Are you a member of the legion of Formula 1 fans that has spent the last few years making countless posts in all corners of the Internet complaining about the lack of the racing series’ famous loud noises? Well, F1 and its governing body, the FIA, are tired of hearing about it and are taking action.
Don’t jump up from your chair to start hooting and hollering just yet, though. First, the action here is the revision of the “power unit” rules for the 2021 season, meaning that the current setup has three more seasons to go. Second, the proposed rules still call for a 1.6-liter V-6, so even though the redline will be bumped by 3,000 rpm from 15,000 rpm to 18,000, don’t hold out hope for the return of the tortured screams of demons.
Perhaps a more significant change is the removal of the MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit-Heat). The turbocharger-mounted thermal energy recovery unit converts heat from the turbo into electrical energy that can either be stored in the battery or used as an immediate power booster. Instead, the 2021 edition will focus on the MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic) kinetic energy recovery component, which will be more powerful and regulations for it will be written “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”.
Other changes proposed in the name of the seemingly futile battle with costs and just-as-seemingly-futile efforts at competitive parity are:
• Prescriptive internal design parameters to restrict development costs and discourage extreme designs and running conditions
• 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
The governing bodies will be meeting with manufacturer representatives to finalize the framework, which will be published at the end of this year. However, all of the information needed for design and development work to start won’t be available until the end of 2018.