F1 1000 BHP power units could utilise Formula E technology

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There’s been talk this year of the F1 power units for 2017 becoming headline grabbing 1000HP monsters. However, the FIA are still keen to deliver V6 hybrids, which are ‘green’ and the manufacturers approve because this is a proving ground for R&D into road car technology to come.

The FIA restricted fuel flows in the regulations to dissuade the engineers from trying to push the development of the internal combustion engines and focus on the Energy Recovery System’s contribution. Though many believe they will have to compromise if the 1000 HP target is to be attained.

Roberto Dalla of Magneti Marelli Motorsport believes the alternative could be sourced from Formula E. Magneti not only subcontract to Renault Sport F1 but also supply Formula E with electric motors delivering 300Kw and similar technology is used in the WEC where the BHP count is already into 4 digits.

“I believe that Formula in the near future requires a larger ERS unit more powerful than the current 120Kw. If we want to have 1000 BHP engines we need 300Kw,” says Dalla who believes there should be a two-way technology transfer between F1 and FE. “We believe that tomorrow’s Formula E solutions can be used in Formula 1.”

Honda have already floated the idea of developing electric motors for each of the four wheels on an F1 car so it’s not the manufacturers who need persuading. Ecclestone is demanding more traditional Formula One engine, produced by an independent manufacturer and available to any team who wishes to acquire it. If Jean Todt and Bernie give the green light to this kind of power unit for Formula One, then the focus on electric power will become diminished because the regulators will be forced to retain the 120Kw limit to ensure any new V8 turbo can compete.

14 responses to “F1 1000 BHP power units could utilise Formula E technology

  1. F1 should always have gone motors in all 4 wheels. MGU’s front and rear axle aligned to a 300kW architecture as outlined above has to be the way forward. MGU-H is great from an engineering point of view, but it’s just too expensive and too complicated.
    Harvesting/deploying on all 4 wheels opens up so many possibilities (negative torque, torque vectoring, 4-wheel steer etc), all of which can only have a positive impact on lap times.
    I know Honda were/are against ditching the MGU-H component, but if they are in favour of motors in each wheel, maybe a deal can be done. Trade one off for the other.
    As I say, for me, the solution here is a 1.6L V6 turbo with “K” front and rear and increase to 300kW.
    Independent engine manufacturers can still make the ICE aspect, and then F1 should be going to battery engine companies and getting them involved, at least in my view. The “K” can, for lack of a better term, be “bolted on” to the engine. The “H” can’t.
    This creates a direct tech transfer between F1 and FE, which can only help both formula’s, and indeed encourage the mainstream manufacturers to maybe dabble between the 2.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • More than 2 cents worth, more like $2Bn+ !
      Only, however, if the FIA gets on the right side of history and embraces these suggestions.

    • If I was king for a day, I would let them have as large of batteries as they want. The electric motors could also be as big as they want. The only limit would be on how much energy could be recovered in a lap. Theoretically, one could save a dozen laps of energy, then use all of it down a straight to make a monumental pass.
      Since F1 is no longer drivers driving at the limit for the entire race, driving cars the not only look good but sound good, let’s make racing as cheap quality as we can. How soon before we have virtual drivers in the car? This sport is circling the toilet bowl really fast now.
      F1 could save itself if it didn’t limit gph. Let the teams use the 100 liters anyway they want to, including being able to puss the engines to 5 bar. You’ll get more than your 1,000 hp today, not tomorrow.

    • Should have added this little tidbit on the end of my original post.

      Rather than getting rid of the MGU-H totally, getting rid of just the “M” component is also an idea worth putting forward. With a GU-H, you are no longer addressing the turbo-lag issue (you can do that via other means), simply harvesting energy at all times the engine is running.

  2. all of this and i ask why no active suspension. we are way beyond the safety concerns used to ban it. it would benefit road cars way more than the aero f1 focuses on so much.

    • This discussion is revisited on a regular basis by the powers that be. I for 1 agree with you. I personally think its ridiculous that in this day and age with the technology we have on the cars now, we’re still stuck with prehistoric suspension.

    • Agree. I prefer it when F1 has fewer rules and more innovation. Especially when F1 innovation is a testbed for technology that makes it into cars one day.

      The F1 aero spend is wasteful and a dead end.

      If the aim is to get a driver round a track the fastest and safely with the total amount of fuel limited, then nearly everything else could be free.

  3. It’s all about the power to weight ratio.

    F1 has gained weight.

    Whatever solutions are implemented to raise the power to weight ratio, they need to ensure the cars are lighter than what we have now.

    • the only real way to do that is to reduce the fuel load. I get the concerns/safety/costs of re-fueling. but really, the cars are simply too long and heavy today. I for one refuse to endorse shorter singular races to appease the attention deficit babies. and safety concerns will NOT allow the fuel cells to extend outward. a possible solution is to reduce the fuel capacity but hold 2 45 minute sprint races per venue or something similar…

  4. so be it if this is where f1 demands to go.
    but I remember the very early ’60’s when F1 was NOT remotely close to cutting edge technology. when trannys were pretty much modified VW Bug units.
    when Coventry Climax was a big deal (as a builder of fork lifts/generators/water pumps/etc). when Porsche entered with mere Weber carbs, 2 valves/cyl, and stamped steel wheels. when uprights/spindles/brakes were often sourced from road cars and shocks and pads were mere aftermarket high perf units used on Cortinas, etc…
    when tires looked more like off-road or snow tires of yesterday. when cheap mild steel tubing was brazed into a space frame.
    and then came the Lotus 25. a SEMI monocoque experiment that was HALF of what cheap single engine 2 seater private planes had been doing for nearly 2 decades! one my Dad owned and kept in our back yard and I got my Private Pilot’s License in 1965.
    keep in mind the ’69 Titan Mk V Formula Ford. bought a PRISTINE version with TONS of spares in 1979 for $1800 with original invoice/full log book. brazed in a few chassis gussets and dropped in a Cosworth BDA and one had 1962 F! car and technology with equal power AND sticky McLeary slicks. cheap original Armstrong shocks, 8 qts of Pennzoil and a can of STP – Ferodo F-11’s and Sunoco racing gas. a car made merely 7 years after the ’62 F1 cars and for a few thousand $$, weekend warriors like me could equal or better the times on the Worlds’ greatest courses of Jimmy and Graham and the awesome World of way-less-than-anything-special Ferrari/Porsche/Lotus/BRM/Brabham/McLaren/Gurney/etc……

    yeah. massively not impressed with those who feel F1 ha ALWAYS been technology-driven and I remember the days when the best of Indy cars and F5000 and CanAm would easily qualify in the top third of any F1 race…

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