Hughes explains F1’s engine regulations – “Will be frozen for the next four seasons”

F1 expert Mark Hughes explained F1’s engine freeze for the near future, saying they will retain engine specifications for the upcoming years.

Engines in F1 run the same specs for a certain period of time before regulations flip the mandate for them. The last time this happened was in 2014, where the old gaa-guzzlers were replaced with turbo-hybrid engines.

Teams who manufacture their own power units then get to work on the finer details of it. Each team engine’s power, torque, assembly, weight and other factors will be different compared to their rivals’.

Hughes explained F1’s engine freeze, saying the power units will not remain in place for a couple of years.

In his column for the Race, he wrote, “For the next four seasons, the Formula 1 power units will remain essentially frozen in specification.

“We’ve been here before – in the last seven of the eight seasons of the 2.4-litre V8 era. But in that time the specifications of the engines were more tightly prescribed than with the current turbo hybrid V6s.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Race Day Imola, Italy
Every team’s power unit development will have to be handled carefully. Source:

Foundation and work

“This time around the greater divergence of specification between manufacturers makes it potentially more difficult to equalise performance,” Hughes analysed.

“But it should be emphasised that the FIA is not regulating performance – that was considered but rejected. Rather, it is regulating only that the specification of each power unit remains unchanged for the next four years so as to eliminate an area of necessary development spend.

“The manufacturers have had a year to develop their 2022-25 engines since the terms of freeze were agreed. Mercedes and Red Bull (with its ex-Honda technology) will be basing theirs upon those used in ’21, which were very evenly matched on power, with the latter proving more reliable and suffering less performance degradation with mileage.

Engines in the last few years of the V8 formula were not quite ‘plug-in and go’ components but came closer to it than at any time before or since. It is the hope of F1 that they will be similarly close in this second freeze era – but it’s not a given,” he concluded.

Read more: McLaren backs F1 engineers to do “tricks” to nail new 2022 regulations

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