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Teams complain about fuel allowance and telemetry changes

Paddy Lowe
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The FIA's decision to increase the amount of fuel that cars can carry in Grand Prix races next year has come under fire from some quarters.

The change has been introduced as a reaction to complaints from drivers that there is too much need to 'life and coast' to save fuel.

As a result, the fuel allowance is going up from 105kg to 110kg in 2019. But that hasn't gone down well with everyone in the paddock.

"It's a strange decision," sais Williams technical boss Paddy Lowe. "The hybrid era is about increasing energy efficiency, and limiting fuel was part of that.

"If some teams have more problems than others, then that's their fault from a design point of view," he told France's Auto Hebdo.

"Increasing fuel is a backwards step in this energy efficiency, and I think it damages the sport." Lowe's comments were endorsed by a technical representative from Force India, which also used Mercedes power units.

But Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul was in support of the increase.

"Fuel economy does not comply with the principles of Formula 1," he said. "Drivers attacking to be the fastest is what our sport is about, not the need to protect the engine, control fuel consumption and look after tyres.

"That may be other racing series, but it's not Formula 1," he added.

Mercedes has objected to the increase on the grounds that means a fundamental change to the existing power units. But Abiteboul wasn't buying that.

"I understand their position, but fuel consumption will still be limited," he said. "Increasing the amount of fuel by 5kg does not require a change in the concept of the power unit. It would surprise me if they lose anything."

Meanwhile a proposal to ban telemetry between the car and the pit wall has come under fire from McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

The criticism has been that drivers get too much help from their race engineers during Grand Prix events. At times, they have to be given step-by-step instructions for how to cope with issues with the car.

But Alonso said that banning telemetry simply wasn't practical in today's sport.

"They first would have to make the cars simpler," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "That's not possible with the complex technology of today."

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