Steane Klose | May 24, 2007

Diesel powered F1 cars! According to F1 Racing magazine the President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Max Mosley has written to car manufacturers suggesting that it is time F1 became more environmentally friendly. He proposes to achieve this by changing the field from fire breathing petrol powered cars to oil burners…diesels.

The proposal was sent to the manufacturers currently involved in F1 – Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW and Honda. In addition to these manufacturers it was also sent to Audi, VW and Ford, potential candidates for entry into F1.

Mosley’s proposal outlines his vision for F1 from 2011-2014 and sees the adoption of 2.2-litre turbo-charged diesel engines that will be rev-limited to 10,000rpm. Limited…that’s astounding revs for an engine that is normally out of its depth anywhere north of 5,000rpm.

The fuel will no longer be Optimax or Elf but Biodiesel…and instead of producing the 700Kw+ that the current 2.5-litre petrol engines manage the diesels would produce about 580Kw and no-doubt substantially more torque.

The diesel engines would have to last for 5 races whereas the current petrol engines are only tortured for two. Diesel engines are inherently strong, a by-product of the high compression they require to operate, so lasting a few more races shouldn't be as difficult as building a high output petrol engine that can last as long. Audi have already proven the ability of diesels to produce big power reliably in their R10 TDI diesel race-car (pictured below).

audir10tdi.jpg

Word is that the proposal also includes allowing all-wheel-drive, traction control as well as a 13-second over-boost function that would make for easier overtaking and more interesting racing.

If Mosley manages to get his ‘green diesel’ concept over the line it will in our opinion be a real boost for F1 and have many benefits. Diesel technology will continue to improve exponentially, the racing may become interesting again and it will all lead to some very exciting technologies filtering down to road cars. A Ferrari F70 V12 diesel...?

Oh, and it will be better for the environment as well…almost forgot that bit.

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