Ross Brawn has confirmed that the ushering in of expensive new power unit regulations for 2021 might be postponed for a later date. The proposed regulations aim to remove the MGU-H – the energy recovery system connected to the turbocharger that converts hot gases from the exhaust into electricity for the battery.
The regulations also leaned towards placing greater emphasis on the MGU-K – an electric motor that is connected to the crankshaft and timing gears. During the braking phases, the MGU-K recovers the energy that is normally lost in heat. This kinetic energy is recovered and stored in a battery. The MGU-K both recovers and supplies energy.
The removal of one of these components would be considerably costly for teams. F1 sporting director Ross Brawn is considering staggering the 2021 overhaul so that aerodynamic and budgetary rules can change, but consistency in the power unit regulations gives teams at least some familiarity. Speaking ahead of the Belgian GP weekend, Brawn said:
“We want to try and create a set of technical regulations on the engine, which are appealing to new manufacturers coming in as well as consolidate our existing engine suppliers. And I think we just need to think of our timing on that, whether 2021 is the right time to do that, or whether it’s better to keep that powder dry until we can be certain that major regulation change will bring fresh blood into the sport.
“My feeling is that there’s still quite a lot we can do on the engine side in terms of sporting regulations such as limits on dyno test time, number of upgrades during a season, consistency of specification to all customer teams, etc. On the engine, we need to decide if now is the time to have a revolution or an evolution.”
This could be a better approach to take. We know how long it has taken for two teams to be closely contesting the title in the hybrid era, to reset this would ensure gaps in performance between manufacturers would once again increase.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner voiced his support for Brawn’s ideas, telling Autosport:
“I think it’s better to take a little bit more time to really consider what is the right engine for Formula 1 moving forward. If that needs a bit more time, or a couple more years to achieve that, then that’s the sensible approach. I think at the moment now I can’t see anything changing before the 2023 season, to be honest with you.”
Renault and Sauber also made comments suggesting they’re in favour of delaying new engine rules. Is there sense in staggering the introduction of some of the changes that were announced in the initial 2021 proposals? Let us know in the comments.