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'Red Bull and Ferrari negotiated on FIA rule changes'

'Red Bull and Ferrari negotiated on FIA rule changes'

5 July - 18:08 Last update: 21:40


Prior to the British Grand Prix, the FIA came up with a number of notable rule changes. One of them concerns the cooling of the fuel: Formula 1 teams are now allowed to cool the fuel to a temperature of twenty degrees, which can prevent any problems with overheating.

Rule change after Verstappen close call in Spain

Red Bull Racing are one of the teams that could benefit from this, as the RB18 suffered from overheating earlier in the season. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen almost had to start from the back of the grid as a result: Red Bull only let him out of the pits when the light almost went red because the fuel was too cold and had to be warmed up to ten degrees below ambient.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto then drew attention to Red Bull by saying that the FIA should take a closer look. This proved unnecessary, however, as the fuel temperature was never measured below the minimum. However, the FIA later clarified the temperature measurement point to prevent F1 teams from over-cooling their fuel in the future.

F1 teams allowed to cool fuel further by FIA

Ahead of the Silverstone race, the FIA took the rule even further by introducing a notable change: teams will now be allowed to cool fuel to a temperature of twenty degrees, regardless of the outside temperature. In hotter Grands Prix the teams will be able to take advantage of this. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport teams are even allowed to cool the fuel below twenty degrees at colder races.

Advantage for Red Bull?

Red Bull Racing seem to be one of the teams that could benefit most from the recent rule change. The Austrian stable had already encountered problems earlier in the season with the so-called 'vapor lock', the evaporation of the ten per cent ethanol of which the new biofuels are composed. This phenomenon is amplified at high temperatures and can lead to problems with the operation of the fuel pumps in the tank, and is also said to have been the cause of the double retirement of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The rule change is good news for Red Bull, but Ferrari will not go home empty handed either. The Italian team initially demanded that temperature readings should always be taken one hour before the race and that the temperatures should remain the same, but they seem to have dropped that demand. According to La Gazzetta, Ferrari has forced a quid pro quo in the form of another rule change, the one that allows teams to switch power units between qualifying and the race. This could prove advantageous for Ferrari as it gives the team more freedom to rotate the engines, with the aim of improving reliability.

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