Ferrari loophole uncovered

As they say there is no smoke without fire and recent Mercedes’ query to FIA on oil consumption proves that.

The smoke that accompanies the start-up of the Ferrari power unit seems to have stirred-up a debate in the paddock. Rachetting up another notch today after Mercedes sought a clarification from the FIA. This query for the clarification directly targets Ferrari.

According to Motorsport, Mercedes told the FIA that it was happy for any feedback to be “circulated to all power unit manufacturers.”

Mercedes wrote to the governing body of FIA and asked whether oil used “in the pressure charging (turbocharger) system” has to comply with Article 20 of the technical regulations.

Article 20 covers the definition, properties and composition of oil.

Mercedes further asked if turbo system oil has to be considered as part of the overall 0.6 litres/100kms oil consumption limit that was introduced to stop teams using oil for power boosting purposes.

It is learnt that the FIA has replied with an affirmative, confirming that all oils have to comply with the requirements as set out in Article 20, and that the turbo is considered part of the engine.

In its original letter to Charlie Whiting Mercedes asked, “With the exception of transformer oils used within ERS cooling circuits, and hydraulic oils used for PU actuators (both of which should have zero consumption in operation), do all oils (and specifically, any oil used in the pressure charging [turbocharger] system) used in the Power Unit need to comply with Article 20?”

Charlie replied, “All oils used in the engine must comply with Article 20 of the F1 Technical Regulations. The turbocharger is considered part of the engine.”

The second question in that letter was, “If the answer to Q1 is ‘yes’, does it therefore follow that the combined oil consumption of all the Power Unit oils must respect the 0.6lts/100km limit referenced within TD/012-17?”

To this Whiting replied, “yes.”

No matter how stricter regulations are, teams find loopholes and exploit those. Though not confirmed but it seems Ferrari have found the potential loophole in the regulation covering oil consumption, which their rivals are trying to close. It seems till the time the smoke is coming out of the back of Ferrari, this debate on oil consumption will keep on simmering.

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14 responses to “Ferrari loophole uncovered

  1. “FERRARI LOOPHOLE UNCOVERED” – the entire article is simply clarification from the FIA on two questions submitted by M-B. There is absolutely no evidence that Ferrari is doing either. In fact any of the four manufacturers could be doing what M-B asked Whiting for clarification of. Why was Ferrari singled out?

    • Because we’ve seen the smoke from Ferrari? Howzeabout FIA checking the turbo oil level after each race, to insure that every car is on the up-and-up?

      • Funny though that Haas and Sauber both use the 2018 Ferrari PU, yet no clouds of smoke from either…

        • No true. Both cars also appear to have whisps of smoke trailing their gearbox crash structure

    • I remember Ferrari seeking clarification about a suspension concept in 2017. I would say détente.

  2. Dodgy Ferrari Turbo oil seals have been uncovered, caught cheating again tut tut!

  3. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Ferrari using almost all of the allowed 0.6L loss while the M-B was only losing a fraction? This would suggest that Ferrari has picked up the trick and perhaps too aggressively (hence the smoke). It’s likely M-B has burned oil deliberately in the past, but it would seem they have moved away from that.

  4. I genuinely feel for Ferrari fans.

    When Mercedes trounced Ferrari in Spain, fans tried to peddle a controversy by saying that Mercedes influenced Pirelli to bring thinner tread tyres. This conspiracy theory was debunked later by Vettel himself when he said they would have been worse had Pirelli brought original tyres.

    In Spain only Ferrari blatantly tried to hoodwink the system too add an aerodynamic component under the garb of Halo mounted mirrors. But they were caught and FIA asked to remove those winglets for Monaco.

    Now this oil consumption debate. Their rivals mounting pressure on FIA and Ferrari is feeling the heat. I guess the periodic threat to leave the sport is aimed at keeping FIA from completing such investigations.

    Ferrari fans should hold their horses because if the FIA really decides to complete the investigation, the Ferrari chastity they believe in might not be there at all.

  5. M-B did influence Pirelli to bring thinner treaded tyres to Spain – they made the original request. There is zero evidence that Ferrari is burning more oil than they are allowed – zero. Ferrari’s threats to leave F1 were aimed at Liberty Media – not the FIA……………

    • There is zero evidence that Ferrari is burning more but it’s out in open that Mercedes influenced to bring thinner tread. 🤔

      • The request to bring the thinner treaded tyres was made by M-B in March and approved by the FIA at the beginning of April. At that point nobody, other than M-B, really knew how the unmodified tyres would perform.

        • So you want me to believe that a request was made by M-B, FIA accepted it blindly and then they also convinced every other team without presenting them with an empirical data to support the decision and all teams agreed, right?

          Or are you trying to say that a request was made and FIA accepted it and forced other teams to accept it?

          I think you’re stretching your specious argument far too thin.

  6. All of these conspiracy theories regarding oil, tyres, winglets, etc. are just a smokescreen that has been thrown up to try and mask the fact that Mercedes still enjoy a massive power advantage with their PU over the opposition as was demonstrated in Spain. Expect to see a few more controversies as the season goes on as they try to deflect attention away from this total domination that we are witnessing.

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