FIA announce 2021 engine direction…bye MGU-H

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I was just ranting on and on about the silence from the FIA over the future regulations this morning here and asking the questions, where is Jean Todt in all of this talk about sporting and regulations changes? Why is ross Brawn leading the charge with a team of engineers? Isn’t this the FIA’s responsibility? It seemed like Ross came in an shoved his former boss out of the way.

Just when I get a good diatribe going, the FIA releases a full outline of what they are focused on for 2021. So this answers my question as to where Jean Todt is and what role the FIA has in the process but I also find it interesting that the press release from the FIA includes a quote from Ross. Clearly the FIA are fine working with Ross and his team.

FIA press release:

In the presence of FIA President Jean Todt, representatives from the FIA, FIA Formula One World Championship Commercial Rights Holder (F1) and current and potential Formula One manufacturer representatives met today, 31 October, in Paris to discuss regulations for the 2021 Power Unit.

In line with the objectives outlined by the FIA for the future of these regulations, 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, manufacturer representatives were presented with a roadmap for the development of the next generation of regulations.

The proposals shared today have been developed jointly by the FIA and by F1 using data and input from teams, power unit suppliers and outside experts, and the overall framework for the 2021 power unit definition will be in place and published by the FIA at the end of 2017.

In order to uphold the objective of cost reduction, work will continue over the next 12 months to define certain elements of the Power Unit, but the design and development of the complete Power Unit will not be possible until all the information is released at the end of 2018. This aims to ensure that manufacturers continue to work on the current specification Power Unit.

During the remaining part of 2017 and 2018, the FIA and F1 will also work with the teams to establish power unit test and development restrictions as well as other cost containment measures.

Manufacturer representatives were presented with the vision for the key new features of the 2021 Power Unit proposed by the FIA and F1. These are as follows:

  • 1.6 Litre, 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

A series of meetings will now commence with all the interested parties to discuss and develop the proposal in the spirit of the widest possible cooperation.

FIA Secretary-General for Sport, Peter Bayer, said: “Today was a key step in the development of the Power Unit regulations for 2021. The FIA has been working with the Commercial Rights Holder to define a positive step forward for these regulations which maintain Formula One’s place at the pinnacle of motor sport technology whilst addressing the key issues facing the sport such as cost, road relevance and fan experience at the racetrack. We felt it was important to bring the teams into the discussions today and explain the direction we are taking and I’m pleased with the response we have received.”

Formula 1, Managing Director, Motorsports Ross Brawn said: “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. 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 levelled 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.”


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Isn’t it interesting how they stress it will be a 2021 (!!) power unit? I wonder if people like C. Horner will manage to convince them to introduce it earlier.

Tom Firth

So as expected pretty much then?


Nope expected twin turbo.

charlie white

Not the dramatic change I had expected from the FIA and Liberty Media. So will these new engines become cheaper without the MGU-H? I’m not impressed nor that interested in the sport beyond 2020.

Tiago Santos

What where you expecting? A V12? And yes, engines will be cheaper. Specially for new manufacteurs. It’s the most complex part of the engine today. Hard to develop and expensive.

charlie white

The new specs are very underwhelming, probably to keep development costs down but it is hard to determine that when it’s 4 years away from reality. What I had expected was an elimination of the hybrid components not just MGU-H for a twin-turbo ICE.


They will never do that, they need to maintain road relevance to keep the manufacturers. The auto industry is shifting to hybrid and electric power. If the racing is better with cars closer that’s all that matters. I’m more concerned with the further limitation of fuel then the hybrid stuff. You can’t have more rpm without more fuel.

Tiago Santos

If you had just a combustion engine… in a few years F1 would be dead. It’s evolution and progress. The times of combustion engines are coming to an end.

charlie white

Remember those words as manufacturers migrate to Formula-E.

Salvu Borg

“Expecting the elimination of the hybrid components not just the MGU-H?”
The internal combustion engine future or what is left of it at least for the near future is its hybridization and efficiency.
The manufacturers will not play ball without their future interests being safeguarded. High revving laud ICE’S with high fuel consumption is not their future.

Salvu Borg


Salvu Borg

And it wasn’t a long waiting. so much for those that were fast in jumping to conclusions and making these FIA/FI presented 9 point regulation changes as a FATTO COMPIUTO. (I was presently in a discussion on this right with the well informed MARK HUGHS). Here is what just came out right of one of the four horses mouth. “it’s a vision rather than a regulation. and it’s their vision rather than the manufacturers”.

fk Bobby Turkalino

What’s the goddam boost?


They will not use the extra 3,000 RPM..they don’t use all the RPM allowed now, because of the damn fuel flow meter. These rules are bullshit.

Dr. Bob

Perhaps they will address a change to the fuel flow rate limitations in order to make use of the increase in the RPM limit since it seems to be integral with making for a better sounding PU?

As an aside: Many media, team and fan folk have expressed a very negative view of using grid spot penalties to enforce the rules limiting the number of PU (components) for the season. So, rather than impose grid spot penalties, why not reduce the allowed fuel flow rate for PUs that have components that exceed the limit?


I have said before that they should deduct points from both the driver and teams rather than grid slots. The loss of points would be a heck of a incentive for them to comply.


I don’t like the loss of points idea. That’s worse than grid penalties for the fans. With grid penalties, at least we know where a driver starts a race. But with loss of points, we’ll have a situation where a driver finishes second or wherever but with no reward for that place – like he really didn’t finish there.

Tom Firth

Indycars engine manufacturer championship could be used in F1 with point deductions for failures.

They’d have to be some incentive, beyond ‘pride’ for being the best manufacturer, for it to work, but at least then the Power Unit manufacturers themselves are penalised for their failures, rather than the teams and drivers.

Roger Flerity

With no MGUH, they will need to increase engine RPM to keep the turbo spooled for corner exits. Today, the auxiliary use of the MGUH to pre-spin the turbo at low RPMs will be lost. Adding power to the MGUK is good, which can also be used to exit corners, but will likely be problematic, as tracks with long straights followed by slow corners are going to be an issue, as drivers will likely drain the energy stores for top speed, leaving corner exits under low boost. The introduction of cartridge component approach is a good idea, as it may… Read more »

Salvu Borg

The manufacturers will not be willing to share their developed at great expense technology IP’S.

Negative Camber

I was thinking maybe dual turbo V6 with no MGU-H and just KERS and increased fuel flow with much higher revs.

Tom Firth

So part of the release today is to steer discussion with the manufacturers as to the future of the series, but the reason it is public and not behind closed doors is to gauge our reaction as fans, right?

Salvu Borg

“manufacturers representatives were presented with a roadmap for the development of the next generation of regulations”. which contrary to some believe or better say the way they are interpreting things , the manufacturers reactions to what is being put in front of them is still to be known.

Tom Firth

Yes I can read thanks. No one said anything other than that this is a preliminary stage.


The current regulations are a long way from how they were first presented; given this, I think it unlikely that these new proposals are in any way the finished article. It saddens me that we’re going backwards technologically, but given that only two of the manufacturers are capable of producing engines that produce competitive power levels and last to the 4-engine/season spec (more or less), and that without more competitive engines F1 will die on its a**, it seems that Mercedes and Ferrari will need to bow to the inevitable and dumb down their engines. On a separate note, I… Read more »

Tom Firth

I expect some change. I don’t expect the overhaul we saw from the initial proposal last time to what actually occurred, but I think we will see some change from what the current proposal is to accommodate or at least appease some teams, upcoming engine suppliers and current suppliers. The FIA it would appear have jumped the gun a little on announcing this as it seems more dialogue was expected by the manufacturers. A lot has clearly also taken place by various quotes over the past year and a bit, but they still want more. Lets also not forget as… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Yes, I to can read, everybody must have been “consulted” which gives the impression that all of the 9 points road map is agreed upon by all, when facts show otherwise.

Tom Firth

Consulted and reaching agreement are two very different things. It doesn’t give the impression at all that it’s been agreed upon by all.

It is clear that meetings involving all stakeholders have taken place. It is clear that the other stakeholders weren’t expecting the FIA to release details of that so quickly. It is clear that future discussions are needed to reach a consensus on the final regulation set. It is clear that at present, this is up for discussion.

Salvu Borg

“Have to agree to disagree again Salvu.

Tom Firth

Are bigger and more interesting debates to have in the future, than over the wording of a press release.

Thanks for your time.



Troy F Collins

They will need 2 exhaust outlets(turbos) to achieve proper engine noise…..2 turbos will allow suitable small size AR ratio and compensate for lack of MGU-H in terms of getting proper lower RPM response……I really doubt they will realistically achieve 3000rpm increase we will be lucky to see 13000rpm which is a 1000rpm increase Your boost pressure dictates your rev range and it pushes peak RPM which is pretty much reached together and extending this is not realistic…. 2 turbos will sound proper…extra Kers will compensate for the fuel limitation they will need to exhibit to meet a delta…..and decrease lag… Read more »



Junipero Mariano

Getting rid of the MGU-H is a good idea. I don’t know the statistics off the top of my head, but I think the MGU-H has been the major reliability issue of the current generation of PU, especially for Honda. I didn’t think of it until this year, but in an ICE free world, a highly developed MGU-H is almost useless. Where are you going to use that in an battery or fuel cell powered car? I would’ve locked down the ICE instead of the control electronics and the energy store. Of course there wouldn’t be nifty tricks like the… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

You can also induce co-development by specifying certain technologies or deployment limits if you only supply one series, but if you develop for two or three series, your spec is opened more.


It strikes me as ironic that the element of the p.u’s that is least ‘road relevant’ is the bit that is being dropped.


Especially as Todd is delighted to see it go……. in favour of a more road relevant hybrid


If the engines are going to rev higher (up to 18,000rpm) the cars will need a bigger fuel tank.
To give more power to the MGU-K the ES will need to be bigger (heavier).
This seems to be getting further away from the lightweight ideal for a racing car.

Salvu Borg

Some of the interpretations or understanding of what the FIA/F1 are pushing forward. Example, go to “christian menath@ msm Christian twitter” read =formel neue motor-regeln ab 2021 drehzahl stl.
10 kg lighter, 120 kg/h among others.


I understood that the current proposals’ were deliberately vague to discourage manufacturers from spending money now and trying to get a head start on the new power unit development.

Salvu Borg

I don’t see it that way (deliberately vague to discourage manufacturers from spending money) at all. I see it as power struggle. between the new commercial rights holders/valve cover plastic sticker brigade and the manufacturers. and unless the manufacturers wants to compete in an F1 rendered down to club level racing formula 1 as we know it will be no more.

Paul KieferJr

Well, that’s half the battle. Now we need to dump the K and other gadgets and turn this thing into a simple fuel engine.


It strikes me as ironic that the element of the p.u’s that is least ‘road relevant’ is the bit that is being dropped.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x