The FIA have explained their decision to agree a settlement with Ferrari following an investigation into the F1 giants’ 2019 engine. Seven of Ferrari’s pit-lane rivals – Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Williams – had on Wednesday released a joint-statement objecting to the settlement.
They demanded “proper disclosure” of the FIA’s findings after the engines Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc had at their disposal were assessed.
The FIA have now responded and explained that, while they were “not fully satisfied”, they were unwilling to pursue further action.
A statement released on Thursday read: “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.
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“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.”
Mercedes and co. had threatened legal action in the statement released on Tuesday, which was not undersigned by Alfa Romeo and Haas, who are Ferrari engine customers.
“We, the undersigned teams, were surprised and shocked by the FIA’s statement of Friday 28 February regarding the conclusion of its investigation into the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit,” the statement read.
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“An international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency.
“After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter.
“Therefore, we hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally.
“We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula One.
“In addition, we reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts.”
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