There’s a part of me that’s frustrated with the change in direction that Renault Sport F1 seem to have of late. They, like Mercedes, were very heavy handed in their insistence that Formula 1 become a hybrid series. So much so they threatened to leave the sport if it didn’t.
Today, it seems they are not too keen on the fuel limit the cars are regulated to. Rather, they would like that limit lifted but retaining the fuel flow rate of 100kgs per hour. I try not to be reactionary about these things but there is a part of me that thinks, “you made your bed, now lay in it”.
That’s not a very flattering response from me, I admit, and anyone can make a mistake of over-shoot a goal. I need to be more understanding as these new power units are very efficient…or are they? Every time I read a story about these new power units, the efficiency percentage keeps getting bumped up. Is anyone seriously checking the veracity of these claims? I’ve seen people say it’s now at 55%. Last I checked, it was closer to 35-40%. Three stories later and it’s 55%.
Renault’s managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, said:
“I am a big fan of making sure F1 remains F1. We should not lean towards endurance.
“One of the things that has put F1 in danger, or could be another threat to F1, is if we try to combine F1 and endurance.
“Endurance is about efficiency, sustainability, the capacity to run very long distances without any issues. F1 is about short races, usually being able to attack constantly.
“Frankly, even in the V8 era there was some fuel management. It was part of the tactics, to maximise, to optimise your laptime for the duration of the race from a team strategy perspective.
“It has always been part of F1, without any form of limitation on fuel quantity, so I would remove completely the fuel quantity [regulation].”
In an effort to be more of a team player here, I will go to the wall with Renault’s new direction and while Mercedes may not be keen to see any changes to the fuel limit or flow, I believe that the concept of sustainable racing and F1’s sprint racing format needs to be compared and a new happy medium developed.
WEC makes a lot of sense for this format as the entire program is centered on performance over long distances and fuel is crucial. F1 has a different DNA. Just because drivers have used fuel strategy in the past to run light and get to the end of a race faster than others is not really justification for the current format. That’s when we had refueling or when the cars were much different and so was the racing.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT