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2014 F1

Red Bull expecting three-tenths boost in Spanish GP with new fuel

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articleNew fuel could give Red Bull a three-tenths boost next time out in Barcelona.

That is the claim of the reigning world champions’ Austrian director Dr Helmut Marko, as Red Bull pushes to close the gap to 2014’s dominant team Mercedes.

But in China, both Red Bulls were actually beaten by Fernando Alonso’s resurgent Ferrari, following a disappointing opening three races for the Italian team.

Marko thinks Ferrari sped up thanks to a new blend of Shell fuel.

“We are also hoping to soon get a fuel that is more efficient,” Marko said earlier this week, amid reports Red Bull’s current Total fuel may be damaging the mandatory fuel flow sensors.

Marko has now told Germany’s Bild newspaper: “Ferrari made a clear leap forwards in China. They have a new fuel. And we’ll have some new fuel soon as well.

“Maybe we will have it at the next race in Spain,” he revealed, amid engine supplier Renault’s obvious horse power disadvantage early in 2014.

“The new petrol will bring us two, maybe even three tenths,” added Marko. “So that we can have at least a chance of overtaking Ferrari.

“On Sunday (in China), our drivers could have done whatever they wanted, but they could not have passed Alonso,” he said.

FUEL, IF YOU THINK IT’S OVER

Cars are now limited to using 100kg of fuel per race, down from an estimated average of 160kg per race in 2013. That’s more than 1/3 less fuel.

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For the first time, cars will be limited by a maximum fuel-flow rate during the races – 100kg/hour. Furthermore, since this rate is restricted according to engine speed, it has a direct effect on the power output of the engine – effectively flattening the curve in the higher rev range.

Fuel-flow has always previously been unregulated, so this regulation tightens up an area where there had previously been no governance, making it a tricky management task for engineers and designers.

Additionally, there is now a 100kg fuel-weight limit (cars previously ran with a maximum load of around 160kg) – so fuel management will become even more important.

What does this mean for the racing?

Drivers will need to manage fuel, with four to five races where fuel consumption could be absolutely critical. At all races, teams will be fuel-saving and monitoring throughout. (GMM/ThisisF1.com)

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