3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

All that has to do with the power train, gearbox, clutch, fuels and lubricants, etc. Generally the mechanical side of Formula One.
morrisond
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3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by morrisond » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:09 pm

I know only 3 engines allowed next year. However what about adopting a different strategy. What about designing your engine to only last for one race.

I know you would start from the back of the grid. However you could basically then use one engine for qualifying and then in the race use a completely new engine.

Theoretically then in the race the engine would only have to last 1 race instead of 7. How much more power could you make with a 1 race engine? 100BHP? Enough to easily overtake every car in the race?

Or would the big constraint be the amount of Fuel? You just couldn't run the Engine that hard anyways.

Just thinking out loud and it probably wouldn't work - but it's getting to the point where different strategies might work. It's almost like pitstops - No Stop, 1 stop or 2 stop strategy.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by turbof1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:23 pm

It depends. Concerning power wise you will get some advantage out of it, but I think that alone will not warrant starting from the back of the grid everytime.

The bigger gains potentially are made concerning weight and CoG, as well as packaging. There are limitations on that however, with the PU having to weight a minimum of 145kg and the CoG cannot be below 200mm above the reference plane. That being said, I believe that for instance Mercedes is already quite above both those limitations (being both above 145kg and above that CoG point) and next year that will most likely get worse. So yes, there are quite a few gains to be made in that area. Of course, you could shave off weight on the cooling.

One other benefit could be you could have specific PU designs for specific circuits. For instance, Mexico and Brasil are high altitude circuits, so you can get an additional benefit by a specific turbo design.

Concerning power, you are not gaining a lot out of it in qualifying, but neither is that needed. During the race you can obviously go a lot more flat out. Just going from the Mercedes car, which underfueled for the Mexican GP by 14kg, imagine them filling up to the full 105kg and them actually spending the additional 14kg in the highest engine modes. That alone did amount for 0.5s/lap in Abu Dhabi. Nowadays that 14kg is dead ballast because they can't use the higher engine modes long enough to burn that off, but I can imagine them being able to use the higher engine modes long enough outscores the extra ballast.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by MrPotatoHead » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:03 pm

This would not work.

The engine power is fuel flow / efficiency limited.
So unless every other car in the race had to turn their engine down to last the race you would not have that much of an advantage.
Plus everyone else could just do the same thing.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by turbof1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:07 pm

MrPotatoHead wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:03 pm
This would not work.

The engine power is fuel flow / efficiency limited.
That's not entirely the case now. In qualifying it is, but in his proposal you'd be throwing Q away anyway. For the race you actually are reliability-wise limited.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by DarkAlman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

Wouldn't be worth it.

Yes you'd have more horsepower, mind you at a phenomenal cost, but the reality of today's racing is you can't pass due to aerodynamic reasons. An extra 100 HP probably wouldn't be enough to make up for the Aero deficiency, let alone on tracks like Monaco where passing is nigh-impossible.

Track position is too important. You spend the entire race fighting to get into the mid-field.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by Phil » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:22 pm

I would think Hamilton situation in that he had an engine that only needed to last 2 races (Brazil race + Abu Dhabi QF + Race) showed the limits.

Of course, this topic goes a little beyond that in asking what benefit was to be had if the engine was designed to only last a weekend, but i because of the imposed limits on fuel flow, i think any advantage would be limited to the point it wouldnt be worth trading starting positions over.

Abu Dhabi showed that aero and downforce are key factors on such a track - and Bottas with an old engine was still very fast - fast enough to not be passed.
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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by Jolle » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:33 pm

You'll get a bit more HP, but most of all, a steep rise in costs. You'll need 7 times the amount of PU's per driver. Not a problem for the top teams, but a huge cost for midfield.

As for penalties, those wouldn't matter too much either, you still need a system to penalise someone who blows/destroys a PU on friday/saturday and with PU's having a smaller limit (They only have to do around 500 km in total), that would happen more often.

If you want more HP, just a light increase in FF would be a lot cheaper/easier.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by turbof1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:10 pm

Phil wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:22 pm
Of course, this topic goes a little beyond that in asking what benefit was to be had if the engine was designed to only last a weekend.
It goes a whole lot more beyond than you assume. The advantages on the power side are indeed quite limited, say around 0.5s on average in the race.

I think the real advantages will come from superior weight distribution (not from rear to front, but locally around the wheels) and more effective use of ballast, as well as packaging downsizing. The PU only having to deliver one full race means you really can strip down reinforcements, fill up just to what is technically required and all else can be used as ballast. While other other teams most definitely are above the minimum weight, you are at it and have a lot more ballast to play around with. So chassis wise you are gaining a lot.

Is that worth to start at the back of the grid each race? I myself doubt that. Just saying, the implications are broader than just power delivery.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by Mudflap » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:34 pm

Probably not worth it, however one or two tactical engine changes sound entirely plausibile, particularly if teams get the opportunity to bring in a new spec while others are nursing old dogs.
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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by Steven » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:01 pm

Unlikely worth it, as mentioned, due to the importance of track position and the relatively minor performance gains you'll be able to make.

The potential weight advantages will also be minor to none, as the engine is subject to minimum weight, and a minimum height of the CoG. You'd be able to reduce the weight of the moving parts a bit, but even then... the crankshaft itself also has a minimum weight (determined at the end of 2016, so very close to the lightest crankshaft in use at the time).

Btw, did Lewis have a new spec for his final two races of 2017?

In any case, this change swings the advantage further towards the manufacturers, who will certainly use a new engine if one of their cars has a bad qualifying. Customer teams will not get that advantage, and will likely only get a new engine if one actually fails.

void
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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by void » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:29 pm

I partially agree with 5 engine rule, but this kind of rule would make teams use any engine at any time, only giving penalty if 6 engine is used.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by bill shoe » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:00 pm

A new engine at every race is 21 engines total, that seems excessive. Real question is whether some cars/teams will make a strategic decision at the beginning of the season to use more than 3 internal-combustion engines, perhaps planning on a total of 6 as an example? That would give the opportunity to run each one harder for half the mileage, with the only tradeoff being a trio of 5-position grid penalties during the season. My armchair intuition is that this strategic approach is more optimal for scoring championship points than trying to nurse only 3 engines and possibly taking one or two penalties anyway. We will see.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by NL_Fer » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:57 pm

Lets assume the power/weight/cog difference is there and the team saves money on test-mules, not benchtesting every mod for 5000km.

Starting from P20, the midpack laps 1-2s slower, you would lose 30s before the first pitstops. Even staying out, wouldn’t bring you to P1 in most, as the lead car would pit en return on the track in front of you. Tyres worn from driving behind midfielders, fighting for positions, will increase laptimes also. Maybe engine speed, but tyres left to overtake. Now you take a pitstop as late as possible, putting you back +20s behind the race leader.

To win the race you have to lap 2s faster than race leader AND fight with guys like Verstappen, Alonso, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, etc. at the same time. Finally try to overtake the race leader who was cruising and saving tyres, engine, etc for most part of the race.

But building 84 powerunits per tram, by hand is excessive AND the fuel flow limit, will make the available powergain to small.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by morrisond » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:52 am

Well you could get away with One Engine per weekend - use the one from the previous Weekend and crank it to the max for qualifying knowing full well you will replace it for the race. If it blows you start from the back. That would mean 42 engines per year per team - as Mario Illien has stated Development Costs on the dyno to get an engine to last for 7 races far exceed the cost of producing an extra engine, and then only 1 ten place penalty per weeken (unless regs are different for 2018).

Theoretically say you are Red Bull or Mclaren with a pretty good chassis but no hope of matching Mercedes on HP on a 3 per year Engine Strategy. But you could get 75-100HP more with a 1 race engine and start from something like 10-13th place (assuming you qualify in the top 3 and take a 10 place grid penalty as you are willing to kill your engine).

You may not finish 1st every time but you would probably get a lot of podiums and points.

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Re: 3 Engine Rule - Why not take new Engine Every Race?

Post by hpras » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:01 am

Maybe every team should do it, by Gentleman's agreement..... I crack myself up.