Another turbo V6 engine era for Formula 1

Jacques Laffite (FRA) suffered turbo problems in his Ligier JS27. British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, England, 13th July 1986

The customer Renault V6 turbo engine powering Jacques Laffite's Ligier JS27 expires big time during the 1986 British GP

Jun.22 (GMM) Formula 1 has taken another step towards overturning the scheduled 2013 engine rules and instead the F1 Commission is set to propose V6 turbo engines for 2014 onwards.

Bernie Ecclestone with FIA President Jean Todt in Istanbul

Bernie Ecclestone with FIA President Jean Todt

We reported on Sunday that Bernie Ecclestone summoned a meeting of the F1 Commission to take place at Heathrow airport today (Wednesday).

On the agenda was the formal scuttling of the proposed 4-cylinder regulations proposed by FIA president Jean Todt, because F1 chief executive Ecclestone as well as engine makers Ferrari, Mercedes and Cosworth were opposed to the Frenchman’s proposed engine formula.

Furthermore, Ecclestone is arguing that Todt improperly introduced the 4-cylinder rules without first going to the F1 Commission, and the whisper on Wednesday is that the body has now “unanimously” rubber-stamped an alternative.

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary revealed on that F1 will stick with its current V8 engines through 2013 and then switch in 2014 to a new turbo 1.6 litre V6 formula.

“Unconfirmed as yet,” he clarified.

The Times’ Kevin Eason agreed: “A whiff of compromise. Fascinating engine configuration though.”

The Renault V6 turbo engine US GP, Las Vegas, 25 September 1982

Renault pioneered the first turbo era

Cary said the new rules will be voted on via fax by the World Motor Sport Council on Monday.

The first F1 “Turbo Era” started when Renault entered the last five races of 1977 with Jean-Pierre Jabouille in its only car. After a period of laughable reliability, the French manufacturer soon became a major player as turbo power started becoming unbeatable.

Soon BMW, Ferrari, TAG, Ford, Alfa Romeo and numerous others were building some of the most exotic car engines ever seen. The power range was anything between 390 hp (290 kW) to 500 hp (370 kW), turbos 500 hp (370 kW) to 900 hp (670 kW) in race, in qualifying up to 1,500 hp (1,120 kW)!

In 1989 the turbo engine formula was put to rest, at a time when the top units were producing four digit horsepower figures, and thus ended an era where F1 experienced the most powerful engines since the world championship began in 1950.

  • KM

    yes yes there is a god!!!

  • Red

    V6 turbo’s were great…. Ferrari & Renault being the most consistant during that era. BMW had a 4 cyl Turbo which was potent but peaky. Alfa made a V8 Turbo which in a better chassis could have won some GP’s.
    But I like the thought of V6 Turbo’s, and a 6 cyl limit. Also boost will need to be limited.

  • Bec

    P.U.R.E and Renault were well advanced with their 2013 engines, and now all that has been a waste, but I guess that was the plan.

  • Mark Clowes

    Bring on the grenade engines!

  • Stewy33

    I love the V-6 turbo’s of the past. Now let the engineers have a field day with it! No horse power or boost restrictions, if they can make it hold together they should be rewarded with a championship. Every driver, team, and spectator will rejoice. We have the safety in place so bring back the glory of F1,BIG HORSEPOWER!!!

  • Geo

    I wonder if the new F1 turbo engines employ a pop-off valve like IndyCar/CART did in the past to help regulate turbo boot levels. Or will they allow the engine manufacturers to run amok? So much for cost savings… Maybe this new formula will bring back Honda to F1.

  • Alex

    They should stop limiting horsepower. Or raise the limit to at least 800

  • Dan

    No limits. Its F1.

    I think there should be no boost or fuel restrictions.

    The technology that came out of the previous F1 era has found its way into the cars of today.

    Ball baring turbochargers for one!

    Carbon panels is another!

    I think if they are restricted and budget limited then the great minds that dream up the crazy materials and ideas will be opressed and unable to spread there wings.

    Bring on the V6 turbo era!!! Im all for it :-)