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Are the proposed 2020 Formula 1 regulation changes a step in the right direction?

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FIA confirms 'clear direction' for 2021 F1 engine regs

In The FIA has confirmed that at the latest meeting of its representatives, the commercial rights holder of Formula 1, as well as current and potential manufacturers, has yielded a 'clear direction' for the sport's future regulations.

In line with the cost-cutting and improved sound objectives earlier outlined by the FIA, the new regulations also aim to maintain road relevance through the application of hybrid technology. 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, by the end of the year.

The FIA states that in order to uphold the objective of cost reduction, it will continue to work on the proposals over the next 12 months to define certain elements of the Power Unit (PU). The completed announcement on the 2021 PU regulations is scheduled for release at the end of 2018. The FIA states that this will ensure that manufacturers continue to work on the current specification Power Unit in the meantime. 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 MGU-H
  • More powerful MGU-K 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.

"Today was a key step in the development of the Power Unit regulations for 2021," explained FIA secretary-general for sport, Peter Bayer. "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."

"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," added Ross Brawn Formula 1 managing director, motorsports. "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."

Written by John O'Brien


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