of 2009-’ 10 coincided with an opening of
the regulations to hybrid cars employing
KERS (kinetic energy recovery systems)
for 2010, although no one would exploit
them until 2011. The twin ideas of limiting
energy going into the car and maximizing
the amount recycled are the foundation
stones of the new P1 rulebook.
One of the first principles established
by the working group that included the
manufacturers was that the fuel should
be allocated on a per-lap basis – the ACO
and the FIA have learned the lessons of the
past. Think back to the Group C formula,
introduced in 1982, and you may recall
that each car had a certain amount of fuel
to complete the race. More than 30 years
on, there was a desire to avoid the specter
of cars limping around at the end, or even
running out of fuel in the closing stages.
“We were very keen to maintain true
racing and to prevent people from playing
games on strategy,” explains Beaumesnil.
“If you set an amount of fuel to be used
for each lap, it means the drivers will still
be pushing all the time.”
If a car doesn’t use its full allocation on
a given lap, it can’t use it the next lap.
As Beaumesnil succinctly puts it, it’s a
case of “use it, or lose it.”
The fuel flow will be measured rather
than controlled, as in Formula 1 next
year, via a spec device common to both
categories and linked to the pits and race
control via telemetry. Should a car exceed
the prescribed flow, it will have two laps
to get back on the correct fuel schedule.
“It would be unworkable to penalize
a car every time it went over the limit,”
continues Beaumesnil, “so we are saying
there is an average over three laps. If you
exceed over one lap, you have to recover
over the succeeding two laps.”
Two fuels will be allowed from the
beginning of the new formula, gasoline
and diesel. The amount of energy allowed
for each type of car will be different – a
fact that led to heated negotiations as
the rules were being formulated.
“If you gave everyone the same
amount of energy, then one fuel would
CAR WEIGHT (KG/LB)
ERS ENERGY (MJ)
A manufacturer has to run an energy-recovery system, but can choose how much energy
it wants to harvest (four bands to choose from). The smaller the ERS energy band, the
greater the fuel allowance per lap. The ERS and fuel-per-lap amounts are for one lap of
Le Mans and will be reduced in line with track length for each of the WEC venues.
LMP1-H (FACTORY) LMP1-L (PRIVATEER)
FUEL PER LAP
@ LE MANS (LITERS)
FUEL TANK SIZE (LITERS)
(ABOVE LEFT) Audi
and Toyota went the
LMP1 hybrid route by
choice. In 2014,
still get the choice.
“We were very keen to
maintain true racing and to
prevent people from playing
games on strategy”
To lessen the chance of
cars flying in an accident,
the ACO mandated holes
in the bodywork above
each wheel in 2012.
Taking it a step further,
additional cutouts on the
inside shoulder of each
wheelarch are in for ’ 14.