5 Things The 2021 Engines Need To Make F1 Better

The FIA are set to announce the detailed plans for the 2021 engines later this week, with hopes to rectify the current problems with F1

2y ago

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Last fall, The FIA outlined its objectives for the 2021 engine regulations. It's the first time since 2014 that there has been a change in the rules. The current turbo-hybrid era power units have been criticized for many reasons. This is Liberty Media's first major chance to influence the sport and create better racing, as they continuously work on improving the show aspect of F1.

Louder Engines

A common complaint among Formula One fans when the turbo V6 hybrid was introduced was the lack of noise. Engine sizes have gradually decreased since the V12 engines in the early 90's. The V10's and V8's were much louder compared to the current V6's. The hybrid engines have gotten louder as they are developed, however they haven't come close to the noise produced in previous generations. Liberty Media have already made this a priority for the new engines, as this will positively contribute to the show factor.

Road Relevance

Road relevance has always been an important aspect in Formula One. The turbo-hybrid V6 power units were introduced to keep up with the rapid evolution of road car technology. This trend will continue so that new manufacturers are attracted to F1. The new engines will still be hybrids, but the inevitable move towards fully electric cars will make road relevance more difficult. At some point in the near future F1 must decide whether or not the sport should serve purely as entertainment, with no correlation to road cars.

More Power

The current engines produce somewhere between 1,000 and 850 horsepower which is an impressive figure. The current high downforce cars are some of the fastest ever, and with more powerful engines lap times could continue to fall. This helps improve the spectacle for fans, and requires more skill from the driver. The cars are expected to get roughly 1.5 seconds slower next year thanks to the revised aero regulations to boost overtaking. More powerful engines could make up for this drop in performance.

New Manufacturers

More engine manufacturers could create more action on and off the track. Currently, with only three engine manufacturers smaller teams are limited when picking an engine supplier. More teams could provide more exciting racing up and down the grid. New teams, such as Haas and Brawn, have proved that new teams can succeed and make the racing more exciting for fans. Porsche, Audi, and Aston Martin have all been present at the engine talks. If any of these manufacturers decides to enter F1 it would bring more fans and entertainment.

Less Complexity

The current hybrid engines have been criticized for their complexity. Honda proved how difficult it can be to make a successful engine from scratch. Honda were rushed into F1 by McLaren, but they struggled with reliability and performance for the first three years since their return. The current complex engines have been a major factor in Mercedes' dominance since 2014. A more basic engine design will keep all the manufacturers closer, producing better racing on track.

Let me know what you want to see in the new engine regulations in the comments below. Stay tuned for the rest of this week as the Austrian GP takes place.

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Comments (12)

  • I think I am increasingly moving away from the road-relevance argument. No one looks at other sports like horse racing or football and asks what that is giving back to the world other than entertainment. I know there is an argument about road relevance attracting manufacturers but if you make the engine formula cheap enough and make the racing exciting enough, manufacturers will want to be in F1 anyway

      2 years ago
    • I agree. Bringing back louder non-hybrid engines would be great for the show.

        2 years ago
    • Definitely louder. It's really weird now being at a GP, hearing the F1 cars do quali, then they bring out the old two-seater F1 car and it's SO much louder. It shakes your bones in their sockets, and makes the current gen cars sound meek and...

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        2 years ago
  • I'd love to see Cosworth back in the F1 business but that seems unlikely 😔

      2 years ago
  • I don’t get this obsession over engine sounds. I agree that current PUs don’t sound good but it doesn’t bother me. They should focus on making them simpler and efficient and powerful than worrying about how they sound. I don’t think ICEs would’ve gotten to where they are today if teams were designing engines to sound better over efficiency, reliability and power.

      2 years ago
  • F1 is totally missing the point on the sound of the engines. Volume is not the problem. It’s the QUALITY of the sound. The current engines sound flat. The previous generation had a beautiful high frequency scream.

    Please stop the complex multi element front wings. Limit them to one; two at most. Ban all other turning vanes, barge boards and all other tacked on aero devices. Limit pit crew to six men to encourage passing ON THE TRACK.

      2 years ago
  • Less downforce from wings, more ground effect. Following cars be able to get closer with less turbulent air, and drivers forced to stay on track as using the curbs will reduce grip.

      2 years ago

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