On a night when a 30 year old TV show made it’s return to Australian television screens, now comes a report that Formula One may soon return to the days of the 1.5 litre turbocharged engine.
According to the popular motorsport website Pitpass, serious consideration is being given to introducing a four cylinder 1.5 turbo engine for F1 from 2013.
The 1.5 litre turbo era saw some of the most powerful and fastest F1 cars ever built with some engines claimed to be putting out well in excess of 1000 BHP.
The cars were however often unreliable and very expensive to build and maintain.
Turbo technology and electronic engine management systems have come a long way since then though and the experience of companies like Audi and Peugeot with turbocharged engines at Le Mans shows that today a properly run turbo can be as reliable as any other race engine.
A smaller engined car, possibly running on “alternative” fuels: Bio Diesel, E85, Natural Gas etc…. may also help F1 fend of unfounded attacks on the sport’s environmental impact from the powerful Green lobby.
According to the Pitpass story, the return to 1.5 litre turbos would also include a return to a KERS system, further strengthening the “green” credentials.
Any move to change the current engine formula is unlikely to find too much favour with most current teams, although Renault, who pioneered the F1 turbo era may well be interested.
Either way with a general downsizing in road car engines, more hybrid technology and the use of alternative fuels on the road. A move like this could be the shot in the arm F1 needs to regain it’s place as a genuine test bed of new and innovative automotive technology.
What do you think? Would you like to see a return to the turbo era of F1? That, and many other issues will be just one of the subjects we’ll be talking about in our In Pit Lane Live Forum Thursday April 15 at 8.30 pm Australian EST here on the In Pit Lane website.
To join just check out the chat box on the right hand side of the page and enter your email to register.
It’s free, and we hope it’ll be fun.