Vettel in Bahrain - Short of fuel?

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
At the launch of the New Mclaren supercar Ron Dennis put forward the theory that Vettel's loss of pace and then subsequent recovery in the last 3rd of the race in Bahrain could have been due to him running low on fuel:

"The lap times dropped so rapidly that one can imagine the electronic control unit (ECU) switching to a conservative programme to save fuel," Dennis is quoted as saying in a report of the Cologne newspaper Express.

Given Mclaren build the ECU's you would assume Ron knows fairly well how these things work. RD goes on to suggest that perhaps the fuel tank on the RB6 isn't big enough to cope with the demand of the Renault engine; which ties in nicely with Red Bull and Renault's demands to do more development work on their shared engine.

http://formula-1.updatesport.com/ne...e/F1gossip/Was-Vettel-short-on-fuel/view.html
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I read this yesterday but I'm not so sure, it could just be the usual mind games.

Wouldn't a faulty/non-functioning spark plug cause the same problem as shutting 1 cylinder down via the ECU?
I doubt we'll ever know "for sure" as Red Bull will be keen to keep the real reason hidden.

As for Renault developing the engine, from what I understand they have vbeen expressely forbidden from doing any work on the fuel efficiency side of things so ultimately that won't help Red Bull if their fuel tank is too small.

Besides, Mark Webber didn't have the same problem so unless his car was filled much more than Vettel's, I can't see how it could be a lack of fuel.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
Why, then, did Vettel report a sudden loss of power?

"HEY GUYS! I'M LOSING POWER! I'M LOSING POWER!"
"Okay Sebastian, just remember that you are short shifting."
"OH.. oh yeah."
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
According to Williams, the old layout at Bahrain was one of the least demanding in terms of fuel consumption (2.36kg per 5km). Of course the new section will have changed that somewhat, but to have turned it from one of the least to the most? I doubt it.

A miscalculation may be possible, I think a lack of capacity is highly unlikely. We'll find out at Shanghai (2.55kg/5km).
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I'm going to agree with Brogan here. LOsing 1 cylinder is losing 1 cylinder. The effect is the same, no matter the cause. As for regaining the pace somewhat in the latter stages of the race, that could be a matter of the driver adapting to the new vehicle condition. Remember Schumacher years ago, when his Benetton stuck in top gear (in Spain as I recall, although I am probably wrong) altering his driving style and being able to retain his podium finish.
 

genji

Banned
Galahad said:
According to Williams, the old layout at Bahrain was one of the least demanding in terms of fuel consumption (2.36kg per 5km). Of course the new section will have changed that somewhat, but to have turned it from one of the least to the most? I doubt it.
I found it a strange thing for him to say considering all the viewers heard how rough Vettel's engine sounded and I disregarded it as (possibly hopeful) conjecture or even a bit of mischievousness. Ron Dennis, ever the prankster.

I was going to go here in the Renault retuning their engine thread, but once snowy slapped me down I figured it was best to stop digging. Renault (the team) didn't suffer as many reliability issues as Red Bull last year, did they? Might there not be something about the design of the Red Bull that stresses the engine - cooling issues or G-force stresses for example?

I commented on chat after the race along the lines of needing a litre of fuel in the tank after the race, and perhaps Vettel stopped to ensure that litre wasn't used up on the wind-down lap. It might just have been a one-off, meaning because the engine failed (sort of) fuel consumption went bananas, so perhaps there's no underlying issue.

On the other hand, maybe the new circuit configuration in Bahrain did make it marginal for Vettel (who may have been fuelled lighter than Webber) - I mean, it went from an average lap time to almost the longest, and the additional section was all stop-start-stop-start.

There was a lot of coverage about the RB6 being delayed while Horner sorted out the engine and perhaps it was designed with a smaller tank once they knew they were stuck with Renault for another year. That's not to suggest that it's too small, but perhaps Vettel's team was optimistic with it's projection for fuel consumption where Webber was chock full.

siffert_fan said:
Remember Schumacher years ago, when his Benetton stuck in top gear (in Spain as I recall, although I am probably wrong) altering his driving style and being able to retain his podium finish.
I've often wondered about that. These days we see drivers retire if they lose a single gear. What's changed?
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
genji said:
On the other hand, maybe the new circuit configuration in Bahrain did make it marginal for Vettel (who may have been fuelled lighter than Webber) - I mean, it went from an average lap time to almost the longest, and the additional section was all stop-start-stop-start.

There was a lot of coverage about the RB6 being delayed while Horner sorted out the engine and perhaps it was designed with a smaller tank once they knew they were stuck with Renault for another year. That's not to suggest that it's too small, but perhaps Vettel's team was optimistic with it's projection for fuel consumption where Webber was chock full.

That is probably the case. Red Bull - like all the teams - need that extra data on fuel consumption in race conditions. So perhaps the deal was that whoever qualified ahead , i.e Vettel, got the least fuel whilst Webber was laden with fuel to see how much they differed.

I'm still adamant that once the teams find their feet in the new rules we are going to have a good season.
 

genji

Banned
^ what he said.

The other aspect is that in the first race (like putting in a banker lap in qualifying) no one wanted to risk what they already had. Once points start becoming an issue (e.g. if Alonso begins to establish a lead) then they will start risking a fourth or sixth place.

It still could be the best season as a whole that we've seen for a long time, and history might view Bahrain (in terms of building a foundation) much more kindly than some of the headless chickens have done in the last week or so.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
i've often wondered about that. These days we see drivers retire if they lose a single gear. What's changed?

That's an easy one. In the past if a driver lost a gear/gears the best he could expect was to finish the worse thing that could happen was that everything would sieze up, there'd be a pretty big bang and a crunching sound, bit's of metal would go everywhere and the car would come to a halt in a terminal way.

Under the current rules if a driver looses a gear the best he can expect is to finish what's more likely is that all the above effects occure and the driver has to have an engine change affecting his grid position in the next race, his chances of winning the next race and potentially the rest of his season (if he has already used his number of allocated engines)

As for Schumacher and that race in Spain, What made it even more remarkable was the fact that he managed to do a pit stop with the car jammed in 5th gear.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
From what i remember from the race, didn't Ted Kravitz say the Redbull did not sound to healthy as if it was there was a broken exhaust, Before RedBull confirmed there was a problem. Thay why MB and JL presumed it was a broken exhaust before it came out it was a 'faulty spark plug' right?
 

snowy

Champion Elect
genji said:
Galahad said:
According to Williams, the old layout at Bahrain was one of the least demanding in terms of fuel consumption (2.36kg per 5km). Of course the new section will have changed that somewhat, but to have turned it from one of the least to the most? I doubt it.
I found it a strange thing for him to say considering all the viewers heard how rough Vettel's engine sounded and I disregarded it as (possibly hopeful) conjecture or even a bit of mischievousness. Ron Dennis, ever the prankster.

I was going to go here in the Renault retuning their engine thread, but once snowy slapped me down I figured it was best to stop digging. Renault (the team) didn't suffer as many reliability issues as Red Bull last year, did they? Might there not be something about the design of the Red Bull that stresses the engine - cooling issues or G-force stresses for example?

:embarrassed: :friends:

Sebastian suffered so many more failures than Mark, and though they say that it is almost impossible for a driver to damage an engine these days, it would suggest he uses the engine in a different way. Perhaps all Seb's engine problems stem from the ECU? :thinking:

In all my years watching F1 I can't recall ever hearing anyone blaming a spark plug for a poor performance or failure to finish a race! :dunno:
 

genji

Banned
snowy said:
:) I rather think I was embarrassed - you were quite right: the thread was about a specific aspect of the situation and I was veering towards going off-topic.

snowy said:
Sebastian suffered so many more failures than Mark, and though they say that it is almost impossible for a driver to damage an engine these days, it would suggest he uses the engine in a different way. Perhaps all Seb's engine problems stem from the ECU? :thinking:
I do remember him joking in a post-race interview about his style perhaps leading to breaking the engine. Of course he, too, knows that's not really possible but, even with the rev-limiter, is it possible perhaps that he shifts up a fraction of a second beyond the optimum time to do so? It doesn't seem possible. That and most other aspects of his driving would show up in an overlay against his team-mate's and he'd surely iron it out.

If it's not him specifically and it's not the car or engine, perhaps it's his set-up. His set-up could be working perfectly for him yet, although all set-ups will be a compromise on brakes, temperatures, tyre wear, etc., and therefore marginal, push something that little bit beyond the point that Webber's set-up pushes his car to.

Or it could be a combination of his ride-heights, the bump at turn 5 or 6, and the speed he carried into that corner (which I don't think Webber matched).

Or it could just be a spot of bad luck that won't be repeated, and Horner's calls for engine equalisation might be unrelated.

snowy said:
In all my years watching F1 I can't recall ever hearing anyone blaming a spark plug for a poor performance or failure to finish a race! :dunno:
That's the puzzler.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Vibrations and resonance have a profound effect on an engine, perhaps Sebastien is humming the wrong tune? ... :whistle:
 

genji

Banned
This is the kind of comment that puts me off Vettel... well, this and the fact that he's yet to win race from anywhere other than pole (and just watch him go and turn that one on its head this weekend!):

"Maybe Ron Dennis wanted to attract attention with his theory, because otherwise no one asks for his opinion anymore."
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Maybe Ron Dennis has been in F1 for a lot longer than you, Sebastian, and he's won everything in the book. He's known Senna, Prost, Hakkinen, Alonso & Hamilton. He's got a buttload of experience that it would be foolish for a kid such as yourself to take him on.

Ron Dennis will get attention for the same reason Enzo Ferrari would get attention were he still alive. He's the most successful team principal ever, to the point that when we talk about 'privateer' teams, we talk about Williams, but we don't talk about McLaren. That's how successful he was. Take note, Vettel, no amount of girls' names can compensate for that!
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
teabagyokel said:
Maybe Ron Dennis has been in F1 for a lot longer than you, Sebastian, and he's won everything in the book. He's known Senna, Prost, Hakkinen, Alonso & Hamilton. He's got a buttload of experience that it would be foolish for a kid such as yourself to take him on.

Ron Dennis will get attention for the same reason Enzo Ferrari would get attention were he still alive. He's the most successful team principal ever, to the point that when we talk about 'privateer' teams, we talk about Williams, but we don't talk about McLaren. That's how successful he was. Take note, Vettel, no amount of girls' names can compensate for that!

ROFL Hear hear!
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
Vettel in Bahrain Virgin! Short of fuel?

Well I don't really believe the Red Bull short of fuel story.

but Don't really know how true it is but talk of FP1 is how Virgin could be in pretty large doggy-do by not making a fuel tank large enough to get enough fuel the race.

Could be a bit of a non-story but I would of thought (and im no designer) the fuel tank would of been pretty much up there as the first thing i would of thought about when building an F1 car.

If true it could cause a huge amount of problems right....not much development will the Euro season starts could be very embrassing even damaging if they fail to finish because they can't get enough fuel in. Also the fuel tank is an integral part of the car, Surly any design changes could affect weight distribution, length of the car centre of gravitiy.

Virgin GP may of got themselfs into a right pickle.....Right?

*EDIT*

Damn the coding stuff doesn't work in post titles Doh! lol
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
I was about to mention this in chat, having just noticed the story. Amazing, if true. Monumental :censored: up!
What's the chance of them finishing a race before the cars corrected?! :dunno:

And, as you say, surely this means a major redesign of the chassis. (But then, I'm not a designer, so it might not be such a major
redesign :unsure: )
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Dare I say it that there were some elements of truth in Ferrari's otherwise needless bitching about the new teams last year?

To not design a sufficiently large fuel tank is a fairly fundamental and amateurish error, IMO.

And just to stick up for Vettel above -

Don't believe everything you read; 'Vettel scoffed' is journalistic licence, he was responding to a journo's question, and we can't be sure of the context or nature of the replay. It may have just been matter of fact, or said with a respectful smile, but that's not good copy.
Vettel has a point also, in that Ron isn't so involved in his F1 team these days, so his comments will be irrelevant to Red Bull. That's not to say that RB aren't becoming a pain in the ***, particularly with some of the things Christian Horner has been saying lately. [They remind me a little of Benetton/Flavio of the 80's and 90's, in a 'young upstart upsetting the big boys' way. Perhaps a little bit too outspoken and know-all too soon, Mr Horner?]

And [Nitpicking] Did Vettel not win Abu Dhabi from 2nd on the grid? [/Nitpicking]
 
Top Bottom