2014 F1 cars to be all electric in the pitlane

20 July 2011 

The FIA has released an early summary version of the 2014 technical regulations which, among the more regular information which is widely known, they also outline a few other interesting tidbits. 

The Engine

The regulations confirm the new V6 engine which will operate at 15,000rpm - something which still concerns the majority of race organisers who have threatened to boycott Formula 1 if the noise isn't similar to present.

KERS/ERS and Electric Mode

One of the more interesting bits of information is in relation to the KERS system, or ERS as it will be known in 2014. It will provide a 120kwh power boost, double that of the current systems which produce 60kwh. This extra power should amount to an extra 160bhp boost for about 8.4 seconds, compared to todays 6.6s.

The 'ERS' unit will also power the car whilst it is in the pitlane at all times. The regulation specifies that "no ignition and no fuel supply to the engine" whilst in the pits, therefore the engine must cut out when the car enters the pits and re-ignite when it leaves.

"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," reads the release.

Igniting the Engine

To do this, the car must also be startable by the driver, from within the cockpit. This will allow a driver to start the engine if the car stalls without having to be wheeled back to the pits, as is currently the case.

"5.18 Starting the engine: It must be possible for the driver to start the engine at any time when seated normally at the wheel and without any external assistance."

The Gearbox

Another change will be to the gearboxes. Currently F1 cars must have no more, or less than seven forward gears. In 2014, that will be increased to no more, or less than eight.

This is to help with gear ratios which cannot be changed from race to race as they currently are. The teams must nominate their ratios for the entire season. They will be allowed one change.

Article 9.6.1/9.6.2: "The number of forward gear ratios must be 8. Each competitor must nominate the forward gear ratios to be employed within their gearbox. These nominations must be declared ... at or before the first Event of the Championship.

"For 2014 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."


Finally, the cars will have smaller front-wings, returning to those seen in 2008.  Currently the front-wing width is the maximum of the car, 1,800mm, that will be restricted to just 1,650mm.