Date:Wednesday August 29 2012
Formula One is an ever evolving beast.
The development race amongst the teams is fierce and is always ongoing.
For example, the double-DRS system developed by Mercedes for this season is banned from 2013 onwards, but that hasn't prevented Lotus developing their own system for the final nine races of the 2012 Formula One World Championship.
McLaren are yet to even test out their vision for double-DRS but haven't ruled out introducing their own design by the end of the season.
Any advantage that a team can find, no matter how small, will be rigorously researched and tested.
So when a major regulation change is on the horizon, it's hardly surprising that the teams work will begin at an early stage.
When that regulation change is in regards to engines, during an era of tightly restricted aerodynamic regulations, the emphasis on engine development is even greater.
With tighter chassis rules for 2014 teams will have fewer chances to find an improvement in aerodynamic design, so much so that Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has already spoken about his belief that the sport could move more into a engine manufacturers championship rather than a team championship.
Under current regulations set-up in 2006, cars are powered by 2.4-litre V8 engines, but from 2014 the engines make-up will be altered to brand new 1.6-litre V6 turbos.
There will also be an added emphasis on recoverable energy, with the development into KERS and exhaust heat set to make a further step forward.
With Formula One wanting to show its green credentials, a greater emphasis will also be placed on fuel efficiency with the contribution of recoverable energy increasing by around a factor of 10.
Development costs also remain important in F1, so engines will be even more robust going forward.
Under current regulations, teams are restricted to eight engines per car, per season, with penalties placed on the car if they exceed this limit. From 2014 that limit will be reduced further to five engines per car per season.
So a lot of areas for engine manufacturers to find an advantage, so Renault and Mercedes have already started work on their new concepts which will power F1 teams Red Bull, Lotus, Williams, Caterham, McLaren, Force India and Mercedes and the same applies to Ferrari, who not only design engines for themselves but also for Sauber and Toro Rosso.
However question marks remain on whether Cosworth [engine suppliers for HRT and Marussia] will continue in the sport, while development on customer-engine company PURE has been suspended.
'we have the first V6 on the dyno and that is a very interesting project. The 2014 regulations are extremely challenging and there are completely new Formula 1 powertrain regulations, mostly focussed on energy recovery.' Ferrari engine and electronics director Luca Marmorini told the official Ferrari website.
'Our V6 is running at the moment and we are running a lot of things. It is a turbo engine; we are really focussed on that and interpreting the rules in the right way.'
Date:Wednesday August 29 2012
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