Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Ocon disqualified from United States Grand Prix

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon has been disqualified from the United States Grand Prix for exceeding the fuel flow limit.

After reviewing telemetry data from the car and speaking to representatives of the team and Ocon, the stewards ruled “the fuel mass flow exceeded 100 kg/hr during lap one of the race.”

FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed Ocon was over “for the majority of the first lap”.

Ocon was originally classified in eighth place. His disqualification promotes Kevin Magnussen to his position, but the Haas driver is also investigation for a fuel infringement.

Sergio Perez is promoted to ninth by his team mate’s exclusion and Brendon Hartley inherits the final point for 10th place.

Force India has the right to appeal the decision.

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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 “Ocon disqualified from United States Grand Prix”

  1. Why do they regulate this when they ban refueling?

    1. To limit peak power.

  2. Fuel limitations in F1 are ridiculous. The whole circus is transported around the world in planes consuming how many times the fuel f1 cars use. How about limiting the use of fuel on transport and letting the racers race?

    1. Because planes are not road relevant.

  3. What a shame, he had such a solid race in front of Magnussen and Perez :/

  4. As long as they are consistent with the ruling, Ricciardo also got disqualified for this in Australia a few years back.

    1. RIcciardo’s case, they ran the whole race with an illegal fuel setting
      This was only for one lap.

  5. what everyday fan cares about fuel flow over one lap? give them 105 kg of fuel and let them race, if they run of of fuel so be it.

    1. People are saying the same about the cars dq’d for exceeding total fuel limit. If we didn’t have this, or a flow limit, we would have pop-off valves.

  6. This is main disgrace of current formula 1. Put a monkey into the car she will not less than f1 drivers, as modern f1 drivers are prohibited from doing their job. This rule should be completely removed, so as one mandatory pitstop.

    1. And that’s why Stroll is setting the world on fire, because the driver doesn’t matter anymore.

      This rule doesn’t even have anything to do with the driver. It’s a technical rule, the engine shouldn’t exceed a certain fuel flow the same way it can’t exceed a certain capacity or a certain rpm.

      1. And that’s why Stroll is setting the world on fire, because the driver doesn’t matter anymore.

        @casjo – I laughed out loud a little too loudly at that :-)

  7. Does Formula E have a similar rule for sapping too many volts or anything?

    1. Yes, unless you have a nice instagram page, which may earn you a Fan Boost.

      1. @dmw Except you still can’t go over a certain limit, so the Fan Boost is not and never has been something a driver can use that is “more than” what is available to literally very other driver. It’s just a temporary hammer time button for specific drivers. Hamilton would be just as in trouble if he went over his fuel limits here as if any driver went over the battery limits in FE.

  8. With the FIA mandating the fuel flow regulator how can they then penalise the team and driver that use their approved regulator, surely they should penalise themselves.

    1. I would have thought the engine management software would have automatically kept the fuel flow below the maximum rate allowed.

      1. @drycrust – I wondered the same myself, why are the engine maps that are used for the race set up to allow a higher fuel flow. I can understand a map used for the dyno doing so.

        @hohum – I think the FIA only provide a flow rate sensor for the fuel, not a regulator. At least, that was the case in 2014, when Ricciardo was disqualified.

        1. @phylyp, True but the engine fuel flow ecu is an FIA mandatory product (or was ?) from McLaren, if it does not limit max fuel flow what is the purpose of making it mandatory. cc @drycrust.
          Anyone for a good conspiracy ? Could the FIA be delivering a message to MB and SF that they know where that extra performance is coming from and they better not find any more before the Championship is decided ?

          1. It is a bit curious why a team would put that mapping in there, and why it is even allowed to have such mapping on the car, isn’t it @hohum, @phylyp

          2. @hohum – the ECU hardware itself is a standardized piece of hardware kit from McLaren, this makes it easier for the FIA to govern and analyse the cars. However, the software that runs on the ECU is team-specific, with the provision that it is available to the FIA for scrutiny. So the ECU itself in all cars will have the same 120 pins (for arguments sake), and each pin will have a specific function, the amount of memory on each ECU is identical, and so on. What each team loads into the ECU (engine maps, etc.) is up to them, however.

            The ECU itself doesn’t directly control the fuel flow, it only controls the fuel pumps, and the fuel pumps are again team-specific (so a team could have a super-duper powerful pump if they wish). To control this is where the FIA have put in a standardized flow rate sensor to monitor the fuel flow.

            I think the reason the flow rate is not limited in hardware is just to ensure flexibility – in case the regs are changed with a revised flow rate, it will only require a software change, and not a redesign + recalibration + replacement of the sensor itself.

            To @bascb , @drycrust and myself, the big puzzle is why the teams have a mapping (i.e. software) that allows in any form a flow rate higher than allowed – they have the means to measure the flow rate from the FIA sensor, after all.

          3. @hohum It is probable the engine management unit doesn’t of it self restrict a driver to the F1 fuel flow limit because the McLaren EMU isn’t built specifically for F1. That said, the EMU probably does have a way a team can restrict the fuel flow to F1 regulations via software settings, and this should have been done. May be there was some sort of “boost” feature that could allow a driver to override the normal maximum fuel flow restriction, e.g. for use in military vehicles, so the driver has extra power in an emergency. Again, the team shouldn’t have given the driver this option. For example, say it was a button on the steering wheel, then who put the button on the steering wheel? Why wasn’t it removed? Who wrote the software that activated that button and associated it with the parameters within the EMU?
            I think one of the drivers reported a problem some races ago, where the engine was “stuttering” or “missing”, and the driver was told to keep driving and that it would clear itself. This could be the sign that the EMU was restricting maximum fuel flow automatically, and if that is a correct assumption for that driver then presumably if the EMU hadn’t done that then that driver would have had a higher fuel flow than the maximum allowed, and if caught in the post-race scrutinising, as happened to Ocon and Magnussen, he too would have been disqualified.
            I can only presume that both Ocon (Mercedes engine) and Magnussen (Ferrari engine) had some sort of ability to override the automatic maximum fuel flow limiter within the EMU, and that they had activated this feature. If I was their Team Principal I would have got the software people to remove this sort of feature completely long ago because there’s no need for it in a race.
            Regardless, this comes back to the team, they have to accept responsibility for this. They shouldn’t have given the driver the ability to exceed the maximum fuel flow restrictions, but they did, and they paid for it.
            I don’t know why the FIA wanted all the teams to be using the same EMU, but the impression I got when it was mandated was so the FIA could look at how the software was written to prevent a team’s software writer from doing improper things. For example, maybe a custom built EMU could report a car as using the maximum fuel flow when in fact the engine was exceeding it.

  9. Since fuel flow is so important, why not relax the rules on the engine CC rating and the number of cylinders? There are engine manufacturers, like Porsche and Toyota, who make engines that might interest a Formula 1 team, but use a different CC rating and a non-standard number of cylinders.

    1. @drycrust, Blasphemy ! Your soul will rot in Hell, repent, repent.

  10. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    22nd October 2018, 7:52

    Big for the B WDC with Renault benefitting hugely.

  11. I didn’t see something like this coming at all.

  12. I assume this means someone at Force India had the car in party mode for the 1st lap, which allows the engine to get extra fuel and exceed the FIA limit. The regs are designed to not allow an unfair advantage. Clearly trying to pass some extra cars on the first lap.

    Mag was more interesting, they had the car over fueled i.e more than the max allowed to burn in a race. How did he get near burning the max and the team not know it was getting to a critical point and get him to back off a little? With the VSC he should have been OK on fuel.

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