Ferrari: 2013 engines should be GDI turbo’s

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Yet another good story from the folks at AUTOSPORT via their sister publication, and equally terrific, Autocar. It seems Ferrari have some opinion about the 2013 F1 regulations regarding the engine changes etc. I thought we could discuss them here as well.

It seems that Ferrari’s CEO Amedeo Felisa thinks that the 2013 regulation changes should include fuel efficient technologies as well. Including smaller turbo engines with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) systems. In short, GDI supplies fuel directly to the inside of the cylinder and a variety of air-fuel mixtures can be created according to changes in the fuel injection timing.

“If F1 has to develop something helpful for real driving conditions, then the best solution is for an engine that is turbocharged and GDI,” said Felisa. “That is what we would support.

“It is the best solution for driving efficiency and utilisation of the engine in a positive way.”

I do note the language here. Interesting he says “If F1 has to develop something helpful for real driving conditions”. That doesn’t sound like a man convinced that F1 needs the green washing nor does he feel that F1 exists to be relevant to the real driving experience. I agree with him if that is indeed his feelings on the matter.

As the AUTOSPORT article points out, Mercedes boss Norbert Haug was cautious of getting carried away with the “green” issue in F1 as well.

“We can discuss green initiatives, but Formula 1 needs to be technically driven. If you fly from Europe to Japan on a 747, you would use more fuel than an entire F1 season. We need to see the whole picture.

“We need to be mindful that we are building the cleanest cars we can. The engine will be downsized in 2013 because the fuel consumption has to go down, and we need to cut carbon emissions. But we must not think that a 700bhp engine is going to be the greenest car ever, because that’s not great.”

Now we’ve argued this point for time immemorial and found that most people desire an effort to make F1 more efficient. Many believe it is incumbent upon F1 to lead the way for road car relevancy and that technology should flow from the sport to the road. I appreciate the sentiment that many share on this but like Haug, I am more reticent to cast F1 as a monolithic planet killing series. The F1 engine is the most efficient car engine in the world given the output vs. consumption.

What about a turbo engine producing 650 bhp with GDI? lower horsepower and perhaps a shake up in the transmission department as well as a reduce fuel consumption and hopefully a reduced aero will bring F1 pundits from both camps closer together but I sense the powers in F1 on the manufacturing side are reticent to see F1 as the savior of the planet and road car technology while the FIA seems intent of greenwashing F1 for easily swayed eco-nauts bent on making something, anything a scapegoat for environmentally insensitive actions against humanity. Might I suggest the volcano in Iceland as a focal point of your derision?

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