McLaren set to go it alone in 2013

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

mmartin88

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
2
Car
Ford Fiesta
Rumours are continuing to circulate that McLaren are preparing for life after Mercedes with plans to design and build their own engines in 2013. The long running McLaren-Mercedes partnership began in 1995 and resulted in three driver’s championship, two constructions championships and over one hundred grand prix victories. However, Mercedes are believed to have gradually grown frustrated with the decisions of McLaren’s management who have viewed the 2013 engine regulation changes as the perfect opportunity to finally end their partnership.

Friend or foe?

Following a successful end to the 1990s, the McLaren-Mercedes partnership could not have been stronger. However, the domination of Ferrari in the early part of the new millennium raised question marks about the proficiency of McLaren’s management and it is alleged that Mercedes attempted to buy a controlling stake in the team from Ron Dennis in 2002. These discussions went on to some degree for almost four years but ultimately Dennis decided to sell some of the team to members of the Bahraini Royal Family. This was Dennis’s attempt to maintain control over the team as he still owned the largest majority and could therefore veto any plans of Mercedes which he did not agree with.

The reason why this was so important to Dennis became clear in 2009 when he announced the formation of ‘McLaren Automotive’ which is the new road car manufacturing division of the McLaren Group. Mercedes felt that McLaren’s sports cars would be direct competitors to their own offerings and therefore decided to sell their shares in McLaren back to Dennis. These shares are being sold back over a phased period due to the capital required and will end in 2012 when the McLaren-Mercedes partnership agreement is set to end. In the meantime Mercedes announced a deal to buy the Brawn GP team which was renamed ‘Mercedes GP’ prior to the start of the 2010 season.

The new regulations

The timing of the end of their agreement couldn’t have been more convenient for McLaren as it is also the point at which Formula One will adopt a completely new set of technical regulations which will force the current set of engine manufacturers to completely redesign their existing power plants. This will mean that the engine manufacturers already involved in the sport will not benefit from any advantage.


The new regulations will see engine sizes reduced from the current generation of 2.4 litre V8’s to 1.6 litre four cylinder turbo charged motors. These small capacity turbo engines will be approximately 100bhp less powerful than the present V8’s but this will be recovered by an increased capacity KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) device. These new regulations have evoked a mixed response from the sports key stakeholders, with many fans concerned that some of the spectacle of the sport will be taken away. However, Renault has supported the plans due to the fact that they believe 75% of its road cars will be powered by small capacity turbo’s by 2015. This change has been decided upon due to the potential fuel efficiency improvements possible through such engines, a factor which is becoming increasingly important to drivers as the cost of motoring (mainly due to increases in the cost of fuel and car insurance) continues to increase.


Renault therefore believes that the new Formula One engine designs will be far more applicable to their road car engines than at any time in the past. Mclaren, Volkswagen, Honda and Lotus have all supported this viewpoint; However, it should be noted that these are all car manufacturers with a long held interest in designing engines for use in F1 that have been reluctant to do so due to the advantage of experience held by the sports existing participants. Mercedes meanwhile has been reluctant to welcome the new rules, claiming that it will send costs spiralling out of control. Equally, like the opposing car manufacturers, Mercedes also has a hidden agenda due to the fact that its engines are by far the best in the F1 field under the current rules.

Long-term views

However, these viewpoints are no longer important as the FIA has already set into motion the introduction of the new engine rules. It is alleged that McLaren are planning on designing and building their new engines in their existing F1 factory which is already home McLaren Automotive. It is an interesting point to mention that the recently launched McLaren MP4-12C road car was the first McLaren chassis to be powered by a McLaren designed engine.

Dennis’s long-term view for McLaren is believed to be to turn them into a British version of Ferrari. It is believed that Dennis believes they have a better chance of doing this if they can highlight their British image which is why the team have elected to hire Jenson Button alongside Lewis Hamilton (a driver they previously showed no interest in), along with two British test drivers in the form of Gary Paffet and Oliver Turvey. Mercedes has put a similar strategy into motion with its own F1 team by bringing the legendary Michael Schumacher out of retirement to partner the promising younger German Nico Rosberg. It is believed that Mercedes pushed for a three year deal with Schumacher so that it coincided with the end of Vettel’s contract with Red Bull at the end of 2012.

What ever the driver line-ups happen to be, the competition between these two teams is not likely to be confined to the race track. As has been seen in the current Lotus naming situation, the colour of a teams cars are very important and Mercedes has been symbolised by the Silver arrows colours in almost all of its Motorsport ventures. McLaren has also now become associated with this colour scheme follow its long-term partnership with Mercedes and persuading them to give it up may not be so easy. Could we see a return to the White and Red McLaren of old?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks so much for this nugget of automotive history and politics - all very interesting (and very impressive for a 1st post!). I wonder how others on this forum feel about the split. Personally, as much as I am becoming a Benz fan, I'd cheer for a McLaren over a Merc any day simply because of my patriotic tendencies. McLaren MP4-12C or SLS? MP4-12C please!
 
Could we see a return to the White and Red McLaren of old?[/SIZE][/FONT]

Sponsors colours will prevail. White and red is Marlboro territory - read Ferrari territory!

I think it's a pity they plumped for an uninspiring 1.6l capacity. Obviously the manufacturers approve as it an engine size they sell, but I think the link to mundane road cars is just too strong.
 
1.6 ltr turbo - Sounds like Renault Turbo days again and 1000bhp in qualifying trim :eek:

Will they be boost limited? OP suggests power pegged below current levels, a far cry from the 1470hp from the 1.5l BMW. And 4 cyls mandated as well I think. No snarling sixes - shame.
 
Pictures of the 2011 McLaren car came out today - absolutely gorgeous. Could only see the side view though. Can't wait to see the whole car.
 
Mclaren in house engine is already being worked on and reported to be looking good.

Renault will come good with this rule change as this is familiar territory with them

But my tip for the top watch the cars running Cosworth Engines Cosworth have had a 4 cyl for a number of years that is reported to rev to 24,000 although no one actually knows what the 2012 rev limit is yet, although rumours suggest 21,000 which would peg performance, it's reported to run close to 800 bhp which gives it 500 bhp per litre :eek:
 
It will be interesting to see how they get on without the financial muscle of Mercedes Benz behind them
 
It will be interesting to see how they get on without the financial muscle of Mercedes Benz behind them

Don't think there is any financial muscle at all the MB engine is basically a customer engine as McLaren bought back the 40% Daimler AG had in the team and agreed a partnership deal lasting until 2012. Most of the MB financial muscle is directed to their own F1 Team Mercedes GP
 
At the risk of getting completely wrong and looking stupid, I don't see how the engine designers will achieve 24,000 rpm on a 1.6 litre engine with current technology:

The bore speed is too high. It would have to be an incredibly short-stroke engine with very little torque.

Isn't 24,000rpm too fast for successful fuel combustion?

And can they close the valves that quickly? (Desmodromic would work! - maybe).

I thought engine designers were maxing out at around 19000 currently.
 
At the risk of getting completely wrong and looking stupid, I don't see how the engine designers will achieve 24,000 rpm on a 1.6 litre engine with current technology:

The bore speed is too high. It would have to be an incredibly short-stroke engine with very little torque.

Isn't 24,000rpm too fast for successful fuel combustion?

And can they close the valves that quickly? (Desmodromic would work! - maybe).

I thought engine designers were maxing out at around 19000 currently.


Hi

I have been following the engine situation for the next seasons..and found this:


es, The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has approved new regulations which will see 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines replace the current 2.4L V8s from 2013. The goal is to be more eco friendly, as the smaller powerplants are expected to be 35% more frugal, whilst providing the same level of performance. Energy recovery systems and additional energy management will be utilised to ensure this is possible. “The WMSC approved the introduction of a new specification engine from 2013, underlining the FIA’s commitment to improving sustainability and addressing the needs of the automotive industry. Following dialogue with the engine manufacturers and experts in this field, the power units will be four cylinders, 1.6 litre with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar,” FIA explains.
The new regulations will also further limit the number of engines at allocated to each drivers. Currently, it’s eight units a season, but this will be limited to five in 2013 and four for subsequent seasons. Rev limits on the new engines will be reduced from the current 18,000 rpm to a maximum of 12,000 rpm.
At the same WMSC meeting, FIA bigwigs also made some changes to the rules for 2011. Among the major revisions are the removal of the ban on team orders, the introduction of driver-adjustable rear wings, outlawing double diffusers, stricter bodywork deflection tests and a requirement for one gearbox to last five race weekends, from the current four."


mazza



"
 
Hmm, I wonder if the new regs will require the gearbox to be set to "Comfort" mode, too.

Doesn't sound like it's going to be that exciting. What is Formula 1 wouthout the scream of a Vee-engine at full chat down the start-finish straight?
 
At the risk of getting completely wrong and looking stupid, I don't see how the engine designers will achieve 24,000 rpm on a 1.6 litre engine with current technology:

The bore speed is too high. It would have to be an incredibly short-stroke engine with very little torque.

Isn't 24,000rpm too fast for successful fuel combustion?

And can they close the valves that quickly? (Desmodromic would work! - maybe).

I thought engine designers were maxing out at around 19000 currently.

It was a quote from Cosworth themselves in an article I was reading, their current F1 engine revs to well over 21,000 but can't be run at that because of the regs?

Depends on the engines dimensions bore diameter etc..how long the stroke is? There are plenty of small capacity engines that rev to 18,000. You want torque you use the V configuration. I honestly don't know if 24,000 revs is possible or not as the race engines we work on go no where near this rev range but if Cosworth are already running past 21,000 then 24,000 doesn't seem impossible :dk:

Edit: If Mazza is correct above and the limit is 12,000 revs then the Cossie engine is not going to be much use anyway
 
Last edited:
It was a quote from Cosworth themselves in an article I was reading, their current F1 engine revs to well over 21,000 but can't be run at that because of the regs?

Depends on the engines dimensions bore diameter etc..how long the stroke is? There are plenty of small capacity engines that rev to 18,000. You want torque you use the V configuration. I honestly don't know if 24,000 revs is possible or not as the race engines we work on go no where near this rev range but if Cosworth are already running past 21,000 then 24,000 doesn't seem impossible :dk:

Edit: If Mazza is correct above and the limit is 12,000 revs then the Cossie engine is not going to be much use anyway

Applying simple maths (please correct me where I go wrong):
Current Cosworth engine is 2.4 litre V8. Each cylinder is 300cl.
New spec is 1.6 litre 4 cylinder. Each cylinder is 400cl.

Because of the 33% increase in size of each cylinder (ignoring any relative changes to bore and stroke), the pistons in the new engines will have to sweep 33% more cylinder wall in the same time and the flame front will have 33% further to travel in the same time in order to achieve equal rpm to the current engine with a complete burn of fuel.

If cosworth can push their currrent engine to 21,000 then this figure has to come down under the new specification (ignoring mandatory rev limits) simply because of the greater engineering challenges of reving the new bigger engines (bigger when considered on a per-cylinder capacity basis, of course).

I guess the new Cosworth engine was not a 1.6l 4-cylinder? Maybe it was a different configuration.

Anyway, with a 12,000rpm limit, the engineers can put their feet up and relax!
 
Hi

I'm sure the men in white coats will make sure these 4 pot motors will develop thousands of HP's from a 1.6l...lol

500Bar fuel pressure...the engineers must be wetting themselves with the possibilities...he he!!

mazza
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom