New F1 engine regs approved

World motorsport governing body FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) has approved a switch to turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder gasoline engines with electric KERS (Kinetic Engery Recovery System) support from 2013.
The new engine formula will replace the existing naturally aspirated 2.4 V8 engine regulations as part of the FIA’s efforts to reduce consumption, lower emissions and bring on hybrid energy systems. The new F1 engine rule allows for revs to be limited to 12,000 – down from the 18,000 of today’s units.
However the use of KERS promises to keep power levels at current levels, with F1 engineers hinting at increased levels of torque owing to a combination of forced induction and electric motor assist. Each driver will only be permitted five engines per season from 2013, reduced to just four from 2014.

Turbocharged four-cylinder engines last appeared in F1 in 1988, with what was then a 1.5-litre formula -the most famous of which was BMW’s M12 unit. Used by Nelson Piquet in the Pamalat sponsored Brabham BT50 to win the 1982 World Driver’s Championship, it was the first F1 engine to deliver over 1000bhp (746kW) in racing trim, although was apparently capable of nearly 1400bhp (1044kW) in short life, high boost qualifying trim.

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