August 9, 2006 One of the most important automotive technology stories of recent times appears to have been largely overlooked by the news and automotive media. A meeting on Monday between the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association (GPMA) and Formula One's governing body, the FIA has resulted in an agreement for Formula One Technical Regulations to include means to promote fuel efficiency including energy recovery and re-use from 2009 onwards. With the world’s cleverest and most competitive automotive designers now incentivised to improve both fuel efficiency and horsepower, we can expect to see some significant leaps forward in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and the technological pinnacle of motorsport will become even more interesting. All relevant regulations for 2009 will be published no later than December 31, 2006 – we can’t wait. Perhaps for Christmas we can all wish for Uncle Bernie to set up an electric racing formula?
The meeting between Professor Dr Burkhard Goeschel and Dr Juergen Reul representing the GPMA and Max Mosley representing the FIA, the following was agreed:
i) Engines will be stabilised from the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix. These will be the only engines used from and including the 2007 season.
ii) This means that no further developments of the engines will be allowed other than retuning for the 19,000 rpm limit, to be agreed in each case with the FIA under the terms of the 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations.
iii) From 2009 the Formula One Technical Regulations will include means to promote fuel efficiency including energy recovery and re-use. All relevant regulations for 2009 will be published no later than December 31, 2006.
iv) GPMA has setup a working group to examine possible future rules for Formula One which will allow a performance advantage to be obtained by means of more efficient use of available energy. These future regulations may include changes to current power units. The FIA and other engine suppliers will join this group.
v) As a result of the above the FIA and GPMA are now in full agreement about the future of the FIA Formula One World Championship.