Engine mode ban deferred to Monza


The ban on engine modes is now set to be introduced at the Italian Grand Prix and not next weekend's event at Spa Francorchamps.

The FIA was set to issue a technical directive this week, but with none forthcoming it is understood that the ban will be delayed a week until the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The ban will mostly affect qualifying, and mostly the Mercedes powered teams, though neither drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas or team boss, Toto Wolff appear particularly concerned.

"I think the primary goal of the FIA was to implement the rule to better understand and better analyse what is going on with the engines," said Wolff in Spain last weekend. "It's a very complex method between the combustion engine and all the energy recovery system and in having one mode it becomes more easy for the FIA to really see if everything is in compliance.

Asked if he thought the intention behind the ban was aimed mainly at Mercedes, he said: "It has always been the case in Formula 1 that pulling back the leaders, or what supposedly are the leaders, is something that is good for the sport.

"We see it very much as a challenge," he continued. "We have a good qualifying mode and we are able to give it a little bit more power in that last session. But if that is not possible anymore because everything needs to be smoothed out over the race then it's not a deficit for us but on the contrary, we think we can translate it into more performance in the race. That is something that is a great challenge for us that will take on once the rule is implemented."

Indeed, the Austrian suggested that the ban could actually prove beneficial for Mercedes.

"If Formula One were to ban in-season certain power unit modes, then I think it will actually help us in the race," he said. "If you can avoid to damage your power unit in those few qualifying laps that you have available in Q3, and then the odd lap in the race, the damage matrix goes down dramatically.

"So five laps of qualifying mode not being done gives us 25 laps of more performance in the race," he warned, "and even if it may hurt us more in qualifying, which I'm not sure, then it will hurt all the others in the same way."

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Published: 21/08/2020
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