Formula 1

Formula 1 Planning To Drop MGU-H; Red Bull-Volkswagen Imminent?

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Remember what happened to Charles Leclerc at Bahrain GP of 2019? Who can forget such an eventful day at the end of which one of the sport’s most liked and notable rising forces took home his maiden podium?

MGU-H Issue Hampered Leclerc’s Drive?

Though a drive that yielded a P3 at the end of the 57-lap contest should ideally have been a race win, it wasn’t. Why? Due to an engine problem in his SF-90, Charles couldn’t take the race win, which was assuredly his for the taking, despite Mercedes drivers (Hamilton and Bottas) being in commanding form that evening.

So what was the issue?

According to Binotto, the initial diagnosis of an MGU-H issue was incorrect: “I don’t know where the rumors came from. There was nothing wrong with the MGU-H.

(From L) Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas steer their cars during the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit the desert south of the Bahraini capital Manama, on March 31, 2019. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP) (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)

But where there is smoke, there must be fire.

Well, with just eleven laps left to play for, the Monegasque‘s team engineers reported over the radio a sad announcement: “MGU-H problem.”

They called it Engine-12 if one remembers correctly.

So what exactly is MGU-H, that now, where reports stand, Formula 1 has decided to drop moving forwards for the 2022 world championship.

Is it fair to say that the complexity of this component found in all current racing cars’ power units is something the sport wishes to do away with, or could it be something else?

Here’s What One Knows About MGU-H

Now, the MGU-H, or Motor Generation- Heat, is a way to capture the thermal energy, which is otherwise generated by the engine’s exhaust. The thermal energy recovery system uses this thermal energy to generate power.

And here’s the catch.

Up until this point, Formula 1 had not placed any restrictions on the utilization of this energy. Perhaps that is why the currently used power units in Formula 1 cars rely upon and benefit from the MGU-H, which means the better the performance of the MGU-H, the higher the eventual performance of the F1 machines.

But that said, talks have already gathered steam that Formula 1 is almost certain or has decided to drop this complex aspect of the current power units. Why? Where reports are concerned, albeit there is no formal announcement, Volkswagen plans to enter the sport.

For quite some time now, one’s noted the enhanced measures the sport is taking to reach broader geographies and going as far as implementing ongoing changes in the rules and structure to accommodate (read encourage) greater participation in F1.

Red Bull Collab With Volkswagen?

Auto Racing: New England Global Rallycross: Volkswagen Andretti Team Scott Speed (R) and Honda Red Bull Team Mitchell deJong in action at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Thompson, CT 6/3/2017 CREDIT: Erick W. Rasco (Photo by Erick W. Rasco /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: SI890 TK1 )

So that seems to be one of the plausible reasons why the sport’s administrators may have taken this decision.

But for the moment, it’s important to note the following excerpts in a news report published on a leading motor-sport platform that elaborated this developing story:

Red Bull has always said that it doesn’t want an MGU-H because the other manufacturers would start with the new rules. The competition has been working with the MGU-H much longer than Red Bull Powertrains, so they have an advantage. So, in principle, it is three against one, but there is a chance that Formula 1 will veto the new rules. The plan of Liberty Media has always been to attract a new manufacturer with the new engine rules.

So why are Red Bull and Volkswagen in talks with each other? “It appears that Red Bull and Volkswagen are working towards a common project for the new regulations despite being two independent voices in the discussions. Collaboration makes sense as it allows both parties to share the financial burden of developing an F1 engine as well as the technology required to do so,” the medium as mentioned earlier’s website reads.


Feature Image Credit to F1

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