Why McLaren’s appeal won’t change the results?


McLaren has appealed FIA’s decision not to punish Williams and BMW for the irregularities found with respect to the fuel temperature in their cars. The irregularity that was discovered is as follows:

Both Williams’ (2 cars) and BMW’s (2 cars) cars’ fuel temperature was found to be more than 10 degree centigrades lesser than the ambient temperature.

Now, The FIA rule regarding this is:

6.5.5 – No fuel on board the car may be more than ten degrees centigrade below ambient temperature.

Why I think McLaren’s results won’t change the results?

  1. The temperatures (that were found illegal in those cars) were measured in the fuel rig (that is, when the car is fueled). This is not good enough to prove that the temperature of the fuel is illegal “on board the car“. The other fuel temperature measures in those cars were found to be varying and not illegal. The measurement data “while fuelling” isn’t good enough to constitute FIA’s rule violation.
  2. The “ambient temperature” measures come from FOM (Formula One Management) and is not controlled by FIA. During Brazilian GP, whoever watched it live could have noticed that the weather updates were way off the mark (yes, the live feed that we see in TV comes directly from FOM). It once reported the track temperature to be over 60 degrees, which certainly cannot be correct as the tyres didn’t vanish! This inaccuracy in data, I am betting here, should make it very difficult to conclusively deem someone illegal based on that data.
  3. Because of #1 and #2, Williams’ and BMW’s cars will remain legal and hence will not be penalized.

Note: track temperature is not the same as ambient temperature. I have given this example to illustrate the inaccuracy in FOM’s temperature measurement that day.

What can possibly come out of this appeal?

  • McLaren would be able to demonstrate a gap in FIA’s ability to verify whether this rule is met or not.
  • FIA (with the help of FOM) agreeing to make sure the infrastructure to maintain this rule in place.
  • McLaren (and the other teams who missed out on points because of this) get some money??
Why McLaren’s appeal won’t change the results?

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