Renault calls for 100kg fuel limit to be dropped

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In the round-up: Renault wants teams to be able to put more than 100kg of fuel in their cars to reduce the amount of fuel-saving which takes place.

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Lewis Hamilton has become an increasingly vocal critic of the planned rules changes for 2017, and @Robbie is pleased:

I’m always glad to hear drivers talking as Hamilton is. It’s a bit of a new one, to me anyway, to be talking about less wake, but that’s fine, that would help too. We’re hearing it over and over again now, including from the drivers, less aero dependence, more mechanical grip, closer racing, faster lapping won’t matter if the racing is still processional.

The problem is Hamilton et. al. are speaking out because it shockingly sounds like F1 still doesn’t get it, still won’t get enough away from it’s addiction to aero even with all the issues it has, with more and more F1 insiders speaking out and making their frustrations known.

I guess we’ll just have to see if the final product for 2017 is better… if the uproar from so many key people can cause the needed change, similar to the immediate uproar over the unneeded and terrible new qualifying regulations have caused.

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139 comments on “Renault calls for 100kg fuel limit to be dropped”

  1. Totally agree with Renault there.
    I’ve been saying for years the cars should have more fuel so they are not fuel saving. For years the best races have been where a safety car has come out for extended periods as once the race restarts they all go flat out as they then have no need to fuel save, lift and coast etc.
    Either raise the limit by 50% or keep the limit and allow refuelling.

    The best races in my opinion where during the refuelling and tyre war years, would be considered ultimate F1 now days.
    I’d bring back unlimited testing / engines and quali tyres if it where up to me.

    1. The thing that really caught my attention was where he said that they are destroying the message by saying this new technology is about fuel saving (not a direct quote).

      This is incredibly true, and indeed a view that I had not yet heard. Definitely a statement for F1 to consider. But it should priorities its issues of course.

    2. Most races, they don’t even need 100kg as it is. The problem is, if they need 90kg then they put 88kg and then make the driver do some fuel saving as a result. Or if a safety car comes out, then they’re good anyway.

      So having 150kg allowance wouldn’t help, unless the increase the 100kg/hour limit too so they can literally burn more for the power.

      1. John Rymie (@)
        30th March 2016, 1:29

        I’ve been saying this for ever! Weight is key so anytime you can carry less of it the better. There was an uproar after the Redbull launch (and every other year/throughout the year when DR said the team asked him to lose weight.

        Every team is going to push the limit with weight whenever and wherever they can

        1. Weight is not best anytime as they may run with 95kg now but that is the point of equilibrium for race time, if they ran with 80kg they would weigh less but would be so slow they would finish laps behind. Increasing the fuel limit and flow would allow drivers to push for a greater percentage of the race, it would move the equilibrium of performance more towards carrying a higher percentage of fuel, say 145kg out of 150 instead of 95 out of 100. Fuel saving used to occur in all eras of non refuelling but it was less noticeable than today. They want to show efficiency, well faster lap times with more power for the same fuel they used to have with V8’s is a showcase of efficiency.

          1. Last sentence spot on mate well said :). A lot of people seem to misunderstand what efficiency is about.

            Efficiency is about getting MORE FROM LESS, not LESS FROM LESS.

            Using less fuel to set a slower lap time is not an engineering achievement. Never understood people eulogising about that :S.

        2. Totally agree with Renault, in fact … i will like to bring this further!

          1) stipulate a minimum amt. of fuel every car have to carry (ban rich maps to burn fuel). no more need to save on fuel.
          2) standardise brake ducts on all cars. save development $$, no car will ever need to so easy on the brakes. during cold weather, teams just need to tape ducts
          3) change the rules, remove the requirement to use minimum 2 compounds during a race. let the drivers do a race w/o mandatory stops
          4) ask pirelli to construct durable and consistent tyres, no more having to preserve tyres!
          5) standardise front wings on all car! save development $$ and design a front wing that allows car to follow each other (bumper to bumper) round high speed corners.

          All these will force the drivers to overtake on track. no more strategy games, no more pit-lane overtakings. This is what the fans want to see isnt it? let the drivers FIGHT!

          1. I’ve been hoping for a standard front wing since the talking about major changes in 2017 began, but since it’s F1 we are talking about, it’s not going to happen.

      2. I think the problem that cars don’t really carry 100kg is that it wasn’t worth it. With 100kg they probably still have to save fuel. But once there is a possibility to not save fuel at all, maybe some team will try to push 100% for the whole race.
        Right now with the 100kg limit, it seems that carrying less will be better. But hopefully without limitation, we can see whether saving fuel is the way to go or full power all the way is the best route to take.

        1. I believe what we will see is that fuel saving is the way to go and full power all the way will be abandoned.

          For qualifying, full power would be the preferred way as the weight penalty of carrying extra fuel is very little. But this weight penalty for going full power in the entire race builds up cumulatively. If say 100 gm of extra fuel is required for running one lap on full power vs fuel saving, in qualifying the penalty is just 100 gm. But for a race running 70 laps, the penalty is 7 kg (in terms of lap time, this could be about 0.3 seconds as 100kg of fuel makes the cars about 5 seconds slower at the start of the race vs end of the races these days.).
          These 0.3 seconds can’t be covered up by running full throttle though. Plus the damage you cause to the engine by asking for more power all the time also needs to be considered.

          1. Sumedh, that was also the way that teams went under the V8 formula as well – the teams again underfuelled because the benefits from running a lighter car at the beginning of a stint were larger than could be recouped by running with a richer fuel mode on the engines. I believe that Massa has indicated that some teams would use the same tactic even when mid race refuelling was permitted (particularly at venues where a one stop race was common, such as Monza), because the same argument applied – the benefits of the lower fuel weight were higher than running the engine in a higher power setting.

        2. From what I have seen, at least some teams already underfuel cars again (since last year) to save weight Frans.

          The argument that F1 did not use to have a fuel limit for the race is a non argument. Rules change over time, deal with it.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        30th March 2016, 6:13

        @lightsout, I think you are probably right; we saw this last year when the tracked fuel usage.

        This means that the Renault statement might not be correct.
        But it also means that the 100kg fuel limit is not needed. Therefore FIA can scrap it anyway, and we’ll see what it does.

        1. Exactly… Let teams pick their starting fuel.

      4. Yes more fuel as in allowed to use more in the race and at a faster rate.
        They can already carry more than 100kg, they just can’t consume more than 100kg during the race and no more than at a rate of 100kg/hour.
        More fuel, more ground effect, more engines and more tyres, less aero wake, mandatory car weight plus driver allowing for heaviest driver on grid.

    3. I strongly disagree with Renault.
      From the Autosport Article: Discussions over whether to scrap that limit are ongoing but there are differences of opinion, with Mercedes against the proposal while Renault is for it.

      Renault certainly has a way of coming up with and pushing for these kinds of suggestions. They tend to sound so good and novel when mentioned…until someone starts winning and then wins with a big margin.
      I get excited when new techs and safety measures are introduced into F1 but this idea of going 2 steps forward and one step backwards is counterproductive. There is an unhealthy dose of ‘romanticisation’ and ‘fantasisation’ of F1s past currently going on in the sport and everyone including fans are guilty of it.
      Such has led to the new 2017 rules of wider cars and wider tyres which F1 had tried in the past and abandoned. Lower and wider rear wings and a greater emphasis on downforce and earo development which F1 have also previously tried and abandoned are coming back also. So, I guess I should not blame Renault for continuing the trend by asking for elimination of 100kg fuel limit.
      The races in recent years have actually been getting better, primarily due to a load of old regs F1 had to shed, but a lot of people think otherwise. Formula 1 is a sport that thrives in controversy. Fans must complain and those who loose have a louder voice but the sport must not loose its core objective in order to satisfy everyone who opens the mouth to complain.
      For F1 to move forward it must jettison its past and fix its focus squarely towards the future by continually pushing the boundaries of automotive technology as it relates to the sport.

    4. Paul Trautman
      30th March 2016, 2:23

      Get rid of KERS!
      1.5L turbo or 3 L normally aspirated.
      As many cylinders as they wish.
      No fuel restrictions.
      Thank you.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        30th March 2016, 6:15

        Get rid of KERS

        You’re running more than 2 years behind Paul.

        1. @coldfly And more important both KERS and todays Hybrid is a wonderful piece of tech.

      2. Saddly 1.5l turbo does more power any day of the week…

      3. Lewisham Milton
        30th March 2016, 22:29

        Yeah, bring back 1988!
        And look how close the racing between the teams was then…

        1. Really? 1988 was worse than 2015. Senna and prost winning almost everything. Even the low turbulence cars of that day didn’t stop dominance, and didn’t promote close racing in the same way we would like to see

      4. Disagree on the KERS. I’d agree if you said the MGU-H.

        Swapping the MGU-H out for sequential turbochargers is a far simpler and cheaper way of doing things, whilst stripping weight out of the car and allowing independent manufacturers to come in with their own engines. Solves a lot of issues with that MGU aswell (ie: compressor efficiency, surge, back pressure etc).

        In running sequential turbo’s you effectively get rid of the “M” requirement (motor) on the MGU-H, therefore you can run it purely as a generator, meaning as long as the engine is running, you are continuously pouring energy into your batteries :).

        It wouldn’t take that expensive of a change to adopt a V6 with sequential turbos, implement a total MJ limit (probably 6MJ) on the hybrid system, then allow teams to go nuts.

    5. I didn’t think any team is going to design a plus-size car with a big fuel tank, until I thought about 100 kg/hr fuel flow rate meaning 150kg for a typical race.

      Maybe there is something in what Cyril is saying – they would fuel heavier and go faster.

      But what I would like to see is the fuel usage properly displayed so we can SEE what drivers are doing, while they’re doing it. If a pass is down to fuel tactics, let us viewers at least know about that.

      We have a very clever sport, with dumb coverage.

    6. sunny stivala
      30th March 2016, 12:04

      so Renault has now changed their mind, at the start of the new formula Renault were saying that their staying in F1 depends on the new formula, they were the adovocates of the new formula back than.

    7. knoxploration
      30th March 2016, 17:52

      Ditto, and it was patently obvious to anyone who actually thought about it that banning refueling and getting rid of the tire war and testing would lead us to the utterly boring “racing” we have nowadays because it stripped away layers of strategy from the sport, and make it impossible to perform the development work required to catch up to a dominant rival. I would love to see all of these return, but equally I can see that the morons in charge will never allow it to happen. F1 has long since passed the point of recovery. The only way it will ever be worth watching again is if the entire sport collapses and a new one is set up on a foundation of sporting fairness and well-written rules.

  2. Sad that Bernie has said Flavio is the man he trusts most.

    When he is the man the rest of F1 trusts the least.

    A proven scandal and cheat.

    1. he’s also employed by alonso…. still.

      1. knoxploration
        30th March 2016, 18:00

        Which isn’t surprising. Fernando was complicit in — and profited from — Flavio’s cheating. Fernando has also been at the heart of not one but *two* cheating scandals, remember. And while he still claims not to have known about Renault’s cheating, something no rational person truly believes, his direct involvement in McLaren’s cheating is 100% beyond debate. He also knew what he was involved in was wrong, because he threatened to take it public, and not because he was repulsed by it but in order to further his own agenda. That makes it pretty clear that he sees cheating as a completely acceptable way to win races.

        Once a cheat, I’ll give you a second chance. Twice a cheat means you clearly have no spine, and that’s true of both Alonso and Schumacher.

        1. Or a cheating spine..

        2. Senna was a huge cheat maybe the greatest cheat ever who inspired drivers to cheat generations after him. He was a disgusting man somehow held as a hero…greatest trick the devil pulled….

    2. indeed @strontium, there is hardly anyone LESS appropriate to be seen back in F1 than him.

    3. The Blade Runner (@)
      30th March 2016, 10:33

      Bernie Ecclestone: F1’s answer to Donald Trump

      1. @thebladerunner
        Nah, Trump actually says things people want to hear.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      30th March 2016, 11:53

      The only difference between the two is that Flavio found himself in a situation where he was unable to buy his way out of trouble.

    5. Like Ron Dennis and Bernie Ecclestone…

    6. knoxploration
      30th March 2016, 17:55

      Bernie would be the biggest cheat of them all, were he still directly involved in the “racing”. It’s hardly surprising that he yearns to see the return of a fellow cheat who believes in everything Bernie stands for.

  3. I have a feeling This season is going to end up in a 3 way battle for the title between Hamilton, rosberg and vettel it will probably go down to the last race of the season. It’ll most likely be a great season. Then 2017 comes round a team will do a better job than everybody else (probably Mercedes) be a second faster than everybody else what happens next? Will bernie & co demand more rule changes? (Unless it’s redbull who are second faster) bernie won’t care. Will fans start whining again? Or do we keep changing the rules until Mercedes are no longer winning? Fans need to know F1 will still have the same problems with unfair money distribution, cars unable to overtake, pay tv, cvc, DRS, bernie. Circuits will stay have to overpay for races, who will then overcharge fans to attend the races. But hey at least the cars will be 5 seconds faster in qualifying……. Oh and pirelli tyres will still be completely awful.

    1. What is also apparent is that a major rule overhaul doesn’t guarantee any improvement. 2005–2008 were great seasons yet they were nearing the end of their era. 2009 was the start of an era, which received mixed views, and 2010 – 2012 were supposedly the best years of said V8 era, yet they were in the middle / near the end. Even 2013 wasn’t a totally dreadful season.

      Yet 2014 came and within a year F1 bosses were whinging about this crisis, despite the regulation changes previously being said to ‘shake the order up’ and make it more exciting. It’s only now, as we slowly approach the middle of the era, that it’s becoming a lot more exciting.

      So why does Bernie and co seem to think (again) a major regulation change will help?? Is it not clear that dominance comes and goes at different times throughout all eras, so why try to reset it now when it’s slowly improving?

      1. In 2009 take away the brawn cars and it would have been a close season. I’ve always thought the longer the rules stay stable the closer all the teams get. The easiest option would have been to get rid of the engine tokens at the end of last season at least that way renault and honda could have caught up. Let teams who can afford it test. After all the FIA have shown with all the new rules and regulations they force on the teams that they don’t really care about cutting costs in f1. These new rules and regulations seem like sticking a plaster on a cut that needs stitches. I don’t understand why fans think these new rules are like some magic wand that will make f1 great again.

        1. “These new rules and regulations seem like sticking a plaster on a cut that needs stitches.”

          I salute you, incredibly well said!

        2. Red Bull would have walked 2009 were it not for Brawn and won 5 on the bounce. You could see mid season after the diffuser debacle that they had the best package and they didn’t lose that advantage until the V6s.
          Totally agree on your main point though, I don’t see why they’re changing the regs next year unless it’s either to make overtaking easier or move away from slapstick tyres of which they’re doing neither.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            30th March 2016, 13:35

            Whilst 1 team domination is clearly bad for the sport, at least previously it was the teams rather than the suppliers who decided results.

            Red Bull were on top because Red Bull have mighty aero. Now they’re struggling because Renault can’t make a decent engine and Ferrari and Mercedes are scared of Red Bull’s chassis.

            F1 is supposed to be about teams and drivers. Some prefer the driver side of it and hate team orders etc and some like the team competition. The problem these days is that you could have the best driver in the best team with the best car and they’d still not stand a chance of beating Mercedes or Ferrari because the only company that would be willing to supply them with an engine is Renault (on a side note – I’m not suggesting this is Red Bull. If Williams started beating Mercedes regularly, it wouldn’t be long before their engine deal was terminated or at the very least, the information coming from Mercedes would be heavily restricted to ensure Williams were always playing catch-up.)

          2. ‘Whilst 1 team domination is clearly bad for the sport, at least previously it was the teams rather than the suppliers who decided results.

            Red Bull were on top because Red Bull have mighty aero. Now they’re struggling because Renault can’t make a decent engine and Ferrari and Mercedes are scared of Red Bull’s chassis.’

            In the same way Red Bull would not give aero assistance to anyone else. Engines are not a supplier part equal for all they are what proper teams build themselves and through keeping a few teams around supply for a fee. Engines are as important as aero and to be a proper team they should build their own. Red Bull have as much budget as anyone but are too scared to spend the time and funds on their own engine instead trying to get an engine from a rival for a small percentage of the cost to produce so they then have more funds than anyone to spend on aero. Red Bull are a 0.5 team, Ferrari and Merc now Renault are proper teams as it should be.

          3. @petebaldwin Still something many don’t seem to understand. One can only wonder how great the past two seasons would have been had Red Bull had the Mercedes engine, or even Ferrari.

  4. Having the 100kg fuel limit for these cars is incredible, and it pushes the boundaries of fuel and engine efficiency, as shell and others have shown us.

    But I can’t help but feel it is unreasonably low. If teams were allowed, say, 120kg, could that be the difference of conserving or not? One major issue is I worry that no matter how much fuel they are allowed to start with, they will never get rid of this conservative element, due to the issue with weight at the start. It’s easy to say, “if we have more fuel we can push more”, but the reality is it might work out differently. All these things must be taken into account before any rule change can be agreed (although this is F1, and we know it doesn’t work like that ahem qualifying).

    Also it depends if they plan to change fuel flow limits, as I understand these have a huge impact on these engines.

    1. @strontium +1. Thought the same thing before reaching the comments section. If teams did carry more than 100kg of fuel, they still can’t push, say, 3/4th of the race cuz of the tyres. And then there’s dirty air effect, which Lewis hates if he decides to push. So I guess it doesn’t make much difference.

      1. In 2007 and 2008 the cars produced far more dirty air but Lewis Hamilton did some great overtakes, much like Verstappen and Ricciardo do now, is there something to my thought that as your status as a driver rises you are less likely to throw caution to the wind and make a move? In fact if you do that today and it goes wrong you get penalty points so it is rather brave to attempt anything other than a slam dunk pass.

        1. In 2007 and 2008 the cars produced far more dirty air but Lewis Hamilton did some great overtakes

          But, of course, the 07/08 cars weren’t heavily reliant on their front wings for generating downforce and conditioning flow to the rest of the car.

          1. Yeah so increased downforce from 2017 might not be that bad as long as the percentage of downforce production is not biased to the front wing as now? Still does not explain why Verstappen and Ricciardo overtake when drivers who’s stature in the sport has grown seem to be more conservative in having a go when they were renowned for it in their 1st few years in the sport.

          2. You’re all forgetting about the tires. They are the biggest thing preventing drives like Hamilton pushing hard. This thermal degradation thing just isn’t conducive to close quarters racing.

          3. @optimaximal, on the other hand, the statistics from the “Clip the Apex” database indicates that the years from 2007-2008 had some of the lowest overtaking rates per race between 1983 and 2015, with 2008 having the joint lowest number of passes in an entire season.

            There might have been some drivers who pulled off good passing moves, but the period from 2007-2008 corresponded to a period with the lowest on track competition in the modern era of the sport.

            Aldoid, that said, having extremely hard wearing tyres may not necessarily be quite as conducive to good racing either – there was a trend for harder tyres in the mid 2000’s, and overtaking actually declined (with 2005, when tyres had to last for an entire race, seeing the least on track action).

        2. You should not forget these drivers fight for championships, and not race wins. He’ll finish fourth every single race if that also means he’d get the title.

    2. @strontium

      I agree about increasing the limit. I think they need to make a fixed weight of fuel compulsory for all teams. As you mentioned, maybe 120 kgs keeps them pushing harder for longer. Maybe some PUs can get more grunt from the 120kgs of fuel and maybe some can’t, but the driver can push much harder than he can in the current era

    3. @strontium Are there any data of how much fuel each team used on all races during 2014 and 2015? I think at those races no team ever getting close into the 100kg limit. If the most team used only 90kg, raising the limit to 120kg or 1 tonne won’t changed anything.

      1. Pretty sure I read that certainly the mercedes teams, but probably the Ferrari teams as well (who knows what RBR do) were able to run under the fuel limit for the race in most races (all but 2-3?) in 2015 @sonicslv, @strontium.

        I think it is a non issue really. Then again as @coldfly above mentions, if its a non issue because the weight will still be the largest motivator to use less fuel, maybe we could just give Renault what they want and add some more variation to the field.

        1. Well it is an issue for one or two races…. Why have that issue, if it can be removed?

    4. The Problem I see, is that Ferrari pushed for dropping the 100Kg limit from the beginning of the V6 era.
      Now they’ve worked their way around that and seem to do quite allright without.
      At least the qualy gap indicates it’s not about the fuel for Ferrari.

      Why should they agree to it now, when no one agreed to it when they wanted it?

  5. Renault is wrong on this one. Limiting the fuel load is an intrinsic part of the Hybrid evolution. Without it, we might as well go back to NA (naturally aspirated) gas guzzling V12s.
    It does not make sense.

    1. Yes it does. Racing is supposed to be about going flat out in all areas, not artificial limiting.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        30th March 2016, 1:28

        “I always say that my ideal is to get pole with the minimum effort, and to win the race at the slowest speed possible.”
        – Alain Prost

        Also, Juan Manuel Fangio was famed for winning ‘at the slowest speed possible’, and he won five World Championships and holds the highest win ratio in the history of F1.

        1. @raceprouk, this comment also espoused by Jack Brabham has to be taken in context, the “slowest speed possible to win” still had to be faster than the speed of all the other car/drivers in the race, and all the other drivers in the race were going as fast as they could trying to catch and pass the leader who would be the winner if they did not catch and pass him/her.

        2. Read “Having enough in hand to go easier on the machinery in the final stages of a race, thus increasing one’s chances of finishing.”

          The means by which said advantage can be gained should be painfully obvious.

          1. Prost, Fangio, and Brabham all drove in eras when the cars were less reliable and much more in the drivers’ hands. I’m not saying it isn’t still a useful guideline, but the difference nowadays is that the drivers have no choice but to be ultra-conservative wrt to tires, fuel, and components due to the regs, in an era when these cars are much more reliable to begin with and much less in the drivers hands in terms of philosophy choice as to how to win a race.

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            31st March 2016, 12:42

            In other words, “don’t always drive flat-out”.

      2. These statements of ‘flat out’ racing which a lot of people like throwing around just isn’t true. F1 has never gone ‘flat out’.
        Ok, a few common sense example:
        A) Just look at the engine revs. Drivers are supposed to know that you can’t go ‘flat out’ all the time. If you do that you will damage your engine. Simple.
        B) The weight of a car will continue to play a vital role in the performance and ultimately finishing position of any car. So teams will continue to use the barest minimum to gain an advantage in any race.
        C) “Racing is supposed to be about going flat out in all areas”. But you cannot do that IN ALL AREAS of a racing circuit. And how fast and longer a driver chooses to go is tied to the longevity of his tyres. They go hand in hand. But then if you have rock solid tyres and 1000 liters of fuel, that will turn into another bore fest cos, you know what, F1 had tried rock solid tyres before and quite rightly abandoned them.

        The racing is getting better and better over the years and we should not arising from short-sightedness scuttle the progress being made.

        1. @tata, your post misunderstands the concept of driving flat out and the logic is flawed.

          1. Why not tell me why you think I am wrong? Just saying I misunderstand the concept isn’t enough.

          2. even if his post is incorrect, the original post was romantic at best and completely inaccurate to history/reality at worst.

            Show me championship in F1 that was won in flat out racing…

          3. petebaldwin (@)
            30th March 2016, 11:59

            @Tata – I believe it was the point where you said “The racing is getting better and better over the years”

            Which recent season was last year better than? It wasn’t even as good as 2014!!

        2. @Tata When they had no limit of fuel and rock solid tires, which at least allowed us to see drivers able to push their cars and themselves to their limits, they also had the dirty air effect causing processions. They needed closer racing via less aero dependence then too.

          When I read or hear someone say flat out racing it simply conjures an image to me of seeing drivers not limited so much by the need for conservation, and actually being taxed at their task at hand. For me the racing is far from better and better when this gimmick filled entity has drivers barely taxed, and now publicly saying they need to feel more like racers racing out there. They’re not enjoying it and haven’t in this current gen of tires of the last 5 or 6 years.

          Flat out all the time needn’t conjure an image that has never existed in reality, but they could get way way closer to something that looks like drivers achieving a difficult feat than they do now. F1 is supposed to be a sprint and yes with some conservation being prudent as in all racing series, but not massive and forced conservation as they have now. WEC is for endurance.

          1. I like your take on the ‘flat out’ talk.
            I have always assumed and somehow I think I am not completely wrong, that ”flat out” means driving the car on the limit round the circuit.

    2. At the moment everybody is running equal amounts of fuel. The differences are so minor it’s not even being shown as graphic during broadcasts. Freeing the amount might introduce different tactics or different ways to run a race. Start heavy but to be able to push more or start lighter and need to conserve more.

      Limiting the fuel flow and amount to 100kg also limits the noise – nobody will rev up the engines to 16k RPM as that wastes a lot of fuel.

      1. The differences still won’t be that great due to a) the lap time cost of fuel weight and b) the fuel flow restrictions are what makes these engines run optimised at somewhere between 10.5 – 12 k RPM @f1lauri

  6. And that tells you all you need to know about Ecclestone’s views on the importance of sport in the sport… its is a sad, sad thing that this man ever got his hands on F1.

  7. The question to be asked with removing the 100 kg fuel limit is would it give Mercedes more advantage than what they have now?
    Above average performance (which is what Mercedes have) is the result of above average fuel economy, and that is more expensive than average fuel economy. So Mercedes have a budget that allows them to pay for this, so removing the fuel load limitations will simply mean they will assign that money into areas of development where they are lacking.

  8. Bernie is such a troll, does he..?

    1. Good thing he has no Twitter.

    2. @ernietheracefan

      Which is the very function where Flavio might be the best available replacement.

  9. I’d say make the 100kg as minimum and remove the fuel flow limit regulation.

  10. So Renault wants to be heavier than the other cars starting on the grid? Not a good sign if a team principal who was in charge of the biggest flop engine development in recent history wants to put his team further down the grid.

    I say, go ahead, give Renault 120kgs or 200, whatever they want. Merc will start the same race with 90kgs on board, fuel save and still beat them.

    I also highly doubt Renault are gentle enough on their tires to make another 20-50kgs of fuel weight not destroy their tires in the first stint.

    Now, if we can see this as Renault politically posturing on behalf of Red Bull – perhaps that Red Bull chassis would be kind enough on her tires that the extra weight could still work. Thats quite a nice gift from Renault to Red Bull and not likely. Playing chess, perhaps the big ‘update’ from renault is unlocked with more fuel and they expect a regulation change like this to be implimented before Canada?

    Do the current fuel tanks hold much more than 100kgs? It’s an integral part of the chassis, i doubt it’s an easy update.

    How Cyril still has a job at this point is beyond me, he should be THANKING Red Bull for all the negative press they created. They took the heat of the fact that he failed worse than Honda (having 2 more years of dev time than honda did).

    1. Biggest flop engine development? You did notice Honda’s efforts last year?

      1. Did you not read the last sentence?

        1. Missed that, but strongly disagree Honda was a complete shambles, Renault engines won 3 races in their 1st year with V6 hybrids, Honda will not win 3 races this decade. They did not get a podium, Honda like the last time they were in F1 have made a pigs ear of their engine and for me will not do anything before leaving again.

          1. Honda and Mclaren entered a season early. Thier original timeline was for 2016 – 2015 was a painfully long test season.

            Renault had 3-4 teams, and 2 more years worth of development time. 2014 saw them LUCK into some wins.

            However, they went backwards in 2015 and are stagnant in 2016. Honda has at least moved forwards.

          2. That is Honda’s fault and after their last attempt at F1 engines when they were again the worst the facts appear to be they cannot build top level race engines, the Japanese are not cut out for top level car racing, Toyota have done ok in WEC but maybe Honda are more for motorbike engines.

    2. @Clarkie I don’t get your argument starting with your first sentence. Why would Renault be any heavier than any other car? A rule change would see all cars on the grid pretty much doing the same thing. And why would it be some 20-50 kg heavier? The fuel flow rate would still remain if Renault had their way. They just don’t want to be restricted to fuel conservation to such the greater degree historically than they are subject to now. I would suggest if they were allowed to conserve a little less, all cars might end up being about 5 kg heavier with fuel at the start of the race, since they can already complete the races with 100kg or less. And unless the tires are greatly improved, and while aero prevents close racing, the cars will remain limited from being pushed much more anyway.

      1. You don’t get that Mercedes in fuel save mode would still destroy a Renault running at max fuel/hr mode?

        No way a heavier Renault will chase down a lighter Mercedes that still has 80+ hp advantage.

        1. What I don’t get is your apples to oranges hypothetical comparison.

  11. I’ll translate Cyril’s statement: “We don’t have enough engineering skill and technological abilities to be competitive with the imposed fuel limit…” That’s the kind of statement Renault brand doesn’t need at this time. Own goal, really. He was very sensitive when RBR guys criticized Renault because of poor performance last year. Now, he does almost the same in a subtle way.

    1. The best quote from CA was last year when he admitted his engineering team had no more answers. They essentially gave up – which is funny because they’re French.

      Red bull has been completely absolved of any wrong doing. Top chassis, hyper competitive team, top drivers, and a French PU.

      1. Could be worse could be a Jap PU. The Brits don’t even make a PU they did not have the stomach (or car manufacturers) for the battle.

  12. We don’t need a total fuel limit AND fuel-flow limit. One or the other. Not both.

    Fuel = weight, therefore it’s always been pretty much self-regulating how much you put in the car.

    Yet another fine example of F1 having regulations, where F1 doesn’t really need regulations.

    1. I still believe a fuel flow formula is good for the sport. It would allow for a diversity of approaches while still managing to keep a lid on the arms race F1 inevitably turns into. Well it would if the FIA didn’t mandate the layout of a huge amount of the power units…

      Keith Duckworth proposed a fuel flow formula while developing his turbo engine in the 80’s and he knows a thing or two about building racing engines.

      1. Yeah fuel flow limit is good, mass limit not so much…

      2. Yep completely agree with both of you @geemac and @jureo. I’d personally go for fuel-flow over total fuel limit.

        From a road car perspective (lest we remember that’s why we have these hybrid engines in the first place) we all want the BEST fuel economy possible from our engine. A fuel-flow meter encourages teams/manufacturers to extract as much energy as possible from every drop of fuel, and that of course is a good thing. Regulating how much fuel you can actually put in your car, I don’t really see what that achieves, either from a racing perspective, or a road car perspective.

        As I say, fuel = weight, and F1 teams are as averse to weight as is possible to be, therefore, they aren’t going to put any more fuel/weight in the car than is absolutely necessary. As far as they’re concerned, if you don’t run out of fuel when you cross the finish line, you over-fuelled :).

        1. Exactly! This is why fuel capacity rule should be abandoned..

          Also there is a sporting issue. Team who is best on power also tends to be best on consumption… That again hurts teams who are already down on power even more… So overall the racing would improve.

          1. Yep! :).

  13. I’m sorry, but Renault are wrong. Fuel management has always been a part of the sport and always will be. Even folks who yearn for V8’s again will admit that fuel saving happened then too, because the teams always run as little fuel as they can get away with to save weight. Two examples that spring to mind immediately of where fuel saving added to the show and gave fans something to talk about are Turkey 2010 (it played a role in both the Red Bull infighting and in the McLaren battle) and Malaysia 2013 (a key factor in Multi-21 and in the first instalment of Nico v Lewis).

    1. +1

      people have such short memories.

    2. Yes fuel-saving has always been a part of F1, but I think the key point on this subject is that maybe F1 has now gone too far in it’s fuel saving for a lot of people’s liking. The intention is good, it’s just gone too far for F1 to still feel like F1.

      There is of course a simple fix, the FIA stick a fixed amount of fuel in the cars themselves before the start of the race.

  14. ColdFly F1 (@)
    30th March 2016, 8:33

    Fuel management has always been a part of the sport and always will be. Even folks who yearn for V8’s again will admit that fuel saving happened then too

    @Geemac, why is Renault wrong? You are saying exactly the same.
    In Abiteboul’s words: “even in the V8 era there was some fuel management.” “It has always been part of F1, without any form of limitation on fuel quantity, so I would remove completely the fuel quantity [regulation].”

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      30th March 2016, 8:34

      of course this should be tagged to the previous comment.

    2. Renault is very wrong on this one! Fuel limit imposed in 1984. was 220ltrs, then 195 and finally 150ltrs. We had some very good racing at the time. They are right on this matter as much as they were last year with PU design approach.

    3. I feel he is wrong @coldfly because he seems to be trying to link rules regulating the amount of fuel the engines can consume to the racing. Why he is actually saying that probably implies that he thinks Renault will be able to be more competitive if they can get the fuel consumption rules amended in their favour in some way…

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    30th March 2016, 9:19

    @Robbie F1 is unashamedly addicted to aerodynamics, and has been ever since we got increased engine parity in the move towards V10s in the 1990s. Personally, I think the McLaren MP4/8 was last hurrah of the mechanical/engine era – a car that probably had the best chassis on the grid, definitely had a better active suspension system than the Williams FW15C, but was hampered by its Ford V8 versus the Renault V10 in the Williams.

    Since the mid-1990s, aerodynamics have been the primary performance determinant, and accordingly, the top teams have invested all of their resources in aerodynamic excellence. Because the midfield cannot afford such aerodynamic extravegance, mechanical solutions become more import to them in the search for added performance – it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a team like Force India are extracting the greatest potential from the tyres.

    1. You know it’s cheaper to develop aero than a power unit right?

      1. Depends RedBull budget is as big as Ferrari or Merc but they don’t put much in to rent a PU so what do they spend the rest on?

        1. The R&D for mercs PU is in the billions.

          Those costs are absorbed internally and not passed on the race team.

          How much more would red bull have to spend to develop a merc beating PU?


          1. Ferrari PU is developed in the confines of the F1 team and they are not a big company. Red Bull want to spend 12 million a year on an engine the rest on aero, Ferrari and Merc would not have as much as Red Bull for aero development, Red Bull agendas are clear but this is where it shows up they are not car builders but drinks manufacturers who bought some aero staff. If Ferrari can build engines so can Red Bull with all their money.

  16. I know I’m probably missing something here as it seems too obvious, but couldn’t they just tweak the rule so the maximum amount of fuel they have to carry is also the minimum? So at the start of the race they all have 100kg of fuel on board. They won’t be underfueled so the racing will be better, lap times will be lower. In fact they will be encouraged to go flat out to burn the fuel quicker so they can go faster.

    1. @badger
      i think this would solve one problem and create another by removing the mechanical incentive to make a more efficient (dare i say, road relevant) engine. a hugely unsung success of this engine formula is the massive gains in efficiency so it would a shame to see that go.

      people are moaning about lift and coast tactics, but it’s obviously the fastest way to get round the laps. the big problem is turbulent air – all this talk of engines is distracting from the real issue.

      1. You mean the tires. Tires are the issue.

        How has Pirelli convinced the public that aero is the problem? I want to read the story of this successful spin of negative PR.

        Tires, tires should not fall apart when they are asked to do a bit more work in dirty air. Tires.

        1. Good tires will equally advantage the guy in front, when buddy on good tires behind is in his dirty air in a clean air dependent car.

          1. Exactly… Both Tires and Aero are at fault… But mostly Aero.

            Even given ideal tires, person behind would get more grip…

            What we should want is tires that give more grip the more you push them, then overzealus pushing would lead to drivers running out of talent and someone behind being able to push more…

  17. I’m not surprised Haas are already calling it a day on 2016 development. Grabbing those points now has likely secured them 9th in the constructors as I don’t envisage Manor or Sauber scoring points this season and for the amount of investment it would take to fend off McLaren and Renault they just wouldn’t get any return on investment for those higher championship positions.

    Which really highlights the problems with these big rule change implementations. Completely re-writing the formula every few years has done more to disrupt performance parity than anything else. I’m all for the evolution of the formula as they try to find something that delivers great racing, but requiring an entirely clean sheet design every 3 to 5 years makes it impossible to build upon work already done.

    If Ferrari aren’t presenting a realistic challenge in the next couple of races we all know what’s coming next, they’ll give up this year and focus on 2017 handing another uncontested championship to Mercedes.

    1. Great point.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      30th March 2016, 11:26

      Good point you are making on Haas, @philipgb.

      This now raises the question for me: Which teams get share in the top-10 (over 3-years) equal share payment?
      – at the end of this year Haas could very well have 1 9th place, but also an average of 9th;
      – Sauber: 10th (14), 8th (15), and 10th/11th (16): averaging 9-9.3th
      – Manor: 9th (14), 10th (15), and 10th/11th (16): averaging 9.7-10th
      Does this mean that all 3 share (all are at/below 10th on average) or only the best 2 (Sauber & Haas in the above example).

      link: payment structure in F1

  18. Either Renault know something we don’t or they’re ignoring the current state of F1. F1 races are currently tyre-critical for the most part with one or two exceptions, strategies are built around how many laps they can squeeze out of a set of tyres with decent performance and engineers ensure that they have enough fuel to run at this level (normally less than 100kg) whilst trying to be as light as possible.
    If the world was flat, tyres could be pushed for entire stints and cars could run close together I imagine that low/high fueling could provide an alternate strategy, teams could qualify well and low fuel to try to stay out in front or they could put more fuel in and bank on using higher engine settings to get them past people and run closer to the car’s ultimate performance.
    The problem with this is that cars need let’s say a 1.5s delta to get past the car in front which is currently found via a combination of car performance, tyre performance and DRS/slipstream etc, giving cars more fuel to run at higher engine settings isn’t going to give cars a second in performance over a lighter car that started with less fuel so teams will still run with less fuel anyway as that’s the most efficient way to run a 300km race.
    If Cyril said we should get rid of the flow rate to allow drivers to have greater control of the car’s potential allowing them to save more fuel and turn it up further to attack I’d say that sounds more like the 80s, quite a good period for F1…

    1. @alec-glen
      “giving cars more fuel to run at higher engine settings isn’t going to give cars a second in performance over a lighter car that started with less fuel so teams will still run with less fuel anyway as that’s the most efficient way to run a 300km race.”

      The point is, putting more fuel into a car (thus allowing for a higher engine setting) isn’t going to make the car a fraction of a hundredth of a second faster. It isn’t even going to make it equally fast, with a speed advantage on the straights. The reason why teams are putting less than 100 kilos of fuel into their cars, telling their drivers to lift and coast, is because that’s the single fastest way of covering a race distance.
      If that wasn’t the case, nobody would even think about doing that.

      The only way of getting rid of that phenomenon and returning to a more flat-out approach would be the comeback of refueling. Everything else is bound to fail because of physics.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      30th March 2016, 12:19

      Maybe, @alec-glen, Renault is actually smarter than most of us.
      Their computer models might show (for a specific weekend/track/weather/etc/etc.) that a 3-stop with pushing more is faster than a 2-stop with managing tyres. But the models also show that the 2-stop/manage-tyre strategy requires 90kg fuel, versus 105kg for the 3-stop/push strategy.

      If this were true then I would support them in a heartbeat.

      1. @coldfly perhaps, but I don’t think we have a viable 3 stop tyre strategy to push for a race distance other than at the obvious Monaco and Sochi where 3 stoppers won’t work because it’s so difficult to pass anyway. I’m sure they figure they could have an advantage somewhere in how they’ve designed their power unit in relation to Mercedes if given extra fuel but heavier cars are still going to get mugged early in the race and lose too much time in dirty air to be truly competitive at the minute with the aero setup. It’s a shame Pirelli don’t trust the teams to choose their own tyres as then we’d definitely have more options on strategy this year.

      2. Exactly… This is why fuel should be up to the teams…

  19. @keithcollantine Thanks for making mine a cotd.

  20. A huge amount of development has gone on during this formula focused on the amount of power derived from fuel combustion process per given litre. This was mandated by the fuel-flow regulations, as if they didn’t improve the thermal efficiency and fuel consumption, the engines would hit a performance plateau fairly quickly. It’s incredibly road-relevant (more so than any aero development) AND delivers on the track, as the cars are already faster than the V8s and approaching V10 speeds fast. Once again, the only reason we have slower lap times is the aero regulations.

    Regarding fuel flow, once again Mercedes seemed to be the only ones to understand the importance of fuel design in 2014, so drove Petronas hard to develop better fuel. Ferrari started working with Shell towards the end of the year with the aim to match that development for 2015 and McLaren knew that Honda would have to work closely with ExxonMobil after seeing how they were affected by not running Petronas in 2014.

    Renault, once again, under-invested in every area and know now that they can’t get the same performance improvement out of Total in the shorter time frame they have before 2020, so what better idea that using their new found position as a manufacturer with a works team than to start pushing for regulation change!

  21. As others have commented, scrapping the fuel limit would still lead to fuel saving, as no one would want to carry any extra weight. With more fuel onboard, you might be able to run a bit more power, but with the added weight you definitely would not be guaranteed an overtaking move. And the added cost of redesigning the fuel tank after just two to three years of this new formula.

  22. I’m sorry but if the 100kg/h fuel limit was dropped, it would reset a new dominating era for Mercedes rocket them into the sunset for another 3 years. Their power unit can probably handle the most power increase of any of them just based on the premise of their reliability factors.

    They should think twice about that one…

    1. My guess is Renault already know their reliability is relatively shaky and they’re likely due penalties by the end of the year, so why not just get some grenades lined up and hope they finish at least one race ahead of the competition through luck…

      1. More fuel would actually help reliability as it helps cool and lubricate the engine running it rich.

  23. Well what a news rich day…

    Firstly some math and science… Engines are about efficiency about showcasing the world how good engines you make…

    Most efficient use naturaly is not running the engines at all.. Given 100kg allowance in race lasting 1h30m average, that means cars can only go at best(ignoring fuel use when not at full throttle) full throttle for 66% of the race very poor stat, so they should be allowed as much fuel as they want.

    While keeping fuel flow limit, the engines still promote s green efficiency message. The only part of green message that is actually enviromentally friendly. All other aspects of racing are pretty much unfriendly for the enviroment… Saving fuel to paint a green picture just seems like a hypocracy…

    So good job Renault. It also helps even out the field and most importantly improve racing… This + better tire life would make racing way more enjoyable for me.

    Never again, do I want to hear a grown man cry on the radio..: I don want. Already we are looking like amateurs now you want me to save. I don want… Gp2 engine Aaargh!

    1. 66% full throttle is good as only at Monza do you need more (approx 68%) unless you think cars should try to go flat out through places like the Loews hairpin at Monaco?

  24. I´d always thought the fuel-limit makes sense in todays world, but not as an addition to other regulations regarding the size of the “ICU” (the engine), but instead of them. So scrap the limit of cubic capacity, do not limit the number of cylinders (was a bad idea from the beginning), but use a fuel limit as the only limiting factor for these engines. Reduce the immense over-regulation.

    1. I wonder what F1 teams would come up with, if there was only fuel flow regulation…

      I imagine 1.5 L 3 cylinder abominations.. Or 3.2l low reving V6 bi-turbo monsters with amazing torque… Who knows… But for sure end result would be somewhat similar.. Around 1000hp from 100kg/h of fuel.

  25. I’ve been saying this for ages: keep the 100kg limit. BUT, then allow any power unit, and unlimited use of electric motors. This promotes development of hybrid motors and does not limit the engineers. But they’d never have the balls to do it!

    1. Good in theory but after hundreds of millions being spent, 1 engine manufacturer getting a bigger advantage than Merc now they all converge on 1 layout. From 1996 they all converged on v10 engines until they were forced to v8 engines in 2006.

  26. Nobody dares to speak of how ridiculous it is for f1 to run 90 mins without stopping for fuel, when Endurance cars only last 30 minutes. Considering the tyre situation, refuelling wouldn’t change much besides increasing pit stops from 3 to 6 secs, also refuelling is bound to being more dangerous and above all another variable for top teams to worry about, sticky wheelnuts and fuel rigs. Who knows pretty cars, good fuel sponsorship and more drama? Will Wood’s Mobil’s article showed fuel makers aren’t interested in improving consumption as cars have a fixed 100 per 100 ceiling.

    1. They should be interested as if they can get as much power from 90kg instead of 100kg they will have 10kg less at the start of the race which is better for tyre usage and lap time yet still having the same power on the straights.

      The only thing refuelling would change is the cars will be running many seconds apart from each other in their own race, they may not be able to overtake now very easily but at least they are reasonably close. F1 had not refuelling for a long time until 1994 and the racing from 2009 to now is a lot better for me then 1994-2008.

  27. As we’ve seen for more than a decade, refuelling kills all desire to fight the battles on track. Don’t ever bring it back.

    Furthermore I think the opposite of what Renault is suggesting should be done: while leaving the fuel flow at 100kg/h, lower the max amount of fuel per race every season. Push for increasing efficiency instead of max power. In a few years time the fuel amount can be so low, we can get rid of the fossil fuel burners all together and replace it by something better.

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