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Ferrari's rule tweaks 'completely unrealistic' - Mercedes

ESPN Staff
April 8, 2014 « FIA addressing noise issue | Montezemolo held meeting to reassure Alonso »
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Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe says Ferrari's suggestions to tweak Formula One's regulations were ill-conceived.

Ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari went on the offensive to try to limit the emphasis on fuel saving under this year's new regulations. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said limiting the cars to 100kg for a race distance was creating a "taxi driver" formula in which the drivers are not able to race flat out and could damage the image of F1.

Suggestions from Ferrari included increasing the amount of fuel to 110kg or shortening the length of the race while keeping the limit at 100kg. Jean Todt has resisted the calls for change and Lowe was quick to back up the FIA president's decision.

"I think Jean has taken a very sensible line," he said. "There has been things talked about in recent weeks and days that are completely unrealistic. The first suggestion was to have 110kg of fuel and then they realised that you couldn't fit 110kg in these cars. Oh dear!

"Then it was about making the races shorter, but can you imagine selling that concept to the public? It would be like saying we've decided that the guys running marathons aren't fit enough these days so they will run 25 miles and not 26. The messaging around that … you can't really contemplate it. I hope all of that can be put behind us."

The Bahrain Grand Prix is one of the most extreme in terms of fuel consumption, but Lowe said Mercedes' race strategy for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had not differed hugely from previous years when running the V8s.

"The degree of fuel saving we had to run in the race - despite the fact that these guys were racing from beginning to end - was a completely normal level of fuel saving. Last year we had a strategy that involved a certain amount of fuel saving in the race because that's optimal, and what we ran today was pretty much the same.

"I don't know how it is for others, but if they are not finding [the same outcomes] that means that they have got a less efficient package and this formula is about efficiency. That's the objective."

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