Aston Martin open to developing F1 engine
By Mat Coch
Friday 11th February, 2022 - 9:17am
The Aston Martin Formula 1 team is open to the concept of developing its own power unit in future years.
Currently the team utilises Mercedes power, as it has done since 2009 when known as Force India.
That could change as F1 works towards a new set of engine regulations for 2026.
“Going forward, with our ambitions, I think we are definitely investigating our power unit supply,” said Andrew Green, Aston Martin’s chief technical officer.
“2026 is mooted as a new power unit regulation. I think as a team, we’d love to be involved.
“We have Aramco now involved as a sponsor and I think conversations going forward into the next few years…
“We’ll see. I’m sure we’ll be looking at it in great detail and understanding whether there’s a benefit to us moving in that direction.”
Aramco is an integrated energy and chemicals company, supplying approximately an eighth of the world’s oil supply.
It also has an interest in developing new energy technologies and claims to be focusing its efforts on making its resources more sustainable.
Formula 1 currently operates to a 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid, a complicated and expensive solution.
That is set to be simplified in the coming formula with the removal of the MGU-H which will also reduce their cost.
A cost cap has also been put on the units, reducing them from in the region of $2 million to under $1 million – a figure not possible while maintaining the MGU-H.
For 2026 there will also be an increased focus on electrification with the combustion engine to take a hit when it comes to output.
That’s understood to be partly due to the simplified design, but also a result of using biofuels, theoretically eliminating the need for a fuel flow limit.
Electrical power would increase from 120 kilowatts to 350 with recovery potentially set to use the front axle.
Formula 1 this year is moving to E10 fuel, with Mercedes’ Hywel Thomas admitting that they’ve had to change both the fuel and the engine as a result.
“The change to the bio-content being ethanol, what that means is: the engine is going to react slightly differently to the fuel,” he explained.
“Some areas of the performance we are really happy with, and other areas… honestly, we are less happy.
“What we have to do is change the fuel where we can and the change the hardware of the PU where we can in order to maximise the effect of the things we do like and minimise the effect of the things we don’t.
“The change this year to go to the E10 [fuel] is probably the largest regulation change we have had since 2014,” he added.
“So, it was a sizeable undertaking to make sure that we really developed that fuel and… it shouldn’t be underestimated how much work that took.”
Fuels are frozen inline with the power unit freeze that comes into effect this season.