Cryptic response to shock F1 revolt

The FIA has responded to the seven F1 teams who have challenged their handling of the Ferrari engine case.

The seven teams who do not run Ferrari engines issued a joint statement this week saying they were “surprised and shocked” by the FIA’s decision to enter into a private settlement with the Scuderia after long-running investigations into their power unit, which was the subject of much speculation last season due to Ferrari’s straight-line speed.

The FIA has now issued a statement clarifying that move — and said it was within its statutory rights to enter into such an agreement.

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The governing body said that while it was “not fully satisfied” at the end of its extensive investigations into Ferrari’s power unit, it 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”.

Ferrari have consistently denied any wrongdoing and said their 2019 car adhered to the regulations.

“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,” read a statement.

“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.

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Rivals weren’t happy with Ferrari being cleared.Source:Getty Images

“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.”

In a rare collective team statement, the seven teams who do not run Ferrari engines — Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Williams — said they “strongly object” to the FIA-Ferrari settlement and said they would “pursue full and proper disclosure”.

The added that they “reserve our rights to seek legal redress” within the FIA’s court structures.


Ferrari’s engine was the class of the field in 2019, so much so that they were often gaining half a second over their closest rivals on the straights in qualifying.

Although Ferrari still didn’t challenge for the title, Mercedes and Red Bull were particularly irked about how they were achieving that advantage — but never made a formal protest.

Ferrari denied anything untoward, and their engine was regularly checked by the FIA. A number of new technical directives were issued last season, tightening fuel-flow rules, but we heard nothing more regarding the Ferrari engine.

Until the final Friday of winter testing.

In a statement released in the evening of that final day, the FIA said that, after thorough analysis into the PU, they had reached a private settlement with Ferrari and that the Scuderia would “assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels”.

Rival teams, not including the Ferrari-powered Haas and Alfa Romeo, saw that statement and have decided to launch a formal protest on the eve of the new season — which Ferrari start with a new package focusing on cornering rather than straight-line speed.

This story originally appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission

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