Will 4 engines be enough in 2017?

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There’s nothing new about the notion of sandbagging during the first tests of 2017 because Formula 1 is a high-stakes endeavor and teams have always been keen to reserve their true pace for the first races of the season.

Pirelli reckons that won’t change when F1 goes testing in February.

“We really won’t know in Barcelona testing where the teams are as that’s a period where they won’t want to show their hand,” said Hembery at Autosport International.

“There will be a lot of people trying to hide their true performance level or maybe wondering what they need to do because they can’t even get close to some of the teams who are maybe sandbagging.”

“It’ll be more when we get to China and Bahrain before we see the true performance of the cars,” Hembery said.

That’s perfectly normal except I would suggest that Australia may tip the hat a little more than he’s suggesting regardless of attrition and strange results. What I found more revealing in the Autosport article is the very core of the Pirelli tire DNA over the past few season—namely the high degradation element.

As we headed in 2017 with a entirely new set of regulations, I was not sure what F1’s desire was for the tires going forward. I was interested to see if the initial impetus would be a standard racing tire of more artificially induced degradation at a higher rate than what would be normal.

If I’m parsing Pirelli boss Paul Hembery’s words properly, it seems that F1 was still looking for HD tires but according to him, if the teams miss the mark on what the performance levels of their new cars will be, the Pirelli compounds will most likely be more conservative and less degrading than previous season prompting fewer pit stops.

“The problem we have got is that we have been testing with cars that are five seconds slower than what we’re actually going to see in Barcelona,” he said.

“From a compounding aspect, it is a bit of a challenge for us because it’s a very small window we’re working with.

“If the numbers aren’t what we have been told they are going to be, then we might have been a bit too conservative.”

It prompts me to suggest that this season could be interesting indeed if not a serious challenge if it starts going pear-shaped quickly. I’m not expecting that but here’s my thought.

If the cars are heavier, tires wider and larger with more grip and less deg, aero is up 15-20%, fuel capacity increased—are four engines for the whole season enough given the new loads and full-throttle nature these regulations will demand? We could see some attrition on the engine allotment restrictions alone.

I’m on record of not liking DRS or HD tires and combined, I think they detract from F1. I would be much happier if they picked one of those constructs instead of both. If the tires are more conservative, you’ll get no argument from me. I’d rather see DRS go than HD tires but in my own private make-believe world, I’d like to see both go.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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48 Comments on "Will 4 engines be enough in 2017?"

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Salvu Borg
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Salvu Borg

“Fuel flow rate increased” Where did you got this one from? fuel flow rate will not increase this year, it will still be mandated at a maximum of 100kg/h at 10500rpm.

Negative Camber
Guest
BrisbaneAndy
Guest
BrisbaneAndy

The fuel capacity limit has been increased to 105 kg, but the fuel flow rate limit remains at 100 kg/hr as far as I am aware.

Negative Camber
Guest

Ah…yes, I used wrong phrase. Capacity, not flow. Thanks for catching that. makes a huge difference. I know there were a lot of discussions back in May about increasing the flow and as one who like to see that, well, it was a subliminal mistake. :)

Gaetano Colosi
Guest
Gaetano Colosi

Why limit flow rate anyway. If teams want to use their fuel faster at the start of a GP and then cruise home in the 2nd half with their remaining fuel, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do that? You could even get the opposite strategy of trying to go flat out while others are cruising. Stuff like this could keep viewers guessing about final results making the races more interesting … but banned by the regulations … why?

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

The present mandated maximum fuel flow rate is actually higher than that which was used by the (unrestricted fuel flow rate) NA 2.4L V8.

MIE
Editor

Are you sure about that?

The last generation of engines used around 150kg of fuel for a Grand Prix. The flat out races (Monza) takes less than an hour and a half to complete, and the engines aren’t at full throttle for the entire lap.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

MIE, YES I AM SURE.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg
That they have managed to match or better the power output of both the 3L NA V10 and the 2.4L NA V8 using 100kg/h fuel flow rate with the 1.6L turbocharged running at 3.5 boost pressure is nothing short of a technical marvel. here are some interesting numbers to digests. 3.0L NA V10: MAX RPM 19200, MAX POWER 920 BHP AT 16700 RPM MAX POWER SPEED, 316.6 BHP/L. 2.4L NA V8: MAX RPM 18000, MAX POWER 750 BHP AT 15500 RPM MAX POWER SPEED, 312.5 BHP/L. 1.6L TURBOCHARGED: MAX RPM 15000, MAX (COMBINED ELECTRIC AND ICE CRANKSHAFT) POWER 980 BHP,… Read more »
MIE
Editor

An interview with Andy Cowell from Mercedes refers to the earlier V10s having a fuel flow of 194kg/hour.

F1 V6 turbos are more powerful than V8s or V10s says, Mercedes’ engine boss

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

No, it is the 100kg fuel weight the 1.6L TURBOCHAGRED is using flag-to-flag that is 30% less than what the NA 2.4L were using and not the maximum flow rate.

MIE
Editor

The 2013 Italian Grand Prix was won by Vettel in a time of one hour eighteen minutes and thirty three seconds. That is almost exactly 1.3 hours. If he used 30% more fuel than the current 100kg limit, that means he used 130kg in 1.3 hours, that is an average fuel flow of 100kg/hour. The peak fuel flow rate must therefore have been greater.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

No the maximum fuel flow rate per hour of the of the 2013 NA 2.4L V8 was slightly lower than the present mandated maximum fuel flow rate per hour of the TURBOCHARGED 1.6L V6.
The strongest combustion can be had at a fuel/air ratio of 14.7 parts of air to 1 part of fuel.
The TURBOCHARGED 1.6L V6 boosted at 3.5 bar consumes much more air at 10500 RPM to produce 850 BHP than what the NA 2.4L V8 did to produce 750 BHP at 17500 RPM.

MIE
Editor

If the fuel flow is lower for the V8s, how did they consume 30% more fuel in races of the same length on the same circuits?

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

Because they had no restrictions on fuel flow rate and neither on the fuel load.
And I thought that I gave you a good hint (air/fuel ratio) as to why the turbocharged 1.6l ICE running at 3.5 bar boost uses a higher fuel flow rate.

MIE
Editor

But if the rate at which they consume fuel is lower for the V8s, then their overall fuel use for the race will have been lower.
However, we agree that the overall fuel consumption of the V8s was 30% higher. Therefore the rate at which they consumed fuel must have been higher.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg
Once again NO, “however we agree” MIE, WE DO NOT AGREE AT ALL. your reasoning is totally wrong. The V8 consumed hourly fuel rate slightly less than the present V6, but they could use that rate for the duration of the race. The present V6 consumes more air at their max power speed of 10500RPM than what the V8 use to consume at their max power speed of 17500 RPM. consuming more air means consuming more fuel. As I already said the V6 cannot produce more power above its max power speed of 10500RPM. MIE, Now my I ask you… Read more »
MIE
Editor
You stated 2 days ago “it is the 100kg fuel weight the 1.6L TURBOCHAGRED is using flag-to-flag that is 30% less than what the NA 2.4L were using” That is what I meant by we agree that the older V8s used 30% more fuel than the current V6s. If this is the case, and the figures from the companies that built the engines suggest it to be the case, then the only way the older engines can consume more fuel during the race is if they use more fuel per hour. The time that the cars are on maximum throttle… Read more »
Salvu Borg
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Salvu Borg

Once again your reasoning is totally off the mark and confusing. The V8’S could use their unrestricted maximum fuel hourly rate for the duration of the race, in fact they were on average using 30% more fuel in a race duration. The V6’S could only use their mandated maximum fuel flow rate for 60 minutes of the race duration because apart from the mandated maximum hourly rate they were also mandated with a 100kg fuel weight for the duration of the race.

MIE
Editor

The engines are not running at maximum power (17500rpm for V8s or greater than 10500rpm for V6s), for the whole race. The Cars have to slow down to negotiate corners, and then accelerate again. The average rate of fuel use over the race is then lower than the maximum rate of fuel use.

If a race lasting 1.3 hours (Monza) uses 30% more fuel with the V8s, the average fuel flow rate is 100kg/hour. The maximum must therefore be higher than this.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

Again, NO, your reasoning is wrong. the NA 2.4L V8 were using less volume of air at their max power speed than what the present turbocharged 1.6L V6 uses at their max power speed which means more fuel flow rate. using any extra volume of air without the equivalent proportion of fuel does not produce any power at all.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

OK here it goes sick of the argument her is a direct quote from James Allen who does know his stuff…

“If you look at the fuel flow rate of the V10 era, it was over 190kgs an hour, 194kgs an hour, and today we’re at 100kgs an hour. [It’s] the same power, [with] about half the fuel flow rate, which is a phenomenal change in terms of efficiency of the power unit, as we now call it.” so MIE you are RIGHT
Salvu suck it up becuase you are WRONG……..

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ
let me repost that with out the typos…. OK here it goes sick of the arguments here is a direct quote from James Allen who does know his stuff… “If you look at the fuel flow rate of the V10 era, it was over 190kgs an hour, 194kgs an hour, and today we’re at 100kgs an hour. [It’s] the same power, [with] about half the fuel flow rate, which is a phenomenal change in terms of efficiency of the power unit, as we now call it.” so MIE you are RIGHT Salvu suck it up because you are WRONG…….. The… Read more »
Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

I own you my leg. you are tripping in your own feet because you have you nickers all twisted-up.
So now you saying that the NA 2.4L V8 with no fuel flow or fuel weight restrictions had a fuel flow rate of 170kg/h which is more than they use to carry/use for a race distance.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

Sorry Salav can’t quite understand what your point is. The fuel flow rate will vary with throttle application so therefore you can have a higher point of time or instantaneous flow rate compared with total use of the whole race. Anyway as I got this directly from a Renault document I suggest the figure would be right. Or are you suggesting Renualt engineers don’t understand how to build and manage engines……. Oh wait your the guy that was bulding the 2015 Renault power unit. Now I know why Red Bull was so pissed off….

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg
Of course fuel flow rate will very with throttle application even my wife and her cat will tell you that. To prop-up your reasoning you are now quoting what this one and that one said, But what you are forgetting is that you are actually quoting WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN QOUTED AS SAYING. and that is the main problem with people of your caliber having to fall on what people were being quoted as saying. I read a lot about what others have been quoted as saying, such as (1) these engines does not need spark plugs as they are… Read more »
Negative Camber
Guest

Dude…make your point and let is speak for itself, leave the insults at home with your wife and her cat. This isn’t the website for personal attacks. We discuss politely or we don’t discuss at all. Thanks for your understanding of our one rule here. Share your opinion with decorum & civility.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ
Hi Salvu Thank you for that information. I agree with the last paragraph in the reply above. I never sort to argue with that statement. I was never having a go at you and I was just providing published data from the manufacturers themselves which clearly shows that the maximum fuel flow rates of the naturally aspirated V8 and V10 engines was far greater than the maximum fuel flow rate of the current V6 turbos as mandated by the rules. Your statement below….. “No the maximum fuel flow rate per hour of the of the 2013 NA 2.4L V8 was… Read more »
Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

no, you do the sucking. as it is clear that you are a good sucker.
I never said the previouse 3.0l NA V10 fuel flow rate was lower than the present 1.6L POWER UNIT.
How can they when they were producing nearly as much power as the combined electric and ICE power of the new 1.6L power unit

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

MIE don’t argue with him its not worth it got some publicly available figures and posted below you are right, Salvu is wrong, wrong wrong

ilikecake
Guest
ilikecake

The maximum RPM has never been 10,500. It’s been 15,000 since the start of the V6 era but no one runs their engines there.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

The maximum RPM is/was always mandated at 15000RPM.
The maximum fuel flow rate is/was always mandated at a maximum of 100kg/h at a maximum of 10500RPM, technically this is called MAX POWER SPEED ABOVE WHICH THESE ENGINES CANNOT PRODUCE MORE POWER. if the FIA hadn’t mandated the maximum RPM at which the maximum fuel flow rate could be reached, these engines would have been designed to run using the mandated fuel flow rate OF 100KG/H at a much lower maximum engine RPM.

ilikecake
Guest
ilikecake

I didn’t realize there was a ceiling RPM. The tires have taken the brunt of fan anger over the last few years but I think this year the fuel rules are going to come into the crosshairs. Nobody wanted V6s but now that we have them, the least they could do is take the shackles off and let them go to the max.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

What do you mean by “nobody wanted the V6 power unit” as far as I know it wouldn’t have happened if not all of those involved in F1 HAD VOTED FOR THEM.

ilikecake
Guest
ilikecake

Yeah, I said “fan anger”. I’ve never met a single F1 fan that asked for a switch to turbo V6s. And if you can find one I’m sure they’re a single digit minority.

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

I’m here! Hybrid technology, I wanted it!

ilikecake
Guest
ilikecake

“…single digit minority….”

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Its a minority view, but I expect innovation from the sport that proclaims that it is the peak of automotive technology.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

I take it this is for the current V6. between 1995 and 2013 the engines were pushed beyond 19000 RPM

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg
Yes the mandated maximum 15000 RPM I was talking about was for the new 1.6l v6 formula. At whatever maximum RPM the NA formula one engines were pushed at and or mandated at, the max power speed was always 500 RPM lower than the maximum RPM, The power band was always 2500 RPM, With the present turbocharged power units mandated mandated at a 100kg/h fuel flow rate at a max of 10500 RPM it is a different story. Anyhow both type of engines could not produce any additional power above their respective max power speed, the NA engines because they… Read more »
Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

I do not know the answers to your very insightful questions. I also have concerns about the direction of the 2017 changes.

Oooonnnnn the other hand there’s this rear 3/4 view to look forward to more of:

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/127693/new-f1-tyres-have-very-low-degradation

That ass.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Answer: Not a chance in hell.

FryDaddy
Guest
FryDaddy

It has become readily apparent that the very idea of controlling
the increase in costs is anathema to the powers that be. “Power units not
expensive enough? Add Hybrid tech and [wait for it – wait for it] Make them
last longer! HAHAHAHAHA…

Given current trends, I suspect that the next change will
include the requirement to jump a shark during one of the circuits…

GenGlenn
Guest
GenGlenn
Having set the engine capacity and format, limited the max ICE rpm and weight of the car, limited the total allowed race fuel, what else are all the other Formula constructs designed to achieve? Number of engines and other PU parts, HD tires, tire compound choices, fuel flow rate, DRS, on and on….. Is it economics, road car relevance, safety, sustainability of the planet, whatever? Is it an attempt to level the playing field and make the outcome more random (entertaining)? Whatever it is, it’s clearly not working very well is it? I vote (if I had one) is to… Read more »
jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl
Limiting the number of p.u elements, per season, and the p.u development tokens were intended to be about reducing overall cost. So, each p.u may be more expensive, but you only use a few, so overall cost is less. But being F1, there were unintended consequences (development constraints meant Mercedes couldn’t be caught, wealthy teams could game the token system, and p.u usage rules, etc etc). And being F1 the reaction has to be a knee jerk – the rules are changed, and the possibility of reducing cost goes out the window. I suspect you are right, it’s going to… Read more »
Member

We should know the answer by the time of the first European race. If any team has lost 2 engines by that point, I bet every team or manufacturer will dial back the performance parameters. There goes “flat-out/full throttle racing”.

Schumie Toronto
Member
Schumie Toronto

Are the teams allowed to use as many PU’s as they want, during the 8 days of preseason testing? I wonder if they will be testing different PU’s or do they have to homolgamate them before testing begins?

MIE
Editor

The power units used in testing are not counted as part of the four per driver for the season, so in theory teams could use an unlimited number. As power unit development is permitted in year, several specifications could be tested. However all customers must use the same specification of power unit as the works team in the races, so in practice this limits the opportunity to do any radical change as sufficient units need to be manufactured in advance of the first Grand Prix.