FIA clamp down on oil burning in qualifying

Mark Scott

The FIA have closed a loophole in the rulebook which allowed teams to add more oil into their cars for qualifying, giving them more performance.

The rule change means that teams cannot add oil to the car, or transfer it from an auxiliary tank during the qualifying session.

There had been some controversy over the ‘party mode’ which was spoken about in Australia, after Lewis Hamilton took pole by 0.7 seconds in Melbourne.

“We’d like to see that [the rules] go further because it still doesn’t deal with qualifying,” Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, said in February, before the rule change was implemented.

“It contains the race but still there are windows of opportunity in qualifying which we’d like to see further closed down. Hopefully that will have an effect in creating engine convergence.”

The FIA have made this change with the aim of being able to monitor oil consumption properly during the Saturday afternoon session, especially with the crucial laps in the final minutes of Q3.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single seater technical matters said: “Following numerous discussions on the subject, we wish to clarify that in order to allow the FIA to monitor oil consumption during the qualifying practice session in a precise and timely manner, no oil may be added to the car nor may any auxiliary oil tank [AOT] be activated, i.e. there may be no oil transfer between an AOT and any part of the engine lubrication system.”