FIA lays down 2021 engine regulations, MGU-H removed as noisier units suggested
The FIA released details of the much-waited 2021 Formula 1 power unit regulations, after the meeting between several manufacturers, which was attended by the FIA President Jean Todt and F1 boss Chase Carey.
With cost containment a key factor, the proposal made sees the 1.6 L V6 Turbo Hybrid remain in F1, which was first used in the 2014 season - but a slight simplified version of the power unit has been suggested, keeping in mind the aforementioned cost factor.
One of the biggest changes will see the removal of MGU-H, which is used as an energy recovery system in the existing power unit to power the MGU-K. Instead, a more powerful MGU-K will be processed to give a driver more 'tactical' edge in the races.
Another key change to improve the sound, which has been a talking point for several seasons, will see a 3000rpm higher engine running speed being introduced. Also, the energy store and control electronics will be standardised, with dimensional constraints and weight limits on the single turbo.
After the debate over fuel in the current season, which many believed gave Mercedes an edge over its rivals, the FIA has also proposed for a tighter regulations, which will limit the number of fuels used by the F1 teams.
F1's Managing Director, Ross Brawn said: “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.
"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.”
FIA Secretary-General for Sport, Peter Bayer, added: “Today was a key step in the development of the Power Unit regulations for 2021.
"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.”
Key new features of the 2021 Power Unit proposed by the FIA and F1 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 MGUH
- More powerful MGUK 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
FIA believes reduction in cost, road relevance with the use of hybrid technology along with the improvement in sound remains the key aspect to outline the future. The above changes laid down were jointly presented by the FIA and F1 with inputs from the teams and experts.
The work will continue in the next 12 months to define the elements of the new power unit in details, which will only be possible at the end of the 2018 season after collection of information over the year.