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With a few teams completing full race simulations during the Bahrain test, more details emerged on how difficult it will be to finish races on the permitted maximum of 100 kilograms of fuel.
The 2013 season had no fuel limit, but the highest amount used was between 150-160 kilos.
Therefore, the limit of 2014 represents a cut of up to one-third. The V6 turbo hybrid engines are more fuel-efficient than the V8s they replace, but not that efficient.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was quoted by ESPN as saying:
Bahrain is the worst track, so today it was tough to get to the end of the race with 100 litres.
That's going to be a big challenge in Melbourne and that's what it was about today, to try and judge that and make sure that you get the quickest from the beginning to the end of the race while keeping the fuel consumption consistent.
McLaren's Jenson Button, who also did a full race simulation, told ESPN:
I finished the grand prix distance, but in testing it's relatively easy to do because you just drive around really slow.
I think we are all going to find it tricky and there is a lot of fine tuning that's needed from everyone. I think for most people it's trying to get the car to run for a race distance—that's the biggest issue!
It has long been expected that managing fuel loads would be a dominant factor of 2014's racing, and now we're starting to hear it from the horse's mouth.
Keith Collantine of F1Fanatic produced an excellent graphic showing the 2013 fuel usage across a number of circuits.
It suggests Bahrain is, as Rosberg said, one of the worst tracks for fuel use—but Albert Park in Melbourne, the venue for the opening race, is even tougher.