Apparently, certain teams were allowing fuel to bypass the fuel pressure meter outside the main fuel system to collect in a balloon type apparatus, in order to deployed all at once to the engine during more critical periods. Post-race inspections were conducted after the Spanish Grad Prix after allegations first surfaced. In order to monitor the use of fuel pressure manipulation, fuel system checks were performed before the Monaco Grand Prix, with no violators found. An FIA release said,
“The fuel system downstream the FIA fuel flow meter was checked on car numbers 44 (Lewis Hamilton), 03 (Daniel Ricciardo), 05 (Sebastian Vettel) and 14 (Fernando Alonso).”
On another front, the debate over the future of Formula 1 tires continues to be heard. With Pirelli’s contract valid for just one more season, there are already rumors that Michelin is seeking a Formula 1 return. In addition to the question of who the suppliers will be, the future of regulations and team choice of tire is also on the table.
Wider tires are said to be strongly considered for 2017, and recent demonstrations point to the prospect of 18 inch tires being used in the future. However, the issue of greater debate is how much flexibility should be given in terms of allowing teams to make their own tire choices.
Much of the Strategy Group is in favor of allowing teams to, where an overt safety risk is not present, choose their own tires, giving teams more control and freedom to come up with their own strategies on the track. However, this move has faced considerable backlash from Pirelli. The manufacturer argues that if a team chooses unwisely and pays the cost of that in terms of an accident or a tire failure, then Pirelli may be perceived as being at fault, thus hurting the perception of their product.
Paul Hembrey, current Motorsport Director for Pirelli, commented,
“I don’t think many people would remember that the teams made the decision, it will always be our responsibility. So we have to find some middle ground which gives some flexibility to the teams, and still allows us to be sure of what’s being used. So that’s what we’re looking at.”
Hembrey did concede, however, that allowing teams greater choice in tire compound could afford significant advantages, commenting,
“It depends on the competitive scenario at the time. The main point is that the teams feel that maybe they could adopt a different strategy if they had a little bit more choice.”
Elsewhere in the Formula 1 world, Bernie Ecclestone desisted from his perpetual calls for the engine formula to be changed and ruffled a few feathers on the other side of the paddock. Ecclestone commented last week that Sebastian Vettel and Nico Roseberg were not good for the sport, because, in contrast to other drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, they did not do enough to raise the sport’s profile on their own time,
“From a pure business aspect – sorry Nico if I have to say this – you are not so good for my business.”
Rosberg protested Ecclestone’s claims, saying that not only were they uncalled for, but that he didn’t plan on changing his public persona anytime soon. Ecclestone responded,
“It sounds harder than it is meant. Unfortunately you don’t have the German fans on your side.
As the cancellation of the German Grand Prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for Formula 1.
On the contrary Lewis is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula 1. Sebastian [Vettel] is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognize him on the street.”
Ecclestone also criticized Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene, saying he was only good “for himself.” Arrivabene lashed back, challenging Ecclestone,
“He can take my pass tomorrow morning.”