5 Things The 2021 Engines Need To Make F1 Better
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.