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Current V8 F1 Engines - Rumours and Characteristics


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#1 handel

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 14:10

The point may be moot with another 30+ races on the current engines, but I find the complete lack of openness about the current engines characteristics a bit annoying. We constantly hear unsubstantiated rumors about them, and there basically isn't any way to get definitive answers unless the FIA or whoever step in and make manufacturers publish specs or someone conducts some cross-engine testing which lets face it is not in their best interest.

Anyway, I'm likely completely alone on this but just like there's a huge appetite for the Aero tech (Scarbs is pretty popular) it stands to reason that some fans would enjoy just a bit more info on the drivetrain.


Some interesting (it's all relative remember) things I've heard about the current engines:


- Cosworth is the heaviest & hardest to package.

- Cosworth is the least 'driveable'. Renault the most.

- Renault is significantly more fuel efficient (10%?) than their rivals. This was mentioned by Renault themselves during the blown diffuser debacle. This could be hurting the merc teams in 2012 because without the diffuser Renault cars are rumored to start lighter

- Mercedes engine is traditionally thought of as having the most power. Then Renault, then Cosworth. Not sure if this stands up anymore

- Renault made several adaptations which have possibly been performance enhancing but got them passed by claiming their primary focus was improving reliability

- Lotus Renault themselves may be doing something different with their engine/drivetrain because people always seem to say it sounds a lot different to other Renault Teams.

- Ferrari has the highest cooling requirements

- Renault best exploited the blown diffuser by producing custom engine maps. Cosworth on the other hand refused to invest and Williams had to spend significant cash on their own.






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#2 Slowinfastout

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 15:44

This is all very fickle but some of it doesn't line up with my own perceptions.

-Red Bull is the team that used to sound quite 'different' from the other Renault-engined cars. The Caterham is also reported to be louder.. I'll report back on that Friday evening ;)

-Ferrari and Sauber both have noticeably small radiator openings this year..

#3 aditya-now

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 15:46

Where does Ferrari come in in terms of drivability and fuel efficiency?


#4 handel

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 16:00

This is all very fickle but some of it doesn't line up with my own perceptions.

-Red Bull is the team that used to sound quite 'different' from the other Renault-engined cars. The Caterham is also reported to be louder.. I'll report back on that Friday evening ;)

-Ferrari and Sauber both have noticeably small radiator openings this year..


Yeah, I should probably say that the stuff about the Renault is very much second hand info and in any case probably related to something else. Interesting though and please do report back!

Useful info about the Ferrari engined cars. How do we find out if Ferrari have made any changes to their engine this year? Sure it wasn't allowed so surely some papers somewhere if it has been?




Where does Ferrari come in in terms of drivability and fuel efficiency?


Not a clue I'm afraid, everything I posted is just stuff picked up from journos and such. Interestingly in Malaysia Brundle threw an idea out regarding Ferrari maybe having a good wet weather engine map to change power delivery in those conditions. Very much derived from two Ferrari engined cars doing so well though that one!

#5 Cacarella

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 16:07

My guess is that anytime a team makes a request for a change based on reliability they sneak in a bit of performance, whether that
be in HP, efficiency, drive-ability(whatever that is) etc...

The last change I recall was at the start of the 2010 season where Ferrari were having pneumatic issues and allowed to make a change.
There may well have been more requests/changes since then but I don't think the FIA is currently publishing the information (which kinda sucks).

#6 TheBunk

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 16:21

The point may be moot with another 30+ races on the current engines, but I find the complete lack of openness about the current engines characteristics a bit annoying. We constantly hear unsubstantiated rumors about them, and there basically isn't any way to get definitive answers unless the FIA or whoever step in and make manufacturers publish specs or someone conducts some cross-engine testing which lets face it is not in their best interest.

Anyway, I'm likely completely alone on this but just like there's a huge appetite for the Aero tech (Scarbs is pretty popular) it stands to reason that some fans would enjoy just a bit more info on the drivetrain.


Some interesting (it's all relative remember) things I've heard about the current engines:


- Cosworth is the heaviest & hardest to package.

- Cosworth is the least 'driveable'. Renault the most.

- Renault is significantly more fuel efficient (10%?) than their rivals. This was mentioned by Renault themselves during the blown diffuser debacle. This could be hurting the merc teams in 2012 because without the diffuser Renault cars are rumored to start lighter

- Mercedes engine is traditionally thought of as having the most power. Then Renault, then Cosworth. Not sure if this stands up anymore

- Renault made several adaptations which have possibly been performance enhancing but got them passed by claiming their primary focus was improving reliability

- Lotus Renault themselves may be doing something different with their engine/drivetrain because people always seem to say it sounds a lot different to other Renault Teams.

- Ferrari has the highest cooling requirements

- Renault best exploited the blown diffuser by producing custom engine maps. Cosworth on the other hand refused to invest and Williams had to spend significant cash on their own.


I stand to be corrected but:

There simply isnt much to say about current engines. The difference in power between the best and the worst is about 30 bhp, iirc, and the only other significant difference is the choice of throttle body, where Ferrari and Renault use Butterfly (better for driveability) and Mercedes uses bus/cilinder (better for top end power).

The rest is all fixed. The height, minimum weight, crankshaft position. No work is allowed on the engine, or ancilaries. All these engine are actually stock 2007/2008 blocks, and Cosworth even older.

And its a damn shame, because if theyd allow all the money teams have pumped into KERS, to use it to develop engines, wed see more differences.




#7 Meanstreak

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 14:28

And its a damn shame, because if theyd allow all the money teams have pumped into KERS, to use it to develop engines, wed see more differences.

Well, 2014 is nearing...

#8 TheBunk

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 18:19

Well, 2014 is nearing...



yeah, more spending, new design, technology, to make F1 look 'greener'. Just as with KERS, a complete joke imo. At least well see bigger differences, that ill agree.

#9 Sterzo

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 18:45

Well, the following points in Handel's opening post were familiar to me too:

- Cosworth is the hardest to package.

- Cosworth is the least 'driveable'. Renault the most.

- Renault is significantly more fuel efficient than their rivals.

- Mercedes engine is traditionally thought of as having the most power.

- Renault made several adaptations which have possibly been performance enhancing but got them passed by claiming their primary focus was improving reliability

- Ferrari has the highest cooling requirements

- Renault best exploited the blown diffuser by producing custom engine maps.

So I'd probably disagree with your thought, TheBunk, that "There simply isnt much to say about current engines." Also, I thought there were areas where they could make changes without reference to the FIA, including fuel consumption via the engine maps; but I may be wrong on that.


#10 TheBunk

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 19:04

Well, the following points in Handel's opening post were familiar to me too:

- Cosworth is the hardest to package.

- Cosworth is the least 'driveable'. Renault the most.

- Renault is significantly more fuel efficient than their rivals.

- Mercedes engine is traditionally thought of as having the most power.

- Renault made several adaptations which have possibly been performance enhancing but got them passed by claiming their primary focus was improving reliability

- Ferrari has the highest cooling requirements

- Renault best exploited the blown diffuser by producing custom engine maps.

So I'd probably disagree with your thought, TheBunk, that "There simply isnt much to say about current engines." Also, I thought there were areas where they could make changes without reference to the FIA, including fuel consumption via the engine maps; but I may be wrong on that.


Ehm no, because most of what you say, is speculation :) We dont know if Ferrrai has higher cooling requirements, or that Cosworth is the least driveable. Last thing I read on Cosworth, is that they couldnt make the hydraulic system work in highs peeds, and therefore most of their teams lost in high speed corners.

You also didnt mention that Mercedes, and Ferrari, and BMW, and Toyota, made changes to their frozen engine early 2008 beacuse of 'reliability concerns'. That the units suddenly produced more power is what they didnt say. This created a public row with Renault, by voice of Flavio Briatore, who accused those teams or breaking the engine freeze, and not doing what was agreed to do: dismantle the engine development department.

Thats why Renault got granted a small 'reliability enhancement' themselves in the winter of 2008/2009 but still it wasnt enough. Finally, in 2010 the FIA granted engine equalisation, in that other teams were allowed to lower their power output to Renaults engine, wich they of course declined. Then another enhancement was allowed to Renault as compensation but untill this day, Red Bull complains about disparaty in power between them and Mercedes, and that the latter gained that outside the rules.




#11 Cavani

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 20:35

may be we could bring the discussion to the new engines ,i have two points to discuss

1-pure is gonna replace an existing engine manufacturer , who could it be ?

2-the new engine development is gonna be very costly and i think one manufacturer will be a clear winner in the first year and others will get it wrong

#12 Meanstreak

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 20:40

1-pure is gonna replace an existing engine manufacturer , who could it be ?

Cosworth? Has Cosworth even clearly shown interest in 2014?

Edited by Meanstreak, 06 June 2012 - 20:41.


#13 Cavani

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 20:42

Cosworth? Has Cosworth even clearly shown interest in 2014?


yeah , cosworth seems like the shittiest engine out there

#14 TheBunk

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 21:02

may be we could bring the discussion to the new engines ,i have two points to discuss

1-pure is gonna replace an existing engine manufacturer , who could it be ?

2-the new engine development is gonna be very costly and i think one manufacturer will be a clear winner in the first year and others will get it wrong


The return of Craig 'well win a race in our first year' Pollock :)

#15 ViMaMo

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:25

James Allison: If you also look at the trends over the last few years, Formula One cars are getting tighter and tighter in their cooling packaging. Some of that’s because we are better at managing airflow through radiators, but some of it, from Renault, has been that they have been great about extending the operating range of the engine, so that we can still operate reliably at higher allowed temperatures


Source

Edited by ViMaMo, 07 June 2012 - 05:26.


#16 Baddoer

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:43

I've heard Toyota had least power some time ago

#17 FPV GTHO

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:54

Toyota were reportedly worse than Renault after the freeze, Honda apparently the worst.

BMW made slight gains during the freeze. The first year, Ferrari made alot of "reliability" upgrades and the second year Mercedes did.