The arena motorsport engine: An concept whose time has come? | RacingLines


Like value cap discussions or equitable income systems, a habitual topic in Method 1 is the idea that of “common motorsport engines” – additionally recognized in a few quarters as “global” or “international” engines – designed to cater for more than a few types of motorsport, with the addition of bigger specification (or higher numbers of) turbochargers or hybrid techniques offering differentiation throughout classes and programs.

Then again, as could be very so much the case with the industrial discussions, confusion exists over precisely what the thought comes to.

One false impression considerations what are seen as equivalent engines used throughout more than a few classes: i.e. F1 and LMP1 operating similar-spec engines, F2 and LMP2 devices being similar, or even WRC and WTCC engines being utterly interchangeable:

The place suitable that may be the case, however such compatibility is an advantage quite than said precedence. Fairly, the idea that lets in multi-logo producers – Volkswagen with seven passenger manufacturers, or Toyota with Lexus, BMW with Mini, Renault and Nissan – to base disparate festival programmes round one fundamental engine idea, each and every complying with other laws.

Therefore, as an example, VW may just construct an F1 engine for Audi, LMP1 powertrain for Porsche, VW model for WRC, Seat by-product for WTCC and Skoda-badged WRX unit – all inbuilt the similar manufacturing unit, the use of not unusual generation and parts the place accredited / suitable.

Concurrently an unbiased provider akin to Cosworth may just be offering a variety of engines for those classes on the market, providing them at decrease costs as a result of economies of scale.

Some other false impression is set precisely what constitutes “global engines”, with a not unusual false impression being “specification” devices, similar around the grid, as according to, say, F2 or GP3 energy devices, and provided via a unmarried corporate, frequently by the use of smooth:

The primary commonalities are fundamental dimensions, fabrics and geometries, with internals clearly catering for stresses and warmth of sure programs (say F1) over others (say F3). Positioned aspect-via-aspect after their respective ancillaries are hooked up would offer visible differentiation, whilst output, sounds and lifestyles cycles can be other. Certainly, they may well be constructed by way of quite a lot of providers.

Value-efficient engine regulations may just trap independents again

The general best false impression is that a unmarried provider (or decided on providers) would provide all engines around the board for all classes, as in keeping with present spec formulae. Once more, that may be now not an overriding precedence – however may well be leveraged as political risk will have to present providers transform intransigent (see above re: Cosworth).

The “common motorsport engine” idea used to be first floated in mid-January 2009 by means of an e-mail despatched by way of the FIA to Ricardo, whose site describes the corporate as “an international engineering and strategic, technical and environmental consultancy industry with a worth chain that incorporates the area of interest manufacture and meeting of top-efficiency merchandise”.

The date of January 2009 is terribly telling: On the time the Components One Groups Affiliation used to be an rising pressure, and locked in disputes with the Max Mosley-led FIA and the president’s family member of 30 years, Bernie Ecclestone – then certainly F1’s tsar. A breakaway collection used to be on FOTA’s radar – one used to be introduced six months later – and a “common engine” supplied the FIA with a strong weapon.

Why? Clearly if F1’s reliance on motor producers – the motive force at the back of FOTA – as number one engine providers may well be lowered (or eradicated), then such groups may pose much less risk to motorsport’s government, who may just play to independents groups, their participation sweetened through get right of entry to to an influence unit provided through a number of unbiased provider.

Considerably, 4 months after the e-mail to Ricardo the FIA opened entries to “price range” groups powered through Cosworth devices – that is how the unwell-fated quartet of Virgin (Manor), Lotus (Caterham), Campos (HRT) and USF1 (stillborn) got here to go into F1 in Would possibly 2009…

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Crucially, on the time present FIA president Jean Todt, incessantly blamed for introducing the present hybrid engines, had now not made himself to be had as presidential candidate for the governing frame’s election scheduled for October 2009 – and therefore held no publish inside the FIA’s systems.

But, the unique “common engine” F1 off-shoot as proposed via Ricardo bears eerie resemblances to the unique 2013-20 1600cc inline 4-cylinder hybrid thought, incorporating each kinetic power restoration device (Okay-ERS) and “turbo compounding” (Warmth-ERS). F1 Enthusiast has noticed a replica of Ricardo’s idea, and will screen that the unique e mail asked feasibility research on:

  • Not unusual center gas piston engines with other generation programs to regulate efficiency for suitability for various categories
  • Focused yr for advent of the engine is 2012 or 2013 (notice)
  • Start line for center engine layout will probably be a four-cylinder in-line 1.6-2.0litre engine with rated engine velocity of ~10,000rpm, in response to earlier paintings to spot long run gas environment friendly F1 idea (word)
  • eleven categories of motorsport to be incorporated within the have a look at: F3, WTCC, WRC, DTM, LMP2, GrandAm, GP2, LMP1, A1GP, IRL & F1 (ultimate-named with KERS)
  • 3 key elements to be critical to layout: Value, Street Relevance, Potency (word).
  • More than a few configurations – I-three, I-four, Flat-four, V2/V4 and V6 – have been studied, with Ricardo narrowing its thought right down to the I-four defined above, in flip followed by way of the FIA and introduced in December 2010 for advent in 2013. Intriguingly, because the desk beneath presentations, overall output projected for the I-four engines used to be 580kW for IC devices, plus 120kW KERS – more or less what present engines produce (+950bhp).

By the way, projected energy outputs by way of class have been (kW): F3 one hundred sixty; WTCC/WRC 220; DTM/LMP2/GrandAm 360; GP2/LMP1/A1GP 470; IRL 480; F1 +500 – offering extensive energy spreads off not unusual crankcase / cylinder head designs, complemented through stepped turbo / compound turbo / hybrid installations.

Unique proposed F1 engine regulations from 2013

  • 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder turbos with power restoration and gas regulations to switch present 2.four-litre in most cases aspirated V8s
  • Gas potency to extend through a goal of fifty%
  • General energy to stay similar at approx 750bhp
  • Tests and balances to make sure prices are contained and function throughout all engines is still similar
  • Plan for complex ‘compound’ turbos to be presented in next years
  • Energy of Kers power restoration techniques to extend from 60kw in 2011 to 120kw in 2013

All this, despite the fact that, flew out the window in 2011 after Ferrari / Mercedes objected to the I-four configuration and campaigned for V6 inner combustion devices at the foundation of one) efficiency automotive street relevance, and a couple of) demanding situations of mounting I-four devices as they have got most effective mount issues (most sensible and backside), while V6s draw on 3: at each and every extremity. Given the predicted will increase in torque, tough mountings have been thought to be an important.

Therefore the FIA placed the problem to the vote, with Renault – a 4-cylinder stalwart – being the only dissenter, however agreeing “for the nice of F1”. Vee-6 engine advent used to be behind schedule to 2014, with the remaining, together with notorious gripes approximately loss of noise, rampant unreliability, exorbitant prices, domination by way of a unmarried provider (Mercedes) and the utter lack of ability of some other (Honda) to familiarize yourself with the tech, passing into historical past.

Now, despite the fact that, F1 has however 3 years ultimate prior to the present method expires, and as such time is tortuously tight for the reason that ultimate time round it took F1 5 years to introduce an engine that after all nobody in point of fact sought after. As former Williams technical director Patrick Head noticed: Good fortune has many fathers, however failure is an orphan…

Now that the majority producers have mastered the generation it might be myopic to fully ditch the components, in particular as a number of the heavy spending has been incurred. More than a few choices are as soon as once more being floated, together with retention of the present method however with minor adjustments to make the generation sexy to different classes.

Then again, the probabilities of a unmarried configuration doing responsibility in eleven classes are 0, in particular as probably the most classes indexed within the 2009 examine are defunct, and others now a long way got rid of from the laws winning on the time. It makes just right business feel to unfold the bottom generation throughout 3 non-competing formulae – F1, IndyCar, and LMP1 – and most likely rope in F2 as smartly through the use of dumbed-down devices.

That is, despite the fact that, rarely a re-adoption of the “common” or “global” engine idea as a few recommend, however slightly a restricted providing of engines with not unusual architectures, engineered in line with the wishes of person classes. Therefore VW may just conceivably in the past F1 with Lamborghini, LMP1 with Porsche and Indycar with Audi, with the fundamental motorsport engine produced inside of the similar division.

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They do it already with street automotive engines with a long way larger manufacturing runs, so why now not with festival engines?

Similarly, Cosworth or Ilmor may just produce engines for all 3 collection, badging them in line with consumer wishes. Therefore F1 model may well be bought to groups (in all probability subsidized by way of business entities, whose identify may seem at the covers), at the same time as the LMP1 model may well be bought solely to a producer; ditto the IndyCar engine.

Jean Todt, 2017
Todt sees attainable for “synergies” past F1

With LMP1 right down to a unmarried producer and Indycar on , it is sensible to believe not unusual engine architectures, as Todt mentioned all the way through his remaining media briefing in Abu Dhabi: “I feel in this day and age each and every class of motorsport has its personal unmarried law, so most probably we will have to attempt to see if we will have a few synergies.

“I used to be bringing up approximately different championships, we’ve got [WEC] with LMP1, and LMP1 is an absolutely other… we have now utterly other engines. May just it [make]feel to wait for, or [have a]imaginative and prescient for the staying power championship, the use of this synergy?

“By the way, it’s overlaying [approximately]the similar more or less mileage [as an F1 engine under 2018’s three-engine regulation], as a result of if you are taking 3 or 4 engines, it’s approximately five,000km, and the longest race in sports activities automobiles is Le Mans, which is set five,000km, so it might make a few feel.

“Most certainly it will inspire a few producers in fact concerned via taking part to a few different classes… you assume Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, even Pink Bull, why they are going to now not bring to mind ultimately taking part in sports activities automobiles? Sooner or later, a few sports activities automotive producers prepared to organize one engine which may well be used [across categories]… it’s one thing which wishes additionally to be addressed.”

In fact, all through the ones halcyon noughties, while nearly each and every international producer loved a grid presence, co-operation throughout classes used to be unthinkable, for now not handiest did they throw area-race budgets at their very own programmes, however WEC and Indycar have been reputedly thought to be mortal enemies through F1’s then-masters.

Seeing that then, Winds of Amendment swept thru each the FIA and F1, and not used to be this extra in proof than Le Mans ultimate yr, while F1 CEO Chase Carey used to be the unique starter of the 24 Hour vintage. May just one believe Bernie doing that? Heck, he scheduled Canada’s date such that it clashed with the staying power race!

Then again, F1’s incoming business rights holder Liberty Media is mindful that F1 budgets want to be trimmed faster moderately than later – in particular if the indexed entity referred to as FWONK needs to disburse dividends to shareholders – and is therefore extra amenable to price cuts than used to be earlier rights holder CVC Capital Companions.

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While an engine provider – equivalent to Mercedes AMG Top Efficiency Powertrains – servicing an personal staff and consumers operates to an annual turnover of £140m and employs 570+ heads to provide 3 engines each and every to only six automobiles, then one thing is critically awry with F1’s budget. Sure, Mercedes would possibly argue that now not all HPP’s tools are aimed toward F1, however even 60 according to cent of turnover runs to £100m and 350 heads.

Aston Martin badge
Aston Martin helps Todt’s ‘global engine’ inspiration

Therefore it makes monumental feel for motorsport’s most sensible classes to are trying to find synergies, and if that suggests not unusual engine structure for non-competing classes, then so be it; if it approach a VW or Ford or Hyundai enters F1 at the foundation that their sister manufacturers or product teams may be able to input different classes off the again of any such programmes, such a lot the easier as can be engaging Aston Martin again into F1.

The largest prize of all might, although, be the go back of Cosworth or Ilmor as unbiased providers, their participation made economically conceivable through gross sales in their engine circle of relatives throughout 3 (or extra) classes.

Then again, to make certain that not unusual engine structure turns into potential, F1 must preserve (in large part) the present engine method past 2020, for it makes no business feel to ditch that, then spend gazillions on creating new architectures. In the end, hybrid V6s may just do the task similarly smartly in WEC and IndyCar, and, who is aware of, such co-operation would possibly lead to a strategy to the (loss of noise) factor…

Practice Dieter on Twitter: @RacingLines


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