FIA confirm controversial fuel flow sensors will not be scrapped


Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has ruled out scrapping the new rule limiting fuel flow, despite high profile problems with the device doing the measuring.

With Red Bull already appealing its Daniel Ricciardo disqualification and then encountering more problems with the new mandatory Gill sensor in Malaysia, team boss Christian Horner has called on the FIA to simply scrap the rule.

“Formula 1 is a sport and when technology becomes too prevalent and confuses fans and teams it is not good,” he said at Sepang.

Horner added that, with all the millions at stake in Formula 1, it is “not good enough” for a misbehaving sensor to be causing so much trouble.

He proposes that Formula 1 should simply “get rid of” the 100 kilogram per hour rule, and with it the troublesome and expensive sensors.

The FIA, however, insists it will not be going down that path. In a complex media briefing at Sepang, the federation’s engine expert Fabrice Lom claimed that getting rid of the sensors would be “dangerous”.

Auto Motor und Sport quotes him as saying that, without the fuel flow limit, the new turbo V6 engines would be capable of up to 2000 horse power.

“Some cars would start the race at full power and then slow down and save fuel,” said Lom, “while others would do it the other way around.

“It would result in huge speed differences at any one time, which is far too dangerous.”

For now, the bottom line is that if Red Bull behaves just as it did in Melbourne two weeks ago, a RB10 driven by Ricciardo or world champion Sebastian Vettel could once again be disqualified hours after the race.

“Hopefully  [the Gill sensor] will behave for the rest of the weekend,” Horner said at Sepang.

“If it doesn’t, then we will find ourselves in an awkward situation.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • KevinW

    As I’ve noted before, now confirmed by the FIA, the 100kg/hr flow rate was devised to produce a cap on car performance to avoid large differences in car performance at various times over the race distance. This keeps the focus on fuel economy, and holds the cars in close competition, rather than teams executing high/low fuel flow strategies to establish and protect track positions, which would be very boring to watch. This limit was asked for by the teams (technical committee) and, as noted before, is not going anywhere. The issue that needs real discussion is not the removal of the flow limit, but whether the sensor needs to be backed up by other data before a penalty is doled out (the Red Bull appeal is founded on that issue specifically), whether the stewards should be using the single data point as a basis for establishing any penalties during or after a race, and whether the stewards should be communicating and/or directing teams live during the race based on the single data point the sensors provide. The continued debate calling for the removal of the devices is irrelevant and pointless. Now, back to the race and a little detour through Germany.

  • Michel Weij

    So F1 devolves into an economy run…….

  • =El Presidente=

    RedBull is kind of obliged to drive without the sensor again, since their appeal would be nullified when they use it in this race.

  • Dave Bates

    Fabrice Lom, appears to believe that F1 could be insafe & dangerous without controlled fuel flow, ” cars will be travelling at different speeds he said ! Well us fans would certainly not entertain any form of transparent tactics, which just may involve the overtaking of slower cars on different stratagies, i mean ! How could these super licience holders cope with all of this stress ? Last year cars raced together on differing levels of rubber, some of them about to explode from the rims ! & this was considered ” not dangerous? Please FIA give the control of pace back to teams & drivers, personally i have faith in their experience, & expertise, more so than an upstart company who is now responsible for ensuring that cars are on the same pace ” train ” I reckon governing bodies of many other sports should follow FIA logic, reckon on the 400 metres runners should expel x no of kjoules per second so they are equal with other competitors, I mean ” we wouldn,t want some runners going fast & getting out of breath would we ? Lets regulate pace on our footballers, lets install sensors into all shoes of athletes, & penalise if they stray from the rules, lets regulate pace ? What a wonderful idea ! & welcome to the world of ” nanny state racing ” regards DB