The FIA confirms its intention to ban the engine map for qualifying for the next round of the championship, to be held in Belgium. This measure aims to end the superiority of the engine supplier teams in qualifying on Saturdays, especially considering the case of Mercedes.
This idea was communicated to the teams in a letter written by Peter Bayer, the FIA general secretary. This letter stated the intention to carry out all the tests with the same engine map for qualifying and for the race. According to the highest body of world motorsports, the option being considered is based on two main reasons.
In first place, as we already mentioned, the aim is to end the advantage that teams that are also engine manufacturers can have due to the possibility of accessing more complex engine maps that are not always shared with customers, or at least not entirely. Second, to avoid situations such as those experienced with Ferrari and its possible illegal engine, where the "cheat" was in the fuel flow input to the engine related to the engine map that was selected in a specific test. This forced the introduction of new controls and surveillance systems.
"The multitude and complexity of these engine modes make it extremely difficult for the FIA to monitor compliance with all regulations related to the power unit at specific and critical moments of the event," Bayer commented in a letter sent to the teams whose content is disclosed by RaceFans.net.
On behalf of FIA and Bayer itself, reference is made to several rules already written and approved in the current Regulations, such as 2.7, where it says that “It is the duty of each competitor to confirm to the FIA technical delegate and the stewards that your car fully complies with these regulations at all times during an event ”, and “due to their nature, the conformity of electronic systems can be assessed by inspection of hardware, software and data. ” Rule 27.1 is also used, where it says that "Changes to the combustion engine modes that are currently in effect could potentially mean that the driver does not drive the car alone and without assistance."
This measure seems clearly aimed at curbing the current hegemony of Mercedes. Apart from the superiority shown on Sundays, it seems that the famous “party mode” on Saturdays of the German team has a plus over the rest of the engine manufacturers that makes it even more difficult.
However, not all voices are in favor of this, and not all voices come from Mercedes, although they do come from some allies. George Russell, Williams driver, and more importantly for this matter, German driver and a possible future driver of the star, is against this measure.
"I think for every engine manufacturer you have a boost for qualifying," he said. “When you're in the car, you have the least amount of fuel you have for the entire weekend, you have the fastest engine mode, you are more upbeat and ready. You are ready for that lap you are about to approach. It feels like a little more. It allows you to extract a little more from the car and is a very exciting part of the weekend. So, like I said, I would be disappointed if it disappeared. "
Lewis Hamilton wanted to give his opinion on the matter. The world champion is sure that the measure goes completely against the performance of his team. However, he is not concerned and assures that it will not have the effect desired by the FIA.
"It's not a surprise, they are always trying to slow us down," said Hamilton. "But it doesn't really change much for us, so it's not a problem. The team has done a good job with the engine. Obviously it's to slow us down, but I don't think it's going to get the result they want."