Wednesday, 10 May 2006 22:16
FORMULA 1 ENGINES
For a decade F1 cars have run with 3.0 litre normally-aspirated V10 engines, but In an attempt to slow the cars down, the FIA has mandated that as of the 2006 season there will be a new engine package. The regulations specify that the cars must be powered by 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated engines in the V8 configuration that have no more than four valves per cylinder. Further technical restrictions such as a ban on variable intake trumpets have been also been introduced with the new 2.4L V8 formula to prevent the teams from achieving higher rpm and horsepower too quickly. As of the start of the 2006 season most engines on the grid rev up to 19000 rpm, with the Cosworth V8 powering the Williams going up to an astonishing 20000 rpm in qualifying trim.
Once the teams started using exotic alloys such as titanium in the late 1990s, the FIA banned the use of exotic materials in engine construction, and only aluminum and iron alloys were allowed for the pistons, cylinders, connecting rods, and crankshafts. Nevertheless through engineering on the limit and use such devices as pneumatic valves, modern F1 engines have revved up to over 18000 rpm since approximately the 2000 season. Almost each year the FIA has enforced material and design restrictions to limit power, otherwise the 3.0L V10 engines would easily have exceeded 22000 rpm and well over 1000hp (750kW). Even with the restrictions the V10's in the 2005 season were reputed to develop 960hp (715kW) . The new 2.4L V8 engines are reported to develop between 720hp and 750hp (535 to 560 kW), with the Williams Cosworth unit being the most powerful.
The more poorly funded teams (Ferrari spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year developing their car, while the former Minardi team spent less than 50 million) will have the option of keeping the current V10 for another season, but the engines will have their components de-tuned to keep them from having any advantage over the V8 engines.
The engines produce over 100 000 BTU per minute (1750kW) of heat that must be dumped, usually to the atmosphere via radiators and the exhaust, which can reach temperatures over 1000 degrees Celsius (1800 to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit). They consume around 650 litres (23 ftÂ³) of air per second. Race fuel consumption rate is normally around 75 litres per 100 kilometres travelled (3.1 US mpg). Nonetheless a Formula One engine is over 20% more efficient at turning fuel into power than even the most economical small car.
All cars have the engine located between the driver and the rear axle. The engines are a stressed member in most cars, meaning that the engine is part of the structural support framework; being bolted to the cockpit at the front end, and transmission and rear suspension at the back end.
In the 2004 championship, engines were required to last a full race weekend; in the 2005 championship, they are required to last two full race weekends and if a team changes an engine between the two races, they incur a penalty of 10 grid positions.
The rules between 1998 and 2005 stated that Formula One engines may be no more than 3 litres engine displacement and must have 10 cylinders. In order to curb increasing power levels, the maximum engine displacement has been reduced to 2.4 litres, and the number of cylinders to 8 for 2006. However, a concession is made in the rules to allow some teams the option of running 10 cylinder 3.0 l engines for 2006. This rule is intended to help poorer teams unable to produce an engine and chassis to comply fully with the new regulations in time for the 2006 season. All teams using the 10 cylinder 3.0l engines will be subject to a rev limiter to decrease power.
Devices designed to pre-cool air before it enters the cylinders are not allowed, nor is the injection of any substance into the cylinders other than air and (petrol) fuel.
Variable-length exhaust systems are also forbidden.
The crankshaft and camshafts must be made of steel or cast iron. The use of carbon composite materials for the cylinder block, cylinder head and pistons is not allowed.
Separate starting devices may be used to start engines in the pits and on the grid. If the engine is fitted with an anti-stall device, this must be set to cut the engine within ten seconds in the event of an accident.
|Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2006 19:06|