Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Sam's view // Another take on the cool fuel saga

Published by Mr. C

While the result of this week's FIA Court of Appeal hearing may have been the correct one, the handling of the announcement shows yet again the contempt with which the FIA holds fans of Formula 1.

We have a lot to say on this subject, and tomorrow's podcast is shaping up to be a riot, but for the moment we thought it was worth looking at the only bit of insight to so far have come out of the hearing.

Williams technical director Sam Michael, present in the courtroom on Thursday, revealed a few more details during an interview with ITV. He confirmed earlier suspicions that Formula One Management's ambient temperature readings were not as accurate as they could have been:

FOM have a temperature sensor, but it was clear up to two years ago that that was not very accurate and was in no way accurate enough to be used as regulatory.

FOM temperature is used as a guide but sometimes it’s clear that it is inaccurate and when that happens they use Météo-France to determine what the real temperature was.

This was documented in a Sporting Working Group meeting on December 7, 2006.

Which backs up Pat Symonds thoughts on the subject back in October. It also explains why teams are contributing a large sum of money to have Météo-France turn up to each and every Grand Prix. Why they don't just do away with FOM's equipment altogether, remains open to debate.

Sam went on to divulge details about the paddock's use of fuel rig temperature measuring equipment:

Sensors are different between teams up and down the grid depending on when you ordered your fuel rig.

Some of them haven't been calibrated for seven years. They are not sealed in any way, they are not tamper-proof.

It seems like a fair question to ask why rules governing things like the temperature of fuel were created and recorded, yet nobody thought to mandate the need for some kind of standard piece of measuring equipment to enforce them? A severe lack of joined up thinking on the part of the rule makers, you might suggest.

Whether any teams have been tempted to abuse this lack of governance in the past will be the subject of much speculation in the future, I'm sure. And why, oh why, will no-one calibrate their god-damn equipment once in a while?

7 flippin' years?