Red Bull and Renault using 10% more fuel

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In the round-up: Red Bull and Renault burn extra fuel to generate downforce.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Renault blown floor uses 10% more fuel (Racecar Engineering)

“During the Australian Grand Prix Red Bull and Renault used 10% more fuel than normal.”

Teams earned $658m from FOA in 2010 (Adam Cooper)

“As of January 2011 FOA Ltd handed over the commercial rights to a different company, Formula One World Championship Ltd. This season represents the start of the 100-year rights agreement that Bernie Ecclestone signed with the FIA on behalf of SLEC Holdings back in April 2001.”

A weekend to tackle one day at a time (Ferrari)

“We will have a few minor updates on the car, but nothing very significant, or the sort of thing you could say would be the key to take a leap forward in performance terms. I believe we must stay concentrated on our own work and try to understand how to get all the potential out of the 150??? Italia and I’m sure there’s plenty to come.”

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Comment of the day

The DRS debate rumbles on:

The more time the DRS is discussed the more I dislike it.

The fact its constantly having to be tweaked & were likely to have ‘passing zone’ discussions each race shows the DRS isn’t a good thing for F1.

One thing I found annoying at Melbourne was that while trying to watch a nice little scrap between two cars (Button and Massa for instance) there was a ton of focus put on KERS & the DRS. I want to watch a race and not have to think about who’s got how much KERS and who can open a letterbox and where.

If we start to see these factors become too important with too much focus having to be put on them, I think its just going to start taking away from the racing a bit and I see that as a bad thing.

From the forum

Looking back at the Spanish Grand Prix 1991.

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Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MacLeod!

On this day in F1

Pedro Diniz was very fortunate to escape this horrifying accident during the Argentinian Grand Prix 15 years ago today. A faulty refuelling valve was to blame:

Damon Hill won his fourth consecutive race and third of the 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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65 comments on “Red Bull and Renault using 10% more fuel”

  1. So Red Bull must’ve had the heavier car, and Vettel still pulled away that quick…

    1. I think that the way Vettel pulled away in the first laps in Melbourne is no where near as significant as people are making out. Hamilton was under severe pressure from Webber for the first couple of laps due to his bad start. He then settled and matched then caught Vettel. The Red Bull showed far more tyre wear, probably partly due to the heavier car, and Hamilton could have reportedly kept going at a similar pace if it wasn’t disadvantagous. Many people try to claim that Vettel was just coasting, but there is no way he would have let Hamiton get withing 1.5 secs if he had pace in hand, he would have covered for a stuck wheel nut or traffic out of the pits.

      I don’t think RB have anywhere near the race pace advantage many people believe they have, particularly with their high tyre wear, which will only be increased if they use KERS.

      1. Vettel got so far ahead because of the faff behind him. Hamilton was matching him and sometimes beating him on pace, but by that time Vettel just had to keep up a reasonable pace and not make any mistake to make a race win likely.

        Very interesting link about the 10% more fuel thing though…this means Lotus could use this as well if they had a blown floor.

        1. The Last Pope
          7th April 2011, 1:26

          Red bull would have known Vettel would be close to Button after his pit and would have been telling him to go fast as posible, and yet he came out behind Button. Vettel and Red bull are in fact very lucky that Button wasn’t able to hold him up and doubly so that his pass on Button off the track wasn’t penalised.

      2. Agree with you 100% Jake

    2. The article didn’t say they had 10% more fuel than their rivals. I took it to mean that they are burning 10% more fuel than is needed by the Renault engine in order to produce more exhaust for more downforce. If they were using less fuel than Ferrari last year because of the Renault’s efficiency, maybe they’re closer to par now?

      1. That’s also how I read it, and I suspect that is the reason renault sport mentioned it: bragging that their fuel use is good enough that they can afford to use up to 10% extra fuel and still be comparable in weight with the rest.

        So does that mean last year they would have been up o 10% (ie. about 18 kilos?) lighter at the start of races? Maybe it helps explain Petrov’s quick starts!

    3. Corrections Dept
      7th April 2011, 1:49

      Without direct reference to the additional fuel consumption for rival blown-diffuser implementations, 10% is a meaningless figure.

      The whole point of retarded ignition and revised off-throttle engine-maps is to burn fuel in the exhaust where otherwise it would not normally. That by doing so, extra fuel is being consumed by blown diffusers and floors should not be a surprise to anyone, that is kinda implicit, it is kinda the point of the exercise.

      1. i don’t think it’s meaningless – it’s a 10% increase over the same car with a conventional exhaust.

        i would have expected teams to use atkinson cycle-style exhaust to effectively double the engine’s displacement under braking, rather than pursue the fuel-powered diffuser we saw last year. maybe the energy produced is greater, or there are complications from switching to 2-stroke mode i don’t understand.

    4. From what Renault say, it rather means he did not have a lighter car. Renault highlights, that their regular fuel economy is good enough to make this possible without carrying extra fuel.

      So in effect this means they have just as much fuel as everyone else. Or rather possibly tad less, as the McLaren and Ferrari also need that extra fuel to push their blown floors

      1. It is amazing how Red Bull were constantly moaning about the underpowered Renault engines since 2009, but they failed to mention the other benefits they reaped due to fuel economy.

  2. Is that the old “Diniz in the Oven” crash that the sun reported about?

    1. The one and the same. Trashy as tabloids are, they do do some good wordplay.

    2. Haha that’s a good one. I do hate The Sun though

    3. I don’t get it.

      1. Oh I see. You have to mispronounce it. Given it’s the Sun they probably did anyway.

  3. The Last Pope
    7th April 2011, 1:10

    Makes me laugh when I see the old safety cars before the Mercedes deal happened. A Renault Clio? lol

  4. I saw a clip yesterday of the Senna film of the drivers meeting before the 1989(?) Japanese grand prix where Senna stormed out of the meeting. Does anyone know who the driver was that voiced his opinion about how he didn’t want a repeat of last year and wanted rule clarification? (The guy that Ron Dennis thanked.)

    I should have probably posted this question in the forum but I didn’t want to waste a thread.

    1. Correction – The 1990 Japanese GP

      1. The Last Pope
        7th April 2011, 1:36

        Nelson Piquet

  5. I loved the comment on that Renault article. :)

    It would be cool if they could take this innovation a step further, make the sidepods out of chopped down rainforest and maybe run the KERS on giant panda blood Chris D

    1. Only it would have to be giant panda goo or ****. No killing animals for the sport!

      Nice one though.

    2. Or rather not to use bad language – they would have to use Panda excrements. We are not going to hurt animals, not even for F1’s good.

  6. I love the comment on the Renault article :)

    It would be cool if they could take this innovation a step further, make the sidepods out of chopped down rainforest and maybe run the KERS on giant panda blood
    Chris D

  7. No doubt the FIA will use the 10% argument to ban the exhaust blown diffusers now.

    1. Yep, thats the first thing I thought of when I read this. The green party will have this banned as soon as they can.

      1. If Red Bull need to burn 10% more fuel to generate enough hot air for downforce, perhaps the green solution would be to mount Bernie to the bottom of the car – enough hot air to glue it to the track on even the most challenging of circuits.

  8. My first thought when I saw that Diniz clip was, wow, that’d look great in HD!

    If only time machine’s existed, then Bernie Ecclestone could travel back in time to each F1 circuit, and replace all the terrible (by modern standards) cameras used to film the races with 21st Century kit. So much F1 has been recorded in poor footage, it’d be fascinating to see how it really looked

  9. On a german website I read an article that consisted of interviews with different people from Renault talking about Petrov. They seem to agree that he is better than percieved and last year was hard for him because he had virtually no testing and (now this one I didn’t know yet) because Kubica isn’t the person to easily share anything, which makes it difficult for a rookie (and that Heidfeld would be different).

    In a related article Renault engineers told some minor information about their exhaust system. The packaging of an exhaust of a perfect length (to avoid vibrations and therefore energy losses) to the front proved to be quite difficut, so their exhaust system seems to be rather long compared to a standard solution which would cost them about 15 to 20 bhp.

    1. Very interesting info bananarama – give us a link please.

  10. On the FOA news: when I was bored I made some highly complex calculations and I came up with very reasonable numbers, with prize money ranging from 97 million down to 16m.

    But what I really wanted to say/ask was: if that 100 year contract is active now, does that mean Ecclestone (or CVC or whoever) has to pay out the FIA and is free from obligations for the next 100 years? I remember reading about something like that a while back and how Todt was strictly against it and tried to find ways to get around it in order to keep FIA revenues up (which would be just one more reason for E and T to be fighting). Can anyone shed some light on that? Maybe I’m just confusing things.

  11. There goes the ‘green’ argument :)

  12. Wasn’t Renault engine considered as the most fuel efficient engine? This is insane…if Renault engine consumes more fuel and produce less power(I don’t believe Redbull and Renault’s less powerful engine complain though), why do they use it? Well, for sure there are advantages which I don’t know…Maybe advantage about qualifying performance? Whatever it is, I welcome their less efficient engine because it would help more close battle.

    1. Sorry. I misunderstood the article. Renault said they used 10% more fuel than usual(probably last year?) because they need more fuel to get more downforce due to blown diffuser and radical exhaust(Renault’s). They just boasts of their fuel efficiency.

      1. Yep, its compared to last years fuel usage.

    2. But if it is more fuel efficient then it’s just leveled the playing field a bit with Merc and Ferrari as far as fuel efficiency goes.

      Looks like a a good trade off so far.

      1. Levelled up the playing field…. Not really whos to say Mclaren and Ferrari aren’t now using 15% more fuel for their diffusers. Which is very likely as they weren’t as efficient in the first place. It more likely tha gap is bigger.

      2. Whatever the relative total consumption over a race, Newey is on the record stating he would have laid waste to the field with a Mercedes motor in his car. I’m paraphrasing. But he has directly said he’s down 30-40 HP.

        As far as efficiency, if the Renault is down about 35 HP, and it uses less fuel, is it really more efficient? We are not comparing a Fiesta and a Polo here, consumption per mile is not the relevant metric. It’s fuel mass required relative to engine performance. The task is to finish the race first, not to finish with the most fuel on board. That is, it would be better to see total Watts/liter/second to compare F1 engine “efficiency” as a basis for comparison.

        But of course, this is not even the whole story. Despite Newey’s carping about peak power, he knows that an engine that produces 5% less power than another also produces significantly less heat and thus requires significantly less cooling. This is where he makes his grotesque amounts of downforce—his cars require less air to pass through them at relatively inconvenient points and velocities.

        At McLaren his Mercedes motors had a terrible time surviving his cooling regimes. They became remarkably reliable once he quit. Now he has been forced to use a weaker but cooler engine, and is going to town.

  13. Please help me Keith! For some reason my comment are not appearing when I post from my home. I live in Budapest & and comments never ever appear. thanks

    1. I’ve checked and the system hasn’t blocked any comments from you.

    2. Sush Meerkat
      7th April 2011, 7:19

      Sometimes it takes me several minutes to see my comments come up, have patience young one.

    3. Check if you have cookies enabled. If you use a browser which enables you to accept or decline cookies from specific domains clear cookies cache – I had this problem with Opera once.

  14. I think will Ferrari copy them, since their KERS is inside their fuel tank. But as the article goes Ferrari have the highest fuel consumption.

  15. Regarding StefMeister’s COTD, I can see where you’re coming from but it was a big moment for both KERS and the DRS. I also don’t particularly want to see the back view of the car from the roll bar all the time just for the little opening and i’m sure FOM realise that. By the time the season is a few races in we should be back to normal.

    Interesting use of the Renault engine too. Looks like the Renault could well be in the mix this year.

  16. Alas…, finally that bit of encouraging news I’ve eagerly awaited to convince Me that RB aren’t out of reach. The increase in fuel consumption will prove costly in myriad ways. I am ever mindful of the genius of Newey, but physics dictates performance variation moreso than He. I too thought Lewis wouldn’t have been able to catch Seb if there was pace to spare. There is certainly gonna be some interesting strategies employed by the chasing pack based on this new, vital information.

  17. *I meant pace to spare in the RB7

  18. Interesting fact of the day: The Guardian thinks “Kers” is plural.

    1. Makes sense: Kinetic Energy Recovery System systems is a plural. “They are” a no-brainer for Red Bull (a collective term for having two cars that are built to Red Bull designs)


  19. It’s official: Force India have completely lot it. First, they sidelined Paul di Resta for FP1 in Melbourne, a circuit he has never seen for the sake of letting Nico Hulkenberg trundle around for an hour and a half – but now they’re doing it again for Sepang.

    1. Its their policy, just as they did with Paul last year though.

      The only exclusions I think were Monaco and Singapore due to the circuits being tricky.

      Besides, they’re preparing him for a race seat arent they. Sutil won’t last the year (whether right or wrong, i think they’ll pull the trigger).

      1. That’s exactly my thought, Hulk needs practice before next year switch, di Resta doesn’t seem to be that good (despite the hype) to give him all the track time. But it would be better if they ‘rotated’ their drivers evenly if they are to keep di Resta and Hulk next year – this time Sutil should sit out FP1.

        1. Force India told me Hülkenberg will be in Sutil’s car in Shanghai in first practice.

      2. Its their policy, just as they did with Paul last year though.

        Except that when di Resta was driving in Friday Practice, he wasn’t replacing a rookie driver who had never driven the circuit before.

        Hulk needs practice before next year switch, di Resta doesn’t seem to be that good (despite the hype) to give him all the track time.

        What switch? Hulkenberg did not join the team with the promise of a contract in 2012. If his racing in 2012 was such a sure thing, why did they put him in a test seat? Surely it would have been wiser to just give him a race seat and be done with it? Why bother running di Resta?

        And di Resta needs the track time. How else is he supposed to learn his way around the circuit? Plus, how can you judge him on a single race?

        1. I don’t know Sutil’s contract details, FI had enough problems with Liuzzi last year.
          Hulk showed last year to be a very promising young driver while for me Sutil doesn’t show much progress. Of course last year’s FI car was a little disappointment, too. I just think FI want to have options at the end of the year depending on Sutil’s and di Resta’s performances. Hulk’s role in a way is like Ricciardo’s now.
          Regarding di Resta I may be sometimes too quick to judge but I reserve the right to have my own opinions (I can have one, can’t I?), right or wrong, and time will tell if I was right. I still remember this line: ‘I don’t want to sound big-headed, but I wasn’t racing them when they won their championships’. And this is my reference point for di Resta for now ;)

          1. Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion – but I think it’s way too premature to judge di Resta on one race and assume Hulkenberg is being groomed to replace him.

          2. I assume Hülkenberg may replace Sutil, not di Resta.

        2. And yet you pass judgement on Riccardio (much like others are doing to Di resta here) when he hasn’t even done one race then Monkeys? Your hypocracy makes me laugh.

  20. The Mugen Honda engines always seemed a bit like time bombs. It wasn’t a question of if, but when they’d explode.

    It really makes you appreciate how good the engines are now. The thought of running one engine for for more than one race 15 years ago would have been thought of as insane.

    1. The engines are designed according to necessity and the rules. When the rules said teams were allowed to change the engine between qualifying and the race, of course they did, if they had the budget. And the engine would then be stressed to the point where it surely would blow up during the race sooner or later. Now the engine has to take the punishment for several races – thus they design and build it to last at least that number of races.

  21. Without HD, at a distance, could have sworn that burning Ligier was an MP4-26, with those innovative sidepods.

    As Renault has no fuel consumption issues, Perhaps when Newey perfects the EBD, we may see a similar type of conflagration going into every corner, but hopefully just coming out the back of the car.

  22. God, look how beautiful low slung those cars look in that clip. There’s something awesome about seeing that low, wide, rear wing stationed almost level with the rest of the car that just makes them look mean and fast.

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