Teams cannot share aerodynamic data, FIA rules

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The FIA has ruled teams may not co-operate in order to get around restrictions on aerodynamic testing, following the query submitted by Mercedes yesterday.

However the stewards also cleared Ferrari and Haas of any such collusion, starting there was “no evidence that competitors have not complied with the requirements of appendices six and eight as they were interpreted prior to today’s date”.

Mercedes had asked whether teams could conduct aerodynamic testing on behalf of other teams without it being deducted from their annual allocation of wind tunnel testing.

“If the tests are for the exclusive benefit of the competitor then yes, they will be considered as carried out by a related party, agent or sub‐contractor and hence will be subject to the restrictions of appendix eight [the aerodynamic testing restrictions],” the stewards answered. “However if they are to the non‐exclusive benefit of the competitor, but carried out independently of that competitor and therefore not by a Related Party, agent or sub‐contractor, then they shall not fall within the restrictions of appendix eight.”

In a lengthy response to a series of questions submitted by Mercedes yesterday, the stewards noted their interpretation of the rules “have application only from today’s date” and “no retrospectivity shall apply.”

The stewards also recommended F1’s rules be toughened up in order to prevent any new teams exploiting the rules in future: “in future once a potential competitor (as opposed to official entry) applies to be a competitor in the FIA Formula One world championship and this application is accepted, that competitor should be bound by appendices six and eight (and for that matter any other appropriate sections of the Formula One sporting and technical regulations).

Mercedes, Ferrari and Haas were among the teams which made representations to the stewards on the matter, along with Red Bull, Force India, Williams and Manor.

Read the stewards response in full here (PDF)

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    11 comments on “Teams cannot share aerodynamic data, FIA rules”

    1. So Ferrari and Haas were cleared for all actions prior to this decision. What about going forward? Is what they’re doing still okay?

      1. You do realise this is all explained in the article, right?

      2. As explained in the article @pastaman: No, the way Ferrari helped Haas along will not be legal in the future. New teams will now be bound by testing, windtunnel and simulation rules just like the existing teams.

        1. @bascb Can’t see many new teams wanting to sign up given those restrictions, same for engine manufacturers with that situation either.. No wonder Renault and Bernie have now reportedly come to a deal.

          1. the two don’t have that much together IMO @fastiesty. Bernie did want Renault in and has been working on it for a while now. But he also wanted it as cheap as possible, while at the same time preparing the deal as an ace card for the next “concorde agreement” negotiations for 2020 ( by having Renault sing on until 2022 or maby even longer).
            This one is about getting new teams to join, something Bernie has always been rather ambiguous about. Actually, he was long against giving new teams an easy way in as it might be “too easy” to just buy sucess (and claim FOM money that way)

            The deal sure made it easier to enter and have a relatively good car from the start. But from the fact alone that the FIA did not find anything that gives evidence of wrongdoing when they checked on Ferrari earlier in the year, I think its almost certain teams who can afford this route would misuse it as much as they could get away with in the future. Therefore tightening up and making the rules clearer here is a ultimately a good thing.

    2. “If the tests are for the mutual benefit then it’s okay”

      1. Please point out where it says that.

    3. So I can’t take your parts, put them in my wind tunnel, run the tests and analyse the data for or with you. But I can sit down with you and explain the theories and concepts I’ve learned from years of aero work in the wind tunnel. Or I can go over old wind tunnel data and explain what the numbers mean in terms of aero design, what to look for, what not to do etc.
      If Ferrari wanted to help Haas with their aero development they can easily do so without contravening the rules. Seems like much ado about nothing.

    4. “Non exclusive, unrelated, independent” so you can buy a book on the subject or go to the library,but anything else is restricted.

    5. This story came up about Laurel Hill in the states a while ago, for me it shows the kind of cloak and dagger activities that Haas will be accustomed too, personally I wouldn’t passed either Haas or Ferrari for some kind of collusion in order to take down a mutual enemy, or a grid full… Time will tell how the relationship fairs when they’re fighting each other.

    6. Another cervellotic regulations from Fia.
      I wonder when the geniouses running F1 will stop over-regulating everything and gives us a real competition among drivers and not engineers.

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