Renault doubt increase in fuel limit will impact race strategies

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Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski believes the decision to increase the fuel limit in 2019 will have little impact on the races.

This season, teams will be allowed to start each Grand Prix with upto 110kg of fuel, five kilos more than last year. The goal is to allow drivers to push harder in each race after criticism they were having to run at a slower pace to conserve fuel and tyres.

However, as Budkowski pointed out...

“There were a number of races last year where people weren’t taking 105kg but were taking less,” he told Autosport. “The disadvantage of carrying more fuel is you’re slower because the weight of the car is higher.

“It’s always a compromise between the quantity of fuel which allows you to push harder during the race but slows you down in terms of weight.

“There were a number of races where 105kg, filling the tank, wouldn’t allow you to race properly and the amount of fuel-saving teams had to do was significant," he continued.

“Couple this with some tyre saving and there were a number of races where drivers were really managing the pace rather than pushing the car.”

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The Renault chief does think it will bring some benefit at more fuel-hungry races, however, combined with Pirelli being less aggressive with their tyre choices.

“The steps taken to increase fuel capacity should allow, on these specific races, the drivers to push as hard as they want to push," Budkowski said.

“Couple with tyre choices that are more conservative than last year, there will be less tyre saving.

“The issue is we’re going to have a lot of one-stop races – most of the races are going to be one-stop - but with drivers who can push on the tyres, rather than save them.”