March 19, 2014

Do you smell Bernie in FlowGate?

Red Bull Photo / Mark Thompson

Just one race into the 2014 season and  already there is a controversy in Formula 1, FlowGate.

Fans don't like it or even understand it,  it's easy to make an argument against the maximum fuel flow regulation and sway opinion against it.  "Just let them run whatever flow, if they run of gas that's that"  goes the refrain.

The rule was put in place to encourage development of the "electric" part of the power units.  It's easy for manufacturers to get power by increasing fuel to the internal combustion part of the Power Units, went the FIA thinking,  we want development on the energy recovery side.

But who wanted this engine formula most?  That's right, the FIA and Jean Todt.   Now Mr.E has come out criticizing the sound of the engines,  a video comparing 2013 F1 sounds to 2014 ones goes viral and "miraculously" does not get pulled from YouTube by FOM.    Australian circuit promoters talk about suing for breach of contract.

Today there is an interview on the Gazzetta dello Sport with Flavio Briatore who aligns himself with Ecclestone saying the new formula is a disaster and the FIA should drop the 100 kg/hr fuels flow immediately.
That same rule Red Bull,  Bernie protege Christioan Horner at the helm, felt sufficiently covered to openly challenge the FIA on.  

It smells of a long term campaign in an old war,  just saying.


  1. Man, I hope they don't change the fuel flow rate. It would be nice for them to have no ceiling to tune the engines, but if they make changes after Redbull's fuss, they'll be playing to much power into their hands.

  2. F1 gave into Red Bull last year with the Pirelli Tires. Red Bull was getting it handed to them because Ferrari and Lotus could utilize the tire construction better. They whined loud enough and mid season F1 changed the construction. It is just like a spoiled brat, you teach them they can whine and get their way then they will continue to do so.

  3. You have to have a way to limit max HP, especially with turbos. Otherwise we would see 1200 HP push to pass buttons. Tires, brakes, drivetrain, tracks, safety cells... are not designed to deal with the kinds of speeds that would follow. It would be too dangerous. Racing would be boring because the PtP power delta would be so large it would be impossible to defend. Whoever presses PtP first will lead at the end of the straight.

    If they wanted both good racing and to drive fuel efficiency they would do exactly the opposite. Limited fuel flow and unlimited fuel capacity. Cars would race at 10/10th at all times while the engineers work to get as much HP as they can out of every drop of fuel.

  4. That's exactly my point it happened last year, by putting there tires on wrong sides, oh and how Redbull cried. haha

    I hope the FIA stands their ground here. They really are acting a bit spoiled, they got told and then did their own thing anyway??

  5. Regarding Bernie, the good news is his hot daughter just had a kid; the bad news wasn't mine.

  6. So it's a problem when RedBull has an issue but every other team had no issue with fuel flow and were able to be faster and win the race. Sounds like poor sportsmanship

  7. If they dropped the flow cap we really could relive the 80's again. haha

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  9. Although I'm sure you can read it other places as well, on there is a story concerning Porsche and their LMP1 project. Apparently they too have been having flow sensor accuracy problems.

  10. I think the FIA and everyone is well aware there are issues with consistency with the sensors which is why they have in place, I believe it's a two if not three step process for correcting for deviations. The issue here is Red Bull wants to just be the ref, not go by the rules as set forth at the start of the season...which is one race ago!


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