Getty Images

FIA outlines 2021 power unit plans

4 Comments

The FIA, its President Jean Todt and manufacturer representatives have outlined their vision of what the 2021 Formula 1 power unit regulations will look like, and plan to finalize the regulations by the end of 2017.

The current engine regulations, the new hybrid 1.6L V6 turbos, came into being in 2014 but have proven complicated in some respects given the different components.

For 2021, the plan is to have a more powerful MGU-K to focus on manual driver deployment, as well as the option to save energy over several laps. The oft-troublesome MGU-H will be removed. The power units will remain at 1.6L with a single turbocharger.

There will be prescriptive internal design parameters to restrict development costs and discourage extreme designs and running conditions.

To improve the sound, the FIA has outlined a 3000rpm higher engine running speed range. The reduced volume and pitch of the cars from 2014 has, to some, eliminated a part of the visceral appeal of the sport compared to the shrieks of V8 and V10 engines run in the past.

A plan to continue investigating tighter fuel regulations and limits on number of fuels used is also being developed, along with a number of other parameters.

“The 2021 power unit is an example of the future way the FIA as regulators, F1 as commercial right holders, the teams and the manufacturers as stakeholders will work together for the common good of the sport,” said Ross Brawn, Formula 1 Managing Director, Motorsports.

“The proposal presented today was the outcome of a series of meeting which took place during 2017 with the current teams participating in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the manufacturers who showed their interest to be part of the pinnacle of motor sport.

“Also, we’ve carefully listened to what the fans think about the current PU and what they would like to see in the near future with the objective to define a set of regulations which will provide a powertrain that is simpler, cheaper and noisier and will create the conditions to facilitate new manufacturers to enter Formula 1 as powertrain suppliers and to reach a more levelled field in the sport.

“The new F1 has the target to be the world’s leading global sports competition married to state of the art technology. To excite, engage, and awe fans of all ages but to do so in a sustainable manner. We believe that the future power unit will achieve this.”

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

Leave a comment

Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter