Formula 1: Against The Odds

Fuelled To The Finish

with one comment

Felipe MassaOne of the most intriguing rule changes for the 2010 has been the ban on refuelling. At first glance that would seem to indicate nothing more than shorter, simpler pit-stops and the increased challenge for the driver of handling a car with a massively different weight profile throughout the race.

Closer inspection reveals some technical challenges too, which some teams are inevitably going to overcome better than others. Fully understanding fuel economy will be essential for teams who will not have the opportunity to top-up their tanks during the race. Which teams will play it conservative? Which ones more aggressive? Will anyone run out of fuel during the race – or at the very least compromise their final laps?

Another key challenge will be keeping the fuel cool. By the final laps of a race, fuel will have been in the car – next to the engine – for approaching two hours. Overheating fuel can cause a multitude of problems and teams will need to work close with their fuel partners to combat this. This video shows the extent of such a relationship between Ferrari and Shell. It is difficult to imagine that the same exists between the debutant teams and their partners.

All of this leads me to consider what will be the impact on race results? Will 2010 be the season that reverses the trend for ever-more reliable F1 cars? With temperatures soaring this weekend in Bahrain, I’ll be paying close attention to radio messages conveyed between the pit wall and the drivers. Any hint of problem could lead to some interesting in-running opportunities.

In-play total number of finishers markets would be frantic as the end of the race approaches, but remember that drivers only have to complete 90% of the race distance to be classified. I think the best opportunities will be found when a driver in contention for a win, podium or points starts to hit difficulties. Backing the cars immediately behind them could just pay dividends. Even if the issues don’t result in retirement, there may be a performance drop-off.

Like any in-running betting though, the best returns will be made my those who have access to – and can interpret – the data quickest. Check out this entry from Sidepodcast about the teams who are sharing their telemetry data on the Internet for a few ideas.

Either way, this weekend in the Bahrain desert should give us some clues as to the challenges that teams will face through the new 2010 fuel regulations.

Video and image courtesy of Shell


Written by f1punter

March 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

One Response

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  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

    Yuriko Goodenberger

    June 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

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