Engine rule changes trough the years



This era used pre-war voiturette engine regulations, with 4.5 L atmospheric and 1.5 L supercharged engines. Formula 2 cars were allowed. The Indianapolis 500 used pre-war Grand Prix regulations, with 4.5 L atmospheric and 3.0 L supercharged engines. The power range was up to 425 hp (317 kW)


1500 cc with compressor or 4500 cc without
No car weight limit
425 hp at 9300 rpm - (1951 Alfa Romeo 159)


500 cc with compressor or 2000 cc without (corected by David Hayhoe)
No car weight limit
175 hp at 7200 rpm  - (1953 Ferrari 500)


Engine size was reduced for 2.5 L without compressor. 750 cc supercharged cars were allowed but no constructor built one for the World Championship. The Indianapolis 500 continued to use old pre-war regulations. The power range was up to 290 hp (216 kW)
Capacity was limited to 750 cc with compressor or 2500 cc without
No car weight limit
280 hp at 7600 rpm - (1957 Maserati 250F)
290 hp at 8500 rpm - (1955 Mercedes W196)


1961 International Gold Cup at Oulton Park was run to Formula One regulations and 1.5-litre Coventry Climax engine under the bonnet of Ferguson P99 Four wheel drive Formula 1. The combination of Moss's wet-weather mastery and all four wheels scrabbling for traction was simply unbeatable. It was the first and last victory for four-wheel-drive in Formula One as well as the last victory for a front-engined car.
The new reduced engine of 1.5 L took control of F1 just as every team and manufacturer switched from front to mid-engined cars. Compressor was banned. Although these engines were 1961 underpowered, 1965 average power had increased by nearly 50%. Lap times were better than in 1960 anyway. The power range was between 150 hp and 225 hp.
Capacity was limited to maximum of 1500 cc, minimum 1300 cc
Minimum car weight: 450 kg
190 hp at 9500 rpm - (1961 Ferrari 156)
225 hp at 10800rpm - (1965 Lotus 33)


Supercharging was allowed again. In 1966 FIA increased engine capacity to 3.0 L atmospheric and 1.5 L supercharged engines. 1966 was a transitional year, with 2.0 L versions of the BRM and Coventry-Climax V8 engines being used by several teams. The appearance of the standard-produced Cosworth DFV in 1967 made it possible for any small manufacturer to join the series with a home-built chassis. 1977 Renault debuted their Renault-Gordini V6 Turbo. 1971 Lotus made a few unsuccessful experiments with a Pratt & Whitney turbine fitted to chassis which had also 4WD. Fuel limit had been 250 l/race from 1973 to 1983 (corected by David Hayhoe), for 1986 195 l/race regulated. The power range was between 390 hp to 500 hp for normally aspirated, turbos 500 hp to 900 hp  in race, in qualifying up to 1,500 hp.

1961 Capacity was limited to 1.5L


Capacity was limited to 1500 cc with or 3000 cc without compressor
Minimum car weight: 500kg
360 hp at 9000 rpm - (1969 Matra MS80)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without compressor
Minimum car weight: 530 kg
450 hp at 10000 rpm - (1970 Tyrrell 001)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 without compressor
Minimum car weight: 550 kg
450 hp at 10000 rpm - (1972 Lotus 72D)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without compressor
Minimum car weight: 575 kg
Maximum fuel consumption of 250 l/race
500 hp at 12000 rpm - (1975 Ferrari 312T)
500 hp at 11000 rpm - (1977 Renault RS01 turbo)
510 hp at 12000 rpm - (1979 Ferrari 312T4)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without a compressor.
Minimum car weight 575 kg (1980), 585 kg (1981), 580 kg (1982), 540 kg (1983)
Maximum fuel consumption of 250 l/race (corected by David Hayhoe)
480 hp at 10000 rpm - (1980 Williams 07B)
640 hp at 11000 rpm - (1983 Brabham BMW BT55 Turbo)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without a compressor.
Minimum car weight 540 kg,
maximum fuel consumption 220 l/race.
750 hp at 12000 rpm - (1985 McLaren-TAG MP4/2B Turbo)


1500 cc with compressor or 3000 cc without a compressor.
Minimum car weight 540 kg,
maximum fuel consumption 195 l/race
1400 hp at 12000 rpm - (Williams-Honda FW11 Turbo)


The FIA regulations introduced wastegate with limited boost pressure (charging pressure) of 4 bar in qualification in 1987 for 1.5 L turbo and allowed a bigger 3.5 L for non charged engines. Seasons were still dominated by turbocharged engines. The rest of the grid was powered by the Ford GBA V6 turbo with Benetton, and then the only naturally aspirated engine, the DFV-derived Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 L V8 outputting 575 hp (429 kW).
1988 was again dominated by turbocharged engines limited to 2.5 bar charging pressure. Ford introduced its DFR 3.5 L V8 producing 585 hp (436 kW) at 11000 rpm, Judd introduced its CV 3.5 L V8. For 1988 maximum fuel consumption reduced to 150 (corected by David Hayhoe) l/race for turbocharged engines, no limit for normally aspirated engines.


1500 cc with compressor or 3500 cc without a compressor.
Minimum car weight 500 kg, 540 kg for cars without compressor (corected by David Hayhoe)
Maximum fuel consumption 195 l/race
maximum charging pressure 4 bar
850 hp at 13000 rpm - (Williams-Honda FW11 Turbo)
3500 cc not compressed. Minimum 500 kg, no fuel-limit.
575 hp at 12000 rpm - (Tyrrell-Ford 016)


1500 cc with compressor or 3500 cc without a compressor.
Minimum car weight 540 kg
Maximum fuel consumption 155 l/race
maximum charging pressure 2.5 bar
685 hp at 12500 rpm - (Williams-Honda FW11 Turbo)
3500 cc not compressed. Minimum 500 kg, no fuel-limit.
590 hp at 11000 rpm - (Benetton -Ford 016)


Turbochargers were banned from the 1989, leaving only a naturally aspirated 3.5 L engines.


Capacity was limited to 3500 cc not compressed (no more turbo engines), no refuelling.
675 hp at 13000 rpm - (McLaren-Honda RA109E 72° V10)
660 hp at 13000 rpm – (Ferrari with its 035/5 65° V12)


3500 cc not compressed, no refuelling.
690 hp at 13000 rpm – (McLaren - Honda RA100E)


3500 cc not compressed
710 hp at 13000 rpm – (McLaren – Honda 60° V12 RA121E)
By the end of the 1994 season, Ferrari's 043 was putting out 820 hp at 15,800 rpm


This era used a 3.0 L engines, with a power range between 650 hp and 950 hp. For 1996, Ferrari changed from their traditional V12 engine to a smaller and lighter V10 engine. At the 1998 Japanese GP, Ferrari's 047D engine spec was said to produce over 800 bhp. The BMW P82, the engine used by the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in 2002, had hit a peak speed of 19,050 RPM’s in its final evolutionary stage. It was also the first engine in the 3.0 liter V10-era to break through the 19,000 rpm-wall, during 2002 Austria Grand Prix's qualifying. BMW's P83 engine used in 2003 season managed an impressive 19,200 rpm and cleared the 900 bhp mark and weighs less than 91 kg.

Capacity was limited to 3.0L


3000cc engine that must last a complete race weekend. Replacing an engine costs the driver 10 places on the grid. Replacing one after second qualifying is equal to a start from the back of the grid.
Minimum car weight : 605 kg during each qualifying practice session and no less than 600 kg at all other times during the Event.(including driver and fuel)
900 hp at 18500+ rpm (BAR Honda 006)


3.0 L V10, engine may have no more than 5 valves per cylinder. Engines must last 2 complete race weekends.


For 2006, 2400cc engine with 8 cylinders in a 90° V bank, each one with 2 inlet and 2 outlet valves with a 98 mm maximum circular bore, which imply a 39.7 mm minimum stroke. An engine must weigh at least 95kg. Limited to be built with Aluminium alloys (with ceramics, metal matrix and magnesium alloys forbidden). Variable geometry intake and output systems forbidden. Each cylinder can have only one fuel injector and a single plug spark ignition. This is leading to a power reduction of around 20% from the three litre engines.
750 hp at 19000+ rpm (Toyota)


For 2007 the engine specification was frozen to keep development costs down. The engines which were used in the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix were used for the 2007 and 2008 seasons and they were limited to 19,000 rpm. Gearbox must last 4 consecutive races (corected by David Hayhoe). In 2009 the limit was reduced to 18,000 rpm with each driver allowed to use a maximum of 8 engines over the season.


All components of the engine and gearbox, including clutch, differential and all associated actuators must be controlled by an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) which has been manufactured by an FIA designated supplier. Gearbox must last 4 consecutive races (corected by David Hayhoe).


In 2009 the limit was reduced to 18,000 rpm with each driver allowed to use a maximum of 8 engines over the season. (corected by David Hayhoe)


2010 sees the re-introduction of Cosworth to the grid who have been absent since the 2006 Season. New teams HRT, Lotus F1, and Virgin Racing along with the established Williams use this engine.


Allowed 8 engines for season and gearbox must last 5 complete race weekends. (corected by David Hayhoe)


1.6-litre, six-cylinder single-turbos with energy recovery and fuel restrictions to replace 2.4-litre normally aspirated V8s, Fuel efficiency to increase by 35%, Power of energy-recovery systems to double, Overall power to remain at approx 750bhp. Technical Regulations now refers to what's called a 'Power Unit'. This comprises an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine, traditional engine), an ERS (Energy Recovery System) and all the ancillaries needed to make them work. From 2014 each driver will have 5 “power units” for the season (before 2014 8 engines). So if he has a failure of ERS, turbo, an exhaust, battery or control electronics failure you will have to use a sixth power unit and incur a 10 place penalty. Today it’s only the engine itself which attracts a penalty.
Whereas today’s engines need to last for 2,000kms, the 2014 units will therefore need to last for 4,000 kms, which interestingly also makes them usable in the Le Mans 24 hours race.

Capacity was limited to 1.6L, turbocharged, hybrid


The limit before penalties are enforced as the number of Power Units and ancillary components (ICE, MGU-H and turbocharger) is now limited to just three per season, while the MGU-K, energy storeage (battery) and control electronics are restricted to two for the entire 21-race season.


Formula 1 engine supplier history
History of Cosworth engines
Formula 1 Engine


Back to the top of the page


Books to read

RIP Murray Walker
When we talk about legends in F1, Murray Walker is one of the few to earn the status outside of the cockpit. His passion for the sport was infectious, and never failed to make people smile. He was a master of his trade and will always be the voice of F1. God's Speed Murray and thanks for so much.
My thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.

RIP Sabine Schmitz
Terrible news about passing of Sabine Schmitz, a proper driving legend who'll be sadly missed by many. A fierce competitor, talented racer and "Queen of the Nürburgring" was an inspiration to many. She was the only woman to win the epic 24-hour at Nürburgring. She won in 1996 and then again the next year.
She suffered a longstanding illness with cancer.
She was 51. RIP Sabine.


Black Lives Matter
Questions of race have made me tired since I understand what police brutality was, especially in America. I feel that what happened in the US was just a spark, that sparked everywhere ... I do think George Floyd's death sparked it across the world and I think it's amazing. Black Lives Matter is an activist movement which began as a hashtag #BlackLivesMatter after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager killed in Florida in July 2013.
Black Lives Matter is an inarguable demand for justice, equality, and reform regardless of race, skin color, or religion.

Some useful links:

- f1technical.net, a great site with a lot of technical information’s and explanations. Site is updated daily with news from F1 word.

 - autosport.com, This site is a legend. A bible for racing lovers. News from all around the word. Unfortunately, to get access to all news, interviews and to open the site completely you should be subscribed to Autosport magazine. Anyway, great read.

James Allen on F1
- JA.F1 site (or blog) ovned by ITV Sport’s lead commentator on Formula 1 James Allen

Joe Saward blog
- joesaward is the Joe Saward official blog about Formula 1 world. Joe is an journalist, who write primarily about politics in and around motorsport, specifically on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Planet F1
 - planetf1, another site with many different articles, news and statistics. Biased toward British teams, but anyway good read.

Gurney flap
 - gurneyflap.com, Great history site. You can learn a lot from this site. Pictures, cars and many many more. Great.

4ormula1 is a database of Formula 1 history and statistics of drivers, teams, grand prix, and all results since 1950.

Missed Apex Podcast
Enjoy range of Podcasts and Articles on Motorsport. Every week a Formula one chat on Missed Apex F1 Podcast with F1 journalist Joe Saward and tech Analyst Matthew Somerfield as guests. Also the exciting all electric racing series formula E on eRadio Show and Bike Show Lean Angle Podcast.

Racecar engineering
-Racecar Engineering, an online magazine with a lot to learn from, a lot of technical information’s and explanations

 - fia.com, La Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Head organisation and ruler in auto sport.

 - wikipedia.org, I don’t believe that I have to tell you anything about this site. It’s not about Formula 1 technology, but you can learn a lot about that too.

Sutton Images

grandprix photo

 - carbibles.com, a great site for normal car users. Here you can find explanations of almost everything about your car and how it works. Technical reviews and explanations of some in-car gadgets.

Dare To Be Different
- Daretobedifferent.org Susie Wolff and UK governing body of UK motorsport have joined forces to launch Dare To Be Different, a high-profile new initiative which is about increasing female participation, not just on the track but in all aspects of the sport.

Giorgio Piola web site