Renault energy F1, 2014 F1 engine

Fuel-saving could dominate races with new engines

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Renault energy F1, 2014 F1 engineIn the round-up: Ferrari director of engineering Pat Fry believes fuel will become the dominant factor in races with the new engines in 2014.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

A lot of work, both short and long term (Ferrari)

Fry: “It’s possible there could be considerable differences between the maximum pace possible and a pace aimed at saving energy and fuel, to the extent that there could be a difference of between one and one and a half seconds per lap in the race.”

Smaller teams fear being ‘priced out’ of F1 (The Telegraph)

“The new commercial pact signed between the teams and Ecclestone gives teams 63 per cent of the profits ?ǣ $751.8??million (??468??million) last year ?ǣ but it is estimated that 60 per cent of that money goes to the top five teams, with the next five sharing the other 40 per cent. Marussia, who finished 11th last year, only recently agreed a deal with Ecclestone and currently have no share of the revenues.”

Fernandes: Finishing 10th in the constructors? championship “not essential” (James Allen on F1)

“For years I was promised a sport that would cost less money. For me that?s a major failure of the sport. Nothing has got cheaper everything as got more expensive, so I’#m not sure what the benefits are to be honest.”

Kaltenborn confident of more (Sky)

“We are going [to Japan] with confidence but what we are able to do is very difficult to assess right now. Last year, we were in a very different situation where our competitiveness was concerned.”

David Ward restates commitment to fair FIA election (David Ward and Team 2013)

“David Ward has restated his commitment to good governance and open debate in a letter to FIA Club Presidents. David?s letter comes in response to criticism levelled at him by Carlos Barbosa, President of Autom???vel Club de Portugal.”

Emmo Blog: The story of Fuji 1976 (McLaren)

“At the time Niki [Lauda] drove in to the pits to retire, James [Hunt] was leading. It was the right decision, and I?ll always respect Niki for making it, especially as the pressure on him to continue, not least from Ferrari and the Ferrari-mad Italian press, must have been intense.”

The Evening Read: Aintree Racecourse’s glorious Grand Prix past remembered (Liverpool Echo)

“The days when Stirling Moss, Juan Fangio and Jack Brabham duelled around the three-mile circuit may have gone, but thanks to our photo archive those evocative memories are not lost forever.”

Japanese Grand Prix Betting: One good reason to bet against Vettel (Unibet)

My Japanese Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

@GeeMac doesn’t agree with Martin Whitmarsh’s desire to see a level playing field between engine manufacturers next year:

It is called “motorsport” for a reason Martin. I for one will be glad if there is a noticeable difference between the engines next season, because variety, whether in strategies or car characteristics, leads to interesting races for the viewers.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Siegfried Stohr was born on this day in 1952. Unfortunately the most notable moment of the Italian driver’s brief F1 career came in the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix when he ploughed into the back of his team mate Riccardo Patrese’s car which had stalled at the start. Arrows mechanic Dave Luckett was sandwiched between the two and was fortunate to escape with his life.

Stohr stepped down for the team after failing to qualify in his home race at Monza later that year, though he had just posted a career-best finish of seventh in the previous race at Zandvoort.

Image ?? Renault

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  • 78 comments on “Fuel-saving could dominate races with new engines”

    1. Fry is talking like Ferrari actually have a V6. Now the only thing left for them is to make the rules suit their new engine :D

      1. I know what you’re trying to get at, but they haven’t won any championship since 2008.

      2. What makes you think they don’t have a V6? News flash: Ferrari was the first ever team to fire up a V6 prototype at the bench.

    2. 2013 – save tyres
      2014 – save fuel

      1. Or both… Oh F1 how much do you test my love….

        1. maybe in a few years’ time, FIA will introduce new regulations to save face.

        2. Oh yes F1 already lost loads of fans since it’s broadcasted by paying channels, plus the fact a german driver often wins, plus tyre and fuel economy, plus ‘launching’ a poor game.

          It’s not like F1 is already popular in the world. Even its root fans are fed up with the state of the sport, so what’s next?

        3. Given that Pirelli have confirmed several times that for 2014 they are playing it safe and will bring hard tyres, at least it won’t be them to blame for saving tyres (yes, it will happen non the less, just as it has almost always happened), but saving fuel, taking care of the engine etc. will likely be more of a factor.

      2. There will naturally be some teething problems as the new formula comes into effect and the team’s figure out exactly what they can do and when. And they are no strangers to fuel conservation, either – after all, they deliberately under-fuel their cars and run conservatively when they can.

        I think 2014 will see teams divided into two schools of thought: those who run their cars lean at the start and have to conserve at the end of the race, and those who sacrifice pace at the start of the race by over-fuelling to guarantee that they can make it to the end of the race.

        1. Can you over fill or is there a limit?

          1. 100 kilos limit.

      3. This may be the last straw for me, my hope is that after a couple of farcical races Bernie will convince FIA to make the fuel saving in 10% annual steps rather than all in one go, but this of course will mean a completely new car every year to allow for different minimum fuel tank capacity, that should mop up some of that money Bernie reckons the teams are wasting.

        1. I expect those “farcical races” will be little more than teams being conservative until they figure out exactly what they can do.

          What I find more of a surprise is the way everyone has been taken aback by the news that teams might have to save fuel, since the engine regulations have been available for two years now and specifically call for the addition of fuel-flow restrictors, which will naturally take the teams time to adjust to.

          But then, everyone forgot that the teams asked Pirelli to make sensitive tyres in 2010, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys, you make a very reasonable point, I think most of us expected that the restricted fuel flow combined with the additional electric propulsion and reduced drag would ensure that the cars would race the whole distance without resort to economy-rally cruising.

            1. I think that theres a lot of truth in what @prisoner-monkeys mentions about the teams being overcautious @hohum. We all remember Bahrain 2010 when drivers came out of the race saying that they still had ample life in their tyres.
              Although its well possible that at the start of the year we will see teams struggle to get through the race at times (i read somewhere that Ferrari esp. have trouble making a race distance with the fuel limit on the dyno), but it will quickly get better as they learn how to use the mapping and the ERS to make the most of it.

            2. Another positive – instead of having to struggle to meet the limit each year again and again because its coming down, we will have teams struggling a bit, but when they find the right way forward, I think that by 2015 we will see some teams being able to run full power for large parts of the race, and it will be a trend to look forward to @hohum, that is a lot more of a positive outlook :-)

            3. That’s what I was hoping for, then Fry comes with that… maybe people at Renault and Mercedes will build more efficient power units.

            4. @bascb, I see your glass is still half full.

              Whatever happens I am looking forward to seeing cars with different strengths and weaknesses other than tyres and COANDA attached flows.

      4. Let me help you with that, how about…

        1984 – save fuel
        1985 – save fuel
        1986 – save fuel
        1987 – save fuel
        1988 – save fuel

        And the 80s are generally considered the golden era of Formula One, right? Pace management has always been a part of motorsport, either due to tyres, fragile engines, fuel or whatever… But everyone needs to complain about something.

        1. Paul Sainsbury
          10th October 2013, 2:44

          On everyone’s behalf, thank you for your help

          Yes, it is true that there was fuel saving in the past, and it was TERRIBLE. There was great racing in those years in-spite of it, not because of it

          You should check out some of the things Keke Rosberg had to say about the era, the sheer embarrassment of driving slowly in front of the grandstands and looking like a terrible driver. If there is any kind of repeat of this, can you not understand fans of actual RACING being a little irritated? This is a very good reason to complain, you are comically wrong to suggest that ‘everyone needs to complain about something’. Believe me, I want an F1 where I don’t have to complain, but that will involve no ‘fuel saving’, no ‘clown tyres’, and no ‘green’ nonsense.

          1. I understand and I’m entirely with you on that, In an ideal world, drivers would be driving around in the fastest safest cars possible, evenly matched, and pushing the entire race. But I admit I didn’t express myself in the best way.

            I was trying to make the point that there was still some very good racing back then, so it’s ridiculous to consider giving up on watching F1 because of these rules changes. I mean, it’s a personal choice and all, but for a fan of F1 who enjoys good racing, there is a big risk of missing quite a bit of it.

        2. @aseixas, I guess I was fortunate to miss those years, for me the golden era was the sixties, could you enlighten me on the “pace management” in that era, I don’t recall any, what with winning margins of several laps and regular engine failures.

          1. I wonder whether their fuel gauges showed them much more than Full/Empty and spluttering at the time :-)

            I do think the best drivers were managing their pace (and not taking too much out of engine, tyres, chassis, fuelload) already, but they were doing it based on their experience and feeling the car far more than a legion of data-engineers sitting in the pitgarage and factory giving the race engineers instructions of what to tell the drivers to do at every moment of the day.

            1. Back then the guy in front was often managing his pace but I’m pretty sure everybody else was trying to catch and pass the car ahead at least until they decided a safe podium was better than a DNF.

          2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
            10th October 2013, 8:38

            Trees, ditches, barbed wire fences and houses lining the track dictated ‘pace management’ back then!

        3. Bad analogy. In the 80s teams made a conscious technical choice to develop turbo engines, but they still had the freedom to use naturally aspirated engines if they wanted. Most opted for the performance advantage of turbo engines. The keyword here is PERFORMANCE.
          The 2014 turbo era is 1) a decision forced onto the teams, not a choice, and 2) has nothing to do with performance.

          You’re insulting the golden age of F1.

          1. @marciare-o-marcire. This is wrong. There was a choice in the 80s and there’s still a choice now. The difference is the breadth of that choice open to teams/engineers.

            Any one of the manufacturers could build a V6 engine which can make race distance with only 50kg of fuel (analogous to a normally aspirated engine in the 80s). Any one of the manufacturers can build a V6 engine which produces 1000bhp at the fuel flow limit (analogous to a turbo engine in the 80s). The fact that the engine architecture is not as fundamentally different doesn’t really change the challenge all that much.

            These two theoretical V6 engines are not the same (though by virtue of the tighter rules now than in the 80s they will certainly be relatively very similar). The actual engines developed have to compromise between performance and fuel consumption within the rules and will fall somewhere between these two extremes. Engine builders have a some freedom (albeit less than in the past) and they will try to find the best compromise whilst using the latest technology to limit the compromise as they always have.

            The current regulations don’t limit the fuel held but teams already limit themselves and run fuel-saving maps/driving style because it’s a performance issue. That remains the same under the new rules which allow 100kg of fuel, if a team can find a way to race competitively with only 95kg of fuel then they’ll certainly do it.

            The only performance issue the teams are interested in is who can get their car from the start lights to the chequered flag in the shortest time possible, performance is not all about maximum power and driving on the limit all the time – formula one has grown up and isn’t going to unlearn how to perform purely to entertain the fans more.

          2. No, that’s not true at all. They were forced to save fuel. In 1984 there were fuel regulations introduced. Namely in-race refueling was banned, the fuel tank was mandated to be positioned in the center of the car and the maximum size of the fuel tank was stipulated (220 L). Then in 1986 the maximum size of the fuel tank was again reduced (to 195 L), and yet again in 1988 (to 155 L). And still there was some great racing in those times. Yes, teams still had a choice to use NA engines without all these restrictions, and many did. But they didn’t win world championships, did they?

      5. I’d rather have fuel saving then purposely degrading tires. However, the fact in race refueling is still banned could make this a **** show, especially if the super degrading Pirelli’s are still kept. God help us if that’s the case…..

      6. Probably both. FIA really is destroying F1 with they pathertic rules. DRS was a nice try but it failed, so let it go. Fragile tyres experiment failed too, let it go now you want to add fuel saving to the party?

        Whose idea is this to turn “le crème de la crème” of motorsports onto a car management race? Let those boys race.

    3. The point @geemac makes is valid. And I understand it.
      But if you read the article you know Martin is talking about it in a much further and smarter way.
      It’s about keeping the manufacturers in and not having them leave because they are way behind and can’t do much about it.
      It’s the way the world is today, a big company has an image, shareholders etc

      1. @geemac, Congratulations for making the point so succinctly, we may be gaining some traction at last.
        @solidg, in order to keep the manufacturers you have to give them something in return, either the opportunity to develop better engines/drivetrains or the opportunity to showcase their superior engineering, neither of which is available on a level playing field. Do you think Ferrari and Mercedes like getting beaten by Renault every race and not being able to do anything about it because the field has been levelled.

        1. And that’s exactly the point that Martin Whitmarsh was making:

          “One of the concerns for the sport is that… if one of those manufacturers… doesn’t have the scope by which they can become competitive, there is a pretty good chance they won’t be in F1 for very long.”

          and then

          “…we have to make sure that we act properly and that the teams feel the engine suppliers can provide a level playing field.”

          That’s not saying “we should cap all the engines at the same performance”, that’s saying “we should make sure the engine manufacturers can develop the engines to try and match or beat the performance of others”!

      2. I have to disagree. I know it is impossible and that it goes against all F1 stands for, but I think it’d be way cooler to have 22 cars that are exactly the same, and the top drivers of the world just racing like hell, flat out. We’d all be happier if everyone was driving Vettel’s car, and no one would say “this or that guy only won because his car is way better than everyone else’s”.

        1. Isn’t that called Indy Car.

          1. No, it’s GP2.

            1. @hohum I thought it was called A1GP, and my word, did that fail! I went to see the first race at Brands Hatch and wasn’t particularly impressed.

              They even tried GP Masters, remember?

    4. F1 seems to be content to wait for a full blown implosion before it will start addressing this cost issue by the looks of it.

      2 grand for a fridge? Geez. Well I guess thats what you get when Bernie charges massive hosting fees, the tracks try to recoup as much as they can. Best thing for teams to do would be to buy all their anciillary kit, store them in country…would make more sense on the long run.

      1. Every body sees F1 as a cash cow ready for milking but in fairness to the supplier I suspect said fridge was a refrigerated container to store food and drink for the entire team (30-40 ?) for the 4 day period, you wouldn’t want a team, let alone a driver, suffering from Delhi belly.

    5. Random fact of the day:

      Between the period of 1980 and today when a team has won the Constructors Championship from another team only 3 times has that team not successfully defended the title the following year:

      – Benetton 1995
      – McLaren 1998 – their last constructors championship sadly (reiterating that given my job application with them was unsuccessful)
      – Brawn 2009 – did not defend title

      Given that, whats this “close racing” people make mention of, and want?

      1. So… if next year Red Bull doesn’t get the title, they won’t until 2016 at least?

      2. Fun fact: RedBull, Lotus and Mclaren are the only three constructors to win back-to-back titles with a different tyre supplier either year.

        RedBull: 2010 Bridgestone, 2011 Pirelli
        Mclaren: 1984 Michelin, 1985 Goodyear
        Lotus: 1972 Firestone, 1973 Goodyear

    6. @keithcollantine – Thanks for the link to Emmo’s blog. I really look forward to his articles and this edition does not disappoint.

      1. @bullmello I loved that blog entry on the Fuji Race. Since RUSH, I am almost besotted with that era of Formula 1. It is also the era that my father followed. So now when he talks about play boy drivers like James Hunt, and how terribly gifted Jackie Stewart is, it now resonates with me.

        Obviously the movie is one thing, but articles like this one and doco’s I’ve seen of the era talk of the sad days as well as the good ones. Life was very different and so was the sport.

        1. @dragoll – I became a fan of racing and Formula 1 in the 60s as a youngster largely because of Jim Clark. His death took some of my interest away, but Jackie Stewart helped to bring it back with his racing style and special enthusiasm. I’m grateful to Ron Howard for making the movie Rush so well that is getting great reviews from F1 fans and the movie going public alike.

          There is so much rich history from F1 and it really is a treat to read the stories coming from someone like Emmo who was there and tells the stories with such style and grace.

    7. I need that Senna Ducati to live.

    8. For all the nay-sayers fearing next year based on Fry’s comments about engines, may I please draw you attention to his final remark. He anticipates a worst-case scenario of cars being one and a half seconds per lap slower when conserving fuel. That might sound like a lot, but we saw greater variation in lap times during refuelling – a fuel-heavy car was much slower than lighter cars.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, + 1.5 seconds per lap is not the problem, the problem is cars going slower than they are capable of, for example a bunch of Mercedes SLR’s racing similar vehicles at the sort of speed the safety car goes would be exciting racing but the F1 cars following the safety car look about as exciting as cars in a car park looking for a space, that +1.5 seconds will look like a parade not a race.

        1. I don’t expect anyone would notice. Can you tell when a driver is in fuel-saving mode without any additional information (ie commentary)? Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix once (was it in 2012?), even though an error from McLaren meant that he had to go into a severe fuel-saving mode on the sixth lap.

    9. $2,000,000, to attend a pre-season test, this is atotally ludicrous waste of money, no wonder the teams vote against more testing in this format, there have to be tracks suitable for testing within an hour or 2 drive from all team hq that they could lease for a few days for a fraction of that amount. F1 needs less restrictions and more common sense.

      1. You can’t have less restrictions with structure that MUST consider everybody’s opinion – they will never decide on anything, not mentioning common sense.

        FOM should be above all, teams, partners and sponsors should be at the stage where they decide do they want to play by the rules or not – they should not have any weight above just an opinion on matters.

        This is pretty sad, cause this is basic thing that get all governing bodies in troubles, starting from the very early club level.

        Now in F1 there are just too many stake holders with enough power to promote their interest and even Bernie can’t tell them to shut it, as he was forced to sell them that power during GFC.

    10. Now Monisha, imagine Korean GP where you have two Gutierezzes driving your cars. Yes, that is the potential you’ll be looking at every weekend during next season.

      But something tells me they are working hard to keep Hulkenberg for next season.

      1. I’m still thinking there might be a connection between the new Lotus Long wheelbase chassis and an expected new Long driver.

        1. The new chassis is not any longer than the previous version. They only moved the suspension forward and lengthened the nose, which is not part of the chassis.

          1. But the drivers feet have to be behind the suspension, if you move the suspension forward do you not increase the possible leg room? @marciare-o-marcire.

            1. I’m pretty sure the attachment points of the suspensions, or where the suspension connects to the chassis, remained in the same spot, and all they did was change the angle of the triangular shape of the suspension so that the wheels themselves were moved forward by 10 cm or so. Imagine grabbing a triangle at the apex and moving the apex horizontally (so that one of the angles at the base becomes larger and the other one smaller).

              The longer wheelbase lotus was hyped up more than it should have been, because it’s really not that huge of a change. The biggest challenge was probably the aerodynamic impact.

      2. By “two Gutierrez-se”, I take it you mean two drivers who can qualify in the top ten abd then show a maturity beyond their years when racing wheel-to-wheel?

        The only reason why Gutierrez had a difficult race in Korea is because he was forced wide to avoid contact on the first lap. Which meant that he had to have gotten past Alonso at the first corner. Which would make him the only driver to have passed Alonso on an opening lap this year.

        1. I think that by “two gutierrez-es” he means two drivers who are almost totally worthless in terms of helping a midfield team gain valuable points.

    11. I’m not sure which excites me more about F1, saving fuel or saving tires….

    12. Brilliant photo gallery of racing at Aintree! Such a shame I wasn’t born fifty years ago :(

      1. yes they were great, some duff captions but great reminders of racing past.

    13. This is the average number of fans Korea has seen on the race weekends compared to Japan on a Wednesday

    14. I would prefer fuel saving rather than tyre management ANY day of the year, but both? No thanks. We love this sport for many reasons and we know it should be the pinnacle of motorsport, yet we turn on the race and see a nanny-sport these days. I would rather watch Lawn Bowls at times rather than see ’22’ of the best drivers on Earth itself, not even on the limit due to the FIA’s garbage idea of tyres made from marshmallows. Id love to see the 2009/2010 spec Bridgestones with cars that have to manage fuel for 2014. At least they can turn down the engine but still push hard via turns, and use every each of mechanical grip they can muster.

      1. Tyre management has always been a part of Formula 1. Remember Senna’s victory at Donington Park in 1993? That was only possible because he had to be on the right tyre at the right time.

        I also find it bizarre that you can judge the tyres before you’ve even seen them. Especially since Pirelli are aware of the regulation changes and are likely to be more conservative than they currently are.

        1. Tyre management has always been a part of Formula 1.

          Yes but tyre management has never been anywhere near as important as it has been this year & has never dominated the races as it has this year.

          Senna at Donington in 1993 was a totally different thing as that was trying to read the weather to be on the right tyres (wet or dry) at the right time. Thats nothing to do with tyre management in terms of the nonsense we have seen from Pirelli the last 2 seasons.

          The High-Deg experiment has been a complete failure & reduced races to an utter farce. Thank god that everyone has seen sense & are talking durable tyres with no/little degredation for 2014.

          1. At least you understand what I meant!

        2. Thats like saying “Fuel has always been a part of F1.”

          Why point out the obvious and totally miss the point of my comment?

          You are 100% WRONG in saying it like this. Look at 2005. Obviously if you dont manage your tyres by locking up, youll risk failure like Kimi saw at first hand.

          Let me refresh your memory. Monaco 2010.

          Alonso starts in pits on soft compound> race starts > safety car first lap > Alonso pits for hard compound > so on, Alonso does 77 laps on hard compound with plenty of room to spare for more laps.

          He was able to push hard and race hard and thats what we like to see. Look at Spain 2013. Teams were FOUR stopping. WHAT THE HELL??

          You have completely missed my point. Completely.

          Reading the weather and managing tyres as such is NOT what im talking about.

          Dizzy knows what I meant.

    15. Tony Fernandes made me laugh there:
      “For years I was promised an airline industry that would cost less money. For me that’s a major failure of the ‘low-cost’ operators. Nothing has got cheaper everything as got more expensive, so I’#m not sure what the benefits are to be honest.”

    16. There may not be any F1 Fanatic birthdays today but it might be worth pointing out that today is Murray Walker’s 90th Birthday! :)

    17. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      10th October 2013, 8:38

      Trees, ditches, barbed wire fences and houses lining the track dictated ‘pace management’ back then!

    18. Personally, I find the 100 kg fuel limit very odd. Races are very different in terms of fuel consumption, so on some tracks like Monza, this limit will not bite anyway (since the fuel flow restriction results in less consumption anyway) whereas for others, it will be a very binding constraint. Why not vary fuel limits somewhat?

      1. @mike-dee, less downforce = less drag= less fuel, no prize for guessing which designer will have the best downforce to drag ratio.

    19. When will Bernie and co. realize that it doesn’t matter how much the rules change, as long as teams are allowed to spend whatever they want the sport will remain boring and few will surivive? Sure, 2014 will probably be a fun season as the teams learn how to adjust to the new rules, but once Red Bull, Ferrari and the big spenders get a grip on the regulations they will excel, and 2015 and 16 will be boring again, and they will learn quickly because they have the money and the talent. These are the main two problems afflicting Formula One, (I) No matter how slow and equal they try to make the cars, engineers will find a way, and (II) those who have spend will always have an advantage. The first problem isn’t really a problem and in my opinion should be celebrated, but the second must be fixed in order to save the sport, otherwise fewer teams will survive (even McLaren is struggling), drivers will never be hired for merit but rather by how much cash they bring and even if they do enter by merit it won’t matter because the one with the most expensive car will win. What FIA needs to do is to fix a limit on how much can be spent during a particular season and/or apply a heavy tax on the richer teams, the money collected being reverted to the smaller outfits. This is not a totally outrageous idea, by the way, the NFL, the most lucrative sports brand in the world, has a similar business model, in which teams share their revenue. The bigger teams will hate it (like Ferrari), but I can’t see any other way. They can change to rules and say that tha cars must be made out of wood, it doesn’t matter, because if you have 300 million dollars to spend on wood you will win.

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