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Too cold gasoline before the start: Red Bull trembles because of fuel

Too cold gasoline before the start: Red Bull trembles because of fuel
Written by insideindyhomes

Aston Martin got it in Miami. Two weeks later it almost hit Red Bull in Barcelona. The fuel only reached the prescribed temperature shortly before the pit lane was closed. Ferrari exacerbated the problem for everyone.

We still remember the start preparations at the GP Miami. The starting places for Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll remained empty. Instead, both cars were in the garage and both engines were running. Aston Martin almost didn’t take part in the race. When the engines were started, it was eight degrees below the prescribed limit. The required 18 degrees were reached ten minutes before the start in one car and three minutes before the start in the other. Only then were the green cars allowed to roll to the pit exit.


Barcelona wondered why the two Red Bulls arrived so late on the grid. While the competition did their practice laps to the grid, the engines were running in the Red Bull garage. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez only left the track eight seconds before the pit lane closed. The team explained that the delay occurred to check the DRS mechanism on the cars. He had already caused trouble for Max Verstappen in qualifying.

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Before heading onto the starting grid, Red Bull warmed up the engines and fuel.

Return to the old fuel rule

When asked by the FIA, the fuel temperature in the two Red Bulls did not correspond to the prescribed value when the pit lane was opened 40 minutes before the start. But when leaving the two cars in the garage. Otherwise the Technical Delegate would have had to report to the Stewards. The FIA ​​inspectors can see the fuel temperature of all cars in real time on their screens. The inspection begins when the pit lane opens.


The limit has changed again since the Miami GP. In the first five races, due to teething problems, he was set at a fixed size with the standard fuel pump in the catch tank, regardless of the weather, in consultation with all teams, last 18 degrees.


However, after a team in Barcelona vetoed the decision, the FIA ​​had to return to the old procedure. The rules stipulate a minimum temperature that is ten degrees below the outside temperature measured two hours before the start. At that time it was 35 degrees. This meant that the sprint could not be cooled below 25 degrees.

Max Verstappen - Red Bull - Spanish GP 2022

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The Red Bulls only left the garages shortly before the pit lane was closed.

Mercedes and Honda afraid of heat

The team that campaigned for a return to the old system is said to be Ferrari. According to information from the camp of the competition not without reason: Mercedes and Honda get problems with their engines in hot races if the fuel temperature rises too much. This can cause damage and cost performance as the fuel heats up over the course of the race. The Ferrari engines apparently have no problem with it.


It is therefore in the interest of the teams with Mercedes and Honda engines to cool down the fuel as much as possible beforehand. Because with a lower starting value it stays cooler over the entire race. From that point of view, the 18 degrees that still applied across the board in Miami is an easier task than the 25 degrees in sun-drenched Barcelona.


The teams do not agree on when it is illegal to use fuel that is too cool. The rules say: “When the car is in use”. So when the car is used. Aston Martin equates this moment with stepping out of the garage. Ferrari sees the fact that the car is being used as soon as the engines are started.


Assuming both the Aston Martin in Miami and the Red Bull in Barcelona would have been non-compliant. The FIA ​​takes Aston Martin’s point of view. Leaving the garage is crucial. And everything was fine at Red Bull. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto didn’t want to open a keg: “We trust the measurements of the FIA.”


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