Being quick in 2014 won't be enough - Prost

Monday 24th June 2013, 17:56 by TF1T Staff 

Pirelli Media

Four-time world champion Alain Prost has warned Formula 1's current crop of drivers that speed alone won't be enough to win in 2014.

The Frenchman, who has experienced turbo-charged engines when he raced in the '80s, says a certain finesse is required because of the turbo-lag - though it will be greatly reduced compared to his era.

"First of all, there will be a tiny lag, in terms of response time," he explained. "I imagine it’ll probably be very small next year, but the drivers will nonetheless have to get used to it.

"It's not just a question of the turbocharger: the interaction between the combustion engine and the electric motors will also be very complex. The combustion engine generates around 600bhp and the electric motors around 160bhp, so power management will be much more of an issue than with the normally-aspirated engines used currently."

Racing will require more thinking according to the 58-year-old, and therefore those drivers who rely on outright speed, might struggle.

"The engines, and all the resulting energy use strategies, will be utilised by the engineers and the drivers in a variety of ways. In fact, it's a return to an era when the driver will need to be strategic and very calculating in how he used his racing car.

"Being quick will no longer be enough on its own; you’ll need to be quick and sensitive."

He believes the new power units will sporn a new era and a renewed interest in the sport from 'casual viewers'.

"I think so," he said in response. "Many people watching F1 are disappointed with the racing and the fact there are restrictions this year, even if they are subjective, and the engines are all more or less the same.

"In the 1980s, you have to say that the turbo engine years generated interest in F1: everyone was interested in this new technical challenge. It was also a bit of an emotional journey, insofar as huge developments were expected at each race."

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