Ground effect, turbos set for F1 return

Formula 1 teams are closing in on finalising all-new regulations for 2013 that will likely see a return of ground effect cars and turbo engines - as the sport witnessed in the early 1980's

Ground effect, turbos set for F1 return

Several think-tank Working Groups have been set up to get consensus on moves to improve the spectacle of F1 and ensure it becomes more environmentally friendly.

On the engine side, draft regulations were circulated among teams a few weeks ago and the latest plan is for 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engines to become standard.

The power units will be bolstered by numerous energy recovery systems, and should produce around 650bhp. Plans are also being considered to limit engines to just five per driver per season.

In a bid to further increase F1's green credentials, teams are also keen for there to be a fuel flow rate limit - which will ensure the engines are economical.

Williams technical director Sam Michael said: "Rather than dump as much fuel in as we can at the moment, there will be a fuel flow metre - so you won't be able to blow more than a certain amount of fuel. It is a good chunk less than we had at the moment."

On the chassis front, Williams co-owner Patrick Head and former Ferrari designer Rory Byrne are working with the FIA to head up concepts for new car rules.

Teams are keen for the cars to be better for overtaking than the current generation of machines - with ground effect being actively considered.

"They are talking about putting a greater proportion of down force to the diffuser, a ground effect car - like the early 1980's," added Michael. "They have been looking at that, as well as increasing crash protection at the front of the car by moving the sidepods further forwards."

For more on the 2013 regulation changes, see this week's Grapevine column.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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