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FIA closes Formula 1 qualifying oil burn loophole

The FIA has introduced a further clampdown on improving performance via oil burning by expressly forbidding Formula 1 teams from replenishing oil systems during qualifying

Oil burning has continued to be a contentious subject in the paddock, despite ongoing efforts by the governing body to stamp out the practice by restricting consumption levels.

The intention of the latest clarification is to enable FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer and his team to properly monitor oil consumption during the session where teams have the most to gain by pushing the rules to the limits and boosting performance, especially on the critical laps in Q3.

The FIA has now made it clear that teams cannot add oil or transfer it from an auxiliary oil tank to any part of the lubrication system during qualifying.

While that raises the obvious suspicion that some teams may have been doing that to disguise higher consumption, sources suggest it is more of a pre-emptive strike from the FIA in to stop that possibility happening.

In a technical directive the FIA's head of single seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis told the teams: "Following numerous discussions on the subject, we wish to clarify that in order to allow the FIA to monitor oil consumption during the qualifying practice session in a precise and timely manner, no oil may be added to the car nor may any auxiliary oil tank (AOT) be activated, i.e. there may be no oil transfer between an AOT and any part of the engine lubrication system.

"Exceptions to the above may however be granted on specific occasions following a request from the team concerned, any such exception will be made at the sole discretion of the FIA technical delegate."

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