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2014 race tactics.


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#1 bonjon1979a

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 12:56

It is apparent looking at the stint times from the few race sims we have that while the times are comparable with last year we're not seeing cars go that much quicker as the fuel burns off. In fact they appear to get slower towards the end which must have something to do with how they're saving fuel. With this in mind, I wonder if this year will be won by the tortoise rather than the hare.

 

I suspect that using as little fuel as possible early on will be the way to go, even if it means you fall back 15-20 seconds behind the leader as you'll have so much more in reserve that you'll be able to make it up towards the end of the race. This year there is a high probability of safety cars at every race due to the number of failures there are going to be. Anyone who burns a lot of fuel building a lead, runs the risk of then being caught out by a safety car. They then won't be able to compete with those who have managed to save fuel at the beginning of the race.

 

I predict that we'll see rapid first stints, where those qualifying in the top ten try to get themselves away from those runners who don't have to start on the tyres they qualified on. In the middle stint(s), I fear we're going to see some pretty dull fuel/engine management. No one wanting to risk using too much fuel for fear of a safety car and then things winding up a bit at the end of the race as everyone uses up every last drop of fuel. I think we could see some big changes in the final five laps. Cars that are miles behind might be able to catch up if the leaders are running out of fuel and having to go 3-4 seconds a lap slower.

 

Bearing all this in mind, I have to say that I think Fernando will be a real contender this year, even if the car is slow in qualifying, he has the best tactical brain and I suspect Ferrari will be more stalking than prancing horse this year.



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#2 sock22

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:10

I'd exercise caution in using Mercedes' single race simulation in Bahrain as a template for how races will be run. Firstly, Rosberg struggled initially on the medium tyres and spun at least once, which might have taken some of the life out of them. Secondly, Mercedes openly said that the fuel management was a challenge, especially as Bahrain is hard on fuel consumption. It was their first proper race sim and they will improve a lot before the first race.

 

As for strategy, it is going to be an interesting balance. The fastest way to complete the race isn't always going to be clear and it could be affected by safety cars, getting stuck in traffic, tyre wear etc. There will be so many permutations and so many decisions to make under uncertainty that teams are bound to get it wrong, especially in the first few races.

 

One thing is for certain though. The Australian GP is going to be mad! So many complete unknowns about reliability, fuel consumption, tyres and the small matter of car and driver performance. May the best man win.



#3 bonjon1979a

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:12

I'd exercise caution in using Mercedes' single race simulation in Bahrain as a template for how races will be run. Firstly, Rosberg struggled initially on the medium tyres and spun at least once, which might have taken some of the life out of them. Secondly, Mercedes openly said that the fuel management was a challenge, especially as Bahrain is hard on fuel consumption. It was their first proper race sim and they will improve a lot before the first race.

 

As for strategy, it is going to be an interesting balance. The fastest way to complete the race isn't always going to be clear and it could be affected by safety cars, getting stuck in traffic, tyre wear etc. There will be so many permutations and so many decisions to make under uncertainty that teams are bound to get it wrong, especially in the first few races.

 

One thing is for certain though. The Australian GP is going to be mad! So many complete unknowns about reliability, fuel consumption, tyres and the small matter of car and driver performance. May the best man win.

Somehow doubt this will happen! It'll be luck that decides it i fear!



#4 Slackbladder

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:16

I would imagine that if at all possible they would go what I'm going to call 'The Red Bull/Vettel' tactic. That is

 

1) Get out of DRS by the time the first 3 laps are done.

2) Get a 8-12 second lead, to cover a pit stop or so.

3) Sit on it to keep fuel levels fine, tyres under control, and to cover safety cars etc.

 

I expect there to be a lot of fuel level monitoring...


Edited by Slackbladder, 24 February 2014 - 13:16.


#5 sock22

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:17

Somehow doubt this will happen! It'll be luck that decides it i fear!

Yeah there was a bit of wishful thinking when I wrote that sentence!



#6 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:25

I've been waiting for a thread like this.

I wondered if DRS might not just be used for passing, but for drafting a guy (with reduced throttle) you intend to pass in 10 laps time, to save enough fuel to be able to spend more later on.

An extreme example would be, you're in second and you and the guy in front is marginal on fuel, neither can go flat out to the flag.

There are 15 laps to go, and you draft but don't over take him down all the full power straights (which is where DRS is usually allowed). If this means you need a little less throttle opening, could it mean that over 14 laps of being in a slip-stream, and having DRS open, you save enough fuel to be able commit to the overtake on the last lap, and be able to gently cruise away, using every ML of fuel to do so, of which you have more?

#7 Slackbladder

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:33

I've been waiting for a thread like this.

I wondered if DRS might not just be used for passing, but for drafting a guy (with reduced throttle) you intend to pass in 10 laps time, to save enough fuel to be able to spend more later on.

An extreme example would be, you're in second and you and the guy in front is marginal on fuel, neither can go flat out to the flag.

There are 15 laps to go, and you draft but don't over take him down all the full power straights (which is where DRS is usually allowed). If this means you need a little less throttle opening, could it mean that over 14 laps of being in a slip-stream, and having DRS open, you save enough fuel to be able commit to the overtake on the last lap, and be able to gently cruise away, using every ML of fuel to do so, of which you have more?

 

Wouldn't being in the dirty air of the car increase the fuel usage?



#8 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:38

Wouldn't being in the dirty air of the car increase the fuel usage?


Can't see how it would in any significant way? I'm not talking about the entire lap. The point is the car can overtake but won't, in order to save enough fuel to go harder to the end than the car in front can. So in this example there's no need to be ducking and diving around and getting really close or intimidating. For this to work, if it even can work, you'd just need to be close enough in one timing zone to trigger DRS, so that you can use that for the 14 laps in a row to save fuel.

DRS was designed to make you go faster, but if you had DRS open and went only the same speed as the car in front, then I can't see how that doesn't directly translate to saved fuel?

#9 ElDictatore

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:51

I think the most successful strategy is making it to the end.



#10 bonjon1979a

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 13:54

Can't see how it would in any significant way? I'm not talking about the entire lap. The point is the car can overtake but won't, in order to save enough fuel to go harder to the end than the car in front can. So in this example there's no need to be ducking and diving around and getting really close or intimidating. For this to work, if it even can work, you'd just need to be close enough in one timing zone to trigger DRS, so that you can use that for the 14 laps in a row to save fuel.

DRS was designed to make you go faster, but if you had DRS open and went only the same speed as the car in front, then I can't see how that doesn't directly translate to saved fuel?

 

in this scenario they'd have to lift off as they use DRS wouldn't they? So they stay behind but use less fuel to achieve the same speed due to less drag? With no limiter this year the DRS is going to be so powerful, cars are just going to keep accelerating until drag overcomes power, they top out of 8th gear or (more likely) reach the end of the straight. Crazy speeds on china's straight and at monza.



#11 Seanspeed

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:09

I don't see things changing much from last year.

Drivers may have to deal with saving fuel, but that'll be pretty much the same deal as having drivers save tires. It wont be anything we haven't already seen.

#12 grunge

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:18

Excellent thread....another factor that may turn out to be important is the impact of the nature of the track on fuel consumption..the high fuel demanding tracks could lead to long middle stints with the drivers saving every little bit of fuel they can until the final few laps when they are sure they have enough to sustain a sprint to the end...while the lesser demabding tracks may see more action and wheel to wheel battles.

Also wondering about the chances of someone cutting it really close when it comes to fuel saving and running out of gas on the last lap...that would be a sight...modern F1 engineers can very accurately predict the amount of fuel needed to finish X no of laps but then there are factor u cant control...like having to defend against a car who u originally didnt think had enough to challenge you.

#13 Seanspeed

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:20

I've been waiting for a thread like this.

I wondered if DRS might not just be used for passing, but for drafting a guy (with reduced throttle) you intend to pass in 10 laps time, to save enough fuel to be able to spend more later on.

An extreme example would be, you're in second and you and the guy in front is marginal on fuel, neither can go flat out to the flag.

There are 15 laps to go, and you draft but don't over take him down all the full power straights (which is where DRS is usually allowed). If this means you need a little less throttle opening, could it mean that over 14 laps of being in a slip-stream, and having DRS open, you save enough fuel to be able commit to the overtake on the last lap, and be able to gently cruise away, using every ML of fuel to do so, of which you have more?

This is pretty common IndyCar stuff on the ovals. A way to counter this is if you're the guy in front, you start letting off as well once you realize that the person behind has no intentions of overtaking. The person chasing can back off even more, but in F1, I expect drivers to overtake mostly when they can, assuming they have a pace advantage. In oval racing, cautious are common and its hard to bank your strategy on pulling away. In F1, you usually *can* pull away without fear of having it all reigned back in and being a waste of extra fuel. So whether the chasing car passes or not will depend on if they think they have the pace to pull away or not. Chances are, if they can pass, they probably do, so will. I can see a chasing car doing this if they're *more* marginal on fuel than the car in front, though. But this is always difficult to know as well. In IndyCar, drivers are usually constantly being told what their fuel status is and what they need to do and if they're gonna make it or not. I think F1 teams will probably put more data in front of the driver on the wheels in order to keep their cards closer to their chest, making it very hard to judge whether a car in front is gonna struggle for fuel later on or not. Its a big gamble and again, I expect it to be more common that a driver passes when they think they can.

Edited by Seanspeed, 24 February 2014 - 14:21.


#14 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:25

in this scenario they'd have to lift off as they use DRS wouldn't they? So they stay behind but use less fuel to achieve the same speed due to less drag?


Yeah, it's just using DRS to save fuel instead of overtake. It's a tactic that could be new to 2014, hence this thread.

Given two identical cars, 15 laps from the finish, both with enough fuel "to go 80%" to the end, would it be beneficial to be the car behind or the one in front? Could you use DRS not as an overtaking aid, but as a fuel saving aid, to mean you can, on the final lap now "go 90%" on the final lap, while the guy in front still can only "go 80%".

It's a crude explanation, but I'm just wondering if it could work in principal, and whether we'd see it.

We've had fuel limited formulas before, but never one with a drag reduction system.

Could it pay to deliberately stay second in this scenario till the last minute?

#15 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:31

This is pretty common IndyCar stuff on the ovals. A way to counter this is if you're the guy in front, you start letting off as well once you realize that the person behind has no intentions of overtaking. The person chasing can back off even more, but in F1, I expect drivers to overtake mostly when they can, assuming they have a pace advantage. In oval racing, cautious are common and its hard to bank your strategy on pulling away. In F1, you usually *can* pull away without fear of having it all reigned back in and being a waste of extra fuel. So whether the chasing car passes or not will depend on if they think they have the pace to pull away or not. Chances are, if they can pass, they probably do, so will. I can see a chasing car doing this if they're *more* marginal on fuel than the car in front, though. But this is always difficult to know as well. In IndyCar, drivers are usually constantly being told what their fuel status is and what they need to do and if they're gonna make it or not. I think F1 teams will probably put more data in front of the driver on the wheels in order to keep their cards closer to their chest, making it very hard to judge whether a car in front is gonna struggle for fuel later on or not. Its a big gamble and again, I expect it to be more common that a driver passes when they think they can.


Yeah I thought the principal might be used in something like IndyCar or NASCAR or something. I was just wondering if we'd specifically see Formula 1's DRS system used in this way? Obviously in my dumbed down scenario it's just assumed the cars are on equal fuel level, whereas in real life they won't know how much the guy in front has.

Is the waiting to pounce part of IndyCar about saving fuel though? Or is it more about being in the right position on the last lap to get a draft? Is it done for fuel or timing? I haven't seen IndyCar.

What I'm saying isn't new or significant. I'm just curious if we'll see DRS used for fuel saving rather than overtaking this year.


You mention the regular updates IndyCar drivers get on fuel, I wonder if this new McLaren ECU screen will allow the drivers to see in high accuracy, after much internal calculation and estimation, and a knowledge of previous laps (as two way telemetry is banned) how many laps of fuel are left at their current pace? I wonder if any are doing that, or they'll rely on radio messages?

Edited by RoutariEnjinu, 24 February 2014 - 14:33.


#16 Enzoluis

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:43

Another issue that will add variation to the performance of the teams is that, as far as I understand gear ratios are almost fixed for all the tracks. The gear ratios has a big influence on the fuel consumption. So we are going to found teams very restricted in some tracks and other teams in others.



#17 bonjon1979a

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:02

Another issue that will add variation to the performance of the teams is that, as far as I understand gear ratios are almost fixed for all the tracks. The gear ratios has a big influence on the fuel consumption. So we are going to found teams very restricted in some tracks and other teams in others.

Hadn't thought of that, surely all the teams will have crunched the numbers though and come up with very similar ratios that suit the most amount of tracks?



#18 Neophiliac

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:10

Hadn't thought of that, surely all the teams will have crunched the numbers though and come up with very similar ratios that suit the most amount of tracks?


I think some of the smaller teams just might take a gable with gear ratios and pin their hopes on either the high speed circuits or the low speed ones. The theory being that if you are only going to score points in one or two races a year anyway, you may as well maximize your scoring pootential for those two races. Having said that, the chances of a bet like that backfiring rather spectacularly are quite high. Also, the torque curve is so wide and the number of gear ratios so high that any trickery like that may offer only a minimal advantage anyway.

#19 Neophiliac

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:18

Yeah, it's just using DRS to save fuel instead of overtake. It's a tactic that could be new to 2014, hence this thread.Given two identical cars, 15 laps from the finish, both with enough fuel "to go 80%" to the end, would it be beneficial to be the car behind or the one in front? Could you use DRS not as an overtaking aid, but as a fuel saving aid, to mean you can, on the final lap now "go 90%" on the final lap, while the guy in front still can only "go 80%".It's a crude explanation, but I'm just wondering if it could work in principal, and whether we'd see it.We've had fuel limited formulas before, but never one with a drag reduction system.Could it pay to deliberately stay second in this scenario till the last minute?


Had this debate with oetzi in another thread. I think in principle possible, but very risky as it requires putting a lot of faith in that last lap effort. But maybe in races where fuel is a particularly acute issue, we will indeed see this tactic tried. The other issue is that if you use this tactic you are assuming - without knowing for certain - that the guy in front of you is not, in fact, already cruising and saving fuel such that he also will be able to push to 100% whenever necessary.

P.S. also, it's "principle" not "principal". The latter is when you talk about the team's main man. The former is when you talk about some proposition fundamental to your reasoning. Sorry -- just one of my pet peeves and I couldn't help myself. :-)

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#20 paipa

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:20

Given two identical cars, 15 laps from the finish, both with enough fuel "to go 80%" to the end, would it be beneficial to be the car behind or the one in front?

[...]
Could it pay to deliberately stay second in this scenario till the last minute?

Haha, interesting question. Reminds me of bicycle sprint racing. We've seen similar things around DRS timing points before, Hamilton vs Alonso in Canada popping to mind.


Edited by paipa, 24 February 2014 - 15:22.


#21 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:28

Haha, interesting question. Reminds me of bicycle sprint racing. We've seen similar things around DRS timing points before, Hamilton vs Alonso in Canada popping to mind.


It's a mixture of that, but also a mixture of what we've seen when a car is accidentally under-fueled and they pretty much have to let people past.

#22 Seanspeed

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:40

Yeah I thought the principal might be used in something like IndyCar or NASCAR or something. I was just wondering if we'd specifically see Formula 1's DRS system used in this way? Obviously in my dumbed down scenario it's just assumed the cars are on equal fuel level, whereas in real life they won't know how much the guy in front has.

Is the waiting to pounce part of IndyCar about saving fuel though? Or is it more about being in the right position on the last lap to get a draft? Is it done for fuel or timing? I haven't seen IndyCar.

What I'm saying isn't new or significant. I'm just curious if we'll see DRS used for fuel saving rather than overtaking this year.


You mention the regular updates IndyCar drivers get on fuel, I wonder if this new McLaren ECU screen will allow the drivers to see in high accuracy, after much internal calculation and estimation, and a knowledge of previous laps (as two way telemetry is banned) how many laps of fuel are left at their current pace? I wonder if any are doing that, or they'll rely on radio messages?

If F1 teams are smart, then they'll definitely try and reduce radio messages that give away their fuel situation as much as possible. Ferrari have added a large display on their wheel for this year and that has likely been done in order to give as much info to their driver as possible, letting them reduce the amount of times they need to rely on their race engineer to tell them what's up and giving away their hand. I'm sure we'll still hear talk of fuel on the radios, but I think teams will unfortunately(for us viewers) minimize how much they need to. Which also means that it will be hard for drivers/teams to jude what an opponent's situation is, making it difficult to manage your own strategy around unsafe assumptions.

The IndyCar comparison is difficult because they still refuel and they have lots of cautions(safety cars) that make it dangerous to push too hard too early and can make strategies a bit of a lottery at times . But generally yea, a driver sitting back during a final stint of a race that is marginal on fuel is often doing it to save as much for a late push as they can. Of course, there can be other benefits to be had by staying behind, just like in many sports like bike racing, but the fuel part is a major part of it.

I think a driver could certainly use DRS to save fuel in order to pounce later in F1, but track position and giving yourself a cushion when possible will still be as useful as it always has been in F1. Its hard to predict exactly how it'll be, really. I can see a lot of late-race panics by drivers who have misjudged things and it causing some dramatic changes in the final stages of a race. But I don't think it will dominate or drastically change how the general race strategy and tactics are approached. We'll see.

Edited by Seanspeed, 24 February 2014 - 15:42.


#23 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 15:48

I think a driver could certainly use DRS to save fuel in order to pounce later in F1, but track position and giving yourself a cushion when possible will still be as useful as it always has been in F1. Its hard to predict exactly how it'll be, really. I can see a lot of late-race panics by drivers who have misjudged things and it causing some dramatic changes in the final stages of a race. But I don't think it will dominate or drastically change how the general race strategy and tactics are approached. We'll see.


Yeah I suppose the tactics for position is only one angle. The next would be a driver that has to hold station due to being marginal on fuel staying behind a backmarker and using DRS just to keep position or finish?

I just wonder if we'll see it used for fuel saving at any time for any reason this year. Will be pretty interesting to see if it works.

#24 BillBald

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 17:20


I suspect that using as little fuel as possible early on will be the way to go, even if it means you fall back 15-20 seconds behind the leader as you'll have so much more in reserve that you'll be able to make it up towards the end of the race. This year there is a high probability of safety cars at every race due to the number of failures there are going to be. Anyone who burns a lot of fuel building a lead, runs the risk of then being caught out by a safety car. They then won't be able to compete with those who have managed to save fuel at the beginning of the race.

 

I predict that we'll see rapid first stints, where those qualifying in the top ten try to get themselves away from those runners who don't have to start on the tyres they qualified on. In the middle stint(s), I fear we're going to see some pretty dull fuel/engine management. No one wanting to risk using too much fuel for fear of a safety car and then things winding up a bit at the end of the race as everyone uses up every last drop of fuel. I think we could see some big changes in the final five laps. Cars that are miles behind might be able to catch up if the leaders are running out of fuel and having to go 3-4 seconds a lap slower.

 

 

Falling back 15-20 seconds won't be an option if it puts you in traffic. It really depends on how close the field is, and it also depends on whether the fuel situation is expected to be tight for that race. You don't want to drop back unless you are pretty sure that you are going to get the benefit later.

 

The effect of a safety car is hard to predict. It will close up the field, but it will also make it easier to complete the race without fuel-saving. So it could negatively affect the leader, or rescue his race.

 

 

I would imagine that if at all possible they would go what I'm going to call 'The Red Bull/Vettel' tactic. That is

 

1) Get out of DRS by the time the first 3 laps are done.

2) Get a 8-12 second lead, to cover a pit stop or so.

3) Sit on it to keep fuel levels fine, tyres under control, and to cover safety cars etc.

 

I expect there to be a lot of fuel level monitoring...

 

It worked for Vettel, mainly because he didn't have to fight his team-mate very often. Even when Webber started alongside him, he was usually in the mid-field by turn 1.

 

If you have 2 drivers trying to use this tactic in evenly matched cars, it's going to be much more complicated. Team orders may come into it.

 

 

I wondered if DRS might not just be used for passing, but for drafting a guy (with reduced throttle) you intend to pass in 10 laps time, to save enough fuel to be able to spend more later on.

An extreme example would be, you're in second and you and the guy in front is marginal on fuel, neither can go flat out to the flag.

There are 15 laps to go, and you draft but don't over take him down all the full power straights (which is where DRS is usually allowed). If this means you need a little less throttle opening, could it mean that over 14 laps of being in a slip-stream, and having DRS open, you save enough fuel to be able commit to the overtake on the last lap, and be able to gently cruise away, using every ML of fuel to do so, of which you have more?

 

I'm expecting to see a lot of this. It won't be viable if you are marginal on tyres, because you can generally expect more deg when following around a second behind another car. And if you judge that the car in front is simply not going fast enough, you will want to overtake as soon as possible.

 

Strategy is going to be very interesting this year...



#25 Enzoluis

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 18:09

 Also, the torque curve is so wide and the number of gear ratios so high that any trickery like that may offer only a minimal advantage anyway.

 

I understand that the torque curve and the number of gear ratios would make only minimal advantage in performance, but it will be marginal on terms of fuel consumption?



#26 HoldenRT

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 18:37

I've been whinging about it for months but for me it all goes back to the thing of.. it doesn't feel like racing to me.  It'll be neat that it's something different.. and it'll have a novelty factor for the first 5 or 10 races.  But this is the long term future of F1.  I remember the 2005 season standing out, and I enjoyed it because of the one tyre rule but also being glad it was only one season.  The whole budgeting everything until the end of the race can be interesting, but it can also be a detriment to the racing.

 

It's like the old fuel strategies of a 3 stop vs a 1 stop.  The 3 stop was the more racier option, something that's better to watch.. something that's more pure racing.  Going hard, gritting your teeth and being on the limit for every lap.. while the guy you are against.. would be cruising, conserving, managing.  Looking slow on the live timing, yet managing his race.  The contrast between the two was interesting.  And I remember Kimi 1 stopped from the back of the grid in Bahrain 2006 for example.. and it was a great drive, with racier cars around him.

 

But with these regs, they are all doing it.  It's like they all race in slow motion.. and it's interesting and has a novelty factor, and personally I'm excited to watch Melbourne and the following races, but after a season or two could be quite stale.  The teams will catch on, they will refine things, it'll become more efficient, they'll all copy each other.. and we've have a race full of optimized hares.  Unless the FIA finds some new way to shake things up again.. but these engines appear here to stay for the foreseeable future.

 

Obviously, it's hard to comment on any of this until it unfolds.  The teams don't even know and they'll all be scrambling to figure it out.  I just fear for what will happen once they do, and they refine it and optimize it.  In the meantime, it's fun..

 

And in an ironic twist.. I made a topic on here a month or so back, because Kimi reckoned the new cars wouldn't be much different to drive, not very difficult (paraphrasing) and then the other day, he was one who spun out and crashed due to driver error.  Button has always said they'd be harder and different.. and ironically they could suit him the best.



#27 secessionman

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 18:44

Yeah I suppose the tactics for position is only one angle. The next would be a driver that has to hold station due to being marginal on fuel staying behind a backmarker and using DRS just to keep position or finish?

I just wonder if we'll see it used for fuel saving at any time for any reason this year. Will be pretty interesting to see if it works.

 

There could be some very harsh penalties for ignoring blue flags if this started to happen.



#28 TC3000

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 19:51

there is even another dimension to this - IMO

you could be handicapping yourself, if you save "too much" fuel

Let's take a hypothetical scenario, where one guy drives out front, while another one plays the long game and takes it easier, in order to have a little bit fuel "in reserve" to attack later on.

So, you hope/think/expect the guy out front to run into consumption problems towards the end, so that he will need to back off in order to make it to the end.

 

What happens if you get a safety car in the last 3rd of the race? Let's say with 15 laps to go.

This safety car, will/could be the "out of jail" card for the car out front, but even worse, the guy behind, is now left with a x kg weight penalty, because he has to drag the extra fuel around, which will cost him performance too. 

Surely we are not talking massive amounts (of weight), but every little thing matters, it's not only that the overall quantity of fuel is limited, as in the past or in other series, but there is an upper limited of how much fuel you can use/burn, which changes the complexion of the problem slightly.

In the past, or in other series, you can just "up the ante" (turn up the boost or whatever) in the last laps, if you have extra fuel to play with, and get a direct performance benefit.

Under these rules, if you are left with more then you can use, it turns into a disadvantage, because it is a weight penalty - even if just a small one.

 

So, as they say, and often is the case. The best laid plans .........



#29 Obi Offiah

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 20:30

there is even another dimension to this - IMO

you could be handicapping yourself, if you save "too much" fuel

Let's take a hypothetical scenario, where one guy drives out front, while another one plays the long game and takes it easier, in order to have a little bit fuel "in reserve" to attack later on.

So, you hope/think/expect the guy out front to run into consumption problems towards the end, so that he will need to back off in order to make it to the end.

 

What happens if you get a safety car in the last 3rd of the race? Let's say with 15 laps to go.

This safety car, will/could be the "out of jail" card for the car out front, but even worse, the guy behind, is now left with a x kg weight penalty, because he has to drag the extra fuel around, which will cost him performance too. 

Surely we are not talking massive amounts (of weight), but every little thing matters, it's not only that the overall quantity of fuel is limited, as in the past or in other series, but there is an upper limited of how much fuel you can use/burn, which changes the complexion of the problem slightly.

In the past, or in other series, you can just "up the ante" (turn up the boost or whatever) in the last laps, if you have extra fuel to play with, and get a direct performance benefit.

Under these rules, if you are left with more then you can use, it turns into a disadvantage, because it is a weight penalty - even if just a small one.

 

So, as they say, and often is the case. The best laid plans .........

I agree that a safety car interruption is one of the problems with maintaining a watching brief, however the team will only save as much fuel to run at the 100kg per hour limit.  If this limit is reached while under safety car conditions, what is stopping them from essentially jettisoning fuel by spraying into a cylinder but not igniting it?



#30 BillBald

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 20:52

There could be some very harsh penalties for ignoring blue flags if this started to happen.

 

We could have teams asking the race director NOT to show the blue flag to a car which was being lapped.



#31 Prost1997T

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 20:58

The IndyCar comparison is difficult because they still refuel and they have lots of cautions(safety cars) that make it dangerous to push too hard too early and can make strategies a bit of a lottery at times . But generally yea, a driver sitting back during a final stint of a race that is marginal on fuel is often doing it to save as much for a late push as they can. Of course, there can be other benefits to be had by staying behind, just like in many sports like bike racing, but the fuel part is a major part of it.

 

Seems like you didn't watch last year. Other than Fontana (and even that was green for the first 71 laps\180 miles) there were one or two yellows at most in a 200-500 mile oval race. Fuel saving can come into play (mainly in the last 30 laps) because pitting loses you much more time on an oval than it does elsewhere. I believe that's the same problem F1 teams encounter everywhere, a pit stop is not worth it over saving tyres.


Edited by Prost1997T, 24 February 2014 - 21:04.


#32 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 21:01

P.S. also, it's "principle" not "principal". The latter is when you talk about the team's main man. The former is when you talk about some proposition fundamental to your reasoning. Sorry -- just one of my pet peeves and I couldn't help myself. :-)


I know the difference and it's something I'm sure I've been told before but seem to do without thinking anyway!

#33 Rybo

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 21:43

I would imagine that if at all possible they would go what I'm going to call 'The Red Bull/Vettel' tactic. That is

 

1) Get out of DRS by the time the first 3 laps are done.

2) Get a 8-12 second lead, to cover a pit stop or so.

3) Sit on it to keep fuel levels fine, tyres under control, and to cover safety cars etc.

 

I expect there to be a lot of fuel level monitoring...

 

Only problem is that you might burn up too much fuel while you competitor just sits back and waits until the end to attack.



#34 F1ultimate

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 21:58

I don't think that racing will change as much as people think. Saving fuel at the start of a race to then have an advantage at the end is simply not viable for one reason: Overtaking is difficult.

 

This year's cars will have more torque and less downforce which means that drivers will no longer be able to do brave overtakings in fast corners. Although the new cars are faster in a straight, not all circuits have straights that a long enough for permit easy overtakes.



#35 Rybo

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 22:13

I don't think that racing will change as much as people think. Saving fuel at the start of a race to then have an advantage at the end is simply not viable for one reason: Overtaking is difficult.

 

This year's cars will have more torque and less downforce which means that drivers will no longer be able to do brave overtakings in fast corners. Although the new cars are faster in a straight, not all circuits have straights that a long enough for permit easy overtakes.

 

Except for when your opponent is short on fuel and your not. If they are on full kill mode, and you are in fuel saving mode. Most straights will be long enough to overtake.



#36 BillBald

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 22:28

I don't think that racing will change as much as people think. Saving fuel at the start of a race to then have an advantage at the end is simply not viable for one reason: Overtaking is difficult.

 

This year's cars will have more torque and less downforce which means that drivers will no longer be able to do brave overtakings in fast corners. Although the new cars are faster in a straight, not all circuits have straights that a long enough for permit easy overtakes.

 

If there are really a lot less marbles this year, we could see more side-by-side action. And when cars are hard to control, that creates more overtaking opportunities, because there will be more mistakes.



#37 alfa1

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 22:44

It also has to be said that braking distances are a bit longer this year.

Furthermore, because rear brakes are now effectively "brake by wire" and done by the MGU-K, it is all about how the teams have optimised the software.

In the first few races, expect a big difference in this. Until the teams have all got their act together, some will be able to out brake others quite easily.



#38 oetzi

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:48

There could be some very harsh penalties for ignoring blue flags if this started to happen.

:rotfl:  :clap:



#39 Gridfire

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:57

I honestly don't believe fuel is going to be that big of a deal this season. The engines are *far* more efficient, the downforce - therefore drag - is considerably less, and teams have always run with the minimum amount of fuel they felt they could get away with anyway.

 

Reliability is going to affect half the grid in the first half of the season, so if there is going to be careful/slow driving it will be down to overheating components or failed ERS units, not fuel - In my opinion.



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#40 RuleyRamundo

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:59

Chilton's tactics this year will be to just finish all the races again. With 21 retirements he might even win one after unlapping himself a few times.



#41 Atreiu

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 19:20

Maybe it'll be 80-ish. More nursing and less pushing too hard in the beginning.



#42 Obi Offiah

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 20:15

I wonder if both of a team's cars are running together, whether they'll use the DRS tactic to aid economy?


Edited by Obi Offiah, 25 February 2014 - 20:40.


#43 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 20:22

For the first few races finishing will be the priority as anyone who finishes a race is likely to get points.



#44 study

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 20:44

So, are now amazing charges through the field now going to be a thing of the past? is F1 now a wait and see formula and cars positions pretty static?



#45 pingu666

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 21:27

you can still get those drives, kinda

but honestly they will likely drive the first lap or two hard (atleast with the fuel useage) then cruise, and its easier to save fuel when your lighter weight at the end.

 

we might see guys saving hard todo the last few laps flat out

 

im expecting to become fairly static pretty soon once they work out what works



#46 SenorSjon

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:06

So, are now amazing charges through the field now going to be a thing of the past? is F1 now a wait and see formula and cars positions pretty static?

 

No, you have guys gunning for 11th spot in qualifying.

- choose the tire you want.

- get a free extra set of shiny new softs.

- start on the good side of the grid.

 

With relative ease, he should be able to get 6th after the first lap and then go on from there, using the new sets of tires to his advantage.



#47 oetzi

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:09

No, you have guys gunning for 11th spot in qualifying.

I don't really see how that's possible. You could just as easily end up 7th or 17th if aiming for 11th.



#48 Rinehart

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:22

My prediction is that the first race will be very cautious as teams will be in the dark regarding many things, especially the other teams approaches.

There will be a huge hullabaloo about a dull race.

Then things will start to change considerably as teams understand and experiment with the rules and the significance of fuel and tyres fluctuates per track. 



#49 bonjon1979a

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:23

I don't really see how that's possible. You could just as easily end up 7th or 17th if aiming for 11th.


Exactly. When there's a few tenths between 11 and 16th there's no way teams will be able to hit a delta on a qualifying lap that exactly. Some will luck out and end up 11 but no one will do it intentionally. I wonder if the extra tyre thing will encourage more runners in Q3. If you're due to qualify around 9-10th. Wouldn't you just save that extra tyre you're given for the race? Thereby nullifying the advantage the car behind in 11th has?

#50 Neophiliac

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:36

Borrowed idea from Merc thread: tag team tactics. No 2 driver helps No 1 driver by driving in front for half the race while the guy behind saves fuel with DRS. At half mark, no 1 driver is released and drives at full power, while the No 2 driver limps home due to insufficient fuel.

Likelihood of implementation is fairly low as it requires a willing no 2, who is nonetheless able to qualify next to his no 1 teammate. But this becomes increasingly appealing towards the end of the season even for teams like Merc and Ferrari if one of their drivers is out of contention.