Cyril Abiteboul Unsure FIA Can Enforce Oil Burn Rules


Cyril Abiteboul during 2018's 2nd winter test
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Renault Sport Formula One Team boss Cyril Abiteboul has questioned the FIA’s ability to enforce new rules that curb the practice of Formula 1 teams burning oil during qualifying sessions in 2018.

Teams burning oil to aid consumption and boost power courted controversy last year as it raised questions over parity between the engines used by factory teams and those supplied to its customers.

For greater parity between teams, the FIA have introduced a set of regulations for 2018 including a new 0.6-litre per 100km oil usage limit, a restriction on different oil specifications and a ban on active control valves in parts of the engine.

Some teams are exploiting loopholes in the new regulations however, according to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner who has asked the FIA to do more. But Abiteboul is uncertain as to whether such regulations can be enforced.

“I’m confident that there is a clear regulation. I’m not fully confident yet about the capacity of the FIA to enforce the regulation,” Abiteboul told crash.net. “That’s why we’re working in partnership with the FIA to make sure that they have this ability.

“I really believe that lots has been done in relation to this opportunity or loophole in the regulations. I think we now have a clear regulation. We continue to work with the FIA to make sure that they have the equipment to monitor on a permanent basis the oil.

“There is a lubricant in any engine in the world, and there will continue to be so, but in quantities that are relative to the purpose of the oil which is to lubricate, not to do anything else.

“We’re making sure that it’s not just about having a regulation but about having a capacity to enforce and to monitor that we are making proper use of the regulations.”

Renualt Sport F1 car during 2018 winter test
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Abiteboul, whose team supplies engines to Red Bull and McLaren F1 Team for 2018, insisted Renault has treated its customer teams equally throughout its tenure in F1.

“I know it’s a constant concern from customer teams and for very good reason to make sure they are treated equally because that certainly should be the case.

“It certainly has been the way that we have been acting towards our customers in our 40 years of history of being an engine supplier in Formula 1.

“That was always our intent, that has always been in the regulations. Now there is a clear directive in relation to that. But we also have to accept that there will always be some small differences.

“Just to give you one example, and I don’t want to create a debate situation to that, for example Red Bull Racing is using a different petroleum partner. They will be using a different type of fuel and lube.

“That’s creating some small discrepancies, but they know that and they’ve done their decision. We have not forced them into adopting a different partner. Our partner was available to them, but they prefer to use a different partner.”