‘Most races will be fuel-limited’ – Newey

2014 F1 season


Fuel consumption will be an overriding concern in most races this year, Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey believes.

Newey described how the new limits on maximum fuel use and the fuel flow rate could shape race strategies:

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014“[We] not only have a 100 kilos maximum fuel for the race but we also have a maximum consumption – a flow rate, if you like. The old engines, for reference, were using around 160 kilos, so it’s a big reduction in fuel.

“That of course means there will be a lot of strategy in the race. Most of the races we anticipate will be fuel capacity limited. So we’ll have to save fuel through the race which will mean different driving styles, compromising lap times to save fuel, which will mean how you then use your remaining fuel.

“Do you go out quickly at the start, try and brake away and then save fuel? Do you save fuel early in the race and try and sprint later in the race? All those sorts of things will come into play.”

Newey said the fuel limits were unlikely to have a major effect in qualifying, where little fuel is used for a flying lap, but said “it may well be that some engines perform better in terms of qualifying because fuel consumption is less of an issue than it is in the race”.

The impact of the aerodynamic changes at the front of the cars, including the reduced front wing width, were also not to be underestimated, Newey added.

“What sounds quite a small change, which is a 75mm – that’s roughly three-inches – reduction in the width of the wing on each side, and that was done to reduce the chances of a wing being knocked off when two cars touch in a sort of dogfight, if you like. But it has a big aerodynamic effect.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014“Before, the front wing endplate allowed us to put the flow off the tip of the wing outside of the front wheel. Now the front endplate’s right in front of the front wheel it’s is about in the worst possible place.

“It’s not inside, it’s not outside. And that means that the majority of the flow now stagnates in front of the front wheel. A little of it finds its way outside, the rest comes inside, and in doing so it makes quite a mess.

“The front wing wake effectively – the combination of the front wing and front wheel wake – becomes much bigger. That causes all sorts of problems downstream as you approach the sidepod and the diffuser.”

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116 comments on ‘Most races will be fuel-limited’ – Newey

  1. karter22 (@karter22) said on 10th February 2014, 7:51

    I can just see it now… 3 races into the season, RBR raises their moaning to a whole other level and get the fuel limit risen to 140 kilos just so that they can be “competitive”.
    It´s funny that I don´t hear any other team complaining about this, it´s just that team. Every team has the same cards dealt. Quit the moaning and solve your issues I say!

    • Robbie said on 10th February 2014, 16:45

      It’s funny how I don’t hear AN complaining…just stating the reality of today’s regs, like we were told last season regarding technical reg changes, and like most teams have commented on without actually complaining…just stating the facts. It’s funny how when AN says it it is complaining, and when everyone else says it it is not.

      F1 has it’s issues, no question, but if you think it is an entity that will simply take AN’s comments as complaints and then react to them and give him his way, then I have to ask why you watch. Or why any new team would want to enter F1 if they felt that all it would take would be a bit of commentary from one man and the rules would be changed to satisfy him, just because they would like to ensure that in F1 only one team every wins, preferably with 6 races to go in the season, because that is what is healthy for F1.

      Keep in mind, this fuel conservation concept is not news nor is it dire as far as any of us know, including AN, until they race in anger, but the tires last year were actually exploding before they were changed. So unless you think AN’s moaning and whining was so high pitched that you actually think he was causing the blowouts and the delaminations, I don’t get the issue with AN.

      Now if fuel conservation does become such a dire issue that the cars are noticeably slower to the point where fans are turning away in droves, and the product is terrible and it can be blamed primarily on fuel restrictions, then of course AN and many others within and without F1 will be complaining and changes may have to occur. But the situation will have to be as dire as exploding tires before that will happen.

  2. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 10th February 2014, 11:15

    How about we save fuel by not flying all over the world back n forth between countries? You cannot tell me the calendar couldn’t be organized better?

    • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 10th February 2014, 19:49

      The calender isn’t simply thrown together, Its organized now around local events & climate.

      We saw in 2000 what happened when Silverstone was moved from July to April. Its traditionally been June/July to get the best of the British summer, Other events around the world are scheduled similarly.
      Looking at North America for instance, Montreal can’t be moved later into the season & Texas can’t be moved earlier in the schedule due to the local climates.

      Japan can’t be moved to earlier in the year to go with the other Asian races because Japan usually has pretty extreme weather earlier in the year. Sepang was moved to its early season spot because of how extreme the heat was in 1999/2000 when it was at the end of the season.

      Other events are also taken into consideration where possible to ensure no clashes, Especially with local events which could affect attendance. Melbourne for example was moved to the 3rd race of the season in 2006 because the start of season date clashed with the Commonwealth Games which were been held in Australia that year.

  3. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 10th February 2014, 11:18

    I do have to ask, why is it every time Adrain Neweystateshis point of view or opinion it is considered he is whinging?

    • Robbie said on 10th February 2014, 14:48

      I have the same question. See my comments on page 1 of this topic. I can only surmise that he is that good and RBR that dominant that it is perceived that he is that influential, yet what flies in the face of that is the likes of BE stating double points are there to help Ferrari. Maybe there is a perception that RBR dominated because AN was ‘getting away with’ things like EBD, like no other teams were allowed to innovate and do the same. Like Brawn GP didn’t happen where double diffusers were deemed legal and everyone else, including RBR, had to play catchup.

  4. DaveD (@daved) said on 10th February 2014, 14:45

    Out of curiosity, how many people think we’ll have races with no mechanical failures…hence more safety cars? Doing 5-10 laps of a race behind a safety car will certainly change the fuel situation and make “fuel saving” unneeded once they get racing again.

  5. Such a pleasure to listen to such a great brain explaining his daily bread. What a man

  6. Robbie said on 10th February 2014, 16:25

    Is it just me? This was happening on the weekend too. I see that there are now 85 comments on this topic, then I go to click on page 2 to view them all and it says 73 comments and only the top comment is visible. It was fine earlier this morning for me, but now it is back to how it was on the weekend…maybe even on Friday too.

  7. Charlie Lockwood (@charlielockwood) said on 11th February 2014, 19:34

    Could prove very beneficial for the lower half of the grid. A middle of the grid team may use a lot of fuel to get out into the lead at tracks where it is harder to overtake before slowing up the pack to save fuel. Opportunity here?

  8. sunny stivala said on 12th February 2014, 7:59

    Since 2006 F1 cars haven’t been driven flat-out during a race but this time the races will be “economy-racing-to-the-finish”.
    If car to pit radio contact is lost it will be impossible for a driver to win a race and being in with a big chance of not making it to the finish line.
    With a 100kg fuel weight for the entire race and a fuel flow rate of 100Kg/h the cars can only average 66Kg/h of fuel flow for a 90 minutes race and at a race like Singapore they will average 50Kg/h.
    They will only be able to get bellow the mandated 100Kg/h fuel flow rate because the max flow rate will max-out at 10500rpm a point above which the IC engine will not be making more power.

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