Ferrari: Fuel Economy Will Be Key – Compromised Driving Yet Again??
Not only is Formula One swapping from 2.4-litre V8 engines to 1.6-litre turbocharged V6s with ERS but the sport is also limiting the amount of fuel per race.
As of this season, drivers will be permitted a maximum of 100kgs of fuel for each grand prix, about 60kgs less than they used in 2013.
And that change means managing fuel economy will be vital.
“[Fernando] Alonso has been to use the simulator and it has been interesting for us,” Ferrari technical director James Allison revealed to Autosport.
“Fernando gave us some important feedback and details that were important to the team in terms of things we can manage during practice and the race.
“During practice, the car will have more electrical power (available) and the car can run at the limit of fuel flow [which is 100kg per hour].
“In the race it is going to be different. For some races 100kg [of fuel] is more than enough, but for other races you need to be careful to manage the fuel on each lap.
“This different way of driving will need practice – to learn how best to be fast but not to use up too much fuel.”
I can already see the headlines, F1 Drivers Unable To Race At Full Throttle. Could we be on the verge of yet another point of contention this season in regards to fuel economy? I hope not. The very word implies saving fuel, which can not be interpreted any other way then don’t drive too fast. Personally I will not take the bait, just as I did not buy into the idea that Pirelli’s tire last year cheapened the racing due to its wear rate, I do not believe having to manage your fuel consumption will produce something other than great racing. It is going to be fascinating to discover who will and who will not adapt. As Allison stated drivers are going to have to figure out how to optimize their driving style to suit this new engine formula while still driving as fast as possible. The task of driving modern day F1 machinery has and will continue to be a challenging and complex affair.