving road relevant, and is one component which manufacturers really, really struggle to make reliably, and therefore is disproportionately expensive and complex. As for “fuel saving being the fastest way to go racing”; well – if you have no choice in the matter due to tight limits then you don’t have any ability to push harder for longer, sonits not directly comparable. And for me, how is fuel saving part of being the fastest racing series… Read more »
Member
Hi ST74, I don’t agree that the Mgu-H is a flawed concept, most of the energy waste from the power unit is heat, so if input energy is the limiting factor, recovering and reusing that energy is conceptually exactly the right thing to do. Currently, the mgu-h makes more sense for racing than road use, but that’s because of the way road hybrids are normally configured. In road vehicles if a used a generator consisting of an I.C.E, turbo and mgu-H, it would make a fantastically efficient power unit. It has been difficult and expensive to develop the Mgu-H, but… Read more »
sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala
Since the advent of refueling in motor racing the primary aim was to go racing with the least fuel load possible. As to why, the answer is simply that fuel equates to weight, and weight costs lap time. A racing team always goes to the grid (and not just now) with the absolute bare minimum fuel in the tank to get to the end of a race. One more thing about fuel. Fuel consumption wise the racing engine was never relevant to road cars. As to the present hybrid power unit. There was never an engine and its systems used… Read more »
Member

It does seem ironic that the most ‘racing relevant’ (least road relevant) part of the hybrid p.u’s is being ditched.
It does seem that it is very expensive and difficult to develop, but its the differentiator between the power units, and the efficiency it provides makes it possible for the cars to be the fastest cars in F1 history on only 100kg of fuel.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

Its good to see the increased allowed fuel load. I wish it were a bit more. But I can see it opening up strategies a bit more. Go faster but carry more weight may be a winning strategy, or it could be go slow and carry less weight. It will be another lever for the teams to pull in their strategy decisions.

Member

Is the instantaneous fuel flow rate also being raised?
If not, I’m not sure what the value of increasing the total fuel mass is.
If teams can currently complete (and win races) with less than 100kg of fuel, access to more fuel won’t make them faster, unless the peak flow rate can go up.

sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala

No the “instantaneous fuel flow rate is not being raised, it stays the same at a maximum of 100kg/h @ 10500RPM. Also regardless the new maximum fuel load of 110kg teams can start a race at whatever fuel load they wish. up to last year there were only 2 races were 105kg of fuel was used. at one particular race a team finished the race by starting on a ninety kg fuel weight.

Member

Thanks Sunny,
I think the problem is with L.M.
If they made such a poor job of summarising a simple concept like ‘driver and seat weight will be a minimum 80kg, to limit the disadvantage to heavier drivers from use of distributed ballast’, what have they failed to include in the fuel limit statement that would clarify the point of the change?

sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala

Their clarify as to why they are increasing the fuel load still doesn’t make much sense to me.
There was only 2 races last season were 105kg could be used. at one race fuel load went as down as ninety kg. every team will go to the starting grid with as little fuel load as possible simply because that is the fastest way to go racing, that is something that has never changed in car racing.

Member

Exactly, there must be some information we are missing.

sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala

One cannot miss information that is not pushed-out.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

The max fuel flow rate, and formula hasn’t changed. What this can do though is increase the amount of time the competitors stay at the max fuel flow rate. At least that is the part where strategies can be developed around and the reason I would have liked to see a bigger increase. Maybe one team opts to not lift and coast as much as another and can take the fight to them. Just one possible scenario.

Member

Hi SubC, if the extra fuel allowance were going to be useful, wouldn’t all the cars be running the full 100kg for every race currently?

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71
Hi Jako, I believe that there is a crossover point where one strategy will be more advantageous than the other. I’m sure that point will be slightly different for each team and maybe we haven’t had the fuel capacity to go for an all out full power strategy. That’s one of the reasons I would like to see more fuel if it would help open up the strategies. Listening (only partially so far) to the podcast this week, NC mentioned that this increase would now allow full power for the full race. I believe NC was reading from a press… Read more »
Member
Cheers SubC, you are right that there will be cross over points where one line of strategy becomes the optimal one. But if nothing else is changing, and fuel is only the major constraint on two circuits per season (I’m taking Sunny’s word on that), then I’m not sure how this will alter the optimum strategy, except on those two fuel constrained circuits. That said, there may be a bunch of sub-text that goes with this change that we haven’t seen and would make it perfectly clear how access to 5kg more fuel would have a substantial impact on strategy… Read more »
subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

I will follow up with a question to you. If a rule change only helps the racing at a limited number of tracks then should it just be binned? If so, what is the min number tracks necessary for a rule change to be considered then? It’s probably easier to make a rule apply to all circuits than to only a handful. Additionally, the way I see the rule it’s not a mandatory increase, teams can still do business as usual. It’s up to them.

Member

Definitely three SubC, I think thats an established rule, unless its less than 19 races in a season, in which case two.
Nah, only kidding (its always three).
I expect there are good reasons why the extra fuel has been allowed, and that it will affect more than two circuits.
But based on the information I’ve got at the moment, I don’t know what those other reasons are. I’m looking to find out.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

I would agree. I’m just speculating. F1 seems like a soap opera sometimes. They give you enough information to allow multiple theories to fester, release a little more after a time. Then just when you think everything is close to being figured out, somebody throws another one out. Rinse, repeat.

MIE
Editor

If there is only a potential advantage at a small number of circuits, why would any team build a car with a larger fuel tank which would compromise the aerodynamic performance at every circuit?
Unless the regulations mandate the the fuel tank has the capacity to hold the additional fuel, I can see most teams chosing to stick with the current size tanks. To win the title gou must be fast everywhere, not speacilise in one or two circuits.

Member

That’s a good point Dave. I’d only just got to that idea. More fuel will need more space, and that plus the centralised driver and seat mass will mean everything else on the chassis and aero then gets reoptimised to suit.
And since the smaller teams are already being financially stretched by requiring a new chassis and aero with the shift to the big tyres and wing rules, and another new chassis with addition of the halo, a third new chassis and aero design for a third season could be a big penalty for those teams.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

You don’t always need a larger fuel tank, the restriction is weight. Now, I don’t think you can get 5 more kg into the same volume, but Who knows what these guys are capable of. Here is a great dated but still relevant article on the fuel sizing / density requirements from the Ferrari/Shell perspective.
https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/news/a17124/gasoline-weight-vs-performance-in-todays-f1-world/

Member

An interesting read thanks SubC. I don’t think it indicates there is much prospect for denser fuel, but it certainly indicates how complex sizing a fuel tank is in the whacky world of F1.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

Total once claimed their ‘light’ fuel took up 1.4L per kg, and their ‘heavy’ fuel 1.3L. Over 100kg that would be a 10L difference.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

I believe I know who downvoted me, but why when I only repeated what Total claimed?… At least my maths are correct.

Member

Hi SubC, no downvote from me.
My thoughts are that fuel mass has been limited for quite a while now, so the volume and tank size will have been an issue all that time. I’d imagine that all the tricks that can be done to maximise the density of the fuel, and minimise the volume of the fuel tank will already have been explored.
However my understanding of chemistry is limited, and the genius of the people involved in F1 is unlimited, so I don’t rule it out.

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

No worries, didn’t think it was you. I always have good conversation with you though.

Member

I’ve followed a bunch of links for ‘F1 2019 fuel allowance’ with no enlightenment. All the articles just quote the press release, and don’t offer any assessment or critique of it.
So apparently ‘lift and coast’ has been going on over the ‘last few seasons’, and we (the fans) don’t like it, this extra fuel will cure that.
I don’t know about you, but apart from 2014, I haven’t found ‘lift and coast’ has intruded on racing, maybe I just don’t pay enough attention.

sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala
Lift and coast (fuel save) have been going on for as far as I can remember. and that is a very long time. The present fuel weight rule:- depending on temperature petrol density varies:- 0.71 to 0.77kg/l, so 100kg:- 125 to 140liters. I recall somewhere between 2000 and 2004 Shell produced a type of fuel which gave one lap more for the same amount of weight in a tank. To add a bit more trivia:- back at the prevvious torbo era, the fuel limit was volume rather than weight based. teams would use toluene as fuel, with some special trick… Read more »
Member

What was Alboreto doing?

subcritical71
Member
subcritical71

jakobusvdl LOL, that looks like the ‘lift and smoke’ method!!

rbunce
Member
rbunce
More fuel good in general, trade off of weight versus power, there is a crossover point where more fuel is worse. Not sure it will achieve the goal of engines running full entire race. I suspect reliability of “party” mode is such that is limit as much or more than fuel. MGU-H seems a step away from good racing, just another thing to break during the race or take a grid penalty for before the race. Aero will be the big 2021 change… see IndyCar. Should see this weekend at first road course of the season how IndyCar aero change… Read more »
rbunce
Member
rbunce
Interesting watching the IndyCar practices at first true road course of the season. Significant elevation changes have interesting effects on ground effects downforce as cars unweight at the top of the hills and compress at the bottom of hills. Also diving under breaking causing the back end to lift with a loss of downforce. By qualifying the car setup and drivers seem to have gained a better handle on these issues. Unfortunately expected rain for race today will not give a true picture of the IndyCar aero change and it’s effect on racing. Pro Mazda and Indy light also having… Read more »
rbunce
Member
rbunce

IndyCar teams seemed to have figured out ground effects on hilly road course by Monday race. Lots of close following and passing. Even in the lighter rain at end of race. No mention of any car being aero blocked.

MIE
Editor
Refueling was allowed when the World Champiionship started, and the forced induction cars of the time neede to stop several times to top up. When Ferrari noticed that the French Talbot-Lago cars were more fuel efficient, and copied their 4.5 litre normally asperated approach he effectively killed F1. The 1952 championship was run to Voiturette (F2) regulations, as no one other than Ferrari built a car to the F1 rules, as the 4.5 litre Ferrari had been so dominant once it had appeared in Belgium 1951 (winning three of the Grands Prix, and second in the remaing three). After falling… Read more »
Member

Thanks Dave for that background and perspective.
Particularly the last paragraph, I’m not sure why so many fans think that the F1 races used to be a flat out sprint, unlimited by fuel, tyres or reliability.

Member

Does anyone know what they mean by saying “Separate the weight of the car from that of the driver”?
I thought there was already an allowance for driver, seat etc, included the weight of the car? I think it is 80kg.
Apart from disguising the ongoing increase in the minimum weight of the cars, how does separating out driver and car weight change anything?

Member

comment image
Found the answer to my own question, Its basically about teams not being able to exploit an advantage of a lighter driver by placing ballast wherever they like.
That makes sense.

sunny stivala
Guest
sunny stivala
“Separate the weight of car from that of driver” This year minimum car weight is 734kg including driver but not fuel. Whatever the car weigh and whatever the driver weight is added the minimum will have to be as above. For next year the car alone “minimum weight” but not fuel will have to weigh in at six hundred and sixty kg. Whatever the driver weight up to the established 80kg “driver and seat weight”, the seat will have specially marked ballast to get the combined driver/seat weight to 80kg, will be added to the weight of the car. The… Read more »