The FIA has turned up the technology-wick for 2014, with all F1 cars to be powered by 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged engines and relying heavily on the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS).
The 2014 championship year will be the first time since the1988 season that turbocharged V6 engines have powered the F1 grid, with changes so substantial that the word ‘engine’ has been replaced with ‘power unit’.
Among the changes, is a 100kg restriction on fuel flow per hour to complete a race distance, and an extension of the KERS input; from a 60kW boost for around six seconds to a 120kW boost for 30 seconds.
As for Renault’s ‘power unit’, one of the most successful engine-builders in the sport’s history says it’s ready for the significant challenges of the 2014 season, with the unit about to undergo track testing.
“Grand Prix racing is a pioneering sport, representing the pinnacle of human endeavour and technological innovation,” Jean-Michel Jalinier, President of Renault Sport F1, said.
“From the rear mounted engines of the 1930s to the ground effect of the 1980s, F1 technology has always been years ahead of its time. With cutting-edge energy systems and highly advanced turbocharged combustion engines, in 2014 F1 remains true to its DNA. We are absolutely at the vanguard of powertrain technology this year.”
Renault says its 2014 power unit will be one of the most fuel-efficient engines in the world, while the electrical energy harvested from the exhaust and brakes via two motor generator units will work in harmony with the new V6.
Late last year, Ferrari revealed its new power unit for the 2014 season, with Mercedes-Benz being the third of three suppliers on the grid. Honda is set to make a return to F1 as a power unit supplier next year.