SECRET TO MERC SUCCESS? There's a suspicion that some teams have found a loophole around the sport's regulations regarding fuel-flow pressure. Could this be the secret to Mercedes' dominance? Image: AP / Andy Brownbill
LONDON, England - A year has passed since Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from the 2014 Australian Formula 1 GP because his Renault-powered Red Bull exceeded the maximum permitted fuel-flow to its turbo V6 'power unit'.
Now, March 2015, the fuel-flow issue could resurface - and some believe it might explain Mercedes' dominance in 2014 and again in the first F1 GP of 2015.
Italian media reports claim the International Automobile Federation has issued a technical directive to the teams that will come into effect during the 2015 Chinese GP on April 12.
Until now, the federation policed the maximum flow rate of 100kg/hour with a standard fuel-flow meter. Now the federation wants to check pressure in other parts of the fuel plumbing because it suspects some teams are finding a way around the rule by increasing fuel flow in other areas while ensuring it never exceeds 100kg/h through the actual meter.
Italy's Omnicorse suggested the trick could partly explain the step forward for 2015 taken by Mercedes and Ferrari.
It's claimed that upgrading turbo systems to withstand a maximum of 500 bar for 2015 might have facilitated it, while struggling Renault is still running at 250 bar.
Omnicorse said the new Honda power unit, significantly de-tuned for the race in Melbourne because of reliability problems, might also be capable of a maximum of 500 bar.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.