In Miami, the Aston Martins of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll started from pit lane due to a fuel temperature problem and in Barcelona even Red Bull risked doing the same, due to Ferrari’s hand. The teams had in fact obtained from the Federation the possibility of being able to take on gasoline at a temperature of 18 ° C, but according to what was reported by the Auto Motor und Sport newspaper, a team – all indications suggest that it is Ferrari – has vetoed this agreement by sticking to the regulation that provides for a minimum temperature not lower than 10 ° C compared to that of the environment two hours after departure.
In Barcelona, therefore, the cars had to load fuel at a temperature not exceeding 25 ° C since at 13:00 in Barcelona the temperature was 35 ° C. In Red Bull they waited a long time to leave the pits and line up on the starting grid, Verstappen did so with less than 10 seconds still available and the reason is due precisely to the temperature of the petrol.
Ferrari has every interest in not letting the Honda and Mercedes engines cool down too much because both suffer in the race in terms of temperatures when they rise significantly, it is no coincidence that the Red Bulls in Bahrain were both forced to retire. The regulatory quibble examined relates to the sentence “When the car is in use” regarding the measurement of the petrol temperature. According to Aston Martin it is when it comes out of the box, according to Ferrari it is as soon as you start the engine inside the garage.
Mattia Binotto commented in the final press conference what happened before the start when in the pits in Red Bull they even used a flame to heat the tank, thus raising the temperature of the fuel: ““I can imagine that they were linked to the temperature of the petrol in the tank, which must be above 10 ° C below ambient temperature and it seems to me that by regulation this must be checked at every moment during the event, not only when the machine is running. track, but also when it is in the garage. Because of this I don’t think a flame to try to heat the tank would be enoughbecause gasoline should always be no lower than 10 ° C compared to the environment. I can only trust the FIA, because it is difficult to explain what we have seen, since, as I said, the fuel should always be above that minimum threshold. I’m pretty sure the FIA is satisfied and checked. Perhaps it should be asked directly of them ”.
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