2014 is going to bring sweeping changes for the technical regulations of Formula 1 racing. Teams are moving from 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8’s to turbocharged 1.6 liter V6’s with two electric motors. The first is the familiar crank driven mechanical energy recovery system and the second is a thermal energy recovery system where an electric motor is added between the turbine and compressor of the turbo. Ferrari’s intro video shows a “uniturbo” similar to the ones used on the Audi TDI Le Mans racers where the turbine housing has two entry passages for the opposing banks of the V6. The electric motor can act as a generator producing electrical energy from the turbine or it can work as a motor to help spool the turbo into boost efficient rpm’s. Integrating the engine so thoroughly with these new hybrid technologies calls for some new terminology. “Engine” is no longer an adequate description of the cars’ power sources. The whole system is now being referred to as a powertrain and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is now referred to as ERS (Energy Recovery System) since it will now also be harvesting thermal energy. New rules regarding restricted fuel capacity and flow rates and better engine durability accompany the new powertrain architecture. The energy management strategies are going to play a huge role in team strategies for the upcoming season. Hopefully most of this performance hybrid technology and acceptance will trickle down into affordable street cars pretty soon.
Here’s a quick overview of the sweeping changes coming to Formula 1 racing next year. The biggest of these is the change in engine format from a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8 to a 1.6 liter turbocharged V6. We’re going to do a more in-depth look at the hybrid energy recovery system later, but basically there’s a lot more electric energy storage and there’s an electric motor built into the turbocharger that can either assist with boost or generate electric power to recharge the batteries. The KERS electric motor attached the crankshaft also carries over. There are also going to be major changes with the nose and front wing as well as the elimination of the exhaust blown rear diffuser.
George the Poet brings us this rhyme about the dramatic 2012 Formula 1 season. It’s better than what you’re probably imagining right now. It’s not everyday I feature poetry here on Flux Auto after all.
The Team Principal Christian Horner, Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber sit down to reflect on the history of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team. The story begins in 2005 when Red Bull took over the Jaguar program. 4 years later Sebastian Vettel was in the hunt for his first World Championship which eventually comes at the last race of the 2010 season. Red Bull’s success continued to grow as they dominated the 2011 season and then squeezed out the championship at the last race again this year after a hard-fought season. The guys reminisce about all the high and low points of their careers with the team.