I just found this Gasoline FAQ - Part 4 of 4Section - 10. Historical Legends IMO very interesting reading This section on the basics ofthe Honda F1 engines 1987/88 There are many variables that will determine the power output of an engine. High on the list will be the ability of the fuel to burn evenly without knock. No matter how clever the engine, the engine power output limit is determined by the fuel it is designed to use, not the amount of oxygen stuffed into the cylinder and compressed. Modern engine designs and gasolines are intended to reduce the emission of undesirable exhaust pollutants, consequently engine performance is mainly constrained by the fuel available. My Honda Civic uses 91 RON fuel, but the Honda Formula 1 turbocharged 1.5 litre engine was only permitted to operate on 102 Research Octane fuel, and had limits placed on the amount of fuel it could use during a race, the maximum boost of the turbochargers was specified, as was an additional 40kg penalty weight. Standard 102 RON gasoline would be about 96 (R+M)/2 if sold as a pump gasoline. The normally-aspirated 3.0 litre engines could use unlimited amounts of 102RON fuel. The F1 race duration is 305 km or 2 hours, and it's perhaps worth remembering that Indy cars then ran at 7.3 psi boost. EngineStandardFormula 1Formula 1Year198619871988Size1.5 litre1.5 litre1.5litreCylinders466ApirationnormalturboturboMax Boost58 psi36.3 psiMax Fuel200 litres150 litresFuel91 RON102 RON102 RONHP @ RPM92 @ 6000994 @ 12000610 @ 12500Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)89 @ 4500490 @ 9750280 @ 10000 The details of the transition from Standard to Formula 1 (without considering engine materials etc) are:- 1. Replace the exhaust system. HP and torque both climb to 100. 2. Double the RPM while improving breathing, you now have 200hp but still only about 100lb-ft of torque. 3. Boost it to 58psi - which equals four such engines, so you have 1000hp and 500lb-ft of torque. Simple?, not with 102 RON fuel, the engine/fuel combination would knock the engine into pieces, so.... 4. Lower the compression ratio to 7.4:1, and the higher RPM is a big advantage - there is much less time for the end gases to ignite and cause detonation. 5. Optimise engine design. 80 degree bank angles V for aerodynamic reasons, and go to six cylinders = V6 6. Cool the air. The compression of 70F air at 14.7psi to 72.7psi raises its temperature to 377F. The turbos churn the air, and although they are about 75% efficient, the air is now at 479F. The huge intercoolers could reduce the air to 97F, but that was too low to properly vaporise the fuel. 7. Bypass the intercoolers to maintain 104F. 8. Change the air-fuel ratio to 23% richer than stoichiometric to reduce combustion temperature. 9. Change to 84:16 toluene/heptane fuel - which complies with the 102 RON requirement, but is harder to vaporise. 10.Add sophisticated electronic timing and engine management controls to ensure reliable combustion with no detonation. You now have a six-cylinder, 1.5 litre, 1000hp Honda Civic. For subsequent years the restrictions were even more severe, 150 litres and 36.3 maximum boost, in a still vain attempt to give the 3 litre, normally-aspirated engines a chance. Obviously Honda took advantage of the reduced boost by increasing CR to 9.4:1, and only going to 15% rich air-fuel ratio. They then developed an economy mode that involved heating the liquid fuel to 180F to improve vaporisation, and increased the air temp to 158F, and leaned out the air-fuel ratio to just 2% rich. The engine output dropped to 610hp @ 12,500 (from 685hp @ 12,500 and about 312 lb-ft of torque @ 10,000 RPM), but 32% of the energy in the fuel was converted to mechanical work. The engine still had crisp throttle response, and still beat the normally aspirated engines that did not have the fuel limitation. So turbos were banned. No other F1 racing engine has ever come close to converting 32% of the fuel energy into work. In 1995 the FIA listed a detailed series of acceptable ranges for typical components in racing fuels for events such as F1 races, along with the introduction of detailed chromatographic "fingerprinting" of the hydrocarbon profile of the fuel. This was necessary to prevent novel formulations of fuels, such as produced by Honda for their turbos.