Meet­ings this week to find cost-cut­ting so­lu­tions for F1

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Rob Lad­brook Pho­tos: LAT

FIA pres­i­dent Jean Todt is ex­pect­ing pos­i­tive news of the fu­ture of For­mula 1 en­gines this week af­ter hold­ing crunch talks with mo­tor man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Todt was due to meet with F1 man­u­fac­tur­ers Mercedes, Re­nault and Fer­rari on Mon­day and Tues­day of this week as Mo­tor­sport News closed for press. The meet­ing rep­re­sented the dead­line for the brands to put for­ward new so­lu­tions to tackle the cost, sup­ply and per­for­mance of the cur­rent power units go­ing for­ward.

The cur­rent en­gines are be­lieved to cost in the re­gion of 20mil­lion euro (£15mil­lion) per sea­son and, since the es­tab­lished man­u­fac­tur­ers voted down the FIA and Bernie Ec­cle­stone’s sug­ges­tions of bring­ing in a bud­get unit as an al­ter­na­tive, Todt set the cur­rent sup­pli­ers the task of find­ing ways to change things.

“I want to put peo­ple in front of their re­spon­si­bil­ity,” said Todt at last week’s Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional Show. “I asked en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers to come back on some pro­pos­als to ad­dress some of my con­cerns over the pow­er­train. I am un­sat­is­fied with the sit­u­a­tion for clear rea­sons, we will see what will be the next steps.

“Let’s try and be op­ti­mistic and hope we are dis­cussing with sen­si­ble peo­ple who un­der­stand the prob­lem and who par­tic­i­pate to solve the prob­lem. I hope pos­i­tive steps have been taken.”

More noise

One, smaller area of Todt’s con­cern is with the noise of the cur­rent V6 power units.

Last year, the World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil ap­proved changes to the ex­haust sys­tem to add a sep­a­rate ex­haust waste­gate tailpipe to duct gases and cre­ate ex­tra vol­ume.

Wil­liams’ Pat Sy­monds said he hoped cars would be up to 25 per cent louder this year.

“In the past ev­ery­one has run waste­gate pipes into the main [ex­haust] tailpipe of the en­gine but we have to sep­a­rate them this year,” he said. “Be­fore, we had a pipe join­ing the turbo waste­gate to the main ex­haust, which acted like a si­lencer. Get­ting rid of that will make it louder.

“With the waste­gate closed you’ll per­ceive it at around 14 perc ent louder, but with it open it’ll ac­tu­ally be 20-25 per cent louder, so quite sig­nif­i­cant.

“We haven’t heard the cars on cir­cuit yet, but I think we may hear a few of the old sig­na­ture noises from the tur­bos, the whis­tles and the pops – but we will have to wait and see.”

New rules doubt

An­other area of dis­cus­sion will cen­tre on the new tech­ni­cal rules for 2017.

The sport’s heads want to make cars up to five sec­onds per lap faster by adding big­ger tyres, more power and dif­fer­ent aero­dy­nam­ics.

How­ever, in the last eight months since the plans were tabled, many of the rad­i­cal changes have re­duced to make them more fea­si­ble.

Sy­monds added: “We now have a car that is two me­tres wide and has larger tyres – 300mm front, 400mm rear – it has an at­trac­tive look to it but the bodywork was meant to be 1800mm and has come down to 1400mm, which is what we have now. “It was go­ing to have a very big dif­fuser, but that has been made smaller and is ba­si­cally the same as now. In fact the un­der­body of the car is very sim­i­lar. “We still have more free­dom around the front barge­board area, but it’s a bit of a half­way house from the orig­i­nal pro­posal.”

F1 cars will be louder in 2016 Todt is in talks with en­gine mak­ers

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