Renault’s Taffin: Fuel consumption could well be an issue in Singapore

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The new fuel consumption numbers for Formula One this year were in the news right from the get-go in Melbourne. Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification for exceeding the maximum limit was arguably the biggest talking point leaving the event.

While the fuel flow discussion has gone down since, it could well be a major issue in Singapore this weekend. At 61 laps and usually a race time close to two hours, Singapore presents one of the longest races of the season and the fuel numbers will really need to be managed.

Remi Taffin, Renault F1’s head of track operations, explains how challenging this will be for teams to master:

“The ICE and turbo are therefore given an easy time here. The Energy Store and MGU-K, however, are really put through their paces,” he said in an advance release. “Each braking event is long and hard, particularly around the ‘hotel’ section through the grandstands, where the K will be able to recover enough energy to keep the battery at a relatively high level of charge throughout the lap. In contrast, the MGU-H is used a little less as the short straights between the corners do not really offer ample time for the exhaust to develop a steady flow.

“These short bursts of power naturally require good torque response and driveability but they also bring fuel consumption well up. In fact we will use the largest amount of fuel per lap over the season here and we will be right on the limit of the 100kg permitted. To put this in context, last year we used 150kg of fuel – over 30% more. Here, more than anywhere else, shows the advances we have made in efficiency.”

With the Renault’s lack of power by comparison to Mercedes one of the notes of the year, Renault is confident it should be better at this circuit, as it requires less time at full throttle (roughly 45% of a lap).

“Singapore should suit the Renault Energy F1-2014 far more than the previous two tracks. We’ve made good progress in energy recovery and management and these two elements are key to success here,” he said.