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  • achilles achilles Jan 18, 2009 16:05 Flag

    The Cars the Star

    The new engine rules

    The new engine rules can be summarised as follows:

    Drivers get a total of eight engines for the 17-race season
    If they have to use a ninth engine they get a ten-place grid penalty
    They don’t have to use the same engine in consecutive races
    As in 2008, the engines they use in Friday test sessions are not subject to these rules - just Saturday practice, qualifying and the race
    If you want the full detail have a look at article 28.4 of the 2009 F1 Sporting Regulations which you can find on the F1 Fanatic drop.io account.

    Teams will obviously want to manage the amount of work their engines do to reduce the risk of one failing. Almost every Grand Prix is run to the same distance, 300km, except Monaco which is 260km, so that will not play a great role in their thinking. A greater concern is what percentage of each lap is spent with the engine under maximum stress - i.e. at full throttle.

    Engine demands at F1 circuits

    Here’s a list of the tracks on the calendar ranked by the proportion of time a driver spends on full throttle during a typical lap. (I haven’t been able to find data for all of them - please fill in the gaps if you can).

    Monza - 70% full throttle
    Spa-Francorchamps - 70%
    Melbourne - 65%
    Sepang - 65%
    Interlagos - 65%
    Silverstone - 64%
    Istanbul - 63%
    Bahrain - 63%
    Nürburgring - 58%
    Hungaroring - 58%
    Catalunya - 57%
    Shanghai - 55%
    Monte-Carlo - 42%
    Suzuka - ?%
    Abu Dhabi - ?%
    Valencia - ?%
    Singapore - ?%

    Spreading out the number of races evenly between the engines means seven engines would do two races each and one would have to do three. Red Bull used one engine for three consecutive races last year.

    Engine strategy

    Not having to use the same engine in consecutive races frees the teams to mix and match their engines to minimise strain. For example, the same engine that does a high-strain race like Monza or Spa could also do Monte-Carlo - the lowest-strain event. Of course, this assumes their engines are happy to sit for four months in between.

    There are other complications. In wet races engine strain is greatly reduced, so an engine that does at least one wet race may become a candidate for the unit that has to do three events.

    Drivers are also not required to use the same engine all weekend - they could qualify with one engine and swap it for a different unit for the race.

    This is generally good news in that we are much less likely to see a driver receive a grid penalty for a race. However at the end of the season drivers may find themselves having to make difficult decisions about which engine is the one to do three races.

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    • Mga, know the previous info does'nt directly answer your question, but after consultation with the relevant engine supplier the FIA will attach seals to each engine in order to ensure that no significant moving parts can be rebuilt or replaced. Within two hours of the end of the post race parc fermé, and if the Competitor intends to use the engine at the next Event, exhaust blanking plates (with one 10mm diameter inspection hole per cylinder) and further seals will be applied in order to ensure that the engine cannot be run until the next Event. These seals will be removed at the start of initial scrutineering at the next Event.
      d) If any of the FIA seals are damaged or removed from an engine after it has been used for the first time that engine may not be used again unless they were removed under FIA supervision.

      • 1 Reply to achilles
      • Achilles
        WOW. Thanks for that
        After i posted this question i did hunt around a bit and did find the rules and regs which sorts that part out in my mind.
        But i cannot find anything on what the term (no significant moving parts can be rebuilt or replaced) means insofar as say can gaskets be replaced as a example as this is not a moving part!
        I also do not seem to find anything on the KERS unit as to length of service this unit has to achieve i,m sure the info is out there and will come across it if i keep looking:-))
        I do appreciate that the mechanics are not as glamorous as discussing say the drivers but this is the side of F1 that interests me so thank you for taking the time to reply to my question