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F1: Renault Says FIA Should Not Impose New Engine Development Freeze Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Jun, 24 2011 | 0 Comments

F1 engine maker Renault has argued the sport should not enter another development 'freeze' once the regulations change in the future.

The World Motor Sport Council is expected to shortly ratify new regulations for a switch from the current normally-aspirated 2.4 litre V8 engines to turbocharged 1.6 litre V6s in 2014.

For the past several years in F1, development of the current crop of V8 engines has been severely restricted by the so-called 'freeze'.

But for the new rules, Renault Sport F1's deputy managing director Rob White says: "We are not in favour of a total freeze over many years.

"What we propose is an annual cycle of homologation in which year-on-year improvements are permitted for the purposes of improving efficiency," he told redbull.com.

White said a likely goal for the new V6 rules is an incrimental improvement in the F1 engines' mandated fuel efficiency.

"So, we think there's a good value balance between limited changes, year-on-year, and the important environmentally sustainable message that fuel consumption reduction is not a big-bang, one-time deal," he explained.

"That's not been agreed yet, because we don't yet have sporting rules."

White also admitted that the FIA's earlier-stated goal of producing a 'world engine' that can be applicable across the major motor racing series is not yet likely.

"I think one should never exclude any opportunities, but for the time being this is a very specific set of regulations, which is entirely driven by formula one," he said.

(GMM)

 

FIA 'very happy' with F1 engine rules compromise

The FIA is "very happy" with the news formula one will delay the introduction of new engine regulations until 2014.

With most of F1's existing engine makers and also Bernie Ecclestone opposed to president Jean Todt's plans for four-cylinder engines in 2013, the F1 Commission met in London on Wednesday.

The body unanimously approved a new turbo V6 formula for 2014, whose 1.6 litre engines should produce a better sound than the touted four-cylinder whilst retaining the crucial 'green' credentials through KERS.

The plan will soon be put to a vote of the World Motor Sport Council, an FIA spokesman told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"We are very happy with the solution," a spokesman for the Todt-led federation told Reuters.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said it believes Ferrari, who were staunchly opposed to Todt's original plan, as well as Renault who threatened to quit if the four-cylinder engines did not arrive, are also now happy.

Cosworth is reportedly also happy, given its better understanding of V6 technology versus the comparatively unfamiliar four-cylinder concept.

(GMM)

 

McLaren not tempted to build own F1 engine

Martin Whitmarsh has played down the likelihood that McLaren might build its own engine for the new V6 rules in 2014.

The British team's F1 chief said in March that McLaren is "ruling nothing out", after the Woking based outfit produced its own 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 for its new MP4-12C production sports car.

But asked if the V6 rules agreed by the F1 Commission on Wednesday are tempting to McLaren, Whitmarsh told reporters: "No, there's isn't.

"Formula one is an incredibly powerful marketing opportunity, but the cost is such that you need to amortise that over millions of cars per annum. Not thousands," he said on Thursday.

"McLaren's maximum planned output, certainly for the foreseeable future, is no greater than 4,500 units per year. So it really doesn't make sense to use a marketing tool like formula one for the engine."

(GMM)

 

Clampdown is 'big blow' for Red Bull - Schumacher

The major players are telling a different story, but the blown exhaust clampdown is a "big blow" to Red Bull.

That is the claim of Michael Schumacher, who commented on the likely impact of the the FIA's new restrictions on the technology to the SID news agency in Valencia.

"But it will affect everyone else as well," the seven time world champion added.

Runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel, however, has sounded cool when asked about the mid-season rule changes, as has Red Bull's team boss Christian Horner.

And Mark Webber said on Thursday: "I don't think it will turn the field upside down."

This weekend teams will no longer be able to tone down aggressive exhaust blowing engine maps between qualifying and the race, before the real effective ban comes into force in Silverstone.

"I don't know if I can get pole just because of mapping changes," insisted Fernando Alonso, after Red Bull's Helmut Marko alleged the rule changes will particularly favour Ferrari.

"I don't think it will change much," added the Spaniard, "because Vettel was sometimes 8 or 9 tenths faster than us even in the race, so we saw a superior dominant car and we cannot underestimate our opponents."

(GMM)

 

Alguersuari not sure about F1 future

Jaime Alguersuari on Thursday admitted he is not sure about his future in formula one.

Red Bull's driver manager Dr Helmut Marko this week refused to rule out stepping down a Toro Rosso racer before the end of the season to make room for promising Australian Daniel Ricciardo's debut.

Spaniard Alguersuari is regarded as the Toro Rosso driver most under pressure at present, given his recent performances with the Red Bull junior team.

"Alguersuari at the moment has major problems with the tyres," Marko said on Austrian television Servus TV. "It is happening both in qualifying and in the race.

"We will look at the situation and find an appropriate solution," he added.

As for whether a premature end to a Toro Rosso driver's season is possible in 2011, Marko admitted: "In formula one you can't exclude."

Asked about his future in Valencia on Thursday, 21-year-old Alguersuari admitted he wasn't sure.

"I don't know about the situation on the future, I always try to do the best, I try to enjoy because it is my job and if I don't enjoy my job I would not be here," said the Spaniard.

(GMM)

 

Bahrain sets sights on successful F1 return

Bahrain has turned its attention to hosting a highly successful return to the formula one calendar early next season.

After civil strife in the island Kingdom led to the postponement of its March 13 opener this year, F1 ultimately decided to skip Bahrain altogether in 2011 but has scheduled next year's first race of the calendar at the Sakhir circuit.

Track chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said he thinks the situation will increase demand for Bahrain's F1 return next March 11.

"We are even thinking of expanding and building more grandstands," he told the Gulf Daily News.

Shaikh Salman said it was "very disappointing" that Bahrain could not host its race this year.

"Nothing to do with Bahrain, but there was an internal battle as well between the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone and the international media obviously played a part," he said.

"Bahrain took a decision that it is better to wait until next year and I personally agree with that and look forward to having everyone here next year."

(GMM)

 

Vettel-di Resta pairing will show who's best - Haug

A comment by Norbert Haug might trigger speculation Mercedes is looking to the future of its F1 driver lineup.

The reigning DTM champion at present is Paul di Resta, a Scottish rookie whose strong F1 debut this year has sparked rumours his future is with Mercedes GP.

Asked if the 25-year-old, with strong links to Mercedes, is better than Sebastian Vettel, Haug answered: "Who knows whether at some point, as they were in F3, they might be together in the same formula one team and then we'll know definitively who is the best.

"Today it's Sebastian Vettel," added the German.

Does that mean Mercedes, currently fielding Nico Rosberg alongside Michael Schumacher, is looking to update its current driver lineup?

"Now is not the time to talk about contracts for the future," insists team boss Ross Brawn to Cologne newspaper Express. "We have bigger problems."

Rosberg has recently been linked with moves to Ferrari and McLaren.

"He has done a fantastic job and it's a big challenge for Michael to keep up with him. Time will tell how long we cooperate.

"We need to prove that we are the team at which drivers want to be," added Brawn.

Haug, meanwhile, admits that Mercedes is already out of the running for this year's title.

"For us this year, certainly not," he told the DPA news agency when asked if the championship is a realistic goal.

(GMM)

 
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