F1 bosses "fooled" by teams pushing for fuel increase

Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer believes the teams lobbying for Formula 1 to increase its race fuel limit "fooled" the championship's bosses into pushing the change through.

The fuel limit was 100kg in 2014-16, but it rose to 105kg last year as it was realised that higher downforce and drag levels would increase fuel consumption.

However, some teams have argued that the change was not enough and, combined with a belief that talk about fuel saving does not create a positive impression to TV viewers, an extra 5kg for 2019 was agreed at the recent F1 Strategy Group and Commission meetings.

When asked about the change by Motorsport.com, Szafnauer said : "I think it's wrong to do so. We were given a target for good reasons of 100kg, and those reasons were to force cars to become more efficient.

"We were given a fuel flow restriction as well, and that was such that the powertrain would become more efficient.

"Those reasons are still here today, and all those efficiencies that those restrictions drive are relevant in the world, and we shouldn't have changed it.

"We only changed it because some of the engine manufacturers and teams who didn't do such a good job with efficiency lobbied the FIA, and they got their way. I think that's wrong.

"If you don't do a good job, should you work harder within the rules that everyone agreed to, or should you change the rules? That's what I don't like. 'I didn't do a good job, let me change the rules'.

"They fooled the FIA and Liberty, and what they were really trying to do was regain that competitive advantage.

"I can half understand going from 100 to 105, because the cars changed so significantly, the dimensions changed, the downforce levels, the drag, the wings got bigger.

"I can understand all that, that's logical. But to just go from 105 to 110, because...? It's illogical."

Szafnauer says even with a higher allowance drivers will still save fuel in races.

"It's still going to happen, we will still save fuel if the quickest way around to the end is to not put as much race fuel in," he added.

"We always lift and coast, we always save fuel, even at those races where your capacity isn't the limiting factor. So that's a bunch of nonsense."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news