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FIA publishes clarification of Ferrari deal in response to displeasure from seven teams

  • Published on 05 Mar 2020 13:17
  • comments 17
  • By: Fergal Walsh

The FIA has issued a clarification statement relating to the announcement it made last week regarding the investigation into Ferrari's power unit.

All non-Ferrari powered teams released a joint statement on Wednesday, demanding clarification over the conclusion of the investigation, as the FIA highlighted that a settlement had been reached and would remain between the two parties.

The FIA examined the Ferrari power unit amid suspicions that it did not fall in line with the regulations, admitting that it too doubted the legality of the unit. 

However, F1's governing body says that no further investigation is necessary “due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach”.

Full FIA statement

“The FIA has conducted detailed technical analysis on the Scuderia Ferrari Power Unit as it is entitled to do for any competitor in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

“The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times.

“The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations. The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

“To avoid the negative consequences that a long litigation would entail especially in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of such litigations and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders, the FIA, in compliance with Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR), decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings.

“This type of agreement is a legal tool recognised as an essential component of any disciplinary system and is used by many public authorities and other sport federations in the handling of disputes.

“The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.

“The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Replies (17)

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  • Snooky

    Posts: 11

    Quite worrying that the people governing the sport are being outsmarted by those they are governing

    • + 0
    • Mar 5 2020 - 14:26
    • Dert38

      Posts: 185

      it may be not like that

      • + 0
      • Mar 6 2020 - 10:05
    • Snooky

      Posts: 11

      They’ve said they don’t believe the PU was always operating within the regulations, but if they had proof it wouldn’t go through a long litigation process. The FIA has a similar issue with the Ferrari battery’s a couple of years ago where they couldn’t work out how the system worked. I love that teams can be clever and think up new systems and ways of going faster, but when you have a regulator than cannot understand how you’ve done something when presented with the items and ECUs then it’s a bit of a cause for concern

      • + 0
      • Mar 8 2020 - 10:41
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 439

    DAS is just another prime example. If it hadn’t have been for on-board cameras behind the drivers nobody would ever have known and Merc wouldn’t have told anybody either. Maybe Ferrari dreamed up a wheeze but weren’t sure of its legality and subsequently the FIA decided whatever they were doing was likely to be outside the rules but couldn’t prove what was going on?

    • + 1
    • Mar 5 2020 - 15:14
    • Snooky

      Posts: 11

      Not quite, FIA have known about DAS for months, but a loophole in whether it was classified as a change of suspension or changing the steering meant Merc avoided a ban this year (which is why the closed the loophole for next year). The FIA can’t seem to be able to understand and prove quite how Ferrari were getting around the regs, they seem sure they were but like the battery system they had before, the FIA can’t work out how it works so can’t penalise them for it

      • + 1
      • Mar 5 2020 - 22:01
  • Kean

    Posts: 647

    So Ferrari cheated, but stopped doing so and the FIA can't prove it so they're dropping the case?

    • + 2
    • Mar 5 2020 - 15:18
    • Dert38

      Posts: 185

      I suppose honda was cheating too (austria and some races) then they end up quietly.

      • + 0
      • Mar 6 2020 - 10:04
    • Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Ferrari Did cheat in one instance, when they overloaded Leclerc's Ferrari with fuel. That one's confirmed to be outside of regulations. The other aspects they just cannot prove, meaning either Ferrari simply have a good PU, or they did some trick what isn't monitored by the FIA, what was hard to prove by telemetry in general and couldn't be physically traced. The latter point implies it is a legal trick or a really clever cheat.
      As for Honda (come on, you are just trolling): in Austria "and some other races"(citation required): their fuel loads were a ok, their fuel flow was Ok, their ERS was operating as per the regulations. They just used a higher engine mode, for all we know, unless they found a really good exploit, which would then A) either be a loophole in the regulations, or B) be something the FIA were too silly or too unaware of to notice. At any rate, you really think the other teams would be silent if they suspected Honda of pulling their legs?

      • + 1
      • Mar 6 2020 - 13:19
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 230

    So Max was saying this but everybody were unhappy of his behavior and now we see he was right

    • + 1
    • Mar 5 2020 - 16:00
    • The difference is in how you say it. Max made baseless accusations at a time where nothing was guaranteed, and the FIA only suspected that Ferrari pulled their leg. Now, basically, the FIA has confirmed that they cannot confirm that Ferrari pulled their leg. So the accusations remain baseless. All we know is that at at least one GP, Leclerc had an overfueled car.

      • + 0
      • Mar 6 2020 - 13:21
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Max was correct but a bit clumsy in his word choice. Ferrari did work outside the nature of the rules and did something that I see as cheating. We know that after they got found out because someone told on them. Either the FIA found nothing and Ferrari aren't guilty or they did find something and they are. It can't be both which is what the FIA is claiming. Without proof or admission they can't be guilty and the reverse is with proof they are guilty.

      This is not some kind of invention that make the car go faster, instead its a way to overcome the detection of the fuel flow restriction.

      Ask yourself: If Honda or Renault did this would they get the same kind of treatment? If the answer if Yes than no issue, more likely No than Ferrari has used its privileged position. This all about getting equal treatment for all the teams not for Ferrari to misuse it's position.

      • + 0
      • Mar 8 2020 - 09:05
    • Well, I cannot quite blame him for speaking out, but yes, clumsy wording, and we still don't know if they actually did cheat. And in the meantime, he has locked himself out of ever working with the prancing horse, regardless of them cheating or not.

      In theory, we kinda know the answer to your latter concern. Remember how Renault was treated this very season, when they were found out to have implemented a feature what may or may not have been utilized to boost PU performance but wasn't inside the regulations? They were slammed down almost instantly. I am very sure it'd be the same if Honda did it (and so far no team have suspected Honda of out-of regulation behaviour). And the FIA have tried to clamp down on Ferrari now about three times: first in-season with the clarifications RB demanded, second when they fined Ferrari for that extra fuel Leclerc was carrying, and now a third time with the extra post-season investigation. We've had them show leniency with Merc' and Ferrari with the oil burning. But now? I genuinly think they've tried to clamp down on any potential cheating from Ferrari's part. They were just clueless in how to handle the correspondence with teams and press.

      • + 0
      • Mar 8 2020 - 18:29
  • Had they just said this from the start this would never have gotten so messy. I had no idea Swedish politicians governed the FIA!

    • + 1
    • Mar 5 2020 - 16:49
  • TheDentist

    Posts: 15

    Ferrari have been cheating for years, back from the days when Michal Schumacher was caught using illegal engine modes and was allowed to keep his race wins!! FIA always turn the other eye when it comes to Ferrari. Now imagine if this was Mercedes in Ferrari’s position, what would everyone be saying then..

    • + 3
    • Mar 5 2020 - 21:48
    • Dert38

      Posts: 185

      would everyone be saying then: Ban the system for 2021?????

      • + 0
      • Mar 6 2020 - 10:02
  • Dert38

    Posts: 185

    Engine > DAS

    • + 0
    • Mar 6 2020 - 10:01
  • f1ski

    Posts: 591

    FIA couldn't prove cheating. Ferrari denied it agreement made. There are probably other details not mentioned and don't be surprised if Honda or Mercedes get investigated early season.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2020 - 15:31

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