Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014

‘Most races will be fuel-limited’ – Newey

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty

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

  1. 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.

    1. Oh, and so now that I have posted this, I’m back to seeing all comments. Curious.

      1. Curious again.

      2. Curious still

  2. 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?

  3. sunny stivala
    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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