January 11th, 2013 (F1plus / Gustavo A Roche).- As most of you know, the era of the naturally aspirated engines will see its last year in 2013. After that, the re-introduction (last time seen in 1988) of the Turbo engine will take place.
It’s been long eight years of the normally aspirated 2.4-litre V8s, which saw its development frozen during that time as a measure to reduce cost among other things.
Hence, starting in 2014 and in a bid to cut costs and appeal greener and leaner, the F1 cars will be powered by turbo-charged 1.6-litre V6s.
Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as teammates, leaked couple of pictures of its power unit.
Along with the turbo units, the power source will also be aided by with the well-known KERS and the new ERS (Energy Recovery System).
To this end Mercedes is working to make a unit that delivers 750bhp – just as the current engines - but using a maximum of 100kg of fuel compared to the current level of 150kg.
Also, in 2014 only five changes of the power unit will be allowed, and will have to run to 4000km each compared to today’s 2000; thins brought a interesting challenge to the engineers in the developing them.
The turbo engines will rev to 15,000rpm instead of the current 18,000rpm, something that has risen concern about the units and of course, its characteristic sound.
Even Bernie Ecclestone has been one of the most vocal opponents of the new units, labeling their sound as "terrible".
Nevertheless, Mercedes-Benz High Performance Powertrains managing director Andy Cowell insists they will be "loud, but sweeter sounding".
Interviewed by Sporting Life, Cowell added on that issue: "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."
The frequency will be higher and, with the turbocharger running at 125,000rpm, they will be loud. When you are stood next to it on the dyno it is not quiet and you need ear defenders”.
Cowell also covered the topic about the new ERS that will turn discarded heat from the turbo and rear axle into energy and adding that into the unit.
The current KERS currently produces 80hp for 6.7 seconds per lap, while the new ERS will deliver 161 hp for 33.3 seconds per lap.
Cowell added: "We will be about there in terms of lap time compared to 2013. It's a stretchy target, it's very ambitious, but then this is Formula One.
It's a competition where the most ingenious engineer will win out, and it will also become a thinking driver's championship to get the most from the car and the available energy."
That is not to say it will become a Sunday economy drive where a driver will not be operating at full power to conserve fuel.
"I don't think we will go down that route," said Cowell.
"If you make inefficient engines, then yes, that will be the case. If you make efficient engines, then no.”
Overall, it's about putting the motor back into motor sport."