Mercedes talk up future of F1
Mercedes have voiced their belief that "motor will be put back into motor sport" when new engine regulations come into force in Formula One in 2014.
The forthcoming campaign sees the end of an era because after eight years the normally-aspirated 2.4-litre V8s will be no more. From 2014, in a bid to cut costs and become greener and leaner, the cars will be powered by turbo-charged 1.6-litre V6s.
Mercedes offered a sneak peak into the new concept at their High Performance Powertrains facility in Brixworth. The word 'engine' will no longer exist in F1 as the term 'power unit' will instead prevail, with the package incorporating the engine, the turbocharger, KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), the new ERS (energy recovery system), battery and all controlling electronics.
The overall target, as currently faced by the engineers at Mercedes, along with fellow manufacturers Ferrari and Renault, is to achieve the same power output of 750 horsepower, but using much less fuel.
Each car will start a race with a maximum fuel load of 100 kilograms, the equivalent of 140 litres, and run at a maximum of 15,000rpm.
That compares to present fuel levels of 150kgs, and with an rpm of 18,000.
Crucially, a driver is currently allowed eight engine changes per season, with the average distance covered by each of 2000km.
Yet come 2014 only five changes of the power unit will be allowed, and will have to run to 4000km, offering a considerable challenge to the engineers currently developing them.
For fans who thrive on the current grunt of the V8 engine noise, managing director Andy Cowell insists the V6s will still be "loud, but sweeter sounding".
Cowell added: "I had the privilege of standing in a test cell the first time it was run and I had a big smile on my face. The sound is going to be pleasant, with the volume a little lower, but it's not a problem with the direction we are going."
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