Introducing final engine at Spa, will see Mercedes avoid new oil burn limit


Will Mercedes tactics see them gain an unfair advantage? Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team will be allowed to run its latest engine at a higher level of oil burn for the rest of the season, following its cunning move to introduce its latest spec engine at the Belgian Grand Prix.

A technical directive issued by the FIA in July, stated that engines introduced prior to racing at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza would be allowed to run at an oil burn level of 1.2 litres per 100km. Those brought in after the Italian Grand Prix race weekend however, would have to adhere to the new 0.9 litre limit, prompting the German team to move forward the scheduled date of their final engine update to Spa.

One of the new rules set out by the FIA for the 2017 season was that customer units must be at the same specification as the works outfits, however ahead of the upcoming race at Monza, the FIA has confirmed that Mercedes will only have to comply with the 1.2 litre limit, because their final engine has already been used.

The German manufacturers customers however, will have to comply with the 0.9 litre limit once they implement their final units, as confirmed by a FIA spokesperson, leading many to believe Mercedes will gain an unfair advantage.

“If an engine (ICE element) is introduced at or after the Monza race weekend, its oil consumption needs to be below 0.9L/100km whenever it is used.

“If an engine (ICE element) has been introduced at or before the Spa race weekend, its oil consumption needs to be below 1.2L/100km whenever it is used.”

The FIA’s definition of an engine having been used is ‘as soon as a car’s timing transponder has been triggered by leaving the pitlane’.

Main rivals Scuderia Ferrari are understandably not happy with Mercedes tactics, but the Silver Arrows squad have not broken any rules in making this earlier than planned change, with all teams being privy to the ruling, and therefore all having ample opportunity to do the same. Mercedes Motorsport Boss Toto Wolff stated when speaking to motorsport.com recently, that he would be more than happy to discuss the situation with the Italian outfit if they feel there is anything untoward going on.

“We are fierce competitors and the relationship we have is that we stick our heads together if there is a problem, and we discuss it behind closed doors.

“It hasn’t come up. We need to be careful that things are not made up in the public that are just not right, and not true. So far, I’m easy about it.”

How do you feel about Mercedes actions? Clever move, or dirty tactics? Let us know in the comments below…