The FIA conducted a thorough investigation into Mercedes and Ferrari’s oil systems after suspecting the two championship leading teams are using ‘tricks’ to gain an illegal advantage.
Following the Spanish Grand Prix it was believed some teams might have been collecting fuel between the sensor and engine by using ballooning fuel lines. The additional fuel could then be used to provide an immediate power boost.
However no team was found guilty of such a practice, leading the FIA to focus on the oil system. Following the Canadian GP, samples were taken from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari for detailed analysis.
The FIA confirmed in a report that it suspected that certain power boosting chemicals might have been added to the oil to gain an advantage.
“The viscosity analysis showed a slight reduction in the viscosity of the oil in the main tank compared to that of the equivalent auxiliary tank in both cars and the differences can be attributed to fuel dilution, as expected under normal operating conditions.
“The InfraRed analysis showed no significant difference between the oil in the main tank and the one in the equivalent auxiliary tank in both cars.
“Further the GC analysis showed no differences between the oil in the auxiliary tank and the one in the main tank for both cars. It also showed no difference between the oil in the main tank on Friday FP2 and Qualifying for both cars.
“Headspace analysis at 120°C confirmed the presence of fuel in the main tank oil samples (both FP2 and Qualifying), whereas none was detected in the auxiliary tank oil samples. This, again, is due to the expected fuel dilution of the used lube oils under normal operating conditions.”
The FIA’s report concluded that neither team were practicing what they were suspected of, with all tests coming back negative.
“From these results, it can be concluded that the auxiliary oil tank is not being used to add performance-boosting components, either to the main or to the combustion chamber via the sump breather into the air intake.”