Ahead of the 2019 Formula One season, a whole slew of rule changes were introduced. These regulations clamped down hard on the engines in particular. So, in theory, all of the top engines, Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda, were reasonably closer to each other in performance.
However, come pre-season testing, Scuderia Ferrari had a trick up their sleeves. In Australia, things were fairly tight between the three teams and Valtteri Bottas triumphed. But, Bahrain was a completely different story when the signs pointed to the weekend belonging to Ferrari.
It was only a cruel twist of fate that wrested things in Mercedes’ favour. However, Red Bull smelled a rat in terms of Ferrari’s superior pace all weekend. They alleged that something was highly suspicious about the engine and the fuel used.
Red Bull boss, Christian Horner even said, “The fuel from the Ferrari garage smells like grapefruit juice,”
Clarifying Horner’s stance, Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey said, “We actually thought that the FIA had filled all the last holes in the regulations,”
The team’s main grouse was that the Scuderia Ferrari was nearly half a second faster in Bahrain. According to a rough estimate on Grandpx.com, the Ferrari had at least 40 more than their rivals.
One theory even alleges that Ferrari’s fuel sponsor, Shell, had discovered something that was revolutionary in the field of fuel.
For now, it remains to be seen if the FIA will take action against the Maranello squad or dismiss the claims.
But this weekend, every team will be looking forward to the Chinese GP, venue for the 1000th Formula One race. It is indeed a special milestone and it would be an honour to win the 1000th race.
Two weeks ago, Charles LeClerc had victory cruelly snatched away from his grasp. Can he win his maiden Formula One race in the 1000th running?