Red Bull suspicion prompts FIA clarification on Formula 1 oil burn

The FIA has reminded Formula 1 engine manufacturers they are not allowed to 'burn' engine oil as fuel, after Red Bull suspected Mercedes could have been doing so in qualifying

Red Bull suspicion prompts FIA clarification on Formula 1 oil burn

There has been much focus over the past 12 months on how Mercedes has been able to extract a decent step from its F1 engine in qualifying, with its power advantage not so obvious in the races.

One idea that emerged from rivals was that Mercedes could have been cleverly burning excess oil, with added power-boosting or anti-knock additives, to help deliver extra performance when it was needed in Q2 and Q3.

With F1 engines now operating on a closed system - with the engine sump breather having to vent in to the main engine air intake system - the possibility of using oil as fuel has increased, as it is more likely to get sucked into the chamber.

But such an action would be in breach of the rules, because manufacturers are strictly limited in terms of the chemicals that can be used to power the engines.

Mercedes insists that it was not employing such tactics and has always complied with the rules, but that has not helped the suspicions go away.

The matter came up for discussion over the winter in meetings between technical figures, with Red Bull especially eager to ensure that the situation was clear.

In response, it is understood Mercedes was willing to impose a 5kg limit on oil use, but such a figure was viewed as above what could have been being used anyway.

With no resolution, it has emerged Red Bull wrote to the FIA to seek clarification on what was and was not allowed.

In a response from the FIA's technical department, it was confirmed that any burning of oil as fuel would be a breach of the regulations.

However, the FIA acknowledged that it was impossible to rule out some 'consumption' of oil to take place when the engine was used.

Since F1's turbo hybrid rules were introduced in 2014, there has been a big focus on ways to eke more power from the limitations on both fuel flow and the fuel limit.

There were suspicions in 2015 that teams had been storing fuel beyond the fuel flow limiters so it could be used later.

Furthermore, there was an investigation by the FIA about whether nor manufacturers had been adding additives to oil that would help boost power if it was burned.

The governing body conducted detailed tests of some cars at that year's Canadian Grand Prix of some cars to ensure that no wrongdoing was taking place.

shares
comments
Renault has turned 'huge corner' with new Formula 1 engine
Previous article

Renault has turned 'huge corner' with new Formula 1 engine

Next article

2017 Formula 1 tyre degradation clues expected this week

2017 Formula 1 tyre degradation clues expected this week
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022