June 21, 2011

MGU-K, MGU-H and other F1 tech terms you'll learn to love come 2013.

You hear something different about the 2013 engine regulations on every web site: Italian ones say the switch to turbo inline 1.6 four is definitively out, British ones say McLaren now wants Turbos but V6, French ones point out how Renault wants the inline 4 and is impatient for a final decision. Bernie seems to be worried that the small engines will turn people off and the revenue stream dwindle. Jean Todt stands firm but Ferrari is pressuring... Who knows.

What we do know is that the teams at some point agreed to the switch and signed something to that effect presumably, and now, with the 2013 technical regulations released, everything else seems to be just politics. Granted, in F1 nothing seems to be worth the paper it's written on but it is worth exploring some of the mandated changes.

Meet MGU-K and MGU-H. These two rather unfortunate acronyms stand for Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic and Motor Generator Unit-Heat and are part of what one could interpret as move towards a new definition of what propels a Formula 1 race car, away from "engine" and towards the concept of a "power unit", the combined internal combustion engine and energy recovery system.

New from 2013 the ERS, what we now refer to as KERS, would be specified as three units:

  1. MGU-K, the electrical machine mechanically linked to the drivetrain.
  2. MGU-H he electrical machine linked to the exhaust turbine of a pressure charging system.
  3. Energy Store, he part of ERS that stores energy, including its safety control electronics and a minimal housing.
The energy store may recover energy from a single MGU-K and /or a Single MGU-H. Energy recovered from those separate systems must be returned to the car via the same path.

This "power unit" is to have a minimum weight of 150kg.

Energy from the ERS would be allowed to be used to power engine ancillaries and actuation systems.

Of course that all goes along with engines becoming 1600cc inline fours with a single turbocharger and a rev limit of 12000 rpm, and there are many specifications limiting engine design there. The innovation is regulated towards progress with the ERS.

Cars will move up in weight from 640 to 660kg and of course there are a number of aero changes I just won't go into here.

Worth noticing is a stunning obstacle placed in front of the teams and engineers: cars will have to have 8 forward gears but teams must declare their gear ratios for the whole season. For 2013 only, teams will be give one chance to modify their gear selection. Yup, you read that right, Monza and Monaco on the same gearset!

9.6.2 The maximum number of numerical change gear ratio pairs a competitor has available to him during a Championship season is 30. Each competitor must nominate the forward gear ratios (calculated from engine crankshaft to drive shafts) to be employed within their gearbox. All such gear ratio pairs These nominations must be declared to the FIA technical delegate at or before the first Event of the Championship. For 2013 only, a competitor may re-nominate these ratios once within the Championship season, in which case the original nomination becomes immediately void. Ratio re-nominations must be declared as a set and may only be effected by the substitution of change gears.

If you are interested, the full document is after the jump. See what else you can find.


  1. this fixed ratio situation is not cool

  2. 5.19
    Electric mode :
    The car must be run in electric mode (no ignition and no fuel supply to the
    engine) at all times when being driven in the pit lane.

    next step is mandatory noise maker...

  3. @Charlie Fixed ratios is ridiculous.

    @foxthewhite 5.19 simply blows.

    FOTA should have fully broken away years ago.

  4. Ok so the energy recovery systems could have applications in street cars and may even help with passing. What possible application can the fixed gears have? Plus the fixed ratio won't help with passing. Insane decision.

  5. One would presume the fixed ratio gears is a cost cutting measure... bizarre


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