18 June 2015
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Lift and coast not new – Rosberg
Nico Rosberg points out that lift and coast isn't unique to current Formula 1: They did it even in the 80s. I remember my dad [Keke] racing with Alain Prost at McLaren and they had to save fuel because everybody was running out of fuel at the end of the race, so nothing has changed there...
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg says lift and coast is not something new to Formula 1 and insists it is still challenging to have to drive in that way.
His comments come in the wake of the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month and also after Mercedes issued its own feature on the issue ahead of this weekend's race in Austria. Rosberg, however, was keen to point out that historically it has always happened, even before the current era, where fuel saving is more vogue.
“Lift and coast is the most efficient way to save fuel, they did it even in the 80s. I remember my dad [Keke] racing with Alain Prost at McLaren and they had to save fuel because everybody was running out of fuel at the end of the race, so nothing has changed there,” Rosberg said ahead of this weekend's eighth round in the 2015 F1 World Championship. “It is just that it's become more professional now and more accurate and more detailed.
"That doesn't mean… even if we're doing that, we're [still] driving at the absolute limit of the car – it's just a different kind of driving style. And even that driving style is very challenging, and you are still pushing like crazy, you are just driving a different way.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso stressed that lift and coast is just part of the job of a “professional driver” in F1.
“There's not much secret [to it] – you lift, you coast to the corner, you brake. We are professional drivers, so we should know where is the point of braking [and it] depends on the speed we arrive. There are other implications on fuel saving [too] – the state of charge, the battery you may have at that point of the race, how much deployment you have on the straights in terms of the K deployment, so yeah, we drive maybe eight or ten different cars in a weekend,” he explained.
“We drive low fuel, high fuel, maximum deployment, no deployment, fuel saving, new tyres, old tyres, so there are a variable of four or five seconds in the car during different stages of the free practice, qualifying or the race, so that's the biggest difficulty, but we are professional drivers, we are ready to do that.”
F1 rookie Carlos Sainz, however added that saving fuel is not an aspect he particularly likes: “For me it is something quite new. I have not been used to that… never in my life and personally, it's not a thing I really like, especially because I have to do it from very early in the race, probably after the first lap you have already the engineers telling you to lift and coast,” he noted. “I remember Australia was very big, Canada was again very big. You have to adapt and you have to be quick – but probably the amount that I was doing in these two races was probably a bit too much for my opinion. But it's something that I have to do, something that I have to learn and I will adapt.”
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