Craig Slater brings you all the latest news from the first day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Christian Horner has dismissed Toto Wolff’s suggestion that Red Bull are putting themselves at a disadvantage by using a different fuel supplier compared to engine suppliers Renault.
Red Bull use fuels supplied by ExxonMobil whereas Renault use products from BP Castrol.
But Wolff, Mercedes’ head of motorsport, told Autosport: “ExxonMobil is capable of making a state of the art fuel, or BP/Castrol, or any of the top players. The strategic mistake is to opt for the commercial deal rather than making sure you are on the same specification of fuel and oil as the works team.
“We’re all using the same fuels, because we’re calibrating our engines on one spec of fuel.”
But Horner disagrees with his Mercedes counterpart’s argument that Red Bull may be missing a trick.
“I see Toto has been making a load of comments on this,” the Red Bull chief told Sky Sports News.
“We see it as an advantage. We have a great relationship with Exxon and have done for the last 12 months.
“They are producing some great products and we see it as a technical advantage. Their products won three grands prix last year. Obviously there are additional burdens involved in that as it’s a different supplier than what the works team have, it just means they’ve got to run more engines on the dynos which we have to cover the cost for.
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“But we wouldn’t be using it if we didn’t see it as a technical advantage. They are a great company, great to respond, very quick and we see it as an advantage.”
Red Bull and the Renault works team both use Total products in 2016, but then each switched to different suppliers from last year.
McLaren, Renault’s latest customer team, also currently use BP fuel and oil but as part of a new wide-ranging deal with Petrobas will use also the Brazilian giant’s products from 2019.
Fuel performance and technology have become an increasing area of development in the V6 engine era.
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