F1 proposes removal of sound-deadening turbo energy recovery

The MGU-H hybrid system’s days may be numbered in the interests of saving money – and making noise

F1 red bull daniel riccardo

FORMULA 1 could one day sound as it should: noisy as hell. That’s possible if changes to the regulations proposed for 2021’s F1 season come into force.

Under the proposed change, the FIA will bin the MGU-H hybrid system, the oft-criticised and high-cost energy recovery system sandwiched in between the turbine and the compressor in the turbocharger that converts wasted energy into electricity. That power is then fed into the compressor to all-but eliminate turbo lag.

“The FIA Technical Department will now meet with current and potential power unit manufacturers to discuss the proposals in more detail, with a view to finalising the 2021 regulations by the end of May,” the FIA said.

The proposed change doesn’t signal that teams will move away from the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 hybrid format used today. Unlike the MGU-H, the brake-fed MGU-K system is expected to remain part of the regulations.

The announcement regarding long-term power unit changes for 2021 onwards came as the sport’s ruling body laid out its planned short-term changes for the 2019 season.

These include a weight increase for the fuel allowance, up from 105kg per race to 110kg. The FIA says this will allow drivers to spend more time at full power rather than strategically backing off to conserve fuel.

As well, drivers will be required to wear what the FIA calls “biometric” gloves, which it says will increase safety and facilitate medical rescues. The Bluetooth-equipped gloves can measure a driver’s stress via blood oxygen levels and heart rates. It is believed the 2019 mandate will extend monitoring to also cover temperature and breathing rates.

And in a move that would have helped the big-boned Mark Webber, the FIA proposes to consider the driver’s weight separately to that of the race car, meaning the porkier drivers – sorry, Mark – won’t be penalised like they effectively are under the current system.

The FIA said it was still in talks with teams about potential aerodynamic changes for next season, with a decision expected by the end of this month, once the FIA-led research had finished.

The proposed rule changes are all subject to the approval of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.

Click Here to hear what F1 cars without MGU-H could sound like.


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