For years, everyone around Formula One has been asking for the cars’ engines to be louder – everyone, that is, except the sport’s governing body and some owners. In an apparent nod to the requests of so many fans, drivers and teams, it was recently announced that a rules package would be released in the future allowing engines to be louder in 2021.
Press Release Came Out of Big Paris Meeting Held Recently
The FIA, or Federation Internationale de L’Automobile, held a meeting of all major stakeholders in Formula One on March 31, 2017 where they discussed the future of the sport. Present at this meeting were representatives from the sport’s new Commercial Rights Holder, current suppliers of Power Units, auto manufacturers, the FIA and some independent suppliers not currently involved with F1.
Four Main Points Announced for Future of Formula One
The press release from the meeting said the interested parties were in broad agreement on the future evolution of the power units (engines and transmissions). The focus will be on four issues/items which will be worked on in the coming years and implemented for the 2021 season.
One announcement involves “Improving the sound of the power units.” This means the engines will become louder. The groups in the meeting have also expressed “a desire to maintain F1 as the pinnacle of motor sports technology, and as a laboratory for developing technology that is relevant to road cars.”
The overall cost for teams to operate in F1 is constantly increasing. One of the major areas where costs are growing extensively, but have the potential to be controlled, is in the engines. The group wants the power unit of the future to be powerful, but “simpler and less costly to develop and produce.” There is also “a desire to allow drivers to drive harder at all times.”
FIA President Jean Todt told reporters after the meeting, “I was very pleased with the process, and the fact that so many different stakeholders were able to agree on a direction for the FIA Formula One World Championship in such an important technical area. Of course, now we must sit down and work through the fine details of exactly what the 2021 power units will be – but we have begun on the right foot, and I am looking forward to working through the process to come up with the best decision for Formula One into the future.”
Wastegate Exhaust Pipes Recently Allowed
In the first bid to help make engines louder, the FIA promulgated a rules package for 2016 that allowed teams to use separate exhaust pipes for the wastegates on the turbos. While giving no aerodynamic advantage, this did change the engine’s exhaust note noticeably. Mercedes-AMG tweeted their interpretation of the rule change and the result was interesting, to say the least.