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.