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GP Week : Issue 192
F1 >>> nEWs Ferrari engineering director Pat Fry has predicted that knowing when to save fuel and when to exploit the peak performance of the car will be key to winning races next year, as Formula One heads into a greener future under new rules set to kick in in 2014. The sport will see sweeping rule changes next year, with the current 2.4 litre V8 engines being replaced by turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 power units with a number of environmentally-friendly energy recovery systems, expanding on the KERS currently in use, incorporated into the design. But unlike KERS, which coverts heat generated under braking into an extra 80bhp which drivers can use at the push of a button for up to six seconds a lap, the ERS-K will allow drivers to call upon an additional 160 horsepower for up to 33 seconds a lap. In another significant change, next year’s rules also impose a fuel limit on cars, restricting each car to 100 kilograms of fuel per race. There is currently no limit on how much fuel teams may put in the cars, although it is an average of around 160kg, and the rule change puts the onus on engine manufacturers to develop fuel efficient engines while teams will have to keep a close eye on fuel consumption. “It's true, I think that the races will be rather different next year,” Fry told Autosport. “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,” Fry continued. “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.” But not everybody is excited about the new look Formula One and some drivers – already frustrated this year at not being able to use the full potential of their cars as a result of the limits imposed by the current generation of fast-fading tyres – feel further limiting them from exploiting their car’s pace will stifle the racing and turn viewers off from the sport. “It can be definitely very frustrating to do the race saving fuel from the beginning, but it's not just at the beginning – it will be [the whole] championship,” Felipe Massa said in Suzuka. “It is difficult to complain about something [when] we don't know how it's going to be, so let's wait and see. But if it's really like that, it won't be very interesting; it won't be very nice talking about the driver.” FORMulA FuEl ECONOMY 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: