The FIA has clarified the new Formula 1 technical directive regarding oil burn that will come into force for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, confirming Mercedes’ Spa update will not be subject to the ruling.

Teams were informed in July that the oil consumption of new power unit elements introduced from the Monza race would have to be below 0.9 litres per 100km, down from 1.2 litres.

Mercedes introduced an updated specification of its power unit for its works team in Belgium last weekend, with the FIA clarifying on Tuesday that it would not be subject to the new technical directive as it was introduced prior to it being invoked.

“We had several questions about oil burn from Monza onwards, a topic covered by a technical directive issued last month,” an FIA spokesperson said.

“The main question centred on whether engines introduced at Spa will be subject to the expectation that the ‘oil consumption of any ICE element of the Power Unit introduced from the 2017 Italian GP onwards to be less than 0.9L/100km’. 

“Article 23.3b of the Regulations states: ‘(…) Any of the six [Power Unit] elements will be deemed to have been used once the car’s timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane. (…)’

“So, to be clear, if an engine (ICE element) is introduced at or after the Monza race weekend, its oil consumption needs to be below 0.9L/100km whenever it is used.

“If an engine (ICE element)) has been introduced at or before the Spa race weekend, its oil consumption needs to be below 1.2L/100km whenever it is used.”

Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff was asked after the race in Belgium if he believed the fuel burn issue would be a source of tension against title rival Ferrari, who is yet to introduce its final-spec power unit and will therefore be subject to the lower fuel consumption limit.

“We are fierce competitors, and the relationship we have is that we stick our heads together if there is a problem and discuss it behind closed doors,” Wolff said.

“It hasn’t come up. We need to be careful that things are not made up in public that are just not right and not true.

“So far, I’m easy about it.”

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