Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Is F1 right to ban teams from using ‘quali modes’?

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Yesterday the FIA notified teams it will enforce a new technical directive from the Italian Grand Prix weekend preventing them from using ‘quali modes’ on their power units.

The modes allow teams to increase the performance of their engines for short bursts of time. As they are too demanding to run constantly throughout a race, the FIA intends to prevent their use by requiring teams to use the same settings in qualifying as they do during a grand prix.

Will you be glad to see the back of ‘quali modes’? Are you disappointed that another technical innovation is being taken away? Join in our debate below.

For

According to the FIA, the growing complexity of teams’ power unit modes has made it increasingly difficult to ensure they are complying with the rules. The ban on quali modes will allow them to police the sport better.

Whether intentional or not, some expect the ban will have a positive effect on the racing. Mercedes are widely believed to have the most effective ‘quali modes’, and routinely out-qualify the field by substantial margins. The ban may take away one of their key advantages, and make for a more competitive championship.

Against

The ban on ‘quali modes’ amounts to a mid-season change in the technical regulations, outlawing a practice which was previously permitted. Teams should not have advantages they have legitimately obtained taken away from them in the middle of a season.

Preventing teams from altering their engine performance to suit different situations amounts to a further dumbing-down of the technical regulations at a time when the sport is putting ever greater restrictions on innovation.

I say

Changing the technical regulations in the middle of a season never sits well with me. This has a feel of past decisions which forced Michelin to redesign their tyres in mid-2003 or the banning of Renault’s mass damper in 2006.

The existence of ‘quali modes’ is hardly new, so the sudden rush to ban them is hard to justify. If it is being done to ‘spice up the show’ then I’m not impressed by that either. If Mercedes have done a better job than Honda, Ferrari and Renault, then good for them, it’s up to the others to figure it out for themselves.



You say

Should ‘quali modes’ be banned from the Italian Grand Prix? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Do you agree with the decision to ban 'quali modes' from the Italian Grand Prix?

  • Strongly agree (13%)
  • Slightly agree (11%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (6%)
  • Slightly disagree (14%)
  • Strongly disagree (55%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 306

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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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  • 150 comments on “Is F1 right to ban teams from using ‘quali modes’?”

    1. No changes should take mid-season!

      And these engines are designed to work in dozens of modes, banning high performance mode is totally against the nature of F1

      1. Jeez @dallein, you’re quick to respond to these things.
        Difficult to know which way you’re going to respond, too.
        Keep up the good work!

    2. Valley between Mercs and its competitors is going to grow even bigger at the end of the race and in qualifying Renault and Honda powered teams are going to go backwards more than Mercs.

      1. Technical rules should never be changed mid-season imo. This has been long accepted, so there is not even justification for a clarification.
        Ban should start next year, if they think it’s needed.

        1. The rules aren’t being changed.
          They are just being enforced to the letter.

          The team in question only has themselves to blame. They were caught with their hand in the cookie jar on the Tracing Point issue, & that is what kicked this all off.
          It was the straw that broke the camels back.
          Now the FIA have had enough of the tail wagging the dog … Toto being way too big for his boots, Ferrari with an engine that was marginally legal at best, Tracing Point competing with a 2019 Mercedes … and they are now showing the team’s who runs the sport.
          I salute them.
          It’s been a long time coming.
          If it inconveniences the teams … good.
          If it removes advantages … even better.

          1. Lol, you sound like a petulant Max Fan who thinks will help your boy, or a Ferrari fan who thinks the FIA is doing what their name really stands for.

            1. A very stereotype ‘Merc-fan’ replay

          2. I don’t think you said a single true thing.

            Impressive!

          3. Coventry Climax
            24th August 2020, 17:46

            I’m against changing the rules while the game is on, so yours (@Dale) is a very interesting way to look at it.
            The FIA has all these issues they would not have had if only they had done a thorough job laying out the rules clearly and for single interpretation only, AND had actually actively governed both the sport and rules. As it is however, the FIA has proven to be a weak, inadequate bunch and I doubt very much this (FIA’s fist on the table) is what will happen. As a matter of fact I even have serious doubts about the FIA’s agenda here. I’d cheer if they indeed took hold of the reins, and agree it’s long overdue, but I just don’t see it happen really. Would be the first time for Todt to genuinely take action and be a visible leader, in how many years? I simply have no faith in the man whatsoever.

    3. I voted for strongly disagree. I’ve got mixed feelings about this whole thing as on the one hand, I’m not really in favor of it, but on the other, indifferent towards this plan, but at the very least, it definitely shouldn’t happen ‘during’ the season, but rather between seasons.

      1. I agree that rule changes are more appropriate between seasons. However the fia has to be commended for enforcing the rules.
        I’m dumbfounded at the poll’s results.
        75% of the fans disagree, most strongly.
        The same people that rightfully called out ferrari are now against this ruling, I’m flabbergasted.

        1. I’m not sure why you’re flabbergasted that people strongly disagree with changing the rules mid-season with the apparent aim of hampering one team.

          That’s a very different situation to Ferrari’s apparent cheating.

          1. Keyword “apparent”…as of today nobody proved they were cheating, they didn’t even submit a formal protesta to the FIA so it’s the same situation. FIA released multiple TD last year and is about to do the same this year, period.

            1. Bio, thanks to the FIA’s lack of transparency over their investigation into Ferrari, nobody can answer that question because the evidence is not allowed to be in the public domain (neither that gathered during the investigation itself, nor the exact details of the Technical Directives which were issued).

              That said, the general consensus does seem to be that there is enough circumstantial evidence – the GPS traces that suggest Ferrari’s acceleration on the straights is no longer abnormally high and the fact that all Ferrari powered teams have slipped backwards since 2019, the statements by the drivers that Ferrari no longer has a high power engine mode and so on – that the balance of probabilities is towards Ferrari having cheated the regulations.

            2. Bio, You’re more than happy to accuse Mercedes of cheating with zero evidence and nothing from the FIA, whereas the FIA clearly stated they believed Ferrari were not operating within the rules but couldn’t prove it. Then after signing their secret agreement, Ferrari is suddenly a mid-field team.

              My use of the word “apparent” was just me being polite. I believe Ferrari were out and out cheating. If they weren’t, why the need for said secret agreement and the sudden massive drop in performance? If it quacks like a duck…

        2. Ferrari were cheating, using engine maps is not, huge difference.

        3. I’m trying to think of any connection between these two cases but I can’t. Care to explain yourself?

        4. @peartree Because voters have drawn their own conclusions about the legality of the Ferrari engine, and the legality of engine modes, and deemed that Ferrari were likely operating illegally while engine modes are something that probably were legal but are now being banned by a TD. Since the FIA decided to settle with Ferrari behind closed doors, we cannot say for sure they were cheating, but from the little info we have it sounds very suspicious.

          So in short, I think most fans on here are strongly against blatant and illegal circumvention of the rules, but in favour of technical innovation and teams getting rewarded for it when done within the rules. Also, there is the factor of people being against in-season rule changes and think this should have been delayed until next season.

          1. There is another option when it comes to Ferrari and their device or their trick, besides ‘cheaters.’ They found a loophole.

            So I put it like this. Those of you who think Ferrari were out and out cheating, then your concerns should be far and away aimed towards FIA, not Ferrari. There has been a blatant coverup if indeed Ferrari were blatantly cheating, and that’s therefore on the FIA. Yet the bulk of the disgust on this issue is aimed at Ferrari, the ‘cheaters.’

            To me what Ferrari did could only have been to have found a loophole, for I don’t believe, and yes go ahead and laugh as I’m sure you will, that FIA covered anything up.
            They provided a formal finding and a conclusion on an investigation.

            So unless you think FIA is corrupt, in which case why are you watching, then I say Ferrari had a legal leg to stand on with their device or trick, and to deal with it FIA got them to stop using it, which has been an obvious punishment to their performance, in exchange for Ferrari getting to keep their device or trick for their own future use or patenting.

            Ferrari innovated and found a loophole which is the very thing most of us applaud when it is ‘our’ team doing it. Or they out and out cheated and FIA is the worse culprit. Although, they did get Ferrari to stop. Those to me are the two options. If FIA really wanted to assist Ferrari they wouldn’t have investigated further after last season ended. They would have just said no Ferrari is on the up and up, and simply found performance last year via an engine mode or what have you. Rather, Ferrari now sits in the midfield.

            1. Finally someone with a functioning brain and common sense.

            2. @robbie Nonsense as usual. FIA knew that Ferrari were cheating, they just weren’t sure how and couldn’t prove it and they didn’t feel like damaging the sport by a prolonged battle to prove it. So they made a deal with Ferrari to at least stop it and make sure others couldn’t use the same cheats. What’s so hard to accept in their actual reasoning?

              Benetton were caught red handed with traction control on their car for 1994. It was audible that they were using it during races. How much penalty did they get for this and why? Corruption? Cover up? Or perhaps the same reason why Ferrari wasn’t really punished.

              Not everything needs to be the opposite of what makes actual sense. In fact it’s usually the opposite and the most reasonable explanation making the most sense is what happened.

            3. @f1osaurus I only needed to go as far as your second sentence to see that you agree with me. Particularly ‘they just weren’t sure how and couldn’t prove it.’ Full stop. So that is why Ferrari had a leg to stand on if they were penalized retroactively and then would have appealed. So FIA actually did very well to get them to agree to stop using their device or trick as opposed to having to let them carry on with it, as they had no proof.

            4. I don’t think ferrari were innovative, far from it. They found a way to cheat, eg run more fuel, which the FIA could not be detect. You could call that clever, or brazen, but it certainly was not innovative. How ever you want to dice this cake, it was still cheating.

              The FIA has now introduced a NEW rule – mid season. This makes it illegal to take the engine to its ‘limits’ for qualifying, and not run the engine to those same limits in the course of the race.

              The likely outcome of this is some teams will now be tempted to run their engines closer to its highest settings, and as a consequence we may see DNF’s due to the engine blowing.

              Now if the FIA wanted they could also restore the number of engines you can have in a season without penalties, or remove this ban on engines totally. Only then would you see the teams running flat out for the duration of the race. At the same time they might ban pit radio which warned the drivers their cars where about to over-heat, as this seems the likely consequence of running the engines in that danger zone.

              Bottom line, the FIA aren’t quite sure what’s happening in the qualify stages, and so they want it banned, whatever it is.

            5. @robbie Yeah and you’re still wrong. You’re just not bright enough to get how wrong you always are.

              The fact that the FIA couldn’t prove it YET and that they didn’t want to destroy F1 getting it uncovered does not imply that Ferrari didn’t cheat. That’s just dumb thinking.

              Besides, Ferrari is now demoted to being a midfielder team. They accepted that over over doing nothing wrong? More dumb thinking.

              Please just try to act sane for a second. It would really save so much time.

            6. @f1osaurus Ah of course predictably the insults come out when you’re challenged and you have no more bullets.

              “Yet?” Do you think FIA is still investigating? And how would they ‘destroy F1 getting it uncovered?’ And who said they didn’t do anything wrong? I said that I think Ferrari found a loophole and had a leg to stand on if it went to arbitration, but that doesn’t mean FIA didn’t also have a leg to stand on. But as I said above, you agreed with me that they had no proof. Ferrari weren’t accepting mid-field with their deal, they were accepting a deal between themselves and FIA to keep their intellectual property and to discontinue it’s use. You’re using the convenience of hindsight to suggest they knew they’d be accepting mid-field.

            7. I think Ferrari cheated, and the FIA is inept!

            8. @robbie The insults come out when you keep wasting people’s time trolling this forum. Just get lost with your nonsense.

          2. Does it matter whether we think Ferrari were cheating. As one of the FIA’s decisions was to install a second fuel flow sensor with an encrypted output, only readable by the FIA officials. The outcome of which is a loss of performance from the Ferrari engines affecting all teams that use that engine.

            And as for limiting the engines to only those used in the race. Isn’t it the case that drivers ask for permission to use higher output modes to enable overtaking, are these to be banned also. If so will that reduce the number overtaking events, which I thought was something the FIA was trying to increase, why else would we have DRS zones.
            There is surely a limit to maximum performance of the engines already enforced by the limit on the number of parts used per year. If the engines can be used at the present outputs and still remain reliable, where is the need to limit the output.

        5. What rule is the FIA not enforcing?

          They are using TD’s to fix the fact that they didn’t write the rules clearly, and to get around the fact that mid-season changes require all 10 teams to agree.

          The fact that they’re planning on enforcing it at Monza merely reinforces the appearance that the FIA is working to ensure Ferrari is competitive, at the detriment to every other team on the grid.

          It stinks of corruption, and only the Tifosi aren’t going to be against it.

          I sincerely hope Ferrari is lapped at Monza, now that Mercedes will have 20+ full-power laps available to them during the race.

    4. The moral of it is wrong, the end result will be underwhelming and it puts smaller teams at risk while only helping Ferrari get a top 3. I can’t see much positive except maybe the odd Verstappen pole.

    5. Qually engine modes in relation to parc ferme rules has some merit, but one can’t change something in the middle of the season when it’s so obviously to reign in Mercedes make better TV. That’s Mad Max Mosley – Ecclestone stuff, and something I thought we were done with.

      Slightly disagree.

      1. @balue the fact merc is so far ahead helps the fia do this as I don’t think it will make much of a difference, otherwise the fia would not have the balls to do it. Motivations aside the rule is fundamentally needed, it is like the ferrari “thing”, a trick or cheat to go around the limitations. The same people that called ferrari cheaters should be calling merc cheaters. In my view this is normal f1.

        1. This is not the same as Ferrari who blatantly cheated for several seasons. Qualifying engine maps are not against the rules.

          1. Blatantly by who? Mr. nobody writing bs on the internet?

            1. Come on. You’ve got to have you’re head buried in the sand if you dont think ferrari were cheating. They have gone from being nearly untouchable in qualifying to barely getting in the top 10. Ferrari were cheating and the fia bottled it by not punishing them

            2. Blatantly as in, all Ferrari powered teams are much slower since last season?

            3. The fact they stopped as soon as more checks were put on the fuel flow sensor should tell you all you need to know. They cheated, you tell yourself they didn’t if it makes you feel better.

        2. On what basis is “qualifying mode” cheating? I don’t recall any suggestion that anything Mercedes is doing is explicitly against the rules or spirit there of.

          1. @scbriml Some folks have decided cheating in this case is the teams using too-complex modes such that the FIA can’t know anymore if they’re legal or not, but all the teams have them, and no, nobody other than posters who choose to do so, is saying anyone is cheating with these modes. Due to their complexity FIA is taking a preventative measure, as they claim.

            1. @robbie the FIA hasn’t really reduced the complexity of the situation though – they seem to be, at best, exchanging one set of complexities for another, and at worst they are introducing more complexity and vagueness by failing to properly define what a “mode” is in this Technical Directive.

              This really does not strike me as a “preventative measure” given these “too complex” modes have been in use since 2014 – at best this feels more like a rather late retrospective measure.

    6. Strongly agree, here is why.

      F1 is paid by providing a show. Currently they provide a show, that practically spoils quali and race results.

      #1 is some Mercedes, most commonly Lewis Hamilton. All races won by Mercedes usually receive a much worse ratting than say the one won by Max.

      Sporting wise, this is hardly fair. Existance of various engine modes ensure there is room for factory and customer teams have different performance. There is no way to police that, it is clear Mercedes gain the most of all in Q3.

      So engine modes are anti competitive for all non factory teams.

      Third reason, team orders. Lewis and Bottas get ordered to turn down the engines, effectievly ending any fighting for position.

      How is that good for F1 when one engine maker gives its advantage only to one team?

      It seems similar to when Bridgstone made tires tailored to Schumachers Ferrari, meeting their exact wishes.

      Good luck everyone else.

      1. it is clear Mercedes gain the most of all in Q3.

        This doesn’t tell that much and it isn’t clearly the case, either. (take a look at all quali times this season) Mercs might not use all their engine performance before Q3 but all other Mercedes-engined teams do. This could be an explanation for the alleged gain in Q3.

      2. F1 is paid by providing a show.

        I disagree. F1 attracts fans as a sport. And this is a sport in which the combination of team and driver has always been paramount. Thus we had Maclaren’s dominance in the 80’s, Williams in the 90’s, Ferrari in the 00’s, Redbull in the early 10’s…. and Mercedes since 2014.

        It’s up to the other teams to adapt, create and innovate their way into competitiveness.

      3. All sports make money by putting up a show. You don’t suddenly make Bayern Munich play with one man less, or ask Usain Bolt to run on bare feet, just to make the show spicier. If you punish success, it’s not a sport anymore.

      4. what a load of rubbish. Mercedes are miles ahead of redbull from practice 1 so let’s not pretend the only reason Mercedes get pole is because of their qualifying mode. Mercedes are only allowed to use 3 engines a year why shouldnt they be allowed to tell their drivers to turn down the power ro protect them? Also it isnt a show (i hate the fact that garbage keeps getting spouted by ross brawn & crofty) its a sport. Mercedes do a better job so deserve their success. I didnt know that we make decisions on race ratings by fans? If fans enjoy races verstappan wins here’s an idea how about redbull & honda do a better job…. oh and boy are you going to be disappointed if you really think verstappan will be able to challenge Mercedes after this ban…

      5. @jureo

        it is clear Mercedes gain the most of all in Q3

        Wrong, other drivers also make big gains from Q2 to Q3. Peres gained just as much in Spain as Bottas and Hamilton.

        Drivers who are sure they will make it into Q2 anyway, will not want to destroy their tyres for Q2 since they need to start the race on them.

        So engine modes are anti competitive for all non factory teams.

        So that’s an incorrect premise as non factory teams indicated they use them just as much.

        If they gain less, it’s not because of quali modes, but because of other reasons. Which will still exist after the quali modes have been banned.

        Sporting wise, this is hardly fair.

        So in a sport where it’s about teams building the fastest car, it’s somehow unfair that they built the fastest car?

        1. You can twist my words to no end, but in the end we will know in few races time the truth.

          You say like it should be in a sporting regulation, but I am old enough to remember motorsport teams lying, stealing, covering up their breach of rules to gain even the slughtest advantage.

          Engine modes give ample potential for all of the above.

          When there is potential for F1 team to claim fair or unfair advantage, for sure they will claim it. That be to the letter of the rules or slightly beyond it.

          What I wish to see, is that potential be reduced.

          1. @jureo I’m not twisting anything. You literally said all that and clearly implied the same intent. All I did was show how ridiculous your remarks are.

            It’s telling how you now try a completely new approach. Now you all of a sudden you pretend your disdain of engine modes is all about cheating. Not a word about that the first time around, but sure.

      6. @jureo with regards to your claim that “Sporting wise, this is hardly fair. Existence of various engine modes ensure there is room for factory and customer teams have different performance.” – no, you are wrong on that front.

        The FIA issued Technical Directive TD/005-18 in February 2018, so before the start of the 2018 season, that stated that if a manufacturer is supplying another team on the grid, that supplier must supply an identical power unit to the one they use on their car with exactly the same software installed on the ECU to the factory car and must supply them with exactly the same specification of fuel and oil unless the customer explicitly asks for something different – for example, Red Bull opted out of using Renault’s nominated supplier in 2018 and received bespoke engine maps to accommodate the slightly different combustion properties of their fuel that year.

        That means that there can only be a difference if the customer team has explicitly asked not to have the same components as the parent team.

        1. Thank you anon. Saves me from correcting that part.

    7. I am conflicted on this. So, I have voted for slightly disagree. I want closer racing and not 3 cars on the lead lap at the end of the GP. But F1 to me is all about innovation and engineering brilliance and that is what has drawn me to watch the sport.

      1. @pinakghosh The third-placed driver being the last on the lead lap isn’t a regular thing, far from it. All of these occasions have only happened on tracks with short or relatively short lap (Red Bull Ring, Circuit de Catalunya), not on tracks with long laps such as the one coming up next, Spa, so just an isolated case, not a norm. Because of this, I wouldn’t be worried about how many drivers finish a race on the same lap as the eventual winner.

    8. The point is that right now the only engine fully compliant is Ferrari’s, the others (especially Mercedes and Honda) are exploiting the so called grey areas (aka cheating) so if FIA implemented multiple TD midseason last year, i don’t see why it should’t do the same this year. Strongly agree.

      1. What makes you think Ferrari doesn’t have a quali mode?
        This is totally independent from what they were alleged of doing last year.

        1. They publicly stated they don’t have a party mode anymore.

          1. So you agree they cheated before.. That’s your conclusion!

            1. How dumb are you? Seriously…

            2. now the only engine fully compliant is Ferrari’s, the others (especially Mercedes and Honda) are exploiting the so called grey areas (aka cheating)

              Try to understand your own text then :)

          2. Because their party mode was arguably an unprovable cheating.

        2. At first I thought it was kinda weird that Ferrari didn’t develop any party mode for its car this season. They could have designed one that is above board and not depend on any dodgy tricks. But they didn’t.

          Ferrari must be a very lucky team. They didn’t have any party modes and soon, all teams will be without them too.

          1. @blutto
            Apparently Ferrari party mode was about the oil burn/fuel flow tricks. Part of the settlement with the FIA implies that those tricks must be removed. Consequently, they have to redesign the PU in a hurry. The reason why they didn’t developed a new party mode is that they spent resources over the winter just to make the PU complies with new technical directives.

            1. We can only guess at how Ferrari managed their fuel, but if i had to speculate, i’d say they found a way to ‘use’ fuel even when they didn’t have to, so that when they needed it they had more fuel stored to assist.

              The fuel flow sensor is about the rate of fuel, but its not specific to any part of the race circuit. Correct me if i’m wrong, but there is no rule which says how much the car should consume at any particular parts of the circuit, just its max limit.

              Thinking out side the box, F could have found a way to ‘ use ‘ fuel, eg when they should be slowing the car, and then ‘used that stored fuel’ which is now past the fuel sensors, when its needed at other parts of the circuit. effectively providing more fuel to the engine than allowed by the fuel rate sensor.

              If that’s the case The FIA could upgrade their rules to allow for this potential abuse. eg ban storing fuel anywhere except the main tank. We should be able to tell from the FIA’s rule changes, how Ferrari managed this, yet its not clear in the amendments.

              Note, Ferrari use to have another tank until that was banned, which it was assumed to store oil, but what if that concept has an altogether different use.

        3. Yeah, they also publicly stated that last year’s engine was fully legit. Ha ha ha.

      2. Bio, how can you so confidently assert that Mercedes and Honda are cheating?

        You are not offering any explanation for how they might be cheating, nor offering any evidence to support that claim – you seem to be basically going “they’re faster than Ferrari, so they must be cheating”.

        If you feel so strongly that they must be cheating, can you then explain in any way how they might be cheating and offer any evidence to support that theory other than simply “they’re faster so must be cheating”? You were very insistent that others had not proven that Ferrari were cheating, so it only seems fair to hold you to that same standard and to then ask you to prove your claim with clear cut evidence.

        1. “Bio, how can you so confidently assert that Mercedes and Honda are cheating?” I can ask you the same exact question about Ferrari…and btw how delusional are you? In F1 there are two categories: cheaters who are caught and cheaters who aren’t, get It?

          1. you are so delusional its embarrassing. I guess when we get to the Italian gp and Mercedes and redbull are still miles ahead of ferrari whats going to be your next excuse?

          2. Bio, you are just trying to deflect the questions by throwing insults, so I shall put it to you again: how can you so confidently assert that Honda and Mercedes are cheating, and where is your evidence to support such a claim?

            This is about your claims – so where is your evidence to back up your statements?

      3. Bio Operating in the gray area of the rules is not cheating. It’s something that’s been a part of F1 forever – it’s pushing the boundaries of what you’re allowed to do. Most of the time these days it’s done while consulting the FIA on what you’re doing, to make sure they agree you are complying with the rules. Remember the onus is on the teams to satisfy the FIA that they are in compliance – it is not up to the FIA to prove they are cheating.

        Also, there is no evidence to suggest that the Mercedes or other power units are even operating in a gray area of the rules. All the FIA have said is that engine modes are becoming so complex that it is becoming too difficult to monitor what the teams are doing.

        1. @keithedin I was about to tap a reply out to the somewhat misguided original post and here it is! F1 is all about pushing the envelope inside the regulations it always has been and always will be. Ferrari clearly over-stepped the mark with their previous engine, no problem it is not the first or the last time this will happen.

          To turn that situation round and accuse the other engine suppliers of now ‘cheating’ through ‘guilt’ by association (Not by evidence) to the FIA NOT finding anything wrong in their current PU designs, a strange and illogical position to hold.

          Honestly, I miss Ferrari’s crazy PUs from last year!

        2. “All the FIA have said is that engine modes are becoming so complex that it is becoming too difficult to monitor what the teams are doing.”…hence they are cheating but we are too dumb to find out how they are doing it so let’s publish some TD to assess the master. Exactly what happened last year with Ferrari.

          1. The fact that you assume this is the same situation as with Ferrari cheating last year says more about your view than the real situation. Once all the other engine manufacturers have signed secret agreements with the FIA, then you’ll be getting closer.

        3. When Mercedes and other team run their engines in ‘qualifying mode’ they are basically running the engine in an extreme state. They’ll likely have tweaked its timing and its compresison ratios to provide more power, at the risk of damaging the engine. There is nothing illegal in doing this. There is just the greater risk of damage to the engine if this is sustained.

          Unlike other teams, Mercedes develops and provides engines, which their rivals are using. They have the further advantage of limiting the information on these engine modes to those rivals. This could be the real point of the FIA’s ruling. The same would apply to any other team supplying engines to its rivals.

          Ironically Mercedes, or any other engine manufacturer, could in theory supply engine modes which damaged the engine forcing those dependent rivals to order more engines off them. Isn’t this also how the market works?

      4. So you are saying that because Ferrari were misusing their party mode to cheat, that somehow makes all use of party modes illegal?

        1. This argument flunders on that general descripition, ‘party mode’. Not all boost modes are the same, and should not be assumed so based on that very non techincal description.

          It should be clear now in the case of Ferrari, they weren’t just running a qulifying mode, but a all out race cheat mode on their cars. I don’t know what you’d call that, but a ‘party mode’ it was not.

          1. Well i was just asking if that’s what Bio is really trying to imply.

    9. Sitting on the fence here.
      Changing rules mid season is never good unless for safety reasons (a directive how to read the rules is just the same).
      Overall, I have some sympathy for engine mode restrictions. I want the driver to drive the car, and not a piece of software activated after instructions from the pit wall. I want the PU to be managed by the right foot only.
      But this emergency rule ‘clarification’ will undoubtedly lead to more investment in programming on a unique smart engine mode (USEM). Just remember when Volkswagen (and others) was able to change the engine characteristics without any change in engine mode. It will be easy to recognise based on the driving style if a car is doing a single quali lap or if its running a race. (single mode; same outcome)

      1. @coldfly

        Changing rules mid season is never good unless for safety reasons

        The ban on ‘quali modes’ is not a change in the technical regulations, TDs are not the law according to Szafnauer :)

        1. You forgot to quote the rest of the sentence, which I added because I knew you would be reading this ;)
          @tifoso1989

          a directive how to read the rules is just the same (as changing the rules).

          1. @coldfly
            I fully agree with you. However, I have been selective on purpose just to take shot at Szafnauer :)

            1. I herewith issue a TD which allows making fun of Szafnauer, @tifoso1989

              PS it seems that Perez didn’t have Covid-19; they misdiagnosed him when he mentioned the name is his boss.

    10. Looks like another typical f1’s knee-jerk reaction. I’m not keen to see them apply half-thought regulations with their new shortened approval process (only majority vote, in-season, force majeure etc) and this looks like one.

      In the meantime Mercedes in front by a substantial margin since 2014 is a problem now. Potential new audiences joke about F1 with exactly that: nothing ever happens in a race and it’s always the same winning. Is the ban on quali mode solving that? I don’t think so. The 2022 regulations are hopefully a mega step in the right direction which I’m all for but it wont be instantaneous, and they want to speed it up with questionable methods.

      In the end I feel Mercedes will just end up stronger as they probably have a lot more power under their sleeves anyways.

      And now that it’s been seen that higher tyre pressure impede Mercedes I hope they won’t come up with a new regulation on higher mandatory pressures starting from Italy onwards.

      Targetting the winner that did the best job, right in the middle of a season, is a disgrace. At least in 2013 there was safety reasons with tyre belts but it swung the championship towards Red Bull.

      It’s like the FIFA suddenly decides in the middle of the world cup final to remove a goal or two from the winning team to spice up the second half. Meh.

    11. They are not doing the best job, they are simply cheating more than the rest of the field having started one and a half year in advance with a rulebook on the hybrid engines they wrote themselves.

      1. Wasn’t it Renault that pushed for the changes?

        1. aezy_doc, yes, it was indeed Renault that, back in 2007, submitted the technical report that advocated for the current power unit formula and which formed the core of the regulatory package that we now have (Adam Cooper has published some extracts from that report in the past).

          In fact, the transcripts from some of the early Technical Working Groups which were convened to discuss the regulations do include some complaints that Renault had a head start on others because they’d been the ones who’d lobbied for those regulations.

          The claims from Bio are also contradicted by the fact that we know Renault started prototyping their engine ahead of Mercedes too – Renault have published information showing their first single cylinder test models started about a month and a half before Mercedes are known to have run their first single cylinder bench test model.

        2. Nope, Lauda speaking with Montezemolo said Mercedes was working on the concept of this kind of PU since 2007 and actively addressed the FIA on how these PU should’ve been. Before asking me sources the thing is public, find it from yourself.

          1. Your imagination is unfortunately becoming “public”, but that doesn’t make it a credible source.

            We’ve had this discussion before when you were still using that other dumb alias and you never were able to answer then either, but why did Mercedes try to stop the new engine regulation? Why was instead Renault asking for this new engine regulation? Why would Mercedes care about a new engine regulation when they had the best engine already?

            All we have against the actual facts is your claim that you heard that Mercedes was designing a PU since 2007.

            1. Yes someone from Ferrari is just as stupid as you Big deal

              Ok BigJoe and several other aliasses. Oh wait Bio.

          2. Bio, if Mercedes were undertaking “proof of concept” work on this PU formula in 2007, you are actually providing confirmation that Mercedes’s work would post-date Renault’s work.

            The technical paper which Renault submitted to the FIA in 2007 was based on “proof of concept” work that they undertook in 2005-2006 to assess the viability of such a formula. If Mercedes were not undertaking “proof of concept” work until 2007, that sequence of events would place Mercedes’s own work after that of Renault and indicates their work was a response to the research that Renault had already undertaken.

      2. It really takes a certain kind of bravery to publicly accuse multi-national companies of cheating without any proof whatsoever.

        1. Are you talking about Ferrari? Btw i reported Ecclestone’s words and Mercedes didn’t drag him into Court so he must have had a point…

          1. It is more of an indication of how little his words matter nowadays; he can spout his stuff and only fools notice.

      3. It seems you’re happy to accuse Mercedes of cheating with zero evidence, yet you’re filled with righteous indignation when others say Ferrari were cheating last year.

      4. Do you have any evidence they are cheating? The rule is changing to prevent something that is legally happening now. If there was cheating going on then the stewards could impose a penalty, without a rule change. Which they haven’t.
        Or of course there is always an option of a secret agreement with the FIA, but from memory I don’t think that applied to Mercedes…..

        1. Yep, Mercedes usually get away scott free like the Pirelli tyre testing…

          1. They told the FIA that they were doing the test and only afterwards there suddenly was an issue that they should not have just told the FIA, but should have invited others. They were quite severely punished too.

            1. Bs, they told nobody about the test. Heck, even the drivers wore blank helmets to prevent being recognized…and they’ve never being punished, not even a fine only a verbal reprimand. Seriously, why do you have to lie to defend tour puppets?

            2. They told FIA about the tests. Just read back the verdit. They were punished because they didn’t invite other teams. They were also not allowed to participate in an actual tyre test which is much more valuable tha the test they did do

              So you are clearly wrong on all counts. As always

            3. BTW I know you have diffiulty finding real posts. So here you go with at least some of it:
              https://www.racefans.net/2013/06/21/mercedes-had-no-reason-to-believe-test-was-illegal-fia/

              “neither Pirelli nor Mercedes acted in bad faith at any material time” and they “disclosed to FIA at least the essence of what they intended to do in relation to the test and attempted to obtain permission for it.”

              ie they told the FIA about the test

              https://www.racefans.net/2013/06/21/mercedes-handed-by-fia-tribunal/
              Reitreating that Mercedes thought they had gotten approval of their request:

              The Tribunal ruled that Mercedes had “misconceived ‘qualified approval’ which was given on behalf of the FIA”.

              An FIA Tribunal has banned Mercedes from participating in this year’s Young Drivers’ Test for conducting a three-day test ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

              And there’s the penalty. A three day test lost instead of one comparatively worthless Pirelli tyre test.

    12. It would be interesting to see the contents of the TD and how it’s worded. How far reaching is the restriction? Is it just the mode for the engine, or also the fuel mix/fuel flow/harvesting rate/diff setting/rev limit etc?

      Changing any one of those settings should be possible on the car. It could also be used to modify the performance of the PU (even something like the diff setting could change how energy is recovered). So how do the FIA intend on policing it?

      Looking at a Mercedes steering wheel for eg, there’s a PU rotary with loads of positions, a strat mode rotary with loads of positions, another main menu rotary with loads of positions… does the FIA intend on policing every single combination of settings and sub settings and options? On top of that there’s control for corner entry and mid corner car control. The possibilities for modifying the car’s behaviour go much further than just “power unit modes” I don’t think this’ll have the effect everyone expects.

      Now, if the TD is very specific in what the “qualy mode” does and specifically bans that behaviour, it’s not just Mercedes that will lose out, it’s every PU manufacturer.

      It’s largely believed the “qualy mode” is just a map for the engine that adjusts the timing, to compensate for the waste gate of the turbo being permanently wide open. There’s no mgu-h recovery going on at that point, so it’s one lap of maximum energy store deployment, maximum engine compression, maximum cylinder demand, little or no engine braking on the rear axle, a true “high performance” setting of the car’s components. All manufacturers now do this when qualifying for their final grid slot.

      It’s also believed Mercedes didn’t use this mode at Barcelona in Q3.

      This TD won’t have the assumed effect of making qualifying closer for non-works-Mercedes cars. It won’t make the racing any more exciting. It won’t stop Mercedes dominating with their incredibly well engineered car. It won’t make 2021 any different to 2020. It should also have been done between seasons, not mid season.

      All this TD will do is make it harder for the aerodynamically draggier cars to qualify well and overtake in the race. I anticipate fewer than average overtakes in the next few races, any maybe another kneejerk TD later in the season because of it.

    13. Is it really the DNA of F1 to punish the successful to allow the cheaters to catch up?

      It hadn’t used to be but now…….

      1. It is DNA of F1 to make such rules if it suits the cheaters from Italy to gain some places.

      2. They have stopped engine development before. In one case so that Newey could dominate by using aerodynamics.

    14. I voted for slightly agree. I think the FIA find themselves in a situation where one engine, in their view, is complying more or less exactly with the rules ie Ferrari and it’s customers, and the other teams may not be. This is being reflected in the races/results. So they have decided to do something about it sooner rather than later.

      The fact is that Merc domination is becoming a real problem for the sport. It’s even more obvious now than in previous years and FIA know they are stuck with this situation for another year and half.

      This is why they have decided to act now, I think.

      1. If the Merc engine is so dominant why are Racing Point behind RBR and Williams at the back.

        1. They (= customer teams) obviously don’t run the same engine!!!

          1. @mg1982 Mercedes has to supply identical parts to all teams.

            Russell and Latifi both explained how they would hate losing the party mode since it’s the most fun they have on a race weekend.

          2. I think you need to go and read the regulations before making comments like that.

    15. I voted for neither agree nor disagree, my real vote is: if it makes mercedes weaker in relation to the field strongly agree, if it makes mercedes stronger in relation to the field strongly disagree, if it makes no impact no opinion.

      1. I’m the same. If it helps my team/driver I will collude in the pretence that it is good for the sport and Ferrari are the shining beacon of honesty and integrity we look to in such troubling times.

      2. That is so stupid. Rule that punish Mercedes great- rules that don’t punish Mercedes bad. Maybe the other teams should do a better job? Maybe the other teams should be innovative with stuff like das or Mercedes rear suspension. Mercedes takes risks to stay in front and the others don’t

        1. Most teams don’t have Mercedes’ money. Ferrari was innovative with their sidepods back in 2017…. and others followed the trend afterwards.

          1. @mg1982 So what? Ferrari and Red Bull do have the same budget (Red Bull without the additional engine budget, but still same budget for the car).

            Other teams get the same engines as the works teams. So how is budget an issue anyway?

            1. They keep failing, we could use more big teams to challenge Mercedes… maybe 1 of them succeeds in the end. I mean McLaren and Renault.

    16. Next step driver coaching!
      Because those last laps from Lando Norris in Austria were ridiculous. And every driver gets coached like that.
      We are very close to the driving monkey scenario.

    17. Voted strongly disagree.

      There is no justification at all for this mid season change. If this is the sort of thing we can expect in the future it does not bode well.
      What’s next … success ballast?

    18. 1. Changing rule mid season like changing rule in soccer game at half time.
      2. Merc can use party mode in races instead. 3 engine to last 15 races, By then WCC n WDC in the bag. Next race engine penalty start from 20th, overtake all by 3rd lap, lapping all by end race.

      1. Nice one… this would work so long as the engine doesn’t break mid race….

    19. I don’t mind the banning, but not mid-season.

    20. Poor old F1 fans. They are subject to propaganda more than any other sports fans. If Mercedes and Hamliton get the wrong end of a political decision english fans “strongly disagree”. If the same team and driver orchestretate midseasson a secret tyre testing session it is just wednesday and done for safety reasons.

      1. oh my god are you really bringing something up from 2013? Really? How about a team cheating with their engine since 2017 and getting off with a slap on the wrist?

        1. Man get a grip of reality, the test session back in 2013 DID HAPPEN and they went to great lengths to hide it. Ferrari was allegedlly cheating they weren’t caught red handed like Mercedes was.

          1. @philby They did go to great lengths to hide it as in how they told the FIA upfront that they were doing that test?

            1. @F1oSaurus Well for starters Hamilton and Rosberg used black helmets instead of their usual colours.

            2. @philby They told the FIA and even thought they had gotten the correct approval.

      2. You get it in all sports to be fair. If a rule or decision negatively affects the team that someone supports, it’s terrible. If it benefits their team, it’s the best decision ever. This site is primarily made up of Hamilton fans so decisions like this will always be unpopular whereas if it affected Ferrari, it would be good because “Ferrari are cheats.”

        Ultimately, I’m against anything happening mid-season just as I was against the help that was handed to Mercedes previously. They are free to do whatever they want for the following season.

        1. I agree with you in principle but when there is precedent it is not black and white. What I don’t get is the reaction Hamilton enjoy the best car for a seventh consecutive year, a great team and a docile teammate cloaked in mediocrity. What is the outcry for not getting pole a 1s and get it by 0,5s?

    21. According to the FIA, the growing complexity of teams’ power unit modes has made it increasingly difficult to ensure they are complying with the rules.

      I’m sorry, but this isn’t an issue about increasing complexity, nor the rules about increasing complexity. This is all about the FIA’s mandated maximum fuel flow and the mandatory fuel flow measuring equipment. So this is a fairly simple concept. At the start of last year one FIA fuel flow sensor was adequate, now two FIA approved fuel flow sensors are mandatory. If fuel flow meter 1 says the fuel flow was say 104.9 kg/h, and fuel flow meter 2 says the fuel flow was 104.9 kg/h then I can’t see why you’d want to believe otherwise.

    22. It’s difficult because on one hand I am in favour of trying to narrow the field but on the other I think this is going to do more harm than good. Instead of narrowing the gap I have a horrible feeling that the gap’s going to become a chasm.

      Also I think the FIA are only doing this because they don’t understand their own rulebook and can’t tell if people are doing dodgy things with the power units. So it smacks of desperation on their part, both in rule-fiddling and in trying *something* to narrow the field.

    23. The whole purpose of these hybrid engines is cost savings and economy of materials.
      The FIA didn’t like the fact teams ran special qualifying engines in the past so they said,

      1. The engine must do qualifying and the race.

      The FIA didn’t like the fact the teams were changing engines every race so they said

      2. The engines must do several races, and qualifying.

      The FIA didn’t like the fact that teams were burning excess fuel all in the name of gaining more power so they said.

      3. The engines cannot burn fuel beyond a certain flow rate per second.

      The FIA teams were filling up their cars with too much fuel finding it wasteful so they said..

      4. A max of 100kg of fuel per race.

      Now the FIA has seen the hybrid engines from Mercedes that follows the rules to the letter is also a hybrid qualifying and endurance engine so they say.

      5. You cannot run your car with all the power as you like. You either run at full power or not at all. You can’t nibble at your pie you must take a full bite every time
      I can’t wait for the day they ban the throttle pedal because it’s making the engine Rev at different power modes.

      1. Not sure what point you are trying to make, but I’d just like to add that the fuel rate maximum is to stop teams from using lift and coast to an extent that could be dangerous. Not to make their engines fuel efficient. That would be the 100kg/race limit

    24. I slightly disagree, changing rules during the season is never good. And we don’t know if it will change anything. I saw a good piece on TheRace where they explained Mercedes’ rush to push the engine, when last year the Ferrari’s were suddenly faster.
      In no way I am thinking that Mercedes is cheating, although the RP case still sounds dodgy. But concerning their achievements they deserve credit. I wonder what is so magical, why is their engine so incredibly good, it is not like the other competitors are amateurs?
      That said; it is really bad for F1 we have a team that dominates in the way Mercedes does, every quali is they running more than a second faster than the field, in the race too, and they are probably not even pushing the limit.
      Of course there have been other dominations, but not for this long, and not in this way.
      Other teams have to really try to come up with solutions, where Mercedes can improve in little steps, the rest has to risk a lot to be closer; sometimes they go in a wrong direction, like RB. So I am not really against some regulations, these engines are simply too expensive and too complex, but for now we have them.
      Are there other ways to ‘reign in’ the Mercedes’ advantages? Like rev limiters, pop-off valves, or whatever? I would love to see more close racing, at the moment Mercedes cannot really be happy, it is not good for the sport, and brings the value of winning down IMHO.

      1. One of the reasons the Mercedes engine is so good in the heritage, the DNA at Brixworth, the continuity from the Ilmor days of innovation and excellence in a team driven environment which Brixworth has always been.

        And wise investment in kit and people, not just pay but training and development of the ethos.

        The cut and stab in Ferrari loses too much too often. I am surprised, though, that Renault are not up there but not at all surprised that Honda is improving fast now they have come to terms with working in the madhouse which is F1.

    25. I voted slightly agree (or just ‘agree’ without being ‘strongly’).
      I think the move is entirely ‘cynical’ in the sense that it’s designed to curb the power of Mercedes engines and boost the image of a certain horse-flavoured team. However, I’m not opposed to curbing some of Mercedes power, however unfair it is, partly as they can take the hit, partly as some levelling is good, and partly because I think it may even backfire on the other teams. If so, a classic case of careful what you wish for.
      At the same time, I think the idea of removing engine modes is good. Anything that transfers control away from the teams’ computer number crunchers and to the drivers is excellent. Let the drivers thrash the car or take care of the engine, it’s down to them. It’s in no thrill to hear team radio talk of what engine mode to set. Having the drivers push the car to the maximum all race – the maximum they and the car can endure – definitely is. So favour that. I don’t mind the extra ERS kick each lap as a boost since that then becomes a driver skill if they all have it: when to deploy tactically during the lap if being chased or chasing. But switching on an engine mode to overtake or consolidate a lead takes away driver skill as a factor.

    26. I disagree with the ban. Partially because i don’t like the rules changing mid season.

      The other part is I’m skeptical it will increase competition. Historically stable rules bring a performance convergence.

      So if they are unhappy with Mercedes advantage maybe they should loosen development regulations.

      If they are concerned about cheating they should make changes that help them police the cars better.

    27. I disagree. The FIA have to decide what they want from these hybrid PU, do they want the PUs to be the most efficient PUs in the world? if so they have to accept that computerised engine management systems are necessary to manage fuel flow, electrical power usage and harvesting, the only real alternative is fuel flow only controlled by depressing the accelerator and electrical boost and harvesting manually applied by the driver (eg push-to-pass). Road cars have had a choice of computer controlled driving modes since the last century so F1 cannot be the pinnacle of automotive engineering and technology if they ban computer controlled PUs or limit them to a single mode, if they allow multiple modes it will be impossible, or just ridiculous, to ban the mode with the highest output being used in qualifying.

    28. A blatant attempt, mid-season, to hobble Mercedes.

    29. I am hugely disappointed with FIA being so Not transparent lately! Strongly disagree with their erratically imposed ban on Quali modes!

    30. I believe Mercedes normal mode will suddenly get 0.5s faster. Unintended consequence.
      If they don’t push to the max in quali, they don’t have to treat it so lightly in race.

      The bottom line is Mercedes have power in hand over the rest, who can’t compete with Mercedes max grunt, and they will reoptimise who they spend their wear and tear.

      Closer in quali means more in hand on race day.

    31. I strongly disagreed. The qualification mode was not a secret and had been in place for several years. Thus other engine makers had every opportunity to come up with their own version of it and either didn’t or didn’t make one as good. That’s on the other teams and changing the rule mid-season is little more than an attempt to bring Mercedes to back to the pack.

    32. F1 rules now are stricter than in some prisons.
      Why it is mandatory to start the race on Q2 tyres but engine party modes are allowed in Q1, Q2 and Q3? The most logical solution is that they should use the same tyres and same engine mode in the race.
      But I vote for the elimination of all restrictions – gimme 3L atmospheric be it V8, V10, V12 etc. or `1.5L turbo – both with all the kinetic, heat etc. gimmicks.
      The only regulations should be the dimensions of the car, engine volume (but not mandatory turbos and electro), weight and safety issues. The rest should be Wild West for car designers – 13″ or 18″ wheels, crazy aero, ground effect etc.
      Imagine if such restrictions were implemented onto development of planes, TV sets, video, photo, mobile etc.
      Any restrictions are dead end for innovation.

    33. F1 has now agreed a cost cap. Therefore FIA should only focus on safety requirements and may be some size constraints, other than these they should let the teams have a free hand. So teams can decide where to spend their money and how.

    34. Neither agree or disagree because, when it comes to ‘fiddling the books’ the techies coding this stuff are likely waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of the ‘testers’.

      1. @budchekov, you are right, but , no matter how clever the coders, they cannot make more than maximum power available to the drivers, all other modes restrict or “smooth” the power available in order to ensure the reliability the FIA has mandated.

    35. If Mercedes was the 2nd best team, whether fia would have banned das and quali modes?

      1. If another team had dominated to this extent in the same way, yes they would as it has nothing to do with which team is out front.
        (They are picking on us) thinking is conspired by fans who do not really know the inner workings of F1 and some in F1 that want that message in the media to try influence the decision.

    36. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      23rd August 2020, 15:40

      I hate that Mercedes is still dominating F1 7 years later since hybrids came in but not allowing something g that the car is capable of doing is utterly wrong. What’s the point of engineering in F1?

    37. Also unsure how I feel about this as F1 is a manufacturers championship, so this seems to be in contradiction to F1.
      This is how I see the responses above generally: (Human nature)
      Hamilton and Mercedes fans = No, don’t ban it
      Other Fans = Yes, ban it
      Toto = We will have a larger advantage if it is banned (Huh? then why did you develop it in the first place?)

    38. mid season goalpost moving is unacceptable unless its for safety. strongly disagree

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