Power unit and ERS

Power unit formula was introduced in 2014. and consists of six separate elements and four of each are avalaible to each driver per season before they get grid penalties.

  • internal combustion engine (ICE)
  • turbocharger (TC)
  • MGU-K
  • MGU-H
  • energy store (ES)
  • control unit (CE)

Unless he drives for more than one team, each driver may use no more than four power units during a Championship season. The number will be increased by one for any driver using a power unit provided by a manufacturer or supplier taking part in their first Championship season.

Should a driver use more than four of any one of the elements during a Championship season, a grid place penalty will be imposed upon him at the first Event during which each additional element is used. Penalties will be applied according to the following table and will be cumulative:

The first time a 5th of any of the elements is used10 place grid penalty
The first time a 5th of any of the remaining elements is used5 place grid penalty
The first time a 6th of any of the elements is used10 place grid penalty
The first time a 6th of any of the remaining elements is used5 place grid penalty

Same rules apply to each subsequent use of power unit elements.

A power unit or any of the six elements will be deemed to have been used once the car’s timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane.

During any single Event, if a driver introduces more than one of the same power unit element which is subject to penalties, only the last element fitted may be used at subsequent Events without further penalty. That rule is introduced for 2017. to prevent drivers stockpiling engine parts.

Formula 1 internal combustion engine is 1,6-litre V6 turbo which works in conjuction with Energy Recovery System (ERS). Engine must have six cilindres with 90-degree V-angle, two inlet and two exhaust valver per cilinder and single turbocharger. Rev limiter is set at 15 000 rpm.

Fuel flow is limited to 100 kg/h, but maximum amount of fuel for the race is increased from 100 kg in 2016. to 105 kg in 2017. because wider cars with wider tyres and more downforce will generate more aerodynamic drag which increases fuel consumption.

Maximum amount of energy MGU-K can recover during lap is 2MJ and maximum of 4MJ per lap can be transferred to the drivetrain.

MGU-H (‘H’ stands for heat) is connected to the turbocharger and converts heat energy rom exhaust gases into electrical energy. Energy can be used to power MGU-K or stored in the energy store (ES) for subsequent use.

Unlike MGU-K which can recover 2MJ per lap, MGU-H can recover unlimited amount of energy.

MGU-H is also used to control the speed of the turbo speeding it up while driver is off throttle to prevent turbo lag.

Today’s ERS has twice the power of KERS (2009. – 2014.) –  120 kW instead of 60 kW – and maximum amount of deployed energy during lap is ten times greater (4MJ instead 0.4 MJ with KERS).

Total weight of power unit has to be at least 145 kg and energy store (ES) has to be fully integrated within the survival cell of the car and must weigh between 20 and 25 kg.

Materials used in power unit production are strictly controlled by FIA technical regulations – the crankcase and cylinder block of the engine must be made of cast or wrought aluminium alloys. Use of composite materials is not allowed. The crankshaft and camshafts must be made from an iron-based alloy, pistons from an aluminium alloy and valves from alloys based on iron, nickel, cobalt or titanium.

FIA F1 2017. Technical Regulations can be downloaded here.

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