What fleet drivers could learn from Lewis Hamilton
By Jake Stevenson
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 09:00
Crossing the finish line as double world champion, what could you learn from Hamilton?
Not many fleet drivers would think that they could learn anything from an F1 Champion, however the champ has a few tricks up his sleeve which many drivers can benefit from.
Mercedes’ frontman Lewis Hamilton has put on a stellar performance this F1 season – all the while maintaining the lowest fuel consumption and tyre usage throughout the race.
So what does this have to do with fleet drivers? Well Hamilton has proved that efficiency doesn’t have to sacrifice performance, something we’re sure all fleet drivers will be eager to learn.
By learning to drive more efficiently, the average driver could save £250-£300 a year – this significant saving is made even more impressive when you consider how simple the tips are. Taking inspiration from Hamilton himself, we’ve gathered some top tips to improve efficiency on your next road trip.
This might seem like an obvious one, however we’ve all been guilty of leaving the engine running when making a quick pit stop. Simply switching off can save pennies in the long run – so next time be sure to turn it off. Granted, you won’t see us giving Lewis Hamilton the same advice.
What’s the rush? We understand the demand that most Fleet drivers are under, however a lot of the time we just make excuses to go faster. By slowing down you’re not only dramatically improving on your fuel consumption, you’re increasing your safety on the roads – and you can’t put a price on that.
The efficiency sweet spot for most vehicles is at a gentle pace in the highest gear. Shifting up early when accelerating and staying in a high gear when cruising keeps the rev counter down – improving engine efficiency. The optimum rev count for shifting gear varies from vehicle to vehicle, however, for regular petrol engines – around 2000 RPM is usually sufficient.
Getting hot and bothered? Simply opening a window is a great way to stay cool at low speeds, reducing battery strain from unnecessary air conditioning. Ventilation fans and air conditioning systems can have a dramatic impact on fuel consumption – requiring plenty of power to keep running. Take advantage of the breeze and switch the air con off.
While pit stops may not be practical on the road, Formula 1 takes tyres seriously – and for good reason. Tyre pressure in particular can have a huge impact on fuel efficiency. Under inflated tyres increase rolling resistance and friction – requiring more power to maintain speed. More importantly, incorrect tyre pressures can lead to premature failure and road accidents. As a fleet driver, you should check your tyre pressure every few weeks – maintaining the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
We hope these tips will help you to become more efficient over the coming months without sacrificing performance, and who knows maybe you could become your own F1 champion (the F stands for fleet of course…)
Jake Stevenson is a blogger for Luxury Leasing. As a self-proclaimed motor head, he enjoys nothing more than learning everything there is to know about motorsport, cars and driving.