Sunday, July 08, 2007

Proposed 2011 regulations for Formula One

Like the carbon burning Live Earth event it is easy to poke fun at the attempt being made to make Formula One motor racing 'green' in the proposed 2011 sporting regulations. After all the cars burn about a gallon of fuel a lap.

This misses the point that the vast majority of the fule that is being burned in connection with F1 is by spectators driving to and from events. If technologies developed in the hyper-competative world of F1 make their way onto ordinary cars the potential savings are huge.

Some of the more interesting changes are proposals to eliminate the current bans on turbo charging and energy recovery. The engine is reduced to 1.3-1.6 litre and 4 cylinders. Fuel economy will become a big part of the sport.

What might well be part of the motivation behind these changes is the strong likelihood that the US will introduce strict fuel economy requirements, 35 mpg being the likely minimum. The major motor manufacturers need both the technologies developed through F1 competition and a venue in which to showcase them.

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