The Formula 1 season bids farewell to the current V8 engine and welcomes the introduction of the new turbocharged V6 configuration for 2014. The new F1 power plant will also possess a relatively small displacement, down from 2.4-L to 1.6-L.
2014 is going to be particularly hard to predict due to this engine switch being such a drastic change. Teams will now have the added challenge of turbo systems and ensuring their reliability and endurability. Other considerations in installing an all-new engine will include weight, placement and aerodynamics, so it seems whoever is the most dominant this season, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in 2014.
To find the extra horsepower from the smaller unit, teams will use turbochargers – a single turbine, compressor and E-motor working with a direct injection system. Although limitations include a 100-KG fuel quantity for the race and five power units per driver per season, the new engines rev lower, so they are more economical.
Mercedes already announced its 2014 engine and Renault is the next supplier to reveal their F1 power plant, the Energy F1-2014. This unit is a prototype for now, but if Renault’s previous engines are anything to go by, winning two F1 drivers’ and two constructors’ titles and powering teams like Lotus, Red Bull and Williams, the French team knows a thing or two about making championship-winning engines.
The new engine’s V6 block is angled at 90 degrees and it’s single turbocharger set at 3.5 bar boost pressure. Using a single exhaust outlet, it revs out at 15,000 rpm – that’s 3,000 less than the current V8.
Another new feature to the engine is a (MGU) motor generator unit. This is an electric motor/generator capable of converting electric energy (Kinetic) to mechanical and vice versa. You have the MGU-H, which is connected to the turbocharger and converts the heat of the exhaust system into electricity and stores it in the battery, and you have the MGU-K, which is connected to the crankshaft and restores the energy of braking. Together they make up the ERS (Energy Recovery System).
Renault promises the new turbo engine also sounds as cool the current V8s. They sent the F1 engine around a simulated lap of Singapore and were pretty happy with the results.