Toyota, Le Mans, 2018

Grosjean: Saving fuel and tyres is for Le Mans, not F1

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Romain Grosjean, who raced in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours, says Formula 1 should not be an endurance-style economy run.

What they say

In response to a question from RaceFans following his team mate’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix for exceeding his maximum fuel allocation, Grosjean criticised the importance of fuel and tyre saving in modern F1 racing.

I think fuel saving in Formula 1 and tyre saving is not the way it should go.

If you are in the Le Mans 24 Hours, yes, because you try to go the longest and the fastest and going a bit is not. If you think that we are supposed to be the fastest and go flat-out, it’s not right.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Has Vietnam’s proposed F1 track for 2020 been designed to encourage more pit stops?

I like the fact they’ve tried to reduce the penalty of taking a pit-stop by cutting the last and first corners, but I’m not sure the pit entry is going to be much quicker than taking the last corner as it is.

I expect there’ll be action when rejoining the track from the pits which could be interesting.
@Sparkyamg

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Soundscape and Laura Brewer!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Peter Arundell, who made two visits to the podium with Lotus in 1964, was born on this day in 1933

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories RaceFans Round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 57 comments on “Grosjean: Saving fuel and tyres is for Le Mans, not F1”

    1. So Carey wants to water down the grid with a bunch of Affirmative Action drivers…..yeah that’ll really drive up numbers. How about the BEST be out there? Is that a problem? I don’t see F1 fans clamoring for a bunch of women drivers, as a means of improving the spectacle.

      Pay drivers need to go, “diversity hires” needs to be buried until the worst of ideas, and they need to focus on bringing the cars closer together, NOT trying to play intersectional politics.

      1. No he is not saying that so why even say it that way. He’s speaking of ideals, and of the future, but we all know the bottom line is no matter the nationality, all young hopefuls have to race in junior categories in Europe to even begin to have a chance to get to F1. Nobody will be hired on a team to drive in the pinnacle of racing just because of affirmative action, and I’m sure you know that.

        1. Why is that an ideal? Why does someone’s sex have to be an influencer? To even mention diversity in professional sports is an insult to the fan and to the people trying to achieve that level.

          1. Because since humans are all humans and all of us have skills, the chances are that amongst half of the population that is female, amongst the billions living in Asia and amongst the hundreds of millions living in the US there is a huge amount of talent going undiscovered @jblank.

            Not to mention that having more people to relate to and especially drivers since they are the billboard of the sport, for more women, for more people in Asia and for more people in the USA would clearly help get more fans interested, watch, go to races, get the app, follow the sport and get more sponsor money in. Something that is clearly a huge potential to boost the income Liberty seeks to gain from investing in F1.

            1. @bascb
              Frankly, Nakajima had little impact at Japan, whilst Senna got all of the identification.
              Racing fans relate to excellence. Sympathizers, on the other hand, relate to “race”, “sex”, “show”, etc. Sympathizers and progressivists, by the way. But the latter has nothing to do with sport, albeit haunting every single enterprise, nowdays.

              @coldfly
              It is indeed simple to understand that the best being represented by people from all parts of the world and sexes is the ideal.

              What isn’t, however, is that talent is a pursued interest, not a gift.

              I think its safe to say brazilians are the most successful drivers outside Europe there is and their best ones usually were the better among the world’s best. Why was that?
              Simply because they had to bust their butts off to build their career. They had the right motivation. Once Brazil became a motor sport brand, we started to see loads of pampered kids who never got it right again. From a none like Diniz to established ones like Barrichello and Massa.

              Brazilian confederation never seized the golden opportunity they had to properly cultivate the motor sport culture, to strenghten the base. And now that the ship has sailed, we get to see millions of orphaned supporters and no brazilian driver at the field. Then starts the backstage rehearsement to bring a driver who has not lasted months on the Red Bull Junior Programme.

              If F1 is the pinnacle, it should be worried solely about the best. Let the junior categories worry about the rest.

              Therefore, there is no point picking a random nigerian woman to race F1, if it won’t change anything at the base. We’ll have some SJWs clapping, but that won’t mean crap.

              Nigerian motor sport is a matter of Nigeria. Other than that, a nigerian racer will have to escalade by his own efforts, like tons of drivers of lots of nations before him. The nigerian woman ace will be sponsored lightning-fast and, if good enough, will be racing at Mercedes or Ferrari, because every single racing team wants to succeed with a great story behind it.

              I wonder if people will finally reckon the ridiculousness of that affirmative actions when Liberty starts to permeate the jungles searching for the best possible forester driver there is.

            2. @bascb
              Frankly, Nakajima had little impact at Japan, whilst Senna got all of the identification.
              Racing fans relate to excellence. Sympathizers, on the other hand, relate to “race”, “sex”, “show”, etc. Sympathizers and progressivists, by the way. But the latter has nothing to do with sport, albeit haunting every single enterprise, nowdays.

              @coldfly
              It is indeed simple to understand that the best being represented by people from all parts of the world and sexes is the ideal.

              What isn’t, however, is that talent is a pursued interest, not a gift.

              I think its safe to say brazilians are the most successful drivers outside europe there is and their best ones usually were the better among the world’s best. Why was that?
              Simply because they had to bust themselves up to build their career. They had the right motivation. Once Brazil became a motor sport trend, we started to see loads of pampered kids who never got it right again. From a none like Diniz to established ones like Barrichello and Massa.

              Brazilian confederation never seized the golden opportunity they had to properly cultivate the motor sport culture, to strenghten the base. And now that the ship has sailed, we get to see millions of orphaned supporters and no brazilian driver at the field. As result, the backstage rehearsement to bring a driver who has not lasted months on the Red Bull Junior Programme begins.

              If F1 is the pinnacle, it should be worried solely about the best. Let the junior categories worry about the rest.

              Therefore, there is no point picking a random nigerian woman to race F1, if it won’t change anything at the base. We’ll have some SJWs clapping, but that won’t mean a thing.

              Nigerian motor sport is a matter of Nigeria. Other than that, a nigerian racer will have to escalade by his own efforts, like tons of drivers of lots of nations before him. The nigerian woman ace will be sponsored lightning-fast and, if good enough, will be racing at Mercedes or Ferrari, because every single racing team wants to succeed with a great story behind it.

              I wonder if people will finally reckon the ridiculousness of those affirmative actions when Liberty starts to permeate the jungles searching for the best possible forester driver there is.

            3. @keithcollantine
              Keith, what’s wrong with my comment even after the ammendment?

            4. The idea, concept and practice of inclusiveness in any endeavor, including F1, are worthy, noble and beneficial objectives for humankind. The thought that not excluding anyone based on nationality, skin color, religion or gender, should not be a threatening one.

            5. Well @niefer, you kindly ask you to read my comment again then.

              OFf course Senna inspired fans far more than Nakajíma. He was one of the best drivers our sport has seen. Nakajíma was a decent driver, but nowhere near any competition to Senna.

              What I wrote, is that if we widen the pool of talent by looking in other places , we have better chances of finding the people that are out there that might be as talented as a Senna and hope to gain them for this sport. Currently we just never find many because they haven’t even heard of motorsport or aren’t interested enough to even think of spending a boatload of money on climbing the ladder.

            6. @bascb
              My point is that this isn’t F1’s business. Having Liberty widening the pool for some will certainly narrow it for others, and that’s just blatantly wrong. Plus, it won’t solve the problem.

              This matter must be addressed to whom it’s due: the local confederations, junior formulas.

              Having Carey stating those words is outrageous, because the most effective action to achieve more drivers from around the world would simply be opening the grid for privateer entrants. Will we see that in the foreseeable future? No.

              And why is that?

              Because those fools doesn’t want to solve the problem. They want to create another, just to follow some empty agenda or trend.

            7. Whose business would it be if not Liberty’s to find a way to get enough of the greatest drivers on this planet in F1 and to attract as many of the billion people on this planet to watch and pay for following the sport @niefer?

              I really don’t get the relevance of “privateer entrants” – whatever you mean with that and however you want to do that – hear. If nobody is watching the sport is going to make zilch money. If many different people from all over watch and pay, the sport can make a lot more and far more reliably. Simple as that.

            8. @bascb

              Whose business would it be if not Liberty’s to find a way to get enough of the greatest drivers on this planet in F1 and to attract as many of the billion people on this planet to watch and pay for following the sport @niefer?

              F1 teams. Period.
              Liberty’s business are the teams, the venues, the prize money share.

              I really don’t get the relevance of “privateer entrants” – whatever you mean with that and however you want to do that – hear. If nobody is watching the sport is going to make zilch money. If many different people from all over watch and pay, the sport can make a lot more and far more reliably. Simple as that.

              Here’s some relevance:
              Although Piquet Sr. made his debut at Ensign, at the next 3 races Ecclestone noted his drive at a private McLaren of BS Fabrications that never competed the WCC. He then signed Brabham, and the rest is history.
              The Hesketh Hunt debuted was nothing more than a purchased March. He went on to glory.
              Ronnie Peterson also entered F1 in a privateer team.
              Not to mention cases like Villeneuve, who debuted in a older car McLaren offered him. Things like that does not happen nowadays.
              I could go on, but I think you got the point.

              Good racing bring viewers, they do not care who is behind the helmet. No point at all worrying about an Eskimo who may be a great driver if F1TV (the very thing that viewers need to follow the series) is not even something good enough to reach people with proper quality in the service. That’s what Liberty should focus on, not fulfilling political agendas.
              Also, if rubbish series have lots of viewers, it’s not F1 that’s gonna be shy of them.

          2. Seems pretty simple to understand that for any sport (even without strong commercial incentives) it is ideal that the best are represting people from all parts of the world and all sexes. A young Lewisha from Nigeria might be much more talented than the current F1 drivers.
            You don’t want to be merely the best of a small group of boys with billionaire fathers.

            1. @coldfly well said. it’s not only a strong ethical argument (inclusivity, diversity, equality – these are not dirty words!), but it also makes sense financially given the majority of the sport’s income has always been sponsorship based (i’m lumping tv money in with traditional sponsorship of cars/circuits; it’s all advertising money at the end of the day).

            2. @frood19

              inclusivity, diversity, equality – these are not dirty words!

              In a mouth of a progressivist they are.

        2. Well I’d like to see Grosjean’s Granny stand in for him, but she’d really be no good, not slow enough.

      2. Pay drivers need to go

        How do you define a “pay driver”? Santander sponsorship followed Alonso when he was at McLaren and then Ferrari, so does that make Alonso a pay driver? If it does then I suppose you would argue he shouldn’t be in F1. While it is easy to say a driver is a pay driver because they paid the team to let them drive in F1, does the same apply when a corporate sponsor wants to associate their brand with a successful driver, so they pay a team to let the driver they want to promote drive?

        1. Yeah, of course. But I think the accepted general definition is a person who wouldn’t be there except for their money. Alonso has proven his ability, as have other drivers such as Perez who bring financial sponsorship. This type of backing is intrinsic to F1, and has to do with the exorbitant costs of the sport.

          Paying your way into F1, or buying a team so your son can have a seat when said son is not necessarily performing…well, that woud be a true pay driver.

          BTW, I do agree with Jason’s sentiment, that F1 shouldn’t just seek for drivers based on their fitting a political or ideological ideal. Which is essentially what Carey is proposing, of course mainly because of the marketing benefits.

          1. mog, the thing is, the term seems to be used quite often these days more by those who want to moan or attack a driver, but don’t want to just say that they arbitrarily dislike them.

            Just look at how Sainz and Kvyat have been treated – when Kvyat entered the sport, lots of people were complaining about this “Russian pay driver” and spread rumours of mysterious Russian sponsors that, strangely, never appeared on his car. Meanwhile, the head of Cepsa essentially said “we bought Sainz’s seat at Toro Rosso”, and nobody even vaguely criticised him as a pay driver.

            @jblank, isn’t the point that F1, and quite often motorsport in general, tends to be rather insular and isn’t actively seeking out the best driver, wherever in the world that they might be? In quite a few ways, the path to F1 has narrowed considerably over the years and now there is pretty much a set route into the sport – Formula Renault 2.0, European Formula 3/GP3 and then Formula 2, a path that I would argue is significantly narrowing the driver base.

            Go back a number of years, and it was still possible for drivers to take rather different routes, such as coming in from IndyCar or from the Japanese Formula 3 series. When was the last time that you say somebody come from the Japanese Formula 3 series into F1? Adrian Sutil, back in 2006, was the last driver to do that – Ericsson did compete in the Japanese Formula 3 series, but went back to Europe to go through the GP2 series to get into F1.

            These days, the teams seem to be making very little effort to actively seek out potential talent from racing series outside of Europe – I believe Alexander Rossi, whom many would say is a talented driver who deserves to be in F1, noted that most F1 teams didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the US and would basically only notice a driver if he left the US and moved to Europe.

            If you really are interested in seeing the best drivers in F1, surely you should be applauding the suggestions of Carey to widen the search for talented drivers and encouraging teams to look further afield, rather than predominantly picking drivers from the same small pool and ending up with a grid where the backgrounds of the drivers have become even less diverse than in the past.

            1. Vandoorne, Gasly, and Lotterer all came “from” Japanese Super Formula.

            2. Anon, yeah good points. Yes, pay driver is a derogatory term and is used ambiguously, agreed. However, there has been considerable discussion about the definition in this forum on the issue and I guess what I summarised was my percieved outcome of that discussion.

              Re narrowing recruitment options for drivers, whilst a good point it nonetheless a a non-sequitur with what Carey is proposing. Narrowing the options to enter F1 is basically about FIA hegemony, which is a completely different topic even though theoretically expanding the series options to enter F1 would increase the driver diversity (although in practice probably not much would change, it will still be a rich kid sport). Carey is not suggesting starting new or recognising existing racing series in less represented parts of the world, but broadening the appeal of F1 to a more diverse fan base by adopting popular idealism – ie. “wow, look at us, we have a female Asian driver. Please clap”.

            3. @hollidog, in the case of Vandoorne and Gasly, they were placed in those series only because their backers – McLaren and Red Bull – needed to place them there as a holding pattern.

              Both of those drivers had been expected to move into F1 becuase they had won the GP2 title, but had to be temporarily put into another series as a stop gap because their parent teams did not have a seat to immediately hand over to them.

              Neither driver sought out opportunities in the Super League Formula as an alternative to GP2, and participating in that series made no difference to their chances of getting into F1 – they’d already won a seat in F1 on the back of their performances in GP2. In the case of Vandoorne, he had already raced in Alonso’s place at the Bahrain GP before he even took part in his first Super Formula race and had already been promoted to the reserve driver role in anticipation of being given a seat because of his performance in GP2 – his performances in Super Formula made no difference to his prospects.

      3. It is more about having less white men in f1. For f1 this approach is problematic because huge majority of people who want to be in f1 as drivers, mechanics, designers and money people are white men because that group is most interested in motorsports. In karting most people are white, in junior formulas the most are white which then means huge majority of people who are working to get into f1 are white.

        The slow strategy is to try to make f1 more interesting for other groups. The fast and easy solution is to just make it harder and harder for white men to get in so the more desired groups’ entries are “encouraged”. A lot of places already have these things. When two people are equal you are always adviced to pick the other candidate that is not white male. Some colleges are already using this kind of system against asian students. As asian students have much more pressure to perform academically their grades are higher than the other groups. You can google this and I doubt you’ll find any reliable sources that disagree with that.

        For normal workplaces that makes sense. Those workplaces which hire multiculturally but do not have token females or other token people from minorities perform better than average. While those workplaces with token individuals with more “correct” skin color or gender perform more poorly. F1 has to build its audience to match with the kind of drivers it wants. That’s how you get more females and people from other cultures into the sport at young age. Otherwise f1 will simply head towards token system where your performance becomes meaningless as long as you are the correct gender and color that they want.

        At the same time the best way to encourage more women to take part in motorsports is by having role models. Is tatiana calderon deserving of her f1 test? Race results say a clear no. She is not fast enough period. But for young girls this is not important. For them it is important to see females do it and be there so they can internalize that they can do it too. But it is difficult to get right. Did the hiring of carmen jorda to lotus help? Was she an aspiration or was she something else? I don’t think that helped. Did suzi wulf’s free practise drivers hurt or help? I don’t think she deserved to be there on merit but overall I think it definitely helped. She has done lots of good things to get more girls into motorsports. And that is the only way to go. If you build it they will come. If you force it you will break it.

        1. @socksolid

          Those workplaces which hire multiculturally but do not have token females or other token people from minorities perform better than average.

          This is confounded by the fact that large companies more often practice affirmative action and that larger companies are also more profitable than small companies. When compensating for this, there doesn’t seem to be a performance improvement.

    2. They want the F1 grid to look like the character select screen of a 90s video game, all crazy hair and costumes from around the world. “Ready! Fight!”
      I’ll pick the one with fast acceleration and good handling.

    3. There has & always will be an element of management in F1 be it fuel, tyres or other aspects of the car.

      Additionally the fuel saving isn’t even as big a factor now as it has been in the past. It was a far greater factor in the 80’s & even some races in the early 90’s where it was rare but not necisarily strange to see cars run out of fuel. I’d also say it was far worse a few years ago in 2014/15, You saw far more lift & coast & stuff then compared to today.

      Tyre management is perhaps a greater factor today primarily because it’s the way the tyres are designed but there has always been tyre management to some extent. Only difference is they had more freedom with compounds & how they ran them in the past while things are far more restrictive today.

      1. You are right.
        And drivers are not “saving” tyres. They can take more on the tyres but it won,t last long. So a conservative tyre use is the fastest way. Otherwise drivers should take another pitstop.

        1. I agree wholeheartedly. You can’t change tyre and fuel saving. They do it for good reason. It’s always going to be about finding the fastest and most reliable way to finish the race.

          And it isn’t just tyre saving an fuel saving. It is so much more than that and we don’t see most of it. Take brakes for instance. Smaller disks and pads = faster car. But they might not last so you need to manage them. Engines. Why don’t they just run them in Qually mode all the time? Because they would blow. Even the amount of water in a drivers drink bottle is managed.

          I do fully believe that there is more management going on than before. Today the teams have way more accurate and immediate knowledge about the level of their components. So they can manage them better. The know tyre temps, fuel flows, brake temps, airflow….. In the 90’s, probably all the knew was fuel level and even then it was an educated guess. Which is why they sometimes ran out of fuel.

          I will point out one very big positive for the current levels of management. Comparatively few technical retirements to the earlier years. These current engines have pushed the numbers back up again though. Who wants to watch their favourite driver felled by a technical problem. It isn’t even rewarding watching drivers you don’t like get them.

      2. I agree completely. F1 has always involved tyre and fuel management.

        The difference today is that there is a lot more visibility of it. Teams can see how things are going in more detail, and we can see and hear more of what is happening with the teams.

      3. Exactly @stefmeister. I guess Grosjean needs to go and read up on some of the aces of the past who more often than not were masters not just at going fast, but also at keeping a hampered car going, saving enough fuel to make it to the line (or save a fuel stop) and nursing tyres to be able to have a go at their rivals when the time came.

        Let’s not forget it took a while for tyres to be easily replaced (instead of having to take 20 minutes to refit a wheel) and fuel didn’t go in under pressure either in ages past.

      4. Spot on, @stefmeister.
        I also believe that tyre saving is a bigger deal today because it is so hard to overtake (follow in the curvy bits). If overtaking would be ‘easier’ (based on skill and strengths rather than tricks) then we’d see more diversing strategies. One driver might opt for a 1 stopper with the most durable tyre with the next going for the attack with multiple sets of the softer ones.

      5. It adds another element for the driver to use as a tactical device which makes racing more interesting.

    4. Like Giedo’s Freudian typo:

      But even though the budget needed to race in American might be less than it is in Europe

      Isn’t that Liberty’s plan. Diversity might be a nice idea, but Carey just wants the F1 to race in American – not that quaint argy-bargy lingo with the strange spelling for tires.

    5. Grosjean, the biggest moaner to ever live!

      1. That may or may not be more than the combined inhabitants of Tokyo and Mumbai ;)

      2. But now he is in line with the fans’ opinions, surely we should be supporting him on this one no?

    6. The article on racer, (about drivers racing for ‘bad’ F1 teams) does really give some very good insights on why F1 is the ultimate every driver’s dream come true! Very interesting.

    7. Did Ericsson tell him that

    8. Love it. Great comment. Got a good chuckle from the Renault blog too.

      1. Sorry was meant to be a reply to @coldfly’s comment above.

    9. Female Asian drivers, saving fuel, saving tires…

      So yeah. Now a competition in accurate navigation around a street course?

      F1 should be about driving fastest over a set distance in roughly 1h:30min. If a team can do it with a female driver, saving fuel and tires, then that is the way to go.

    10. Good ideal from Mr. Carey.

      However, in my opinion, the big sticking point will be how will these drivers work their way up the ranks, given the paucity (or outright absence) of support series in the respective countries/continents. Throw in the fact that currently the big feeder series are in Europe/UK, and that many of his “wishlist” countries have a poor exchange rate vs. the Euro/Sterling Pound, and it ends up meaning that aspiring drivers from those countries will either have to come in with massive corporate sponsorship, or personal wealth.

      In reality, it might be easier to target the expat community – for the one (albeit significant) benefit of being in the right country/continent.

      1. that’s you opinion @phylyp? That’s what really worries at the moment? See this

        We want to provide opportunities for drivers of different nationalities from around the world. We’d love to have a Chinese driver, an American driver, a female driver, a Vietnamese driver, all be part of our future.

        I’m more concerned that the owners of F1 think female is a country!

        1. @johnmilk – LOL :-) Bear in mind you do need permission to enter. That makes ’em a country.

    11. Again, fuel and tyre management have always existed in F1 to some extent especially the former.
      – Why always 100 meters? In Bahrain and Russia, the starting point of the S/F straight activation zone was moved 100 meters closer to the previous corner as well. Why not some other number for a change like 110, 150, 200, etc.?
      – The savageness in that paragraph of Renault’s Brazilian GP preview, though.

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        8th November 2018, 12:10

        Renault clearly do not like young Max lol. That comment was painfully shoehorned in 🤣

        1. I can’t wait for the response…

    12. Interesting article by van der Garde. it raises some questions for me – why is it so expensive to race through the junior ranks? why, for example, is F2 so insanely expensive? what are the actual costs? is anyone making money out of it? i understand why F1 is expensive – it is the pinnacle of the sport and there is theoretically no upper limit of competition costs (in the days of unfettered engine and tyre development it felt like there was no budget too impossibly high). but F2 and lower formulae are controlled, spec racing, so I am puzzled.

      it seems to me that if its primary purpose is as a feeder series then it could be controlled much more strongly by the FIA in terms of preventing spiralling costs. unless of course some influential figures are lining their pockets and therefore happy with the status quo?

      1. @frood19

        people have lost houses and businesses racing in go-karts never mind F2.

        1. @chikano I sort of understand go-karting getting out of control expensive, because it seems less controlled/policed in the way that F2 could be. for example, people spend fortunes on getting the best kart engines, but in F2 it’s perfectly possible that the number and type of engines is mandated by the FIA (if it isn’t already). what exactly are they spending these huge sums on in a spec series?

          1. @frood19

            Valid point you make there sir. Perhaps some bofs here can give us some more insight !!!

      2. As one who stepped out due costs just read that story of lewis and his rival he stopped because they lost their house. F3 cost 300-700k euro and F2 is 2-3 Milion euro to drive a car.

        It’s way too expensive and the steps getting more expensive by the year.

    13. I know a lot of you like to bash Grosjean but I agree with him.

      Set a max fuel capacity, give them tires that don’t degrade ridiculously and let them go as fast as possible. F1 should be raw power and speed.

    14. Grosjean is a moaner, but this time he is spot on.

      There is no point wanting to save tyres if the strategy is hindered. Loosen the regs, let drivers choose which compound to bring. Let them decide to bring an Option tyre or not. Let teams decide wether they wanna refuel or not.

    15. Any more you wanna talk about, Romain?

    Comments are closed.