FIA commits to greener future with new engines

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The Independent Online

The FIA yesterday confirmed its intention for a greener Formula One championship with the introduction of radical new engine regulations from 2013.

At the final meeting of the year of the World Motor Sport Council, held in Monaco, the governing body rubberstamped plans that will ensure the sport becomes far more environmentally friendly.

Following dialogue with the four engine manufacturers – Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Cosworth – the powerplants will be 1.6-litre, four-cylinder units with high-pressure fuel injection, and a maximum 12,000rpm. The manufacturers have 27 months to deliver the new powerplants that will replace the current 2.4-litre V8s.

VW/Audi, which had apparently been awaiting the announcement with some interest, may also now come into the reckoning as an engine supplier in light of the FIA's forward-thinking plans.

According to the FIA, the new engines will deliver a 35 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and will feature extensive energy management and recovery systems, yet maintaining current levels of performance.

From next year, Formula One is due to see the re-introduction of Kers (kinetic energy recovery system), a device that stores energy from braking and converts it into power used to boost acceleration. According to motor sport's world governing body, its announcement "underlines the FIA's commitment to improving sustainability".

In a further move, from 2013 drivers will only be allowed to use five engines per season – the limit is currently eight – with that figure cut to four from 2014.

The FIA has also removed the regulation banning team orders from its rulebook following this year's controversy in Germany. Ferrari were fined £65,000 by race stewards at the German Grand Prix after being accused of implementing a team order. But following yesterday's meeting, the body has confirmed the rule has now been "deleted".