Formula One Plans To Have Louder And Cheaper Engines In 2021

Photo credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images 
Photo credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images 

In news almost as big as the fact that Fernando Alonso has a kitten, Formula One officials announced their goals for the series’ revamped engine regulations for the 2021 season. Some of the biggest planned overhauls will be what fans have called for for years: louder engines and lower development costs.


You might be wondering why we’re talking about 2021 right now. F1, like a weird, dystopian government, overhauls and issues new rules of engagement every few years. That’s why you’re reading about 2021 in 2017, more than three years before any of this stuff will actually take effect on the race track.

Anyway, F1 presented its proposals for 2021 engine regulations to manufacturer representatives Tuesday, and said the overall framework for the rules will be announced by the end of the year. The F1 announcement said officials will keep rule details quiet until the end of 2018, preventing manufacturers from starting design and development on new engines and “ensuring [they] continue to work on the current specification unit.”

Here are F1’s main proposals for 2021, as announced on the series’ website:

- 1.6 Litre, V6 Turbo Hybrid

- 3000rpm higher engine running speed range to improve the sound

- Prescriptive internal design parameters to restrict development costs and discourage - extreme designs and running conditions

- Removal of the MGUH

- More powerful MGUK with focus on manual driver deployment in race together with option to save up energy over several laps to give a driver controlled tactical element to racing

- Single turbo with dimensional constraints and weight limits

- Standard energy store and control electronics

- High Level of external prescriptive design to give ‘Plug-And-Play’ engine/chassis/transmission swap capability

- Intention to investigate tighter fuel regulations and limits on number of fuels used

F1 plans for the 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrid engine introduced in 2014 to stick around, but wants to give fans the thing the sport robbed from us with these “green” engine alternatives: the noise. The years of F1 cars getting quieter and quieter may finally be over, since officials want to improve the sound of the engines with higher RPMs.

F1 said earlier this year that it would finally give fans the engine noise they demanded with the new engine rules, and thankfully, it looks like the series will actually do it.


Another thing the series said it would change for 2021 earlier this year was the cost of developing an F1 car, which is, of course, astronomically high. Officials plan to do so by limiting teams’ design freedoms, which could level out the field a bit more and keep one team from running away with the wins every year.

Other proposals F1 gave manufacturers on Tuesday included the elimination of MGUH, which is a system that reports is kind of unique to F1. It spins the turbocharger at lower revs, and works like the MGUK system that F1 will keep around—both systems can recover and supply energy.


But to be honest, you probably stopped reading this at “louder engines” in the headline. Go ahead, celebrate, and if you made it this far down the blog without calling everybody up for a LOUD ENGINE PARTY, thank you for your dedication.

Staff writer, Jalopnik


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