I got it as an Aston Martin in Miami. Two weeks later, he almost collided with Red Bull in Barcelona. The fuel reached the set temperature only shortly before the hole passage was closed. Ferrari exacerbated the problem for everyone.
We still remember the preparations to start at GP Miami. The starting places for Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll remained empty. Instead, both cars were in the garage and both engines were running, and Aston Martin almost didn’t participate in the race. When the engines were running, the temperature was eight degrees below the set limit. The required 18 degrees were reached ten minutes before the car set off and three minutes before the start in the other car. Only then were the green cars allowed out of the pits.
Barcelona questioned why the Red Bulls came so late to the net. While the competition was practicing its courses on the grid, the engines were running in the Red Bull garage. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez left the track just eight seconds before the pit lane closed. The team explained that the delay occurred to check the DRS mechanism on the cars. He actually caused trouble for Max Verstappen in qualifying.
Back to the old fuel base
When asked by the FIA, the fuel temperature in the Red Bulls did not meet the specified value when the pit lane was opened 40 minutes before the start. But when you leave the two cars in the garage. Otherwise, the technical delegate had to report to the referees. FIA inspectors can see the fuel temperature of all cars in real time on their screens. The examination begins at the opening of the fossa passage.
The limit has changed again since the Miami GP. In the first five races, due to teething issues, it was set to a fixed volume with the standard fuel pump in the catch tank, no matter the weather, in consultation with all teams, the last 18 degrees.
But after the team vetoed him in Barcelona, the FIA was forced to revert to the old procedure. The rules stipulate a minimum temperature ten degrees lower than the outside temperature measured two hours before the start. At that time the temperature was 35 degrees. This means that the enemy cannot be cooled below 25 degrees.
Mercedes and Honda are afraid of the heat
The team that campaigned for a return to the old system is said to be Ferrari. According to information from the competition camp not without reason: Mercedes and Honda have problems with their engines in hot races if the fuel temperature rises too much. This can cause damage and cost performance as the fuel heats up over the course of the race. Ferrari engines seem to have no problem with that.
So it is in the best interest of teams with Mercedes and Honda engines to cool the fuel as much as possible beforehand. Because with a lower starting value, it stays cooler over the course of the entire race. From this point of view, the 18 degrees still applied across the board in Miami is an easier task than the 25 degrees in sunny Barcelona.
Teams do not agree on when it is illegal to use very cold fuel. The rules say: “When the vehicle is in use.” So when using the car. Aston Martin equals this moment out of the garage. Ferrari sees the fact that the car is used as soon as the engines are started.
Assuming that both Aston Martin in Miami and Red Bull in Barcelona were incompatible. The FIA takes the view of Aston Martin. Leaving the garage is critical. All was well in Red Bull. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto did not want to open the barrel: “We trust the FIA measurements.”