Now we all think of Formula 1 as the most technically advanced and most powerful auto racing around right? Well today we saw the brand new Toyota WEC entry, the TS040. The Toyota was revealed at Circuit Paul Ricard, and what also was debuting was the figures for this year's new car. Last season the TS030 made 530hp from the 3.4l naturally aspirated V8, and 300hp from the hybrid system giving them a total of 830hp to work with. Not bad. This year, the TS040 uses the same naturally aspirated V8 but detuned a bit to 512hp. However, the brand new Hybrid system delivers 470hp! That's a total of 985hp!
Now to put that into perspective, this year's Formula 1 drivers only have around 600hp from the turbo V6's with another 160hp available with the ERS, but only for around 33 seconds a lap. Giving them a total of 760hp. In a previous article I had stated that Formula 1 has kind of lost its way and is heading in the direction of endurance racing with the fuel limits, the smaller displacement engines and other new technical regulations. However, I think I need to readdress the situation due to the Audi and Toyota entries marking their debuts this week. I believe that Formula 1 is heading into more of an endurance race, and the endurance racers are heading more into a Formula 1 style race!
We always state that Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. They are the most advanced, the most technological and the most prestigious. But with the figures that are coming out of WEC and LeMans, how can we go on stating that F1 is truly the masthead of racing? Not only are the WEC cars more powerful than F1 cars, but they are leaps and bounds more advanced in technology. Just look at the Hybrid systems in all of these cars. They are truly brilliant and, they work! I know, low hanging fruit, but come on its true! Somehow, the WEC cars and manufacturers can repeatedly come up with better and better hybrid systems that work consistently, unlike Formula 1 right now. In addition to their consistency, they are more powerful each and every year.
This fact that they are no longer the pinnacle really poses a dilemma for Formula 1, if they are not truly the technical wizards they once were, how can they get back on that top spot? How do they overcome the new changes and reassert themselves as the dominant force in motorsport? In my opinion, the designers and engineers need to have much more control over the cars, and much more freedom to truly innovate in the field. This retarding of power and fuel consumption is not good for the sport and not good for racing in general. Yes, conservation is a good thing on a global scale, but this is not GreenPeace, this is Formula 1, the Church of Noise and horsepower. They should be racing on the ragged edge rather than having to worry about tire management and fuel consumption. Racers of this caliber need to be racing, not on some kind of economy run. And speaking of noise, listen to the TS040.
Then listen to the new Formula 1 cars.
How can Formula 1 really tell the fans that their noise is better than the WEC cars? Just the point where the electric motors shut off and the holy hell of the naturally aspirated V8 kicks on is worth the price of admission. I'm not sure what the FiA is thinking about putting all these new rules in for Formula 1, when they are completely fine with what the WEC is doing? If they are hell bent on staying the course with their new decisions, then fine, but allow the engineers to go and talk with the WEC guys and work out a compromise between fuel consumption, horsepower and the hybrids systems, because these guys have got that market cornered. And the Formula 1 teams can learn a lot from these teams. I think a partnership between the two series would benefit both, the WEC gains a bit more notiraity and the Formula 1 teams gain the insight and technological knowhow that the WEC teams have worked so hard in perfecting. Let me know what you all think about this!
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Photo Credit to Toyota, Porsche and Lotus