Date:Wednesday April 9 2014
As many of the old dinosaurs complain about the lack of noise, Formula One has broken its way into a new era. The high pitched scream of the old V8's might have gone, but the new generation of Formula One is upon us and the change was crucial for the sport.
Thus far the change has received a mixed response in terms of the sound, Quadruple Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel has said the new engines are s**t. Whilst top Red Bull boffin Adrian Newey has also complained about the direction the sport has taken.
Ferrari have also complained about the lack of noise and Luca di Montezemolo believes the new rules have turned the racers into taxi drivers as they: 'have to save tyres, save fuel and concluded 'this is not Formula 1'
But in terms of the technology on show, the majority understand the move was needed to keep Formula One relevant and even those who are complaining are probably only doing so due to their lack of performance.
'Putting aside the language, even the sentiment is inappropriate. The simple fact is that if he [Vettel] was sat in a Mercedes he would be extremely happy and I'm quite sure that any four-letter or five-letter words would be of joy.' McLaren boss Ron Dennis told Sky Sports ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
He added: 'Most of the moans at the moment are coming from uncompetitiveness.'
The old 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8-engine's produced 750hp, whilst the new 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 engines supported by energy recovery systems produce the same figure with more of it coming from the new ERS.
In Formula One over the past couple of seasons spectators have become used to the use of kinetic energy recovery system [KERS], the old system produced 80hp and was limited to just 6.7 seconds of anyone lap via a driver pressing the KERS button on the steering wheel. With limited use it was generally used as a device to try and defend or attack for race position.
The new Energy Recovery Systems however provide over double the horse power with 161hp and will be in use for 33.3 seconds per lap.
Part of the new generation of Formula One regulations is to also push technology in terms of fuel saving measures, so that F1 is still at the forefront of modern day technology.
All these new power-trains with hybrid engines and energy recovery systems, are things that will develop in some form or another into the road cars of the future.
In a further bid to give Formula One a more environmentally friendly feel, fuel is limited to 100kg per race, whilst fuel flow must not exceed 100kg/h.
It's something that the manufacturers wanted, with Mercedes stating it was 'hard to explain' why Formula One were using out-dated technology.
In fact if Formula One hadn't made the move to the new power-units then Mercedes could have quit the sport.
Daimler board member Professor Dr Thomas Weber, who runs the companies research and development programmes told the BBC: 'The key challenge for the future is fuel economy and efficiency and with the change in regulations F1 is the spearhead for development,'
Mercedes, develop engines for not only the factory team, but also this season for McLaren, Williams and Force India.
He continued: 'We had at different times the challenge to discuss F1 with the (Daimler) supervisory board, We had hard discussions. And it was always - and even more so when it came to the later years - harder to explain why we were using naturally aspirated engines [the v8's].
'Now with these new regulations I can clearly convince the supervisory board that the [F1 team] are doing exactly what we need - downsizing, direct injection, lightweight construction, fuel efficiency on the highest possible level, new technologies and combining a combustion engine with an e-motor hybrid.'
The new that Mercedes could have quit F1, will not surprise many.
Renault, who power Formula One World Champions Red Bull Racing, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham also came close to quitting the sport over the engines rows. They themselves only committed to the sport following the decision in 2009 to switch to the new regulations.
The engine switch has also persuaded Honda to return to Formula One in time for next season with McLaren, whilst rumours of a return for BMW and Toyota have previously been speculated as well as the possibility of Volkswagen joining the sport.
Whilst the likes of BMW, Toyota and VW have yet to make the move into Formula One, the speculation regarding their possible entry has only come about due to the new engine regulations.
The new power-units are a huge positive for Formula One and yet politics and back-stabbing ensure that Formula One talks itself down.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the best races for many a year, its time for the moaning to stop and to celebrate this great sport, which is the pinnacle of motor sport around the world.
Date:Wednesday April 9 2014
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