Formula 1 - New-look F1 'more driver dependent'

Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas believe drivers will make more of a difference in getting the most out of this year's new breed of Formula 1 car.

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Kevin Magnussen

The massive regulations overhaul for this season, replacing normally aspirated V8 engines with smaller, turbocharged V6s and enhanced energy recovery systems, is expected to place extra emphasis on engine performance and fuel efficiency.

McLaren rookie Magnussen, who tested the one of the outgoing V8 F1 cars during last year's in-season test at Silverstone, reckons the new generation of machines, which also feature a significant reduction in downforce, will place greater emphasis on driver ability than their predecessors.

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"It really is a driver's car - more than the old ones," said the Formula Renault 3.5 champion. "With the blown diffuser [on the 2013 cars] it became a little bit easy, but this year it's more of a driver's car and I think that's great.

"It's a bit more difficult with more torque. It's difficult to take care of the tyres and I think it's going to be tricky. You need more skill and more sensitivity in your throttle.

"It's still going to be impossible to win in a car that's not able to win, but it's Formula 1; it's man and machine, and I hope we will see the drivers making more of a difference."

Williams driver Bottas, whose team ended the final pre-season test in Bahrain with the fastest time, agrees the extra torque combined with less downforce makes the cars harder to operate.

"With a bit more power compared to the downforce and grip you have they are a bit more tricky, and also I think in the race distance it's not only the tyres it's also the fuel you have to save efficiently," said Bottas. "All these things put together I do agree [it is more driver-dependent].

"From the driver's point of view, saving fuel without losing too much lap time will be very important this year. It's not only going to be the tyres to manage.

"Of course we have some computers to help us, but it in the end it's up to the driver to save the fuel without losing the lap time."

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