FIA scraps sole Formula 1 fuel supplier idea

Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday 28 June 2013.

Formula 1’s governing body has written to team principals assuring them that they have no intention of tendering for a sole fuel supplier despite a recent announcement raising the possibility.

Leading teams derive substantial sponsorship from oil companies – such as Shell, Total, Malaysia’s Petronas and Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA – and any move to limit the sport to one supplier would be a big hit to team budgets.

Concern was raised after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said last week that a new ‘Concorde Agreement’ governing the sport would give it responsibility for conducting tenders for tyres and fuel.

“Fuel was mentioned purely for illustrative purposes,” said an FIA Formula 1 spokesman. “There are no plans at present to have a fuel tender.”

Teams said a subsequent explanatory letter was sent by FIA secretary-general Pierre de Coninck ahead of this week’s Korean Grand Prix.

“We knew nothing about [a possible fuel tender] until it emerged (after the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council),” McLaren‘s Martin Whitmarsh, whose team has ExxonMobil as partners, told Reuters.

“Some of us spoke to the FIA about it and the FIA stated that they wanted to make it clear that on any single supply issue they wanted to control the process.”

FIA sources said mention of a fuel tender had been a mistake and, unlike the tyres which have Pirelli as sole supplier, it was highly unlikely that teams would ever agree to such a move.

“Look at the post-tobacco era and probably one of the biggest sectors of investors into the sport is the petro-chemical industry,” said Whitmarsh.

“You wouldn’t want to jeopardise that, so commercially it doesn’t make sense [to have a sole supplier]. Technically it doesn’t either,” added the Briton.

“I think it was just one of those little scare wobbles that the sport throws into itself occasionally.”

F1 is adopting a new turbocharged V6 power unit with energy recovery systems next year with fuel economy becoming a crucial factor.

Cars will be allocated 100 kg of fuel, equal to 140 litres, in 2014 to last the race distance of around 300 km instead of around 150 kg at present.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault are developing the new turbo engines to run very lean for fuel efficiency and are working closely with their chosen petro-chemical partners.

Whitmarsh said that from a sporting perspective, one of the engine makers would also have an unfair advantage if any sole fuel supplier was the one they had worked with in the development stages. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • McLarenfan

    Yea the F.I.A wanted all the financial gains to prop-up the French Economy the same as the price increase in the super licence the extra revenue from the Concord agreement all to bleed the sport dry Max said there was no reason for the F.I.A to need the money they have always had enough in the funds. The cost cutting and budget capping plans under Jean Totd has pushed the cost to the teams through the Stratosphere then he needs more cash.
    The sooner he is out the better. his next idea will push the cost of “power units” to another level and he will want the cars to run on recycled marbles from the side of the track.

  • Boycottthebull

    McLarenfan is correct. Jean Turd is sending the teams to the wall by changing the rules escalating costs to destroy all but the richest teams and then on top of that decides to plunder the kitty to feather his own nest. I wish him gone too only that he has stacked the election getting motoring groups to sign away their support even before the election was called. Corruption to the core at the FIA.

  • TexasRoadhouse

    When the teams all complain, then the FIA retract as a “mistake”. But if none of them had said anything, then you can bet the FIA would have gone ahead – and who’s to say, in the future, that they won’t try that tactic again?

  • McLarenfan

    Thank you @ Boycottthebull :
    I do agree with @ TexasRoadhouse; Now it has been written who is to say that once Jean Totd keeps his power seat that he won’t try to bring it back in to play. Jean Totd seems to be playing a very snidey campaign with his position of power, Jean Totd quiet YES Dangerous very.

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