Ferrari says that the debate over whether its 2018 car is legal or not is now "completely closed" following a series of FIA investigations. Ferrari has stepped up its pace for the current season and has taken the title fight to Mercedes.
The Scuderia outfit has been able to battle with the Silver Arrows much more consistently than 2017, and it has made dramatic improvements to its power unit in just a matter of months. Questions were raised from Ferrari's rivals over the legality of the car.
However, the situation is now settled according to technical chief Mattia Binotto: "Obviously, the power unit is a complex element and it has been since 2014. The FIA is fully aware of our components and it is our duty as well each time to make sure the FIA is fully, let me say, convinced that there is something right or wrong for them to inspect, to understand better.
“I think it’s simply what happens at the time there is some questions: we answer; we explain and I think that’s what happens. That’s it. The FIA certainly is happy, declaring our car legal at every single race, and on our side, honestly, fully happy at seeing the point is completely closed by them.”
Ferrari took victory at the Belgium Grand Prix one week ago, with Sebastian Vettel crossing the line 11 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. However, Binotto doesn't think that the advantage was that big between the two manufacturers.
“I think the difference to Mercedes overall was very small at the end,” he said. “They have been on pole in qualifying, so they have been the fastest car, as a matter of fact, and I think that in the race our pace was very similar.
“So to try to distinguish if there is a little difference, where it’s coming from, is a very difficult exercise. Our package is working well as a whole, from the aero, from the chassis, mechanicals and the power unit and I think that as well in terms of development we are all focused on all the areas.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing