Ferrari warns 2014 fuel limit could spoil racing

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2013Ferrari’s head of engines Luca Marmorini says the team is concerned about the planned fuel flow limit which will come into force from next year.

The FIA confirmed on Thursday cars will have a maximum fuel limit of 100kg during races in 2014. Cars will also be limited to using no more than 100kg of fuel per hour and be fitted with an FIA fuel flow meter to ensure compliance.

“Ferrari feels this could be a danger,” said Marmorini. “We like Formula One to consider efficiency, but we don?t like Formula One to be a sport where you are cruising for 50% of the laps.”

Each manufacturer will only be allowed to homologate one engine design for 2014 to 2010. The FIA says changes will only be allowed “for installation, reliability or cost saving reasons”.

Marmorini expects the scope for alterations to the engine to decrease each year: “With a completely new power unit, some sort of development from the first to the second year has to be done.”

“The amount of modifications you can do will reduce each year, from a fair amount of modifications for the first year and then in the second and third years, the number of modifications will be reduced. By the third and fourth years we will come to a situation which is very similar to what we have right now.”

The maximum power units available per car during a season will decrease from eight to five, which Marmorini says will present a test of reliability:

“It will be difficult to run the season without issues, considering we are talking about four to five thousand kilometres per unit which is almost double what we are doing right now.”

Another challenge to keeping the unit reliable will be coping with the heat rejection of the turbocharger: “In most cases people will locate their turbos in the central rear part of the engine and therefore near the electronics and the temperatures can reach a 1,000C and that won?t be an easy matter to deal with. Managing temperatures will be one of the main areas we will have to work on.”

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88 comments on Ferrari warns 2014 fuel limit could spoil racing

  1. kcarrey (@kcarrey) said on 2nd July 2013, 16:06

    keith, do you have a time machine to turn 2014 back to 2010??

  2. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 2nd July 2013, 16:27

    I wonder what Christian Horner thinks about this? I’d expect him to know better than Ferrari’s engine boffin.

  3. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 2nd July 2013, 16:30

    With the reduction of fuel consumption, there is also a proposal to increase the KERS capacity isn’t? We will anyway see a huge difference in the speed trap from next year.

    Keith, do we expect to see a reduction in the # of laps for tracks such as Bahrain or Spa?

  4. MartyF1 said on 2nd July 2013, 17:56

    Can’t help but feel that there should be a maximum fuel load limit, but no minimum, and any fuel you opt to not use comes off your minimum car weight restrictions. Meaning – yes you can choose to use less fuel, if your engine is capable of being efficient enough to get to the end of the race, you reap the rewards of a lighter car.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 2nd July 2013, 21:24

      I don’t believe there is any minimum fuel level. In fact, teams get in trouble when they anticipate a wet race because they put in less fuel knowing the average speed would be slower. If it surprises them and dries out, you’ll start hearing the panicked radio transmissions to the drivers like: “Lewis, we need you to conserve fuel!” LOL Happens all the time.

      • MartyF1 said on 2nd July 2013, 23:10

        Yeah, so they could have afforded to keep a little room in the higher end with the maximum instead of the 100kg, 120 or something, so that the changes weren’t so drastic?

  5. sgarforth (@sgarforth) said on 2nd July 2013, 19:17

    Is everyone at Ferrari called Luca?

  6. Cristian (@theseeker) said on 2nd July 2013, 19:22

    “but we don’t like Formula One to be a sport where you are cruising for 50% of the laps.”
    A bit late for that, I believe. It sounds really stupid to me that the pinnacle of motor racing is worried about fuel consumption. I also find it ridiculous that the cars today are slower than the cars 10 years ago (in a sport that should be constantly improving), even with KERS, DRS the controversial Pirelli tires. And now, FIA wants to make the cars just a bit slower…At this rate, F1 cars will be competing in the Tour the France until 2030, probably having trouble getting past those damn bikes.
    Why dosen’t FIA just let the teams use some V12’s, add the ERS unit, allow multiple tires suppliers, draw up some decent regulations, allow testing, allow in-race refueling, encourage R&D, encourage inovations and let the hippies and the bakers worry about fuel consumption or high costs…? (Or at least 2-3 of those)
    (FIA must be short for Frustration Ingenuity Agency)

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 2nd July 2013, 21:14

      Actually, you might have noticed that Lewis got the all time lap record at Sliverstone last weekend on his pole setting lap.
      You’re confusing the whining of the teams with reality. If you’ll go back and look at the all time record laps for most tracks, you’ll see that they are within a second of those times this year and starting to surpass them. Had they stayed with the 2013 regulations for another year, I think they would have found enough improvements to break records at most tracks.

      • Cristian (@theseeker) said on 3rd July 2013, 14:46

        @daved. Lewis now holds the pole lap record at Silverstone and the new lap record was set by Mark Webber, also during last weekend’s race. That’s because the cars now run on a new track layout, quite different from that in the early 2000’s, due to the large changes done in 2010.
        Let’s talk about those lap records a bit (official records; those set during races). Best time on Albert Park is 1:24.125, set by Schumacher in 2004, while the 2013 best lap was 1:29.274, set by race winner Kimi Räikkönen…that’s over 5 seconds apart. Another example: at Circuit de Catalunya the lap record is Räikkönen’s 1:21.670, from 2008, while this year’s fastest lap was set by Esteban Gutierrez, at 1:26.217. Sure, we may find some circuit where this difference is around 2 seconds, like Monaco, but the length of the circuit is also important.
        I know the 2004 cars were so fast due to the permissive rules and the constant development of the tires (as the tires war was still on back then) and the V10 engines. But, by now, I thought those lap records would be smashed, along with the top speed records. If FIA would allow real R&D and innovations, today’s cars could do (maybe) 380 km/h (without flying off the track, of course) while lapping any circuit a few seconds faster then F1 cars did 10 years ago. I believe you understand my frustration. I am for progress, but what’s planned right now for F1 seems more like regress.

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 3rd July 2013, 15:28

          I agree with you about them allowing R&D to make things better, but quite disagree with you on lap times. For example, you mention Albert Park…the Pole record there was set in 2011 by Vettel and I’ll look at that over any 2013 race lap records.
          Why? Because during the 2013 season, teams spend their laps “looking after tires”, not racing all out. The drivers will tell you that they’re not remotely going all out on race laps now. The only time they go full out is with a worn set of tires on their in-lap before they box and get a fresh set of rubber. And seeing as those laps are on worn tires and they don’t cross the start finish line…we don’t even know how fast they’re going.
          But again, I’ll 100% agree with you about them allowing innovation. Imagine if they let them use DRS anywhere they wanted, allowed double diffusers, allowed shaped floors rather than flat floors for down force? Imagine if they allowed them to use as much KERS as they wanted instead of putting limits on it. Let the teams decide the best tradeoff between KERS weight vs. power and energy storage.
          I now they have to trade off between cost and R&D which makes F1 the “most advanced racing machines on the planet” but right now, they’ve got the formula wrong in my opinion.

          • Cristian (@theseeker) said on 4th July 2013, 10:11

            @daved. It seems we’ve agreed somehow. My point wasn’t that today’s cars are simply slower than the cars 10 years ago, but that today’s cars could be faster. If the teams would be allowed to do proper R&D and bring innovations and if the engine suppliers would be allowed to develop their engines (I still don’t get why FIA keeps freezing engine development), maybe things would be different. Your conclusion is my original point, the formula is wrong right now and it might be more wrong, from 2014 on.

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 8th July 2013, 20:40

          I see your point…I think we’re in “violent agreement” then. :-)

          I’m responding here rather than to your last comment so it will alert you that I posted a response.

  7. Calum (@calum) said on 2nd July 2013, 19:31

    Fuel limit is one of my most anticipated changes. I’m just a bit disillusioned that it doesn’t go hand in hand with more open engine regulations, like in endurance sportcar’s FIA WEC rulebook.

  8. Sergey Martyn said on 2nd July 2013, 20:31

    Does Bernie show the signs of dementia or want to make the sport regulated more strictly than North Korea food rationing?
    Why bother with half measures like fuel liimits?
    Impose the speed limits, give the radars, whistles and bobby’s hats to stewards and ask Pirelli to make tyres which blow at 50 mph.
    Replace carbon fibre chassis by recycled plastic bottles, but again this is a half measure!
    Just replace the fans of racing by housewives and you can regulate the “sport” with whatever stupidity that comes to mind – traffic lights, stop signs and speed cushions.
    It’s time to either become a housewive or quit watching F1 after 21 years.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd July 2013, 6:20

      I’m really annoyed, you are making me defend Bernie. This time it is not Bernie (he wants all engine development frozen forever with what we have now) to blame but entirely the FIAsco.

  9. I think we need to stop pretending to live in a world in which only the MOST EXTREME OF ALL DESIGNS is considered to be valid racing. If F1 regulations changed the sport in to a pinewood derby, F1 drivers would be just as competitive about winning in that formula as this one.

    These regulations are the perfect engineering challenge: You can build any engine you want so long as it’s a 1.6L 90 degree V6, it has a turbo and an ERS system, and it consumes no more than X amount of fuel. Go.

    Racing has always, and will always, involve strategy, luck and conservation in some form or another. I’ve railed against the tires, and I know that sounds like hypocrisy, but the problem with the tires is that Pirelli are effectively competing against the teams, for the good of the sport. I find this extremely frustrating. I find it more frustrating that they don’t seem to be especially good at it. The tires and mandated, they lord over the sport.

    When the manufacturers are turned loose to solve an engineering problem with their own tools/resources, in competition with the other teams, we should be standing up an applauding them because that’s what being “the pinnacle” of motorsport is all about. Not how much gas your engine can inhale.

    • Sergey Martyn said on 2nd July 2013, 22:02

      we should be standing up an applauding them because that’s what being “the pinnacle” of motorsport is all about.

      All the probems (engineering and many others) are solved and people applaud:

      regulations are the perfect engineering challenge: You can build any engine you want so long as it’s a 1.6L

      This reminds me Ford T:
      “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black. ”
      but for me who lived half of my life behind the Iron Curtain, it reminds some other regulations and challenges – you can vote for any party as long as it is Soviet Communist Party, you can voice any opinion as long as it is approved by Soviet censorship etc.

      IMHO the true engineering challenge is when there are less regulations and restrictions.
      AND THEN if some 1.6L turbo David will beat 5.0L V12 Goliath on track it will make MUCH more impact on people than North Korea style uniformity with FIA flow meters and other handcuffs.

      As they wrote in Soviet newspapers:

      Long last the new restrictions and regulations!
      Prolonged and standing ovation, deafening and enthusiastic applause!

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd July 2013, 6:33

        Bravo Sergey, if the amount and rate of fuel burned is the limiting factor why do we need any other restriction let alone a vitual one-design such as these rules dictate. How long before a single manufacturer supplies identical unbranded complete engine assemblies to all teams, which is what MadMax Mosely wanted all along.

  10. DaveD (@daved) said on 2nd July 2013, 21:45

    If you go back and look at all the predictions of doom and gloom when F1 went from V12s and V10s to V8’s, it was the same whining about how the cars would be slower, the racing would be no good, the fans would all leave, the world was ending and the apocalypse was upon us.
    Well, none of that materialized and the end of the world won’t happen this time either. You can’t ignore that an extra 120kW and the instant torque from an electric motor and 10 times the energy storage…you can have that boost for over 30 seconds a lap instead of 7 seconds! This not your father’s KERS. LOL

  11. Quasimoto said on 2nd July 2013, 22:59

    “Cruising” is guaranteed.

    The TR allow a maximum of 100 kilos of fuel mass flow per hour.
    The fuel tank only can hold 100 kilos of fuel.

    You do the math. How much full-throttle racing can you expect from a 100-kilo fuel tank when the ECU will deliver 100 kilos/hour at full throttle?

  12. Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 3rd July 2013, 4:05

    It looks like Ferrari are not in very good position with the engine development. Renault already presented theirs, if it’s not just a model. Given that Ferrari and Mercedes are the only teams that make their own engines they have a bigger job ahead.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd July 2013, 6:41

      It’s not about Ferrari being worried about their engine, given how tight the specifications are the engines will be virtually identical in design and potential power, Briggs and Stratton could build one.

      • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 3rd July 2013, 9:21

        The engine may be restricted but the KERS will be more powerful and at least for the 2014 season the team that get the engine-KERS combination right will be at the front. Probably similar to the year when KERS was introduced and some teams had a better solution than others. Red Bull had issues with their KERS for a long time.

  13. Shimks (@shimks) said on 3rd July 2013, 4:26

    Keith, I would be very interested in reading a very personal article from you where you give us your opinions on the current shape of F1 and the planned changes to come in the next couple of years. What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you change if you had carte blanche?

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