Todt stands firm against push for rule changes
FIA president insists F1 “is not a banana republic” as he resists calls from teams to abandon fuel-flow meters and shorten races
Jean Todt has rejected attempts by Red Bull and Ferrari to amend the 2014 regs. The teams’ public motivation is to improve ‘the show’, with Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo saying the new efciency-based formula “is not Formula 1”. He says drivers should not have to save fuel, the engine sound should be “music”, and claims fuel-ow meters are “too complicated”.
Red Bull want the FIA to abandon the max fuel-ow rate of 100kg/hour. They say the sensors are “not t for purpose”, pointing to the number of failures there have been this season, and to the discrepancies in reading that led to Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualication in Australia.
All the sensor failures (bar one on Sergio Pérez’s Force India) have been on cars from Red Bull, Toro Rosso or Lotus, who all use Renault engines and Total fuel.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that since the fuel is legal, there must be a problem with the sensors. Opponents say that if their fuel does not work with a homologated part, then it is up to them to change the fuel.
Ferrari cannot produce the same power per unit of fuel as Mercedes, so Di Montezemolo is pushing for shorter races while leaving the fuel allowance the same. Rivals believe they are trying to reduce the gap to Mercedes.
Red Bull and Ferrari are inuential gures in F1, but Todt is standing rm on both matters. “This is not a banana republic, where someone turns up and says, ‘Let’s change,’” he said in Bahrain. “If you want changes, it has to be through the regulatory framework.”
In-season rule changes require unanimous agreement of all teams, and Mercedes and their customers have said they will block any amendment. In any case, Di Montezemolo says it is wrong to change the rules mid-season.
Mercedes have, however, acknowledged that something needs to be done about the noise produced by the new engines, and have agreed that engineers should look into the issue.