FIA launches another engine regulatory crackdown focused on ERS

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The FIA appears to have launched an investigation into engine suppliers potentially flouting the rules regarding ERS, Auto Motor und Sport claims.

For years now, the governing body has been working to catch up with and close loopholes and methods manufacturers were using to extract more performance, whether it be oil burning or, in the case of Ferrari, flouting the fuel flow limit by tricking the sensors on the car.

This latest apparent crackdown looks to address a similar trick to the fuel flow reading, only this time it's reported some suppliers could be exceeding the permitted 161 horsepower of electrical power generated by the hybrid system by rerouting some of the current to bypass where the FIA sensors are located.

The German publication says all four manufacturers, Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault, must supply drawings and CAD data of the auxiliary circuits which are separate to those where the hybrid energy flows by Friday and physical checks may also be carried out.

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Because of the specificity of the request, AMuS believes this means it is more than just a general legality check of each supplier's unit.

Adding to that notion is an apparent warning issued by the FIA which claims: "Any measure or system invented to intentionally alter the electrical measurements is considered a serious breach of the regulations."

While it is not known if any of the four engine makers are understood to be using the trick, the sudden suspicion may come as a result of the continued cooperation by Ferrari to help the FIA govern the power unit regulations.

It is this, which has also led to the push to ban so-called 'party modes', so high-performance settings that can only be used for short periods, from the Belgian Grand Prix next weekend.

And although this is purely a theory, if one manufacturer was potentially most likely to come up with such a system, it would be Mercedes, who have made major power unit gains in 2020 and have leant on their new Formula E project to improve their Energy Recovery System over the past year.