Energy-efficient F1?

Ooh, now this is interesting – FIA President Max Mosley has floated an idea about changing the way Formula 1 is regulated. Instead of the engines being limited by capacity (currently they’re 2.4 litres as V8s, I’m not sure if the V10s are the same), they’ll be limited by power consumption.

It’s not as if efficiency isn’t an issue today, since you don’t want to be lugging excess weight around the circuit in the form of fuel. Nevertheless, at first glance this is an interesting idea for making F1 a bit more relevant to road cars. It shifts the emphasis from how much power you can make per litre of engine, to how much you can extract from a litre of fuel.

Cynically, it’s clear that F1 will have to head in this sort of direction if it’s to avoid looking even sillier than it does now – and the 2011 time-frame proposed for this idea may seem tardy once it rolls round. But still – shifting the power/performance/efficiency balance towards the latter is a good thing, right?

1 thought on “Energy-efficient F1?”

  1. Interesting, but not new. From 1982-1993, sports cars (prototypes, as used on e.g. the Le Mans 24-h race) raced according to “Group C” regulations.
    Wikipedia entry

    The regulations were that the cars could consume a little over 100 litres/hour (2500 l for a 24-h race), which works out to 1:2, or something like 5 mpg. This led to interesting races, even if sometimes they were decided by someone running out of fuel on the last lap.

    It also led to interesting cars, with a much greater variety of technical solutions than typically seen in Formula 1: You’d see Jaguar 7-litre V12s racing Mercedes 5-l V8 Turbos, Mazda used Wankel engines, Porsche used a 3-l flat-6 turbo, etc.

    The series’ downfall was the FIA messing with regulations, which made its cost skyrocket.

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