The Formula 1 teams have rejected the major rules changes that had been planned for 2013.
According to the BBC, the teams instead have endorsed a less radical plan that still would reduce drag and lower fuel consumption but, in their minds, also cost less.
We talked about it on the podcast… I think. It’s all pretty hazy.
The BBC nicely sums up the rules that the FIA was hoping to push through:
The aims were to help reduce fuel consumption by 35% in tandem with a switch from the current 2.4-litre V8s to 1.6-litre turbo engines with ‘green’ technology and for the cars to be more challenging to drive while being no more than five seconds slower per lap.
The initial plan was to reintroduce shaped underfloors as a more efficient way of reducing drag while retaining high levels of aerodynamic downforce.
Instead of those plans, FOTA has put forth the following:
* a front wing of reduced width, down from from 1800mm to 1650mm
* a much shallower rear wing, similar to those used at the high-speed Monza track
* significantly lower noses on the cars to improve safety, although the exact maximum height has still to be determined
* the retention of the moveable rear wing – or drag-reduction system (DRS) – that was introduced this season to make overtaking a little easier
* a restriction on all the extra pieces of bodywork that have sprouted in front of the sidepods of the cars
* a restriction on the design of front-wing endplates, to limit the intricate designs seen today
* a plan to increase wheel diameter from 13 inches to 18 inches has been delayed until at least 2014
For you really technical folks, the BBC says that the “cars’ drag co-efficient will reduce from existing levels of 0.9Cd to about 0.7Cd, while the FIA’s initial hope had been to cut it to 0.5Cd” under the FOTA proposal.
The big question now is whether Jean Todt and the FIA will go for this version of the rules. Todt has been pretty adamant about wanting the rules as the FIA proposed — the package roughly called the “green F1” rules. And even Bernie Ecclestone has sounded at times in step with Todt.
What I think we can say with certainty is that this is another concrete argument for the teams and the FIA and CVC/FOM to have; which one might break the camel’s back (warning, very subtle cigarette ad in there) is the big unknown.
But for now, perhaps we can discuss how these FOTA ideas sound. DRS is still there, so that’s easy enough to banter on about if we want. But, no… I can’t tell from the coverage I’m seeing what kind of engine FOTA is talking about here. Is there a good reason not to just give a total torque and horsepower limit and let the teams decide what kind of engine they want to strap on to their cars? V6 turbo? V12? V4 twin turbo?