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Possible Detuning of F1 cars next season?


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#1 Megacale

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 19:57

Hi new poster here.

I was watching the GP a few days ago and Matchett mentioned that Norbert Haug has been either given orders or is in the process of detuning their Mercedes engines for next season. It this true, if if it is, its a total disgrace, flying in the face of what F1 is supposed to be about.

Any comments welcome.

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#2 Alfisti

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:06

How long have you been watching this sport?

#3 stevewf1

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:06

Welcome. :wave:

This can be an "interesting" place... I heard that, and also Matchett's and Hobbs' opinions of it and I agree completely. I'm not against restricting power outputs for safety reasons, but to "handicap" a certain engine because it's accidentally more powerful than the rest? :mad:


#4 Szoelloe

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:09

well, not exactly, although it could happen, because that is the only version the FIA has nodded to, after complaints that the mercedes lumps have an unfair advantage over the rest. FIA (mosley) said ok, let's level the engines, but their version is to downtune every lump to the level of the weakest lump in the pack, basically. and that could even be the cosworth. hope todt will solve this problem somehow with fota. or vatanen, if he wins, or whatever, because although the solution sounds logical, and cost effective, but very very stupid.

#5 Megacale

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:39

Thanks for the welcome.

Alfisti, been watching for a while now, id say 1990 tentively. Although I understand what you are trying to get at. FIA has made efforts to slow down the sport for a long time now. Maybe my point wasnt clear enough. Steve actually summed it up perfectly. Why handicap a certain engine... innovation = F1 Right?

Maybe the reverse should be true though. If this engine was so superior way havent the other teams upped the ante a little, or are the rules and regulations that govern engine development such that the teams are basically stuck with what they have. :confused:

Just seems wrong to me.


#6 EthanM

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:46

If 5 engine manufacturers ask each year permission to improve their engines to match the best engine what do you get? Development in a supposed freeze period.

So they got permission once, they got permission twice, third time they were told No, if you want to match engines your detune the better ones not upgrade the worst ones.

#7 stevewf1

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:48

Instead of going through all of this "equalization" process, just mandate a "spec" engine. Everyone gets the exact same engine... Have Cosworth build it and have the various manufacturers simply re-badge as their own. If Formula 1 wants to cut costs and create a level playing field, this would be the way to do it. Call it the "new" F1... :well:

#8 EthanM

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:54

Instead of going through all of this "equalization" process, just mandate a "spec" engine. Everyone gets the exact same engine... Have Cosworth build it and have the various manufacturers simply re-badge as their own. If Formula 1 wants to cut costs and create a level playing field, this would be the way to do it. Call it the "new" F1... :well:



yeah they tried that, Cosworth even won the tender for it, then all the manufacturers said sod this we 're walking off, what's the point of spending millions each year to rebadge cosworths ;

Clicky if you don't remember the standard engine thing



#9 Alfisti

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:57

Thanks for the welcome.

Alfisti, been watching for a while now, id say 1990 tentively. Although I understand what you are trying to get at. FIA has made efforts to slow down the sport for a long time now. Maybe my point wasnt clear enough. Steve actually summed it up perfectly. Why handicap a certain engine... innovation = F1 Right?


I am going to hazard a guess and say costs might be the reason.


#10 DFV

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:01

Hi new poster here.

I was watching the GP a few days ago and Matchett mentioned that Norbert Haug has been either given orders or is in the process of detuning their Mercedes engines for next season. It this true, if if it is, its a total disgrace, flying in the face of what F1 is supposed to be about.

Any comments welcome.


I have not heard those comments so I can't comment on what was said or where they have their information. But it's NOT because the FIA have decided that Mercedes has to detune their engines. This is the decision from the WMC regarding engine detuning:

http://www.fia.com/e...sc_210909a.aspx

Engine Performance



Following suggestions that there is a differential between the performance of engines used in Formula One, the World Motor Sport Council has decided that should this be the case, and should the teams wish to eliminate this performance differential, they may be allowed to do so by reducing the performance of the more powerful engines. However, no engine upgrades will be allowed.


So, as you can see, no obligation from the FIA that they have to do anything but they are allowed to detune if they should wish to eliminate the performance differential. And I honestly don't expect Mercedes to detune their engines just because the other manufacturers haven't done as good a job as they have done with optimising their engine within the current rules.

In my view the FIA's decision is a little "thank you" gesture from the FIA to FOTA after their differences this summer. Some of the teams goes to FIA and asks for another engine equalisation so that the underpowered engines can be modified and get to the same level as the best (like Renault a couple of seasons ago). Instead of doing this the FIA points the finger back on FOTA and says that if the teams wish they can agree to reduce the power of the strongest engines (remember that FOTA was talking a lot about how the teams where united and could cooperate at this time). This is FIA saying; OK, let's see if you can agree on this then...

I could be wrong obviously :)

Edited by DFV, 19 October 2009 - 21:15.


#11 stevewf1

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:09

yeah they tried that, Cosworth even won the tender for it, then all the manufacturers said sod this we 're walking off, what's the point of spending millions each year to rebadge cosworths ;

Clicky if you don't remember the standard engine thing


Then let the manufacturers walk. Or not. What's the point of say, Mercedes building a "better" engine than Renault if it's just going to be neutered because Renault can't keep up?

Sorry, I'm just ranting... :)


#12 Megacale

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:39

We obviously dont want this to turn into A1 either.

I say we go back to good old 3.5L Turbo's with side skirts... :clap:

Thanks for the response guys, Im glad you guys feel the same way.

#13 pacificquay

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 22:02

We obviously dont want this to turn into A1 either.

I say we go back to good old 3.5L Turbo's with side skirts... :clap:

Thanks for the response guys, Im glad you guys feel the same way.



Go back?

There have never been 3.5l turbos in F1

#14 DFV

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:17

I think that the reasoning behind the engine freeze is that it's a temporary (over a few years) measure to help contol the costs of F1. Let's face it, the recent past has shown that the expenditure required to participate in F1 has been too high for a couple of manufacturers. In reality F1 was in danger of not being sustainable economically. The teams (FOTA) has also agreed on this, thats why the budgets are to be reduced to the levels of the '90ies.

The engine freeze is not a new thing in F1 (sort of). In the '80ies they limited the amount of turbo boost and limited the size of the fuel tanks for the 1.5l turbos, not too different from having a maximum rev limit. Obviously todays engine freeze is more extensive than that and it's debatable if it's the right thing in F1.

On the other hand it seems to have been fairly successfull. The racing hasn't been suffering over the past few seasons and there are still talk of differences between the engines, so obviously there is room for clever engineers and development (I think they are allowed to make changes that is reliability related. Friction reduction is a vital issue here and less friction makes more power). Without the engine freeze we would probably (if history should be used as a guide) have similar differences between the engines (i.e some better than the others) but at a higher performance level and at enormous cost to the engine manufacturers. If the money is there for this, fine, but it seems like the cost spiral was getting out of hand and something had to be done. A few years ago the cost of the engine was for most teams their largest single post on the budget.

And, besides, the manufacturers have agreed to this concept and are still competing in F1. Those that has withdrawn so far has blaimed the cost of being involved in F1 as their reasons for pulling out, not lack of technical development. So even with these cost cutting measures manufacturers are still finding participation too expensive.

Edited by DFV, 20 October 2009 - 07:19.


#15 kar

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:34

If I were mercedes I wouldn't detune anything until they've seen what the cosworth is like...

#16 DFV

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:08

If I were mercedes I wouldn't detune anything until they've seen what the cosworth is like...


I agree!

It was reported earlier that the main reason Williams chose Cosworth over Renault was the data from the dyno... Cosworth also has until March 1st 2010 to modify and tune their engines before submitting it to the FIA for final homologation. And the Cosworth was superior to the Mercedes in 2006 both in performance and reliability so the base engine is a very good starting point.

#17 kar

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:15

Not to mention they get to tune it mindful of the no-refueling regs...

#18 ForeverF1

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:16

Go back?

There have never been 3.5l turbos in F1


That may have been a typo. Perhaps it should have been 1.5l ?

#19 DFV

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:20

If I were mercedes I wouldn't detune anything until they've seen what the cosworth is like...


This article in AMuS made your comment even more interesting:

http://www.auto-moto...th-1440505.html

According to this article the Cosworth engine supposedly has 15 more HP than the Mercedes...

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#20 kar

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 10:04

This article in AMuS made your comment even more interesting:

http://www.auto-moto...th-1440505.html

According to this article the Cosworth engine supposedly has 15 more HP than the Mercedes...


Doesn't surprise me...thanks for the link. Max's goodbye present to F1. Effectively freeze mandating a single engine supplier.

Which brings into relieve his comment they can detune down, but not retune up, the existing engines.

#21 FormerF1Driver

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 10:27

This engine freeze sucks doesnt it. Ive had a word with Max about it but alas no luck. He invited me around for a few drinks though. :eek:

#22 DFV

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 10:51

This engine freeze sucks doesnt it. Ive had a word with Max about it but alas no luck. He invited me around for a few drinks though. :eek:


Better be careful then... :drunk:

#23 DOF_power

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:38

"The performance of the cars is at historically close levels, so that is also a negative for a driver overtaking."
Paddy Lowe



So there you have it, the engine freeze did have a negative effect on the sport, and now if they reduce the gaps even more it will be even worse.

Closer cars = shittier racing.

#24 KiloWatt

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 13:33

You know what I dislike, nay, despise. Is people calling it an unfair advantage.

They busted their asses getting that engine to where it is using legal developments that were available to the others as well. It is not an unfair advantage, it is a fair advantage!

If the others can't build a decent engine merc shouldn't be punished. None of the other teams offered any help to them when they were in the handgrenade manufacturing business.

I've no sympathy at all.
:down:

#25 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 13:53

Why not just adjust the rpm limit to 20000?
That would send the Mercedes-Benz pistons into orbit.

#26 Kooper

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 14:13

In my view the FIA's decision is a little "thank you" gesture from the FIA to FOTA after their differences this summer. Some of the teams goes to FIA and asks for another engine equalisation so that the underpowered engines can be modified and get to the same level as the best (like Renault a couple of seasons ago). Instead of doing this the FIA points the finger back on FOTA and says that if the teams wish they can agree to reduce the power of the strongest engines (remember that FOTA was talking a lot about how the teams where united and could cooperate at this time). This is FIA saying; OK, let's see if you can agree on this then...

I could be wrong obviously :)


This is exactly the case from everything I've heard and read. FIA puts the onus on FOTA.

#27 DFV

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 14:32

"The performance of the cars is at historically close levels, so that is also a negative for a driver overtaking."
Paddy Lowe



So there you have it, the engine freeze did have a negative effect on the sport, and now if they reduce the gaps even more it will be even worse.

Closer cars = shittier racing.


Or, there you have it, the aerodynamic efficiency of the cars are so similar that overtaking is harder...

Car performance relies on more than just engine power. Of course I agree that having 50-100 more HP helps while overtaking, but how many KERS overtaking manouvres have we seen this season really? And back in the days of free engine development it was not common to have a 80hp difference between engines?
And has there been fewer overtaking manouvres this season compared to 2006 when engines where free (I don't know)?

Edited by DFV, 20 October 2009 - 14:36.


#28 salamin

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 17:19

according to James Allen there will be no engine equalization for this year :up:

Edited by salamin, 16 January 2010 - 17:20.