Friday, April 19, 2013

2014 F1 cars could be upto five seconds slower

Bernie Ecclestone has a new worry about the engine sounds of Formula 1 cars for 2014 in addition to his earlier apprehensions with its sound. He is worried that the Formula 1 cars of 2014 will be around five seconds per lap slower when compared to 2013, meaning they will only be a tad faster than the current GP2 series cars.

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt reported that, Formula 1′s chief executive is also pushing to increase the likely revs of the radical new turbo V6s next year from just 12,000rpm to 15,000.

Saying that it was highly unlikely to happen, Schmidt did add that the higher revs would alleviate some of Ecclestone’s fears about the lamer and tamer tones of the V6s compared to this year’s howling V8s.

That is because of the current rules limiting the engines’ flow rate to 100 kilograms per hour, and each car to just 135 litres of fuel per race. Its not that the fuel flow rate cannot be adjusted, but the engine manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are surely so far into the development of their new V6 designs that it would certainly not be easy to change components that can handle the higher stress levels of running higher revs.

Ecclestone's main problem now will be that the reduction in engine sizes coupled with aerodynamic changes next year, will most probably result in a laptime drop of up to five seconds in 2014.

“Formula 1 will be not far ahead of GP2 and the Renault World Series,” wrote Schmidt.

The teams that buy the engines from the manufacturers are also worried. Currently, they pay around EUR 10 million per year for a customer engine supply, but next year’s V6 engines are set to cost anywhere between EUR 20 and 23 million.

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda insists: “The longer the contract period, the less it will cost our customers in the long run. In the end, (it will cost them) no more than today.”

Force India has already extended its Mercedes deal for five years.

Sauber, however, could be looking for a new solution, having hinted in Shanghai a week ago that it can not afford to pay Ferrari’s price-tag around the 20 million mark.

“It is rumoured Sauber will have Honda power, alongside McLaren in 2015,” Schmidt reported.

“Honda would have preferred to focus on just one team, but FIA president Jean Todt apparently intends to make the manufacturers share the customers fairly amongst themselves.”

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