Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Horner wants FIA to clamp down on oil-burning in qualifying

2018 F1 season

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner wants the FIA to clamp down further on teams burning oil as fuel, particularly during qualifying.

Last year new limits were introduced to limit how much oil teams could use during races to prevent it being used to increase combustion and engine power. However Horner believes some teams are still burning oil as fuel in qualifying.

“We still feel there are loopholes regarding qualifying that need tidying up regarding consumption,” he said.

“We feel it’s been dealt with in the race. But of course if you were to find a way of using lubricant in a different way in qualifying it offers a significant performance increase. We’d like to see, just belt and braces, that closed down.”

Horner said the present restriction on burning oil as fuel still leaves “windows of opportunity in qualifying that we’d like to see further closed down.” He believes if that can be done it will “hopefully that will also have an effect in creating engine convergence.”

The FIA has already introduced another technical directive aimed at preventing manufacturers from handicapping the performance of customer engines.

Horner said Red Bull have “never doubted that we’ve had parity with Renault” in terms of how they can use their engines. “We’ve got a different fuel and oil supplier but we haven’t seen anything concerning about the product that we’ve been supplied by Renault.”

Asked which manufacturer that technical directive could be targeted at Horner said: “I don’t know, we’ve worked with the same supplier for 10 years.”

“I think I’d go and speak to Claire Williams,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Horner wants FIA to clamp down on oil-burning in qualifying”

  1. 3 years too late. It disgusts me that this rubbish sounding formula was sold as green and handed one manufacturer an advantage because of timelines and limited testing, and then they burn oils and additives in an unsporting, and in ‘green’ and unethical way. Pathetic are these manufacturers that are ruining this once great sport.

    1. From a green/environmental perspective this is no different than when Renault/Red Bull developed the off throttle blown diffuser in the V8 days. They were dumping fuel into the engine even when drivers were off the throttle purely to blow exhaust gasses through the diffuser to increase downforce.

      That was one of the things that were providing Red Bull the advantage they had back then & while other’s copied the concept nobody got the same sort of advantage from it that Red Bull did.

      1. …and people only cared because it sounded horrendous.

        Personally I think f1 is a racing series, and as long as they aren’t directly stuffing dead Dino’s into their fuel tank, who cares?

        I mean really, who legit thinks that f1 using a v6 instead of a v8 will help save the planet? Really?

      2. You are making no sense at all. Literally one thing has nothing to do with other.

        Blown diffusers was done using the race fuel and it made the cars quicker. Every team could do it. Hell, even caterham was doing it and they barely had enough money to buy the ink to sign contracts. The current engines are a different kind of problem altogether. Massive costs, huge increase in weight (at least 80kg heavier than the v8s), wheel bases of the cars are longer than london bus and the engine manufacturers have massive benefits in how they can control the pace of the customer teams.

        If you really wanted a stupid example then try the fuel burn qualifying from 2008 or so when the teams had to drive multiple laps just trying to burn as much fuel as possible. Even the honda earth dreams green painted car was doing it. Now that was stupid. The blown diffusers was great because it made the cars quicker. But just like the hybrid engines or the fuel burning qualifying – they just make the cars slower and hurt the racing.

    2. The advantage, if any, is so marginal, it really isn’t “ruining this once great sport”. You can speculate and dream up what ever excuses you like for why the team you support isn’t winning; it’s the drama queen fans that detract from this sport.

    3. The people who make these comments about the sport being destroyed are usually Red Bull fans. The problem isn’t the sport is being destroyed it’s that’s Red Bull isn’t winning.

    4. Unsporting? They beat everyone else to it! They’re just upset they never thought about it

  2. Asked which manufacturer the technical directive could be targeted at Horner said: “I don’t know, we’ve worked with the same supplier for 10 years.”

    “I think I’d go and speak to Claire Williams,” he added.

    -Shots fired.

    1. @lums – this is Horner we’re talking about. Like Bernie, he always works an angle. With tinfoil hat firmly placed, let me take a shot at spinning a tale…

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Horner trying to drive a wedge between Williams and Merc, just to give RBR another shot at a Mercedes engine instead of Renault (assuming Renault withdraw their supply from RBR as they work their way up the constructors’ standings) or Honda (or even assuming Honda exit the sport).

      Remember that the FIA can now mandate that an engine supplier must supply a team if they have no engine supply. If he can get Mercedes to drop one of their customers, it makes it easier for those engines to come RBR’s way.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        26th February 2018, 17:06

        Good thinking Batman.
        I wouldn’t put it past him, although I can’t see Merc ever agreeing to put their power unit in an RB chassis whilst on the grid themselves.
        Ferrari managed to force a ‘give them last years engine’ fudge for Sauber in 2017. I’d be highlighting that precedent if I were Toto and the demand to supply RB landed on my desk

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          26th February 2018, 18:15

          I’m thinking of Toro Rosso 2016. Sauber’s was budget driven

      2. @lums – this is Horner we’re talking about. Like Bernie, he always works an angle

        That’s true but it doesn’t make his point less valid.

        If the Merc and/or Ferrari engines can do something the Renault ones can’t, then preventing them from doing it is going to make F1 more competitive. That’s what Liberty and the FIA want, is it not? Besides, burning extra oil completely defeat’s the point of the hybrid movement within F1 and the world at large, it should be a no-brainer decision for the FIA imho.

        1. @jeffreyj “If the Merc and/or Ferrari engines can do something the Renault ones can’t, then preventing them from doing it is going to make F1 more competitive.”

          Do you mean win? Because no, that wouldn’t make f1 more competitive, it would make f1 more like American wrestling.

          If Renault/Honda catch-up… GREAT, we ALL want to see that. The problem is knee capping one team to make the other more competitive. Nobody was stopping Renault from burning oil for the last 3-4 years. Should f1 have banned pneumatic valves when Renault innovated those? Calling oil burning cheating is a farce of what f1 is all about. They should’ve worded their ban more effectIvely, but we all know that wasn’t a mistake.

          1. No I mean burn extra fuel in addition to the normal combustion and electrical power.

  3. (Deliberate) oil burning is one of the worst part of cheating in current F1. Why have a fuel flow control if the ‘back door’ is wide open.

    What’s next? Drivers to carry AA batteries to give an extra kick to the MGU?

    1. It really isn’t a big deal, firstly the rules aren’t being broken so it’s not cheating, and secondly it’s all just speculation as to which teams may be benefiting.

    2. Here. Have some tinfoil. It’s to block the alien mind control rays that are making you way too gullible.

  4. When they implemented the rule last year of measuring oil during the races, I immediately realised that they weren’t including qualifying in this regulation. It just seems like poor governance and stupidity on the FIA’s part. If they need to ban oil burning, you might as well put some grey cells to work and implement it properly.

    It’s obvious that Horner is hinting at the Mercedes cars, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ferrari as affected by it.

  5. Yeah there is a loophole… It can be 0.6l per 100km, but it can also be 0.6l in 3.5 km and then 0 for 96.5 km… I bet if there is a limit then Ferrari and Mercedes will burn up to that limit in quali mode.

  6. What is everyone’s issue with this?

    It’s ridiculous..

    Horner, as usual is stirring the pot in order to get an advantage

    Renault chose to not spend their money in this area. They publicly explained they had made that choice and put the funds elsewhere. Probably in buying their own team because it’s not in a nice new qualification mode.

    To complain because you were a customer of an engine supply too tight to do so is entirely ridiculous and yet more of the typical RB stir the pot because they are missing their automatic right to win each weekend.

    Frankly anyone defending this ridiculous attitude in a sport about technical development should take a good look at their reasons for doing so.

  7. It always funny to see which team it affects and to which side of the agrument many fans swing, same for team principals for that matter,…

  8. One test day. One. And Horner is already trying to get some advantage.
    Why not bring this up during the whole offseason? He is already thinking he will have some trouble in quali, or he thinks if he starts in front he will stay there?
    We all want a more competitive series (last year was very close until Ferrari/Vettel collapsed), Horner does not, he wants his team to dominate like before.

    1. The dominance Mercedes had is way beyond what Red Bull had.
      In the years they won, 2010 and 2012 went down to the very last race.
      Alonso won 1 more race than Vettel in 2010, Hamilton one less than Webber.
      In 2012 Webber only ended 6th in the championship; not a dominant Red Bull?
      In 2011 and 2013 Vettel was dominant, but still it was nothing like Mercedes in the 2014-2016 era, taking all but 8 wins over a total of 3 years!

      It is hard to escape the conclusion that Vettel was an important factor in Red Bull’s success.
      Webber never got better than 3rd in the championship; with 2 Webbers in the team Red Bull might as well have won no championship at all. Don’t think Webber is a bad driver; his racecraft was fine, but Seb is a better qualifier – and that made the difference.

      The playing field was much closer in the Red Bull years…

    2. He’s diverting, diverting from their great day1.

  9. But what if this oil burning clamp down won’t affect Mercedes nearly at all, but does affect Ferrari? Has anyone any proof of Mercs advantege over the field coming from oil? And IF they don’t use it, we’re handing them again even greater margin over the nearest competitor, Ferrari.
    Just a thought.

  10. It is not just about performance gains from using oil as a fuel.
    The oil contains additives that are specifically forbidden in fuel, and have no purpose for lubrication. These are only there to circumvent the ban on their use in fuel…
    As long as these additives are present in the oil FIA should keep reducing the maximal oil usage. Or just ban their use in oil too. Why didn’t they already?

  11. No worse than Red Bulls flexi wings a few years back. See if anything is done….it won’t and this ginger warrior can enjoy Honda engines for the 2 seasons following this one.

    1. Don’t forget the engine maps, the blown diffuser, the off-throttle blown diffuser, the hand-adjustable ride-height… When Horner complains, it’s because someone besides him has an advantage.

  12. Did Christian Horner’s copy of F1 Racing get delayed even more than mine?

    (Every subscriber to F1 Racing got a delay due to the cover image (which I assume was embargoed). However, in there can be found a feature about the FIA. One thing mentioned in there is a new oil-burn regulation. It says in there that a strict per-hour limit has been put on oil. So oil burn can only be as much of a problem in qualifying as it is in the race – there are no “windows of opportunity” to burn at a faster rate in one than the other…)

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