FIA denies rumours of Mercedes and Ferrari using ‘trick oil systems’


Over the course of the weekend, it has been announced by the FIA that the Mercedes and Ferrari teams were investigated during the Canadian Grand Prix to ensure neither team was using ‘trick oil’ systems to gain an advantage over their rivals, with tests returning a negative result.

With fears that some teams had been gaining an advantage by finding a way of storing fuel for an extra boost led to a clampdown on fuel systems at the Spanish Grand Prix. After that race the focus shifted to oil systems and whether certain teams had been adding performance-boosting chemicals into their engines to increase power.

Mindful that loopholes were potentially being exploited, the FIA conducted a detailed analysis of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s cars during the Canadian Grand Prix after free practice and qualifying. However in a report that has been issued on the matter; the FIA has clarified there is no concern over the legality of the oil systems being used by both teams following those tests. The FIA announced the following in their report into the matter as follows:-

‘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 report said.

‘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.

‘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 or to the combustion chamber via the sump breather into the air intake.’

Overall, all you can say is that the FIA quickly investigated the matter as soon as it arrived and has found that either Mercedes or Ferrari are doing anything untoward and are complying with the Technical Regulations that the FIA announce every season. With the FIA publishing this report over the course of the weekend; this should now put the rumours regarding this issue to an end and we can now look forward to hopefully a great second half of the F1 season.


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