F1 bosses "fooled" by teams pushing for fuel increase

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F1 bosses
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Apr 28, 2018, 12:38 PM

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.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, and the rest of the field at the start of the race
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer, Force India, with Paddy Lowe, Williams Martini Racing Formula 1, on the grid
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 at the start of the race
Otmar Szafnauer, Force India Formula One Team Chief Operating Officer
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 at the start of the race
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09., Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, and the rest of the field at the start of the race

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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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
Article type Breaking news