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Formula 1 could be getting noisier

An extra 3,000 revs and new hybrid tech should make F1 more fun to listen to

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Formula 1 is getting noisier. The FIA has announced what form it wants the sport’s future powerplant to take. In 2021, we can expect more noise via more revs. Good news, then.

The key targets of F1 engines from 2021 forward is described as “a reduction in cost, maintaining road relevance with hybrid technology and improving the sound of the cars and the appeal for the fans.” It’ll be interesting to see how those aims all work together.

Engines will be 1.6-litre V6 turbos with hybrid technology, but the idea is their rev limit will be 3,000rpm higher – climbing to 18,000rpm – while the ‘MGUH’ unit that recovers energy from current F1 cars’ turbos will be removed, so their sound should be a lot less muted.

To make up for the loss of energy, the KERS system (or ‘MGUK’) will be boosted and it will be more reliant on manual driver deployment. It’ll allow drivers to save up energy over several laps, allowing a more tactical element to KERS deployment. Could it create more overtakes? Here’s hoping.

Cost saving could be achieved by more prescribed engine and transmission specs – allowing a far more ‘plug-and-play’ approach to F1 car parts – while there could be test restrictions and more fuel limits. Quite how the latter will work with 18,000rpm red lines we’re not quite sure…

“We’ve carefully listened to what the fans think about the current power unit and what they would like to see in the near future,” says Formula 1’s motorsports boss, Ross Brawn.

“The objective is to define a set of regulations which will provide a powertrain that is simpler, cheaper and noisier,” he continues. “To excite, engage, and awe fans of all ages but to do so in a sustainable manner. We believe that the future power unit will achieve this.”

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