Everyone seems to be complaining about the noise the Formula 1 cars generate these days. Technically speaking, lesser the noise something makes, better it is since noise is just a waste of energy that is constantly being created. But, let’s not just get too much into that stuff otherwise it would be more like discussing Formula E. Let’s just look at both, the positives and negatives of having the new 1.6L V6 Turbocharged Power Units, or also known as “mengines” which some people in the paddock like to call it.
We’ll divide the article into two sections, negative and positive, and 2 sub sections, impacts of the engine from the prospective of a sport and from a business point of view to understand it better.
Let’s just talk about the negative impacts of the new Power Units. Some may hit the sport and the business in a small way, and some in a big way
Developing these Power Units is really expensive. The V6 Turbocharged hybrid engines are the most expensive engines in terms of development in comparison to any other engine since 1950 when F1 started.
On one side, F1 talks about cost cutting, but on the other side F1 wants manufacturers to develop the most expensive engine in the history of F1.
Apparently, as per sources in the industry, the costs will be covered in the future. How will it be covered? We’ve covered it under the positive impacts of the new engine from a business prospective.
Promoters might just want to end up renegotiating the contract prices since quieter Power Units is certainly not what the promoters have agreed upon paying millions for.
If the promoter’s demands are met and prices go down, the teams end up getting lesser revenues since a percentage of the revenue that is received from the promoter’s end, is given to the teams, and this hits the smaller teams a lot more who aren’t as rich as the top 4 teams.
So here’s where we try to make you believe why the change to the new Power Units is a good idea!
We’ve already mentioned the noise these quieter Power Units have a negative impact, but there are positive impacts as well. In the previous seasons you never got to hear the “Whistling Sound of Turbo” because the earlier V8 engines were naturally aspirated as opposed to current year's force induction turbocharged engines. That “eee” noise the engine makes when the turbo kicks in sounds like music to an F1 purist’s ears.
Renault has been great in the PR area thanks to Red Bull Racing’s domination for the past 4 years. Every race Red Bull Racing wins, Renault would have an advertisement in leading newspapers. This year, for obvious reason they’re not able to do the same. Seems like it’s Mercedes’ time to dominate the front pages with advertisements.
If you look at cars manufactured by Ferrari and McLaren, there’s F1 engineering written on each and every square centimetre of the car. Cars like the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C have each and every technology used borrowed from F1. The engines, gearboxes, limited slip differentials, gear changes faster than a wink of an eye, steering wheel with buttons on it which Ferrari like to call it “Manettino”, suspension, aerodynamics, materials used to make the body, etc.
Porsche 918 Spyder is an example of what a supercar of the future is. Speed as well as a powerful engine delivering 887HP from a V8 hybrid engine coupled with an Energy Recovery System. It goes from 0-100km/h in just 2.6s (stats according to Porsche).
Hope all this was enough to change you from being ‘against’ the new 1.6L V6 Turbocharged hybrid engines, to 'for’ it. No doubt we will miss the naturally aspirated V8 engines, but these new engines have a bigger future in the whole consumer automobile industry than what the V8’s may have ever had.
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