FIA race director Charlie Whiting has moved to ease the fears that Formula 1 teams will be able to get around the restrictions implemented in 2018 when it comes to oil burning, particularly in Qualifying.
With teams possibly burning oils to deliver a power boost, a limit of 0.6-litres of oil use per 100-kilometres has been introduced, but some team principals, most notable Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner, feels the Saturday afternoon sessions could still see excessive burning.
Whiting has downplayed these fears, insisting the FIA has tightened up the regulations and introduced measures to prevent any trickery from teams burning too much of their oil.
“We’ve closed down all the things that they were able to do last year, mainly via oil spec,” Whiting is quoted as saying on Motorsport.com. “Not only was oil being burned a little, but they were putting things in the oil to aid combustion, because there was no real oil spec last year. Now there is.
“Now they have to approve oils. They can only use approved oils, so they give us a sample just like they do with fuel, and that has to be approved and that is the only oil that they can use.
“We’ve tightened up the engine rules in Article 5 of the Technical Regulations, and we’ve also routed the breather that can no longer go back into the air intake which was the biggest issue.
“That has to go out the back like virtually every other racing car in the world. And we’ve told them they can’t use more than 0.6 litres per 100 km. All those things combined I think will do the job.”
Whiting has faith that the systems put in place by the FIA to limit the oil burn limits, particularly over the shorter distances of qualifying, will work, despite fears of teams finding loopholes to use more oil than allowed.
“The loophole being talked about is the difficulty of checking how much oil has actually been used during qualifying,” said Whiting. “You’ve got a small amount of laps, so if you’re looking at a percentage you’ve got to try and detect smaller quantities that have been used. That’s a challenge.
“So we’ve made them all fit homologated oil sensors in their main oil tanks, but they’ve got auxiliary oil tanks as well, so we’ve got to be able to check those too. It’s just a matter of detailed checking just to make sure that they are respecting the 0.6 even over short distances.”