British GP: Max Mosley press conference (Part 1)

British Grand Prix FIA press conference transcript with Max Mosley, FIA President Max Mosley: I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to come and I'd like to talk a little bit about the future Formula One engine regulations. First of ...

British Grand Prix FIA press conference transcript with

Max Mosley, FIA President

Max Mosley: I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to come and I'd like to talk a little bit about the future Formula One engine regulations. First of all, the regulations that have been published state very clearly that engines will be homologated for three years, in 2008, 2009 and 2010. There have been some discussions about whether the homologation should be relaxed to some degree, but in actual fact we've reached a situation where there are at least three and possibly more views on this.

Some teams think we should stick with completely homologated engines, with no changes at all. Some people like the so-called Maranello agreement and some would like a more liberal agreement than Maranello, but there is no consensus. Under those circumstances the 12 teams who have entered the championship from 2008 have done so under the regulations as published, so we intend to stick quite simply to the rules as they are, and as they were approved by the World Motorsport Council on March 22.

I would remind you that the reason for homologation was that we want to eliminate engine development costs where the major manufacturers are spending between 100 and 200 million euros per year. Indeed more than that in some cases -- and that is quite clearly unsustainable when the outcome of all that expenditure is just to make the engines run 200-300rpm faster each year. It's not sustainable and can't continue.

For that reason we proposed the homologation and that will continue. I should point out that under the Maranello agreement, which is the slight relaxation, when the calculations were done the engines were still going to cost well over 15 million euros per year more than the completely static, homologated engine. On any count homologation seems a sensible thing to do. The engines are very good. They are running at 19,000rpm plus they are very reliable by any historic standards, and amazingly so when you consider they are all new this year. They are also, as I say, more than powerful enough, to the point that I think we've all been surprised by them.

So, the first point I wanted to make is that we will implement the homologation rule as published. That means we will be sealing a number of two-race engines -- in fact we have already sealed some of them. We will be sealing more once they have done two races and those will be the spec engines. Each manufacturer will be required to supply us with a complete dossier on these engines so that we will know what the spec is.

That brings us to development and technology, what about them? What we wish to do, and at the moment it is only an idea rather than a regulation, and it need not be a regulation until the end of 2006 in order to be introduced in 2009, is to bring into Formula One a technology that two teams were working on in the mid-1990s, but which we prohibited at the time on the grounds of costs and safety -- primarily safety. That was energy storage devices. At that time one team was working on, I believe, a hydraulic system and another on an inertia system. And since then of course there have been a number of electrical systems for storing energy. What it comes down to is this. In the next 30-50 years it is absolutely certain that every vehicle on the public road will be fitted with a device that will enable it to recover all the energy released when the brakes are applied and store it and use it again to drive and accelerate the vehicle.

At the moment all the braking energy is dissipated through heat as is all the energy when you lift off and the car is simply driving the engine. The heat from that, of course, goes out through the cooling system. The only exception to that is when some of the energy is recovered in hybrid systems, but very little, and it is stored in a battery at a very low rate. One shouldn't confuse what I'm about to say with hybrid systems. It is a completely different basic technology and will be part of a more complex system eventually on road cars.

What we're talking about is really something quite simple, a simple principle, but I emphasise that this is not yet proposed as a regulation. We want to sit and talk to the teams and manufacturers about it to find the best solution. What we have in mind is this: that every car can be fitted with equipment, which must weigh no more than 20 kilos and will store energy when the car brakes and enable the energy to be used when the car accelerates again. The technology we would like in that 20-kilo piece of equipment will be completely free, so that people can choose whether they want a hydraulic, inertia or electrical system, or some other technology or branch of those technologies. It's completely free.

On the basis of what is known at the moment, this would enable a car to store about 400 kiloJoules -- that's with currently available technology. That translates to 60bhp for about nine seconds. Now that would enable a car, having stored that energy, to have an extra 60bhp available for overtaking. The braking period for an F1 car is very short, so it would probably take a full lap to store enough energy for this overtaking manoeuvre. Depending on how well the systems was engineered, it would probably be available on every single lap. And of course if would be available to both the overtaker and the overtaken, which has all sorts of interesting implications.

Compared for example with the suggestion of a push-to-pass button on an F1 engine as they are at the moment, if you allowed 1,000rpm for push-to-pass it would give about 40bhp for however long you allow the 20,000rpm.

We're talking about 60bhp for nine seconds. We believe that when fully developed this system will enable a car to have about 900 kiloJoules, enough for about 120bhp for about 10 seconds. To put that in perspective, 900kJ is a two-ton road car stopping from 108km/h and going all the way back up to 108km/h again without using any petrol.

This is quite clearly something that is and will be developed for the road and all the major manufacturers are working on different systems at this time. By allowing it in F1 we will be accelerating its introduction. We'd like to do that for 2009 but must sort out the detail of the regulation with the teams and manufacturers. This will be a technology that everyone can understand, the public can understand and it will be directly relevant to road cars and a technology for the future of road cars.

At end of the homologation period, that's to say the end of 2010 going into 2011, we would like to introduce a different engine formula where the limit on power was not through engine capacity, the traditional means, which is completely out of date and old-fashioned, but to limit power by the amount of energy consumed. There are all sorts of ways of doing that and this is precisely the area where all manufacturers are working with their road cars. Saving fuel and saving energy is absolutely fundamental to them. For that we would need the major road car manufacturers to propose the formula. Our only conditions would be, first, that it must be a racing engine as we all understand the term. It must sound and feel like a racing engine. Secondly, any research to improve that racing engine would have to be directly relevant to research to improve fuel efficiency in road cars. Those are the two conditions we would set for how it was done but other than that this new formula would be a matter for the manufacturers.

Then, quite suddenly, instead of spending fortunes trying to get another few horsepower out of a fixed capacity, which helps no one, leads nowhere and is completely sterile research, we'd be doing research that relates to fuel efficiency and is thus directly relevant to road cars. That would be for 2011 and that would be on a proposal from the manufacturers. Should the manufacturers not be able to come up with a sensible proposal to achieve that, there would be nothing to prevent us extending the homologation for another year or two years or however long it took. It would be very simple to do that, but if we are going to have a very high-technology F1, which I think we'd all agree we have to have, then that technological research should be devoted to areas that are relevant to road cars and actually contribute something to society rather than yearly sterile research for another 200-300rpm from a fixed-capacity engine.

That briefly and I hope reasonably clearly is what we are proposing, in fact what we are going to do. The homologation is done, it's in the regulations and there will be no further discussion on the homologation point. Before the end of 2006, we need to agree a regulation for the energy recovery and storage device if we want to introduce it in 2009, because of agreements currently in force. Ideally, the fuel efficiency engine for 2011 should be done quickly, because that way manufacturers who have large teams of people doing engine research could keep those teams together. That's a matter for them, but we would like to see a proposal quite quickly. Whether they are willing and able to do that remains to be seen.

So there you are. I would now be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Continued in Part 2

-fia-

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Series Formula 1