FIA acts on suspicions of trick Formula 1 oil systems

Ferrari and Mercedes were the subject of a detailed investigation after the Canadian Grand Prix to ensure neither outfit was using trick oil systems to boost performance, Motorsport.com has learned.

FIA acts on suspicions of trick Formula 1 oil systems
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes AMG F1 W06 Reserve Driver
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06 runs wide
Listen to this article

With the two leading the championship, there have been suggestions that they could be exploiting loopholes in the regulations to try to gain a performance advantage.

Such fears were the catalyst for an FIA clampdown on the fuel systems in the Spanish Grand Prix as the governing body moved to stop teams trying to store petrol beyond the flow meters to try to get a power boost.

Now, the focus has shifted to oil systems and whether or not some teams have been adding performance-boosting chemicals to the auxiliary oil tank so that they can be used in the engine to help add horsepower.

Detailed checks

The FIA confirmed that following free practice and qualifying in the Canadian Grand Prix, oil samples from Lewis Hamilton's and Sebastian Vettel's cars were taken away for detailed forensic analysis.

A report issued by the FIA afterwards said: "The viscosity analysis showed a slight reduction in the viscosity of the oil in the main tank compared to that of the equivalent auxiliary tank in both cars and the differences can be attributed to fuel dilution, as expected under normal operating conditions.

"The InfraRed analysis showed no significant difference between the oil in the main tank and the one in the equivalent auxiliary tank in both cars.

"Further the GC analysis showed no differences between the oil in the auxiliary tank and the one in the main tank for both cars. It also showed no difference between the oil in the main tank on Friday FP2 and Qualifying for both cars.

"Headspace analysis at 120°C confirmed the presence of fuel in the main tank oil samples (both FP2 and Qualifying), whereas none was detected in the auxiliary tank oil samples.

"This, again, is due to the expected fuel dilution of the used lube oils under normal operating conditions"

All clear

The FIA made it clear that following the analysis, it was satisfied that neither team had been in breach of the rules.

"From these results, it can be concluded that the auxiliary oil tank is not being used to add performance-boosting components, either to the main oil tank or to the combustion chamber via the sump breather into the air intake," the report added.

The oil system investigation shows the lengths that the FIA is going to to ensure that all teams comply with the regulations, and that it addresses concerns rivals have about their competitors.

shares
comments
Give me the power to change F1, Todt tells teams
Previous article

Give me the power to change F1, Todt tells teams

Next article

Ferrari boss not amused as photos go viral with #arrivabeneiseverywhere

Ferrari boss not amused as photos go viral with #arrivabeneiseverywhere
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022