F1 Technique: Eight fixed gear ratios for 2014

The Formula 1 technical regulations will be changing dramatically next season, and that includes the gearboxes.

In Austin for the US Grand Prix, we discussed the matter with an F1 engineer.

Current gearboxes have 7 forward speeds, plus reverse. Next year, with the introduction of the new turbo hybrid V6 engines, the gearboxes will need to have 8 forward gears.

“That’s one more gear than this year because these will be fixed. Today, we have to homologate 32 gears and we select the seven we need for each race from that lot. Next year, we will have to use the same gear ratios whatever the track we race on,” said the engineer.

It will be like a standard road car where the gears are fixed.

“We will be allowed to make just one change to the ratios in 2014 because we may make mistakes in choosing them. We may be too long on certain tracks while too short on others. So we will be using the same gear ratios at Monaco, the slowest circuit of the season, and Monza, the fastest track,” he explained.

Changing gear ratios will become a thing of the past in F1.

The new regulations also specify that drivers will need to use a gearbox for six consecutive events, an increase from the current five.

F1 Mercedes W04

Mercedes W04. (Photo: WRi2)

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