Outline of engine formula emerge
Formula One has given more details on the engine formula which should be introduced in 2021. The FIA, Liberty Media and teams have already reached a broad agreement for cheaper, louder and simpler engines to be brought in.
The plan now is to retain the 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid but to remove one of the two ways currently used to generate hybrid power. Engines will run at a higher speed and the drivers will have greater control over hybrid energy deployment.
Today, following a meeting between the team, Liberty Media and The FIA seven key proposals are
- a 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid.
- Engines running 3,000rpm faster to improve sound.
- The removal of the MGU-H, the part of the hybrid system that recovers energy from the turbo and which is largely responsible for muting the sound made by the current engines.
- A more powerful MGU-K – which recovers energy from the rear axle – to make up the loss in hybrid energy from the MGU-H and with the option for a driver to save up energy over a number of laps to add a tactical element to the racing.
- A single turbo with constraints on dimensions and weight.
- Standard battery and control electronics.
- Research into tightening up fuel regulations
The hopes of these regulations are that other manufacturers and smaller engine companies will be attracted to the sport as well as making the sport more competitive. Since the current regulations where brought in Mercedes have won all four drivers and constructors championships.
A joint statement by the FIA and F1 said the proposals would now be “discussed and developed” by interested parties in a series of meetings “in the spirit of the widest possible co-operation”.
However, if the FIA and F1 are in agreement, the teams do not have enough power within F1’s rule-making procedure to block them – unless Ferrari objects and decides to use a veto.
Hardest championship to win
Lewis Hamilton says that his fourth world championship was the hardest to win. The Mercedes driver sealed his fourth title after he finished ninth in Sundays Mexican Grand Prix,
Hamilton scored two points following the collision with his title rival on the opening lap of the race, they both managed to recover to score points. But Sebastian Vettel needed a win with Hamilton sixth to keep the championship alive for another weekend.
The new world champions says that fending off a resurgent Ferrari and Red Bull made this championship “definitely” the hardest to win. The Englishman told Autosport “2008 was tough, 2007 [when he narrowly missed out] was difficult. 2008 was very tough. The following years have just been different.”
“This year, being in a position to really lead the team and help drive, motivate and direct the car exactly where I want it to go in its development, alongside a great team-mate.”
“Fighting against a great team in Ferrari with the highest decorated, or was the highest decorated driver in the sport – we are now both – was a massive challenge I was looking forward to.” Hamilton says it good to have two teams pushing to the limit and that what gets us excited.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described this year as “the hardest for the team” as it battled to get the most out of a car he has described as a “diva”.
“We had quite some ups and downs – a new car, new tyres – and to accept that this is the reality now, and to progress, was difficult for the team, and took the maximum out of us.”
Hamilton echoed that sentiment, adding: “We’ve all loved that challenge. Every single individual in the team has really raised their game.
Title hopes faded throughout Mexican GP
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has admitted his hopes of his fifth world title were fading throughout the Mexican Grand Prix. The German was forced into an early pit stop after a series of collisions in the first sector with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race.
That left him and title rival Hamilton, needing to recover places from the back, though it was the Ferrari driver who made up more places than Hamilton it wasn’t enough to stop the Mercedes driver sealing the title.
Vettel told ESPN, “It’s not an option to give up. It’s not something I generally think of. I tried everything to get back and score somehow enough points to keep the title open.”
“You could say that I should have realised much sooner, but the moment you cross the line is a tough moment. You always believe and until the last lap I didn’t think of anything else other than trying to do everything I can, you always hope for something to happen but then you have to face the fact that it’s over”
The championship ultimately slips away from Vettel after three tough weekends during the second Asia leg of the year, which saw him retire from two races and start from the back in the other. Two of them where thanks to reliability issues and the other thanks to a collison at the first corner.
Vettel added “. I’m not a big fan of pointing fingers for one race. We had two races we didn’t finish, Lewis won both of them and they were the most costly but it doesn’t change anything now.”
But Vettel denied the notion that Hamilton, who he insisted was the “better man” in 2017, was only able to win the championship due to having the best car at his disposal.
Honda wasn’t expecting performance in Mexico
Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa says the Japanese manufacturer was not expecting the performance they had during the Mexican Grand Prix.
Going into the weekend, Honda chose to make several component changes to Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne’s car because they expected to struggle. Also, they wanted fresher elements for the final two races of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
But they showed good pace throughout the weekend, with Alonso fifth in Q1 and declaring he had the best car in the field before going on to finish 10th in Sunday’s race. Hasegawa told Motorsport.com “The performance was much better than we thought.”
“Before we came here, we thought our engine performance was worse than the other teams and the effect from the high altitude would be bad. But Sakura has worked hard to create a good set-up for this high altitude.” He says the power deficit was smaller than expected.
Hasegawa pointed out these gains were made on the dyno as a reason for Honda’s form at Mexico, where the high altitude puts a strain on the engines.
“Previously, we couldn’t create a good dyno system to evaluate the high altitude situation. But in the last week, we have made improvements in Sakura, regarding the operation of the engine. We made improvements here.”
We can win anywhere – Verstappen
Max Verstappen believes that his win in the Mexican Grand Prix is proof that Red Bull can fight for wins at any circuit. The Dutchman narrowly missed out on pole, but beat Sebastian Vettel into the second corner before sailing away while Vettel made contact with Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen’s second victory in four races has seen the team emerge as genuine contenders against Ferrari and Mercedes.
Asked by ESPN, if he feels Red Bull can now fight for poles and wins at every track, he replied: “Poles, it’s difficult to say, because we don’t have this power mode in Q3, but our car in the race has improved a lot, even in qualifying.”
“I think we still miss out a little bit to be really comfortable fight for pole position but if we have a race where we can overtake then I’m sure we can fight for victories, otherwise you don’t win a race like this.” Verstappen’s win came despite a long list of Renault powered cars retiring.
Verstappen himself has suffered a long list of power unit issues this season, he admitted during the race he started to wonder if his car would make it to the finish as the laps ticked down.
“I saw the TV screen that he retired and then I saw another Toro Rosso in front of me on fire and I was like, ‘Oh my God, don’t let this happen to me’. So we turned down the engine quite a lot and then everything seemed to be fine.”
Teams overwhelming go for supersofts for Brazil
Pirelli has announced the driver’s tyre allocations for next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. For the race at Interlagos, the Italian manufacturer has chosen to go for the mid-range of compounds, the supersofts, softs and the medium tyres.
All of the teams have overwhelmingly chosen to use most of their choices on the supersoft tyres. All have chosen the same allocation for both drivers, apart from Red Bull, with all of the drivers allocated a single white medium.
Mercedes, Force India, Toro Rosso and Haas have chosen eight sets of supersofts, four soft and a medium. While Ferrari, McLaren and Sauber have chosen nine supersofts, three softs and a medium. Williams and Renault has chosen ten supersofts, two softs and a medium.
The only team to vary the allocation between their drivers was Red Bull, with Max Verstappen having nine supersofts and three softs. Teammate Daniel Riccardo has eight supersofts and four softs.