IF the FIA had a sensor that measured your car’s fuel flow at intervals, would it be possible for you and your boffins to figure out wha those intervals are and increase the flow between those intervals? Could you appear to be flowing the correct amount of fuel at each interval but in between them, be pouring the juice to the internal combustion engine? That’s what Red Bull asked the FIA for clarification ahead of this weekend’s US Grand Prix.
The concern is directed at Ferrari and the power they seem to have in their power unit. While Ferrari said it welcomed an investigation into their engine, the counter argument came from Toto Wolff who suggested that Ferrari’s power advantage seems to have waned in Austin this weekend. Both stopped short of suggesting that it was the FIA clarification that caused the immediate impact.
The FIA said that if a team was using a system as described by Red Bull, it would be a contravention of the regulations. They cited these regulations:
5.10.3 All cars must be fitted with a single fuel flow sensor, wholly within the fuel tank, which has been manufactured by the FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA. This sensor may only be used as specified by the FIA. Furthermore, all fuel delivered to the power unit must pass through this homologated sensor, and must all be delivered to the combustion chambers by the fuel injectors described by article 5.10.2.
5.10.5 Any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate or to store and recycle fuel after the measurement point is prohibited.
Has Ferrari found a way to deliver more fuel to their ICE and avoid the intervalic nature of the sensor measurements? Time will tell but if Toto is right, perhaps the lack of straight-line speed this weekend could have something to do with it.