Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014

Drivers fear fuel saving methods may prove dangerous

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Will Wood

Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014In the round-up: Drivers concerned that speed differentials between cars on varying fuel strategies could prove hazardous during today’s season-opening grand prix.


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F1 drivers wary over ‘lift and coast’ tactic dangers (Autosport)

Jenson Button: “I hope everyone is in the same situation and that we probably won’t have any issues. But, yeah, of course, if one guy is lifting off 180 metres before the corner and another is lifting off 90 metres before, it does make the racing a little bit more difficult.”

Lewis Hamilton expecting tough Australian Grand Prix for Mercedes (BBCF1)

Hamilton: “The race is to finish. We have done race simulations in testing but they haven’t been easy. It’s going to be a challenge for fuel, for tyres. It’s a learning process. By no means is it going to be easy.”

Kevin Magnussen Q&A: P4 grid slot the ‘icing on the cake’ (

Magnussen: “I am proud about myself, yes, but also proud about the team for doing such a good job in the preparation. But by all being thrilled I have not forgotten that the race is tomorrow, the points are tomorrow so what really matters is having a good day tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso has admitted that Ferrari already need to find performance (Sky F1)

Alonso: “We need to improve a little bit the speed of the car in general: the traction, the top speed…we are a little bit down here compared to the others on the finish line. There are finally some areas where we can finally see our competitors when we’re racing because in the testing you never know what the others are doing.”

Race finish still possible – Maldonado (ESPN)

Maldonado: “I think it’s possible [to finish]. We need to put it all together. Even in the race you’re not pushing that hard, even though it will be our first long run, race distance. So it will be very important for us to finish to be honest.”

Brownlee brothers seal joint Abu Dhabi win (ESPN)

Johnny Brownlee: “Where else can you ride on a F1 circuit and bike in the pits and chicanes? The Yas Marina Circuit was a highlight and, due to the smooth tarmac, allowed me to get up to 65km/h on my bike which I really enjoyed.”

2014 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix – Q3 (Strat via YouTube)

Amateur footage showing the final moments of yesterday’s tense qualifying finale taken from the pit grandstand.


Comment of the day

Needless to say, we’re in for a brand new racing experience when the five lights finally go out later today and reader @timi cannot wait for it to begin.

The Tortoise transforms into the Hare! This should be great to watch. Too often in recent seasons has the action only lasted the first quarter-ish of the race, before petering out into a spaced-out field cars and maybe one or two final battles for position.

This is what a race weekend should be, in my opinion. The excitement and sheer captivation starts on Thursday, rising slowly to a great qualifying session, before calming down. The calm before the storm that is Race Day. Sunday arrives, the lights go out… No-one is 10seconds ahead in as many laps. The cars are still together for now.. but soon.. soon the Gladiatiors will go all-out to the flag.

A mad dash to the finish line will be great, there are so many talented drivers on the grid. The cars are much harder to drive, and they’re surprisingly evenly matched! 2014, here we go!

From the forum

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On this day in F1

On this day last year qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix was postponed due to severe rain. It was held on the morning of the race instead.

22 comments on “Drivers fear fuel saving methods may prove dangerous”

  1. Barrichello vs Ralf in Melbourne, Button vs Bautgarner in Spa, and Webber flying in Valencia. Yes, the different brake tactics is a real danger.

    1. AMR (@aiera-music)
      16th March 2014, 0:58

      First one that always springs to mind is Villeneuve launching off the back of Ralf in Melbourne. Seriously scary incident that I hope won’t be repeated today.

  2. For anyone who is interested on the triathlon layout.

  3. Bottas is a Panis fan? I think I’ll go add him to my supported drivers list right now.

  4. The cars sound a lot better on the amateur video than thry do in FOM broadcasts, and I thought they sounded good before I watched it.

    1. Like spaceships!

    2. Might as well have a new conspiracy theory; Bernie is muffling the FOM microphones so the fans will complain and he can say ” I told you so”.
      Comments from people actually at Albert Park for the race welcome.

      1. The cars are incredibly quiet, but produce a nice sound. Standing 5m behind the fence at the exit of turn 2, you cannot hear the cars until they are 15 m away. The immediate reaction at the beginning of FP3 when the first cars came past, from the thousands where I was positioned, was great disappointment.

        1. Totally agree with Dave, I wrote a piece about it, but it was deleted, no surprises there! There is certainly a different ambience at the track this year, you can no longer here these cars around the circuit, the only indication of them approaching is on the big screen tv’s and in my opinion they sound lazy. Don’t get me wrong they don’t look slow, but there’s no grunt!

      2. Here is a comparison of the V8 and V6 I put together

  5. Looks like we are going to need brake-lights (and maybe boost lights) on the back of the rear wing, shouldn’t be hard or expensive.

  6. Same story from Ferrari and it really is getting old. At the start of every year its the same, more or less. When they had a reasonable good car at the start of last year, they still managed to get it wrong.

    Fair enough, we know of the wind tunnel woes which have plagued them for the past couple years, but thats not a factor anymore, is it? They seemed rather smug at Jerez when they managed to confirm correlation between real time data and wind tunnel. Thats all well and good, considering where they were in the past couple years, but once again, its been their rate of development thats been worrying.

    Maranello’s ability to improve the car over the course of the season has been found wanting. Their speed of development is not in keeping with their peers. Just look at how the car has developed since Jerez, excuse my ignorance, they havent really added any bits that have boosted the car’s pace now have they? The car is pretty much where it has been since Jerez.

    Which begs the question, what is wrong? Its not a resource issue, Ferrari have deep pockets and this has been reflected of late with the acquisition of key technical personnel. Which leads me to ask if it is an organisational issue? James Allison was expected to come in and wave a magic wand, but from the outside at least, it looks to be same old Ferrari.

    Its been sad time and again over the testing period that the Ferrari seems to be a good basic car, a sound platform for developing…if they cant develop it at the rate it deserves to be, whats the point?

    While its easy to make him a scapegoat, I think Stefano Domenicialli has become what Martin Whitmarsh became at Mclaren. He is too nice, doesnt seem to crack the whip enough to get the team ship shape. I hope I am proved wrong, but if testing and the first two days of the 14 season is an indication of what is to come, its probably time for Luca to move Stefano into a different position at Ferrari. Its high time a tough task master type strong character was brought in to kick things into shape.

    I am not a Ferrari supporter, but have been supporting Alonso since 06. I honestly feel that if Alonso doesnt win it this year, which looks like a long shot already, he might decide to pack it in and follow Mark Webber.

    1. If they are looking for a new team boss they should look in gardens (or a garden)

      1. Or a beach in Asia somewhere (or did MW return to the UK already)?

    2. An overreaction if I have ever seen one. We havent even had a single race, and you’re shouting Ferrari are gonna fail the development race.

      1. @austus I don’t think it is a over reaction at all. He is asking some pretty valid questions. When was the last time Ferrari turned out with an outright fastest car. Last year they were behind Lotus initially and was stagnant while RB raced to the championships. This year, we saw RB struggling to run the car in the tests and yet showing some good results in FP/qualifying in the first race.

        Even the much maligned McLaren had 2012 when they had the fastest car on track. For a team concerned only with racing/building sports cars, Ferrari are doing pretty badly in F1 for some time now.

        If you take out Alonso and put any other driver in his place, I doubt they would have repeated his heroics in the past seasons. Granted he had his flaws in qualifying but he made sure the car saw places that weren’t reflective of its original pace. Having the reliability is one thing but pace was more important as shown by RB in the recent years.

        I don’t see any technical innovation from the team either for sometime now. They had that Wheel nut/Wheel cap thingy for some time but it seems they are OK with ordinary and not going for the radical.

        2014 was supposed to be ‘their’ year with them manufacturing the engine and Chassis but now they are behind Mercs, RB and maybe McLaren & Williams too. They have mentioned about the correlation working between the track and the tunnel, so I will assume they should be able to develop the car well this season. Otherwise heads should roll and the first one would be Stefano’s.

        1. Two differences:
          1- new tunnel
          2- James allison

  7. there used to be a lot of lift & coast in cart/champcar, especially in the later years & it never caused any safety problems at all.

    theres still some lift & coasting in indycar today & again no problems.

    i remember several f1 drivers talking about the closing rate of drs been dangerous before they raced with it & thats fortunately not proved the case.

    wont be as bad as people think, there will be no problems.

  8. Great tweet from Lotus. Now, if only sense of humour can be fed into KERS unit for extra boost…

  9. i wonder if Vergne is still happy to miss out the RB drive ;)

  10. Alonso repeats what he has been saying for the past three years

  11. A big thank you to the 2% who took the trouble to vote “No opinion”.

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