What? In 2006, the FIA, the world motorsport body, decided to freeze engine development till 2017.
Why? Bigger manufacturers of engines like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota had been spending money in excess of $200m a year on fossil-fuel technology just trying to get a few more rpm out of their racing engines.
How does that hit the green around you? With the combustion of fossil fuel, a non-renewable source of energy, which has hydrocarbons with numerous bonds, a great deal of heat and light is released and that adds to the global warming.
The engines used at the 2006 Japanese GP were used for the ’07 & ’08 seasons too and were limited to 19,000 rpm. The 2009 limit was reduced to 18,000 rpm.
The ‘No refuelling’ effect
There’s no refuelling from this year. So the drivers have to go out with full tanks. With heavier cars from the starting grid, they have to manage tyres much better. Besides, they have to drive smoothly to conserve fuel as they may need to push hard towards the end. When refuelling was allowed, they would start lighter, run on soft tyres for better grip. Due to speed, they’d burn more tyres.
By 2011, the FIA has planned, maximum revs would be restricted upto 10,000rpm, and that would make cars quieter.
The rules planed for the 2011 season call for eco-friendly 2.2-litre turbocharged V6s running on biofuel and developing around 770 horsepower, around 100 horsepower less than present.
The new engines are also expected to switch from running on 102 octane ‘gasoline’ to biofuel. All this is expected to limit harmful emissions.