Fuel heavy car “like a bus” – Liuzzi

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Vitantonio Liuzzi says the ban on refuelling in F1 this year means cars handle “like a bus” when their tanks are full.

He drove the the Force India VJM03 for the first time today with both heavy and low fuel loads and said the difference between the two was “like a Lotus Elise and a bus!”

He added:

When it’s full of fuel everything’s lazier – the steering, the brakes, changing direction. It was very hard to drive it in the wet with a full fuel load.

It will be more challenging for the teams and the drivers – and good for the show.

It’s a drastic change. The drivers will have to take care of their cars more this year. There will have to be more communication between the driver and team. But I like having more things to handle like that.
Vitantonio Liuzzi

The team’s design director Mark Smith said they will use harder brake materials in 2010 to cope with the increased demands owing to the heavier cars, while maximum brake sizes remain the same as last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Fuel heavy car “like a bus” – Liuzzi”

  1. Note Liuzzi says it will improve the show. It’s a race not a show!

    1. Yes, you should definitely go to the tracks and school the drivers on their job – you’ll be and instant hit.

      1. Don’t be cynical, Maciek. You know what he meant.
        A driver should be preoccupied with how to win the race, and not whether he will entertain the crowd or not.

        1. But that’s my point exactly – I’m pretty sure that drivers know what to be preoccupied with without uppity fans getting annoyed at the way they talk. And if you think that there is one professional sport out there that is not concerned about the ‘show’ it puts on, then it’s time to breathe in a bit of reality. The people who finance sports (sponsors) very much do care about there being a ‘show’ – and without them there would be no F1, certainly not in its present incarnation where teams’ budgets rival those of small states. Which just brings me back yet again to my recurring rant about how the sport would gain by scaling back all unnecessary technology and… aargh, never mind.

          1. @ Maciek your utopian ideology does not work in F1 sorry. This sport is about investment and development. There is no other sport with the coverage of F1 and no sport with a financial cap. I have been with the sponsors of F1 for over 10 years and sponsors want money to be spent not restricted because they want F1 to be the best, not the best on a budget. Some people are rich and others are not, they all still sleep at night even if in very different circumstances

          2. @Rampante
            Ummm, okay. I’m pretty sure that my whole point was to say that money runs the sport, and that that is just the reality of things, which you have stated in other terms.

            My rant about this is usually (though not in this case) triggered by people who rant about the shape of the sport, rave about the technology, but don’t seem to have a clue about how the two, in my view, are inextricably related.

            Anyhoo, you are undoubtedly right in everything you say, although it is a slippery slope to start saying things like some are rich, some are poor, tough noogies if you’re in the wrong bunch. For one thing it’s got nothing to do with what I said and… well, that’s certainly a comfortable view to have if you happen to be on the comfortable side of the divide.

            And since I’m on a roll, I’ll come back to the line of my rant, which is that all the unnecessary gadgetry, impressive though it may be, has actually made the racing more boring, because (in many ways that I might get into another time) it has made drivers dependent/reliant on factors that are outside of their control, or over which control has been taken by their ‘coaching’ team on the pit wall – just one example: if you get drivers used to being told when to go faster or slower, lap in lap out, when does the driving instinct kick in?

            Anyhoo, I know this is all convoluted and probably all over the place, but my original point was not to say how I think things should be – I’m just pointing out what I think gets overlooked underneath all the (figurative and literal) wiring of modern F1.

          3. please refrain from using sarcasm at other people’s comments. this site is know for quality debate, lets keep it that way.

    2. It’s like the drivers ‘for sure’ included several times in every sentence when interviewed last year !…this bloody ‘improving the show’ remark is at the end of every statement by anybody connected with F1….no matter who they are….

      If these idiots had any idea how much we resent our a sport becoming one of Ecclestones circus acts they’d cut it out. Now !

      1. I always thought the ‘for sure’ thing could be a little game they all play to amuse themselves.

        1. I think for the next evening race I’ll persuade my flatmates to play a ‘for sure’ drinking game to the pre and post race coverage.

    3. good point. I like that, but if even a driver say that, it is something very wrong here.
      Like ecclestone once said to moss when visiting an historic race at monaco. How nice everything was before i came and f….. it up.

    4. If all the drivers drover perfectly every single lap, then we will be watching a train on its track. Luizi isn’t even suggesting that he will be putting on a show, all he is saying is that there will be room for mistakes from the drivers, which might make the races a bit more exciting.

      So long as people pay to watch it, then its a show, at the end of the day, anything on tv is entertainment.

  2. I can see it improving the racing as well because it will be virtually impossible to make a car that’s at optimum at both light and heavy fuel loads. Different cars will therefore have different strengths and weaknesses, which in turn encourages genuine competition and levels the playing field a bit.

  3. By ‘show’ he meant a better show for the spectators…. more things to analyze, more skills applied as the handling will change dramatically through the race as the cars get lighter with every lap! And, it is a show, every sport is a show, its entertainment for the spectators, else why would people watch it?

  4. Harder brake materials = less effecient brakes = longer braking zones = overtaking a little bit easier, do we think? Or am I being overoptimistic?

    1. very much so. i think.
      I would say heavy cars, taking care of the tires with heavy fuel, trying to save fuel= f1 not very much faster than gp2.

  5. I could see a few drivers misjudging the braking zones now and then as the cars change throughout the race. I am really looking forward to maybe a few surprise endings as maybe a few drivers wear out brakes early.

  6. If I hear one more mention of the bloody show!!! It’s not some entertainment programme where they can monlkey around with the format, its a flipping international sport!!

    1. If you want ITV or BBC or, God forbid, Channel Five or whoever to have any interest in broadcasting F1 in this day and age, then you’d better hope to hell that it is, at the very least, ENTERTAINING!

    2. are they trying to give as a show like nascar here?
      This society is not ready for it.
      I don’t like nascar myself, but they at least are men driving at 300kph at inches of each other, and when there is an accident don’t see the drivers or the nascar itself, talk about how dangerous that was.
      It’s a men’s sport run by men, no sisis.

    3. girls naked fighting in mud, that is a show.
      Didn’t they learn this in kinder?

      1. “Its a mens sport run by men, no sisis”
        “girls naked fighting in mud, that is a show”

        Good on you Jose – you tell all those sissies that want to survive races and aim higher than a kindergarten mentality where to go.

    4. The show is in trouble.

      F1 is not an easy sport to get to know, and not an easy sport to understand. Anyone who has tried to explain nuances of the rules to a newbie would agree with me.

      I love the sport, but when I look at the disappearing grandstands at Albert Park, I know that I am in a minority.

      F1 teams, drivers and organisers need to do everything they can to build up ‘the show’ or else we will continue to see races in front of tiny audiences and F1 regarded as a fringe sport in the broader media.

      1. well said. a good balance is needed

      2. Yeah, the show is in trouble. Formula 1 is about to collapse, there is no interest in it, no ratings, no attendance.

        Oh wait, it’s one of the most watched sports in the world, and the 2010 season is the most anticipated in a decade or more.

        Jump racing in Victoria is in trouble. Formula 1 is just having it’s usual crap that comes with the sport. Melbourne’s attendance is still pretty freaking high compared to other races and other sports in general.

        1. You think so?

          Why is F1 news never mainstream news unless its a big crash or annual events like the drivers’ champion being decided?

          If it rated, it would be live on mainstream TY. Why is it shunted onto a digital channel for live coverage and delayed behind other programs on mainstream?

          If attendance is so great, Why does Albert Park have less grandstands then it did three years ago? Why do they have to try and entice extra spectators with party areas and kiss/who concerts?

          David I love the sport dearly and think it is the best. But I’m not mainstream, and neither are you.

          The average punter is not into F1 and we are kidding ourself if we think he is.

          If we do things that make it harder to drive the car we will see more mistakes and less skilled careful drivers overstaken by the more careful and skillful ones.

          Overtaking = excitement = mainstream interest.

    5. Couldn’t agree more!

  7. Oh, can’t wait to see busses racing, that will really be a ‘show’.
    Christ, they’re only going to be happy when they’ve driven everyone away by making such a mockery of it.
    Still, at least Maciek and his hardcore know-it-alls will be happy, as they will be the only ones watching.

    1. hmmmm….you would think that F1 never had ‘no refuelling’ before.

    2. Wow. I didn’t know that i was a hardcore know-it-all, but you learn something new everyday I guess.

      So your point is, I gather, that banning refueling was a bad idea. Do you remember F1 before refueling? I do – and and I don’t remember it being boring at all.

      1. Struth!I remember F1 when it was called Grand Prix Racing, and the driver sat behind the engine. There was never any talk about “the show” as they were too busy racing each other.Spectators voted with their feet with huge crowds at GP races,such as 400,000 at the German GP. Genuine mickey duck racing will bring crowds back to the circuits – not some contrived “show”.I expect the 2010 season to be an absolute ripper with at least half a dozen drivers going at it ,hammer and tongs all year.

  8. I, myself, usually hate the word ‘show’ being used, but that is when it is used by governing bodies. In this case i think people are over reacting a little bit. If you look at what he was saying, it wasn’t ‘the show will improve because we are chucking out safety cars to bunch up the field’ but rather it will be good for the ‘show’ / race because things are harder and require more skill from the driver, and greater technical understanding from teams of how to setup the whole race. If you believe sponsor’s aren’t interested in how exciting or boring races are for the casual fan, it is a little naive. But back to liuzzi,he approves of the rule changes because it makes things harder, more challenging, i like his attitude.

  9. @ Maciek, I was not saying I was in the comfy seats, just that the sport is about money and money spent properly. Please read my post in the subjet of tyres. I want drivers to win not technology. I also want teams to be able to test cars and drivers when they want.

    1. Cool enough, Rampante. I was just on a bit of a roll I think because of “arm-chair drivers” (not you) thinking they know better than do the actual drivers what the sport is or should be all about.

  10. Far out people! For how long have we as fans cried out for more overtaking – that is the bloody show he is talking about!!! A heavier car which handles worse will make it easier for a driver to make mistakes and allow the driver behind to overtake. Simple. As for the rest of the discussion get a grip fellas…

  11. Good news!

    This means that (hopefully) the driver will be more important. But a good car will be handy as well. I hope we’re going to have a great season.

  12. “I have been with the sponsors of F1 for over 10 years and sponsors want money to be spent not restricted because they want F1 to be the best, not the best on a budget.”

    Unfortunately it’s because sponsorship is a bit thin on the ground that cost cutting measures are in. For far too long F1 has fallen into the trap of thinking that manufacturers and sponsors will stick around forever, and be willing to pour in money for little or no gain. How wrong! How terribly wrong!

  13. And Luizzi doesn’t even mention the size. That extra foot of length (which looks like a yard in photos) must make a fully loaded car a handful to get through a chicane. I already have much fear for the first 3 turns at Montreal, and for Monza. These guys better be doing extra bicep curls this winter.

  14. “It will be more challenging for the teams and the drivers and good for the show.”
    I hope we see good racing.

  15. “News Flash”
    Simon Cowell to make a bid for Bernie’s F1 franchise rights and have it renamed “So You Think You Can Drive”,
    “Formula Idol” or “PitStar”.
    Why I hear you say ? Because it’ll make a better show :)

    1. Shh! You might be giving Simon ideas on new expansion, there’s enough of his bs on tv as it is! :P


  16. Are we really making a big deal out of Liuzzi in his non-native tongue using the word “show” for the overall Formula One product?

    How is this rule change (one that the sport is reintroducing) half of the farce this discussion is proving to be?

    1. The conflation of the words “show” and “racing” has become pretty ubiquitous for a lot of people in F1 for several years now. I’m not exactly surprised at Tonio’s choice of words because his arrival in F1, to my mind, post-dated the point when this happened.

  17. I think lots of people forget that English isn’t a lot of the drivers’ first language, so when they speak for interviews they will make errors or muddle words ect. For Lewis and now jenson, they will be forced to call the team vodafone mclaren Mercedes every time they speak to the media, on the other hand massa or Alonso will NOT refer to the scud as team Ferrari marlboro but if they did there would be media uproar.
    I conclude that drivers shouldn’t be blamed for the way they speak, afterall they are fed pr junk, speak English as 2nd or 3rd langauge(Alonso) yet still happy to do interviews with so many cynics out there. For sure, they have bad habits but they are under no obligation to give interviews before the start and if they retire but they all do and these interviews make Martin Brundles grid-walk interesting.

    1. I think lots of people forget that English isn’t a lot of the drivers’ first language

      That’s a very good point. Liuzzi’s English is excellent (speaking as an Englishman who’s endeavouring to learn Italian) but it’s to be expected that non-English speaking drivers will tend to cling to familiar phrases, especially when they’re giving the same answers to the same questions all the time.

    2. Quite right, i am always impressed to how many languages these guys end up mastering (At least 8 drivers on the grid speak an ok French, they all speak English, and there are many italian speakers to!)

  18. I think Juan Pablo Montoya mastered English very well as the link below demonstrates


    1. haha, harden up Juan

  19. Is Liuzzi a former Lotus Elise driver or bus driver? Perhaps he is the only one complaining very difficult to drive a fully fueled F1 car in the wet. He should have provided more inputs to his engineer to improve the handling performance of the car rather than blame the fuel load for the car’s poor handling in the wet.

    1. There comes a point when even the best handling of F1 cars will get a bit out of shape in the wet, particularly if you have 150 kilos of fuel onboard.

  20. For all the banter, it IS a show at the end of the day! It’s not a tech fest, it’s not an automobile engineering competition or something. It is a show meant for entertainment of the masses! IF it wasn’t a show, rest assured that none of the teams would have had the money or the urge to get to such high levels of innovation and competition. If it was only purely about racing or the tech then well, there’s a lot of racing in the world, why is F1 the most popular? You would have had these drivers racing each other at some open field in the countryside.
    So, it is a show.
    We are a few who get into the nitty gritty of the technology and the racing, but how many do? A majority of F1 followers are casual fans and watch it for the show it is!
    We wouldn’t have F1 without the masses, you need to understand that.

  21. Some of the discussion on this thread had got a bit out of hand so I’ve removed a few comments. See here: F1Fanatic Comment Policy

  22. Can’t wait for the first corner in Bahrain. First day back at school, 26(ish) unfamiliar cars rammed full of fuel, cold tyres, cold brakes and a first-gear corner after a long straight.

    Liuzzi in Lotus link?

  23. lol how very eloquent…

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