In the superb Renault podcast, director of engineering Pat Symonds has revealed that the eleven Formula One teams currently racing will hold a meeting at Monza tomorrow to discuss the possibilities of ridding from qualifying of the fuel-burning laps each driver makes should they get through to the third round. Considering the sport is progressing (slowly) into a new era of energy recycling and even greener fuels, it seems somewhat hypocritical that the ten drivers who succeed in qualifying spend fifteen minutes just cruising around trying to burn off fuel.
Although I do think it is a little late to start thinking about ways to sort out the fuel-burning problem, hopefully the teams can figure it out for next year and prevent the pointless exercise.
I think we have to find a way fuel burning laps, which is a completely strange thing to do given we’re all becoming eco-friendly. The so-called fuel burning is no good and interestingly we’re talking about that tomorrow with a view to getting rid of it for 2008. Pat Symonds.
The fuel-burning came about when the qualifying format was changed (for the umpteenth time) to the current knockout method. The teams are allowed to run low fuel in phases one and two and fill up as they see fit for the race. But the top ten drivers have to start the third round with the fuel they intend to start the race with the following day. Before the cars leave for the final session, they get weighed, and providing all their fuel-burning laps are within 110% of their fastest, they get it credited back before the race start. Thus, to set a very quick lap it will help the driver to lose some of the extra weight he’s carrying. As there is little point in trying for a pole lap when the car is heavy, they just cruise around burning it off.
It isn’t entertaining, it isn’t technical. It doesn’t add to the spectacle and it must be boring for those who pay to watch the race from the grandstands. In all honesty, a solution should have been found at the start of the year, but of course F1 being the funny sport it is, it has taking until now for the teams to get together and even discuss it. Let’s hope they can hammer out an answer.
If you guys and gals can’t work it out tomorrow, can I just suggest you let the drivers run with little fuel in Q3. Also, while I’m making suggestions, might I add another: Make the session 60 minutes in length, allow each driver a maximum of 12 laps (this includes outs and ins) and whoever has the fastest single lap at the end of the hour gets to start from pole. Seriously, it isn’t rocket science.