3 Dec 2013
Back to small motors
The last race under the 2.4 litre formula one regulations has been run and for 2014 the cars will be running 1.6 litre V6 turbos with energy recovery systems.The last time F1 had small (1.5 litre) turbo engines it was an amazing era with astonishing power outputs being achieved particularly by the "grenade" qualifying engines.This new era will not be the same as power outputs will be restricted.Don't want people having too much fun do we?Anyway we have to be environmentally responsible-as if real motor racing can ever be environmentally responsible.Don't get me started about formula e - the new electric racing formula.The grass grows very quickly around here and watching it can be quite exciting.
Formula one has had small displacement engines before that - back in the sixties it was 1.5 litres naturally aspirated.This era produced some fantastic racing and beautiful cars in both formula 1 and the junior formula 2 as well as the Coventry Climax engine seen in this photo.It is a thing of beauty.A miniature masterpiece.Based originally on a firepump engine used in the second world war.Elegant and by today's standards very simple.And very succesful in its time.It was from an era when mechanics (they were still mechanics then) could work on the engines in the pits with normal tools.No plugging in laptops or data links back to a bunker in Oxfordshire's rolling hills.No putting a sick engine into a crate and sending back to a hermetically sealed workshop to be taken apart by whitecoated technicians.
Photo on Canon G7 -the predecessor to the G9-from a jpeg file.