Formula One racing - the next five years 08 Dec 2006
Bio fuel, turbos and four-race engines among future plans
The FIA has published an agenda outlining the dramatic changes to Formula One racings technical regulations that are expected to come into force over the next five years. The plans, drawn up in agreement with the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association (GPMA), will see drastic cuts in downforce levels and an increasing emphasis on the recycling of waste energy.
The objectives of the changes (detailed in full below) will be to promote research relevant to the motor industry (and society in general), to eliminate developments which do not meet these criteria, to reduce costs while improving cost effectiveness and to keep, and augment, the image and excitement of Formula One racing as the worlds leading motorsport category.
The first visible change to the cars could come as soon as 2008, when aerodynamic aids on the main bodywork - barge boards, winglets, chimneys etc - may be outlawed. Plans to introduce new wings designed specifically to improve overtaking have been delayed until 2009 to allow for further investigation. Totally standardised aerodynamics could become reality in 2010.
Devices to reuse the energy generated by the braking process could become compulsory in 2009, while from 2010 teams will have to find ways of harnessing waste heat to help propel their cars. This could in turn see the return of turbocharging in 2011, when engines powered by bio fuel will have to last for four, rather than two, race weekends.
As stressed by the FIA, a number of these points, particularly those from 2010 onwards, will require careful examination with the GPMA and detailed input from car industry experts.
The agenda in full:
- regulations are already published
- (existing 2.4 litre engine remains frozen);
- regulations as published but possible elimination of aerodynamic appendices (barge boards, winglets, chimneys, etc) forward of rear wheel centreline and behind front wheel centreline (subject to unanimous agreement of competing teams);
- possible sporting regulations to restrict the use of wind tunnels and/or models for use in wind tunnels and/or test rigs (subject to the consent of a majority of competing teams);
- (existing 2.4 litre engine remains frozen)
- energy recovery and re-use from braking
- reduction of 50% of downforce
- aerodynamic and other changes to facilitate overtaking
- existing 2.4 litre engine remains frozen or, possibly, a four-race drive train (engine and transmission)
- a proportion of waste heat recovered and used to propel the car
- a proportion of waste energy from exhaust gases recovered and used to propel the car
- wholly or partially standardised aerodynamics (or, possibly, new rules to encourage road-relevant research into aerodynamics)
- (existing 2.4 litre engine remains frozen, or, if applicable, four-race drive train remains frozen)
- perhaps a new four-race engine including:
- high-efficiency turbocharging
- fuel (energy) flow limits
- direct injection
- downsizing so as to ensure very high (15000+) rpm
- bio fuels (possible freedom to use any bio fuel, with a limited maximum energy flow rate rather than a maximum fuel flow rate)
- perhaps a new approach to the chassis with:
- further reductions in downforce
- greater emphasis on cornering performance and handling by means of chassis, suspension, and brake management
- complete freedom to use electronics to make the car more energy-efficient (drive train, etc, management)
- possibly also free up driver-aid electronics
- materials - limitations on materials to bring them more into line with those used in road cars
- other road-relevant technologies
- new engine as above
- It is proposed that the foregoing should be a basis for discussion. There may be other interesting and important technologies as well as areas of research which are not mentioned.
Everything will be on the principle that new technologies, or rather the relevant devices, shall be freely available for sale to any team which wants them at an easily affordable price.