Formula 1

Ferrari - Fuel to decide F1 races in 2014

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Fry claims a whole new approach to racing will be needed in 2014 (©GettyImages)
Fry claims a whole new approach to racing will be needed in 2014 (©GettyImages).

Fuel will be the most important factor in deciding races in 2014 according to Ferrari's technical chief Pat Fry.

Next season F1 will switch from 2.4L V8's to 1.6L V6 turbo engines with a greater reliance on fuel efficiency and harvesting energy through various Energy Recovery Systems (ERS). As a result Fry is predicting a huge gap between the overall pace in qualifying and the optimum strategy in the races.

Quoted on Autosport, Fry said, "it's true, I think that the races will be rather different next year," "There will be a fixed maximum quantity and payload of fuel for the race and various levels of energy.

"It's possible there could be considerable differences between the maximum pace possible and a pace aimed at saving energy and fuel, to the extent that there could be a difference of between one and one and a half seconds per lap in the race.

"We are looking at what could be the best strategy to be as effective and efficient as possible in using what we will have.

"It will be important to work out for each track and for every race where and when it's best to use all the potential and where we should save fuel."

Indeed, from next year each car will be limited to just 100kg of fuel per race, that's around a 40% drop on current levels.

Fry also believes there will be a notable change of driving style needed which those behind the wheel will need to adapt to.

"The drivers will have a lot to learn," he said."It's a real turnaround from what they are used to and it will be up to us engineers to find the best simulations and get the drivers to try them on the simulator.

"It will fall to them to train much more, before even going out on track for the first time.

"Clearly, having an experienced driver can be a positive: the quicker they learn certain mechanisms, the more easily they will be able to concentrate on their normal job of developing the car."

Also speaking out on the 2014 rules is Martin Whitmarsh, the new engines could cause a large disparity among the manufacturers and the McLaren team boss claims F1 should be willing to step in if such a situation occurs.

Quoted on Autosport, Whitmarsh said, "One of the concerns for the sport is that it becomes a power train race, and if one of those manufacturers doesn't do a good enough job at the start of next year, and doesn't have the scope by which they can become competitive, there is a pretty good chance they won't be in F1 for very long," explained Whitmarsh. 

"That wouldn't be good for the sport. There is lots of speculation about who will have the most competitive engine next year and we will see, but I think the sport has to act responsibly.

"We have lost the only independent engine supplier [Cosworth] and in a way we probably mismanaged that.

"We must manage the situation so that we retain as many OEMS in the sport. They bring a lot of money and they bring a lot of stability to the sport, so we have to make sure that we act properly and that the teams feel the engine suppliers can provide a level playing field."

The thought of a maker pulling out due to a lack of competitiveness is particularly concerning for McLaren who are set to welcome Honda back in to F1 as engine supplier in 2015.

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