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'Reliability' justified engine modifications


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#1 Rinehart

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 16:26

This has been mentioned broadly on other threads but the discussion hasn't taken off (I'm hoping it will here)!

Ferrari, as have other manufacturers, are known to have made FIA approved engine modifications during the 'Engine Development Freeze'. The rules state that modifications can only be made on the grounds of reliability or safety improvement, not performance.

Given that it has been speculated by a number of F1 insiders that the Ferrari engine has improved its performance this year and has also recently suffered a spate of reliability issues, I was wondering what you think of this.

1. Should the 'approved' modifications be retrospectively scrutinised and if these are the parts causing the reliability woes, should the FIA rule that these be removed? Or, more severely, would this evidence of increased unreliability warrant tougher FIA penalties if the claim of improved reliability is not proven?

2. Do you think that the 'Reliability' justified engine modification approval procedure is stringent enough?

3. Do you think that the FIA should measure and cap power figures of each blue printed engine so that if a supposedly 'reliability' improving part cannot improve performance, in other words, the team should have to detune the engine in balance of the new parts additional performance?

4. Or is the whole thing totally over-complicated and quite simply, engine mods are banned until the end of the freeze?

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#2 Atreiu

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 17:12

The should drop the rev cap and the engine freeze. As for KERS, delay its introduction for some 3 or 4 years.

#3 Clatter

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 17:36

Originally posted by Atreiu
The should drop the rev cap and the engine freeze. As for KERS, delay its introduction for some 3 or 4 years.


Agree with dropping the revs and engine freeze, stupid rules. As for KERS, why delay it? just leave it for teams to decide if it's worth using or not.

#4 Clatter

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 17:42

Originally posted by Rinehart
1. Should the 'approved' modifications be retrospectively scrutinised and if these are the parts causing the reliability woes, should the FIA rule that these be removed? Or, more severely, would this evidence of increased unreliability warrant tougher FIA penalties if the claim of improved reliability is not proven?

2. Do you think that the 'Reliability' justified engine modification approval procedure is stringent enough?

3. Do you think that the FIA should measure and cap power figures of each blue printed engine so that if a supposedly 'reliability' improving part cannot improve performance, in other words, the team should have to detune the engine in balance of the new parts additional performance?

4. Or is the whole thing totally over-complicated and quite simply, engine mods are banned until the end of the freeze?


1. If there is any truth to it, then what better punishment than not letting them change the part again. Sorry guys you'll have to live with it.

2. It's another of those badly thought out FIA rules, and it appears that teams are circumventing the intention.

3. Drop the rule all together.

#5 Slowinfastout

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 19:16

You need to redesign your engine because its unreliable? Your new limiter is capped at 18800 rpms... again? 18600..

Do that and they'll get it right in a jiffy...

#6 F1 Engineer

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 19:27

I'm not "F1 Engineer" but am a colleague of his and employed in F1 and travel regularly to races. I came across some very reliable information regarding F1 engine upgrades and have posted it on our new forum here. :)

For your information:

Originally posted by F1Handbook.com
Take this as a rumour, though this is sourced from extremely good and well-placed sources.

There's been a lot of talk recently about engine upgrades being sneaked through under the guise of reliability. Ferrari have actually got the most number of updates through the FIA's approval process, Renault the least.

More worryingly, however, Ferrari managed to get an update through the FIA that the majority of other teams opposed (the only consenting votes coming from its customers) and Renault when very recently proposing a very similar update had it refused by the FIA.

Now, I admire Ferrari and the team's passion and heritage and I don't lay the blame on them (any team in such a situation would most likely try to get maximum advantage) but this is one of the few instances that I've had very reliable evidence pointing to clear FIA favouritism.



#7 Slowinfastout

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 19:40

Renault probably needed to design a V8 that was on the verge of blowing up in the first place... Why would they need a reliability update now? I'm guessing their engine was designed with the original spirit of the rules in mind...

Ferrari has got a very interesting pattern going right now..

#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 21:44

[QUOTE]Originally posted by F1 Engineer
I'm not "F1 Engineer" but am a colleague of his and employed in F1 and travel regularly to races. I came across some very reliable information regarding F1 engine upgrades and have posted it on our new forum here. :)

For your information:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[b]Originally posted by F1Handbook.com
Take this as a rumour, though this is sourced from extremely good and well-placed sources.

There's been a lot of talk recently about engine upgrades being sneaked through under the guise of reliability. Ferrari have actually got the most number of updates through the FIA's approval process, Renault the least.

More worryingly, however, Ferrari managed to get an update through the FIA that the majority of other teams opposed (the only consenting votes coming from its customers) and Renault when very recently proposing a very similar update had it refused by the FIA.

Now, I admire Ferrari and the team's passion and heritage and I don't lay the blame on them (any team in such a situation would most likely try to get maximum advantage) but this is one of the few instances that I've had very reliable evidence pointing to clear FIA favouritism.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a malicious lie spread by the Union of Conrod Lighteners.

#9 undersquare

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 22:01

Originally posted by F1 Engineer

Ferrari managed to get an update through the FIA that the majority of other teams opposed (the only consenting votes coming from its customers) and Renault when very recently proposing a very similar update had it refused by the FIA.


If this is true then it's really bad. But if a majority of teams opposed it, how did it get through? Are the teams just there to comment and it's the FIA's sole decision?

And no word from the other teams...Flav's been doing plenty of moaning but nothing as specific as being refused an upgrade that Ferrari were allowed.

#10 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 22:21

Originally posted by undersquare
Flav's been doing plenty of moaning but nothing as specific as being refused an upgrade that Ferrari were allowed.


He's got more sense than to invite a retrospective look at the McLaren DVD case....................

#11 undersquare

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 22:28

Originally posted by Bloggsworth


He's got more sense than to invite a retrospective look at the McLaren DVD case....................



:rotfl:

But seriously, I remember Max proposing finding some way of letting the lesser engines catch up. And Renault are no threat. Meanwhile Mac seem to have been allowed some pretty effective upgrades.

Or I suppose, thinking as I write, Merc could have started ahead and Max was a bit desperate to help Ferrari catch up. But even then, why deny Renault?

A bit of corroboration needed for this tale of conspiracy, I feel.

#12 Madeup Name

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 07:24

Can't understand why there can't be complete openess in this process. Publish information on which teams have been permitted which upgrades as they happen. There are no secrets in F1 anyhow - so openess would cost nothing.

And Bloggsworth - be very careful about saying anything against the UCL - they are a powerful group, as you should know.

#13 Mika Mika

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 04:58

Originally posted by F1 Engineer
I'm not "F1 Engineer" but am a colleague of his and employed in F1 and travel regularly to races. I came across some very reliable information regarding F1 engine upgrades and have posted it on our new forum here. :)

For your information:


:down: :down: :down: I hope this comes to light... The other teams should go to press in a big way when this happens...

#14 naiboz

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 20:46

Why are teams being allowed to upgrade their engines in the name of reliability in the first place?

when was the last time we saw a team blow a string of engines? (recent ferraris excluded ;) )

#15 Fatgadget

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 22:23

Originally posted by Clatter


1. If there is any truth to it, then what better punishment than not letting them change the part again. Sorry guys you'll have to live with it.

2. It's another of those badly thought out FIA rules, and it appears that teams are circumventing the intention.

3. Drop the rule all together.


Not meaning to mince words or put too fine a point on it,you mean cheating right?

#16 Clatter

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 22:38

Originally posted by Fatgadget


Not meaning to mince words or put too fine a point on it,you mean cheating right?


I wouldnt really go that far as they havent actually broken any rules (at least I don't think they have), they are exploiting the stupidity of the FIA.

#17 Chiara

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 22:53

Originally posted by F1 Engineer
I'm not "F1 Engineer" but am a colleague of his and employed in F1 and travel regularly to races. I came across some very reliable information regarding F1 engine upgrades and have posted it on our new forum here. :)

For your information:


You might want to get yourself a moderator....alot of medication talk going on in there ;)

#18 Mauseri

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 00:06

Originally posted by Clatter


Agree with dropping the revs and engine freeze, stupid rules. As for KERS, why delay it? just leave it for teams to decide if it's worth using or not.

Second that.

#19 Mauseri

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 00:09

Originally posted by F1 Engineer
I'm not "F1 Engineer" but am a colleague of his and employed in F1 and travel regularly to races. I came across some very reliable information regarding F1 engine upgrades and have posted it on our new forum here. :)

For your information:

Heh, nice, FIA dictate who are fast :drunk: If it's true.

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#20 Melbourne Park

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 04:40

Mosley in Feb 2006 in Autosport's The State of The Nation, Jonothan Noble & Max Mosley n

The other thing we brought out yesterday was a proposal that has been discussed between us and the committed teams, which is the possibility of having a homologated engine. What that means is from a certain point, for example June 2006, say that's the homologation date, we would want one example of each competing engine deposited with the FIA. That engine would be the homologated engine. It would mean that any engine used by any team in the championship in 2008, '09 and '10 would be identical to that engine, so there would be no R&D at least for those three years.


This sounds entirely reasonable.

Briatore said on April 5, 2006, concerning homologation:

... First, everybody needs to achieve reliability. But we don't want people to spend fortunes on development, and the reliability is not there because instead of working on reliability, they're working on steps.

"It shouldn't be about 'I have the best engine.' Have an engine for doing racing. Sometimes our people forget our target. Our target, our business, is racing, and making the people enjoy our show."

Behind Enemy Lines - Interview with Flavio Briatore

Clearly, that basic concept - that changes to F1 engines have not been for the mandatory reliability requirement - that concept has not happened.

IMO the rules were poorly established and administered. Engines should have had power and torque curves shown when homologated, and engines tested to confirm they achieved those performances. The reason that engine revs were dropped was to ensure reliability. The homologated engines from two years ago were supposed to be reliable - but a team can always lower cooling, and hence gain better aero, at the cost of reliability due to overheating. So no engine could have ever been deemed as reliable.

Therefore the only way to allow engine changes, would have been to ensure a changed engine did not increase its power, torque, fuel use or cooling requirements. In other words, no change in performance, whatsover, should have been acceptable when an engine was changed.

The big question is therefor - how does one ensure no engine improves its performance? The answer IMO would have been for a company to contract that service to the FIA, to ensure any engine that changed, did not improve its performance. Cosworth could have done that job quite easily IMO. The other way would have been to really lock the engines down. Many of teams wanted that type of homologation with an annual upgrade allowed. Not all agreed, hence the compromise was engine changes to fix reliability or cost were allowed.

The problem has been that Flavio's dictum was not followed with the reliability changes allowed - namely as Flavio said - " we don't want people to spend fortunes on development, and the reliability is not there because instead of working on reliability, they're working on steps " - there are teams who are using the excuse of reliability in order to makes steps.

Clearly the reliability and cost rule was a mistake, as the administration of the rule was not administered correctly, for it allowed changes to engine performance.

#21 Boui

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:52

In this era of predicted fuel shortages to come, why not ditch the current engine freeze and the

strict regimentation of what can be used to power racing cars and then opt for a straightforward

design brief using an engine formula based on limited fuel being allowed to the competitors for each

race, with no design restrictions on engine capacity, type of engine, number of cylinders, use of

turbos etc, and with the use of KERS being optional at the competitors choice.

This would free up designers to use their ingenuity again and would also be of more potential long

term benefit to everyday drivers in the use of their vehicles.

Together with a major reduction in the use of aero usage, we might then get back to real racing,

instead of the boring events with which we are now inflicted - in over 50 years of watching and

attending GPs, I have never previously fallen asleep so much whilst watching races on TV as I have

during this years races!

#22 Melbourne Park

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:55

Originally posted by Boui
In this era of predicted fuel shortages to come, why not ditch the current engine freeze and the

strict regimentation of what can be used to power racing cars and then opt for a straightforward

design brief using an engine formula based on limited fuel being allowed to the competitors for each

race, with no design restrictions on engine capacity, type of engine, number of cylinders, use of

turbos etc, and with the use of KERS being optional at the competitors choice.

This would free up designers to use their ingenuity again and would also be of more potential long

term benefit to everyday drivers in the use of their vehicles.

Together with a major reduction in the use of aero usage, we might then get back to real racing,

instead of the boring events with which we are now inflicted - in over 50 years of watching and

attending GPs, I have never previously fallen asleep so much whilst watching races on TV as I have

during this years races!


Good idea but that is contrary to the direction of F1, which has been to make the cars more alike. The FIA has also said they plan on fuel restrictions, with a more profound KERS and 4 cylinder engines.

IMO the homologation of the V8s has been a failure, due to some teams choosing to develop a competitive advantage after homologating their engines, while some naive teams did not do that.

#23 Madeup Name

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:14

Originally posted by Melbourne Park


Good idea but that is contrary to the direction of F1, which has been to make the cars more alike. The FIA has also said they plan on fuel restrictions, with a more profound KERS and 4 cylinder engines.

IMO the homologation of the V8s has been a failure, due to some teams choosing to develop a competitive advantage after homologating their engines, while some naive teams did not do that.


There are no 'naive' teams in F1, especially one's with Flav at the top! There are however teams who make the wrong decisions occassionally, and choose to save money in the wrong places....

#24 Buttoneer

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:01

Flavs comments about engine changes came out of the blue a very short time ago, so this rumour/story sounds to me like it might have something. It's amazing that we have heard nothing more from the specialist press though.

#25 ViMaMo

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:04

Why cant FIA just dyno the engine? There should be no change in bhp at 19k. They can make whatever changes they want except max bhp.

#26 pgj

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:39

My understanding is that there are certain classes of engine modification that the FIA can approve. For other modifications, a manufacturer can make a request to the FIA who then circulate the request to all teams and only a unanimous approval from all teams will result in the modifications being implemented. It allows all engine manufacturers to understand development paths being carried out by each manufacturer.

#27 Buttoneer

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 13:13

Originally posted by pgj
My understanding is that there are certain classes of engine modification that the FIA can approve. For other modifications, a manufacturer can make a request to the FIA who then circulate the request to all teams and only a unanimous approval from all teams will result in the modifications being implemented. It allows all engine manufacturers to understand development paths being carried out by each manufacturer.

But see post #6 above.

Is the process you mention laid out in the regs anywhere?

#28 Boui

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 18:44

Melbourne Park said:

"Good idea but that is contrary to the direction of F1, which has been to make the cars more alike. The FIA has also said they plan on fuel restrictions, with a more profound KERS and 4 cylinder engines."

IMHO the direction of Formula 1 is what is helping to produce dull, boring races. If all the cars are made alike, where is the scope for any engineering ingenuity? At the moment, a lot of the
ingenuity which should be directed at engineering is being directed at finding loopholes in a set of rules of ever increasing number and complexity.

Imposing more rules of yet more complexity is not the sensible answer - the better alternative would be to simplify the complexity and reduce the number of rules and to allow engineering talent to blossom again, whilst at the same time providing a barrier in the form of limited fuel allotment per race. If nothing else it would be comparatively easy to monitor and also it should potentially be of greater benefit to the ordinary motorist, thus justifying the car manufacturer’s expenditure on research into reducing fuel consumption.

Also, bear in mind that it is not just the racing itself which is of interest to F1 enthusiasts, many are equally as interested in the technical features of the cars.

"IMO the homologation of the V8s has been a failure, due to some teams choosing to develop a competitive advantage after homologating their engines, while some naive teams did not do that."

I can agree with that one. If the FIA was serious about cutting costs, they might just as well have stopped further development of the V10s, limited their power, and not gone down the V8 route – they would have saved a whole lot of money that way.

#29 Scotracer

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 18:55

Originally posted by Atreiu
The should drop the rev cap and the engine freeze. As for KERS, delay its introduction for some 3 or 4 years.


Here here!

What I'm worried about is: Will Ferrari use these few failures as leeway into having more modications and gaining even more performance?

#30 pgj

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 19:13

@Buttoneer :up:

#31 Melbourne Park

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 20:59

Originally posted by Buttoneer
Flavs comments about engine changes came out of the blue a very short time ago, so this rumour/story sounds to me like it might have something. It's amazing that we have heard nothing more from the specialist press though.


Not a short time ago - Renault's own chassis director Pat Symonds commented on the engine being down on power months ago, in April in fact, in a Press conference. It was as if he was having a dig at the Renault corporation, who do the engine in France, and that the team was being criticized from France for a poor chassis. He said it in answer to a question. A couple of days later, there was a clarification where they backtracked - but I think his original statement was pretty clear.

Consider this quote:

Q. Renault have been saying they feel they are a little bit down on power. I think that is fair enough to say, Pat?
Pat Symonds, Renault F1 Director:
I am not sure who has said that but maybe it is fair enough to say, yes

Friday's press conference - Spain Friday, April 25th 2008, 19:08 GMT

There was then an article written which discussed the Renault's engine's lack of performaance too:

To 'get back (on track)' Renault's engine and chassis departments in, respectively, Viry-Chatillon, due south of Paris, and Enstone near Witney, Oxfordshire have slaved day and (almost every) night to improve the performance of a car which has two identified shortcomings. These are:

A down-on-power engine about which very little can be done save for minor, detailed improvements for the duration of the engine-freeze, which Renault themselves instigated. A shortfall in power was alluded to during Friday's FIA Media Conference, and, certainly, Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer for Red Bull Racing - which also uses the engines - did nothing to dispel the suggestion.

The Weekly Grapevine: Be Right Back By Dieter Rencken - autosport.com columnist, April 30th, 2008

#32 senna da silva

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:10

Originally posted by undersquare


Or I suppose, thinking as I write, Merc could have started ahead and Max was a bit desperate to help Ferrari catch up.


That's why Lewis's engine was inspected. and then the info was handed over to Ferrari to copy.

#33 OSX

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:56

Originally posted by Atreiu
They should drop the rev cap and the engine freeze.


Amen.

#34 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:41

Originally posted by Melbourne Park


Not a short time ago - Renault's own chassis director Pat Symonds commented on the engine being down on power months ago, in April in fact, in a Press conference. It was as if he was having a dig at the Renault corporation, who do the engine in France, and that the team was being criticized from France for a poor chassis. He said it in answer to a question. A couple of days later, there was a clarification where they backtracked - but I think his original statement was pretty clear.

Consider this quote:

Friday's press conference - Spain Friday, April 25th 2008, 19:08 GMT

There was then an article written which discussed the Renault's engine's lack of performaance too:

The Weekly Grapevine: Be Right Back By Dieter Rencken - autosport.com columnist, April 30th, 2008

These are comments about the engine simply being down on power which is not the same as saying that other engines have been modified.

Granted, these (I think) innocuous comments may harbour deeper concerns but I don't think it's a cast iron statement that they think other teams have made or will make changes. Only that they (Renault) need to. In fact, Dieters article suggested that very little could be done with the engine which seems contrary to what Flavio has suggested more recently and which the 'insider view' tells us above if you are happy to accept it.

#35 Melbourne Park

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 01:59

Originally posted by Buttoneer
These are comments about the engine simply being down on power which is not the same as saying that other engines have been modified.

Granted, these (I think) innocuous comments may harbour deeper concerns but I don't think it's a cast iron statement that they think other teams have made or will make changes. Only that they (Renault) need to. In fact, Dieters article suggested that very little could be done with the engine which seems contrary to what Flavio has suggested more recently and which the 'insider view' tells us above if you are happy to accept it.


Don't forget what Toyota said - namely that they froze development.

Renault's history has been one of superiority in F1 engines. One can hardly blame the aero problems on their wide V10 concept - but they even won a WDC with an inferior angled engine, then won another with a contemporary implementation. Its surprising, but Renault's engine history is the best. However - they followed the rules this time, which was a bad call in retrospect. One again, the FIA doesn't administer its own rules properly. Both MB and Ferrari have cheated the rules this year - no one should have developed the engines for more performance after the engines were homologated.

The fact is all the teams had reliable engines, and then the homologation rules lowered the engine revs - making the engines even more reliable. The fact also is that the rules allowed a team to change the engine on two spurious grounds. The fact is that Mosley said that homologation would freezes engine development - that is the whole point of homologation. What is the point of having an actual engine held by the FIA, if it no longer is exactly the same as the one a team races, due to changing components?

Flavio himself said when the homologation proposal was discussed, that any engine which was changed post homologation - if it was changed for power reasons - would be against homologation. Anyone who thinks that changing an engine for reliability or economy of manufacture reasons - and at the same time the change brings in power improvements - is following the rules, is absolutely wrong.

The FIA should simply get the engines from the teams who have made changes, and compare them with previous engines. If they have gained in power or torque, disqualify those teams. Or stop the FIA's farcical homologation bulldust. The most stupid thing about all this is that people said restrict the air going into the V10s, and put on a common ECU, and you'll control those V10 engines very nicely ... since then billions have been spent on engines and new chassis for V8 engines while Mosley said he all alone that he wanted to cut costs. Homologation was supposed to completely freeze development. That the FIA has allowed it not to, is outrageous.

I'd introduce an air intake restriction next GP and tell them all that they deserved it. I'd model it on 700hp and have it made by an outside company, and have it attached to each team's air inlet.





#36 AyePirate

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 02:50

The FIA needs to come up with a plan to cause costs to skyrocket, prevent overtaking and destroy the environment. Given their recent track record it will result in drastic cost reductions, rampant overtaking and
a cancer cure.

#37 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:17

Every problem created by the engine freeze is indicative of the overall problem that is being caused here. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle, not only for drivers but for the engineers, motorsport brings the automotive world forward with it, or at least it should be. Since the seventies the FIA have been tinkering with every aspect of the design they can. Whilst i am happy with all the safety initiatives involved in making the cockpit a safer place to be for the drivers, F1 IS NOT A ONE MAKE SERIES, innovation should be heralded not stifled as it is these days. So many brilliant ideas have gone by the wayside from ground effect cars to turbo's. All this regulation eventually leading to the point we reach now. Engineers have to claw back as much downforce as they can which causes the plethora of winglets and flow conditioners that adorn the modern F1 car and make close racing impossible. Then we restrict the engine capabilities that could be relaxed and help the image of F1 by moving in a more fuel efficient 'greener' direction rather than being stuck where we are for the next few years. The teams will of course try to circumvent the rules to every degree they can, but only to try and get ahead as this is a win at all costs sport.

We are losing the best tracks, the best engineers and the best cars from the sport. Gone are the days of small start up teams having a go with someonelse's old car for a season to build themselves up that sometimes brought through a James Hunt (Hesketh) into this world. The soul of this sport is being gutted and while i will still love it, it is being caught and overtaken rapidly by other more exciting forms of motorsport in this world of the short attention span.

#38 Buttoneer

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 13:09

@ MP

There is nothing in what Pat said about engine power which suggests other teams had already got a power increase in April. Flavs comments (recently) came very much out of the blue and are seemingly unsolicited. F1Engineers comments too are interesting in their timing.

It suggests to me that, while Renault might have been a little down on power at the begining of the year, they resent falling back as a result of changes. While they started off with a small deficit that they must have been irritated by (Symonds comments), it's the falling back which seems particularly unfair to them.

#39 Melbourne Park

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 22:34

Originally posted by Buttoneer
@ MP

There is nothing in what Pat said about engine power which suggests other teams had already got a power increase in April. Flavs comments (recently) came very much out of the blue and are seemingly unsolicited. F1Engineers comments too are interesting in their timing.

It suggests to me that, while Renault might have been a little down on power at the begining of the year, they resent falling back as a result of changes. While they started off with a small deficit that they must have been irritated by (Symonds comments), it's the falling back which seems particularly unfair to them.


In your opinion Buttoner. You might be right of course. Pat's comments were out of the blue because its highly unusual for a director to publicly criticise the parent company. In fact, a few days later, Pat revoked what he said, in a Press statement. But what Pat said in that Press interview, was a glimpse of the real issue IMO. He was candid - for that one moment. In my opinion, Pat was defending his chassis team from Renault factory criticism. And in 2007, Pat really stuffed things up. Maybe RBR are doing just the same now - introducing new tech, which when added together is not making the car faster. Pat was also answering a question - there were several commentators who felt Renault engine was suddenly down on power. We know too, that RBR chose the Renault engine from the Ferrari, and said the power was comparable.

Unfortunately, the FIA have not announced which teams have had changes to their engines. Or when those changes were requested, and when they happened. It would be interesting if a journalist in F1 would do an analysis on whether engine performances improved after changes were made.

Don't forget though Toyota - Vassellon has also said they failed to develop, the same as Renault failed to develop. Toyota could have developed - they have the resources. Imagine how much better off Toyota would be right now, with an equivalent engine? Toyota never wanted homologation - but they went along with it. They should have ignored the rules like some other teams have.

If it was yachting, a team would protest and argue that a change was made for a performance improvement. But the way the FIA conducts F1, it does not encourage such behaviors. Same too with Ferrari and the taking of data - Ferrari only were able to make a fuss, when the photocopy house spilled the story into something blatant. I recall the issue with Ferrari's front wing last year, that the FIA took an enormous time to even look at it. F1 governance is poor.