FIA gave Ferrari technical advantages – Ecclestone

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone has strongly suggested that the FIA deliberately set technical regulations to benefit Ferrari during the Max Mosely era.

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After Max Verstappen was cleared of any wrongdoing following his investigation for ‘impeding’ Valtteri Bottas in qualifying, @bakano believes it was the right decision.

Correct decision. It is true that Bottas was affected by Max’s presence BUT he was off the racing line and he cannot just disappear! Bad luck that Bottas got him on that point of the circuit. And last weekend there was a driver that tried to get away when notified (Stroll) and got penalized because the other car was taking the same evasive maneuver!

So, bad luck for Bottas that he did get affected but a driver is in his right to go slower and if he is off the racing line there’s not much he can do. And once he was going slow on that section what other action he could have taken could be worse: if he braked harder Bottas would catch him more quickly and could even crash into him, and if he accelerated a bit to “get away” he could then be in the way at the entrance of the corner.

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  • 42 comments on “FIA gave Ferrari technical advantages – Ecclestone”

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      29th October 2017, 1:35

      Ferrari International Assistance

      1. Ferrari Internal Assistance

        1. Ferrari Illegal Assistance

      2. Ecclestone did even more for Ferrari than FIA.
        The technical rules were the same for all; Bernie’s money not!

      3. I don’t want to go against Bernie and all the aters, but why is Ferrari synonym of f1, running a hybrid engine, big wings and no refuelling all things ferrari didn’t want. Maybe Ferrari has been helped and that’s wrong. The help start in the rules, who gets what they want. I believe and sky f1 actually talked about this in practice, there have been more manufacturers being helped, open the books.

    2. Cheats all round then

    3. Many fans on this and other F1 pages have suggested and believe that the FIA helps Ferrari, looks the other side when Ferrari drivers contravene F1 rules, etc. Every time that suggestion is made, though, it’s beaten down in a hail of derision and contempt.
      Turns out those fans were onto something all along.
      And if the FIA are giving Ferrari illegal help with engines and regulations and so on, who says it ends there? Maybe this explains the strange reluctance to punish drivers like Vettel in Baku, when race stewards openly accepted that they didn’t want to interfere with the title race (in other words, they didn’t want to disadvantage Ferrari, even though a Ferrari driver had quite clearly broken the rules and then gone on to scream obscenities at the stewards on air).

      1. What Ecclestone said (and I also had been “on to something” long before he said it) is most true for the Schumacher era, especially late 90s to mid 2000s. But who says it has to be the same today? Ecclestone isn’t saying that for sure. And I don’t see how people can be making such claims regarding a team that hasn’t won anything in 10 years now.

    4. Slow news day!

    5. Can you imagine the uproar from the Verstap

    6. Those are actually really interesting comments by Ecclestone. Not that the FIA helped Ferrari with technical regulations, that’s kind of a given. But that the other teams have it in their best interest to beat a competitive Ferrari, that’s implying some pretty deep seeded collusion.

      I’ve recently thought that the competition of finances, politics and management is of equal importance as the competition on the track on race day. That in some sense F1 the most brutal and complete competition. That every thing counts, the rules can be bought, and the rewards for establishing ones brand as a leader are immeasurable.

      I’m not sure if this revelation makes that more true, or less.

      1. I guess whatever Ecclestone says now, is to be seen as a petty counter-attack for being forcefully side-lined.
        The current engine regulation was written to match the Mercedes prototype, and some rules preventing catching up were stupid… Was it helping Mercedes, or being tricked by a lobbyist doing it’s job too good? Before that era, there was a period where aero regulations favoured the Bull instead of the Horse… Off course the teams with the best lobbyists will get most chance to influence…

        1. These would be the regulations that were originally proposed by Renault (Adam Cooper having seen the original submission by Renault to the FIA back in 2007)?

        2. The current engine regulation was all Renault. Mercedes didn’t want it and neither did Ferrari. Only Renault and Red Bull were screaming about needing new engine regulations. Yes, ironically enough back then it was also Horner who was complaining that they needed a new engine.

          Somehow they figured that Renault had the worst engine (it was down a bit on power, but made up for that in fuel and driveability, blown diffuser) and insisted on getting new regulations where Renault would then prevail. Yet the engine order stayed the same, with Mercedes having the most powerful one, Ferrari next and Renault third again.

          So after spending hundreds of millions to help Red Bull get their better engine we are right back at it again where Red Bull is clamoring to get a new engine regulation quickly. I guess they are hoping another throw of the dice will fall in their favor again.

          Just like the new aero regs put them back on top again. Oh wait … no … they failed on that too.

          If any team (besides Ferrari still getting a 100million annually from FIA+FOM) benefits from FIA aid, it’s Red Bull. Remember the whole flexible wing debcle where Red Bull clearly ran flexible bodywork and FIA did nothing to stop them? Well they pretended to change the tests tp placate the people who complained, but really didn’t do anything.

          New engine regs to suit them. New more aero dependent regs to suit Red Bull. etc etc.

          It’s odd they didn’t get rid of Connely though. The steward who keeps penalizing Verstappen. Guess he’s to high up for them to reign him in.

          Although they had no qualms going against their own stewards to aid Ferrari.

          1. You’re delusional, Horner only called for Renault to have upgrades when it was clear that the Toro Rosso car was much quicker than the Red Bull, both being identical chassis in 2008. Renault demanded the engine regulation change, it was all Renault, not Red Bull, RB were happy once the Renault had parity, maybe even an advantage, from 2009 on.

            1. @ Alex W
              I’d hate to be called ‘delusional’ as well, but @patrickl has a point with some of the things he says.

              Horner only called for Renault to have upgrades when it was clear that the Toro Rosso car was much quicker than the Red Bull, both being identical chassis in 2008

              This can’t be true, for several reasons:
              – Toro Rosso were less competitive than Red Bull in pretty much any given metric (grid positions, average qualifying time deficit, average finishing position). Toro Rosso did manage to outscore Red Bull by exactly 10 points, but those points can be traced back to Vettel’s freak victory in Monza.
              – Toro Rosso fielded two different cars that season: The STR2B, which was an evolution of their 2007 car, that was virtually identical to the RB3 used by Red Bull in 2007, and the STR3, that wasn’t identical to the RB4, either.

              As for Red Bull’s ‘happiness’ from 2009 on, here’s a quick quiz:
              When did Christian Horner issue the following statement?

              The problem with the engine freeze is that you freeze in an advantage. As the chassis converge in performance, the engines will become a key performance differentiator. The problem is if you don’t allow some development, then you freeze in an advantage for one team or a disadvantage for another. So there has to be a balancing of that, otherwise we will end up with Mercedes-powered cars winning all the races, and other manufacturers may choose to leave Formula One off of the back of that.

              The answer:
              In 2010.

            2. Ok , delusional was a little strong…

      2. other teams have it in their best interest to beat a competitive Ferrari

        So in effect Ferrari is a glorified version of the hare in greyhound racing ;)

    7. I honestly would not be surprised if Mercedes did help Ferrari. Just look how many ex Mercedes engines guys now work for Ferrari alot of them were allowed to leave without any gardening leave especially after 2014 season. Meanwhile if any other teams want to poach Mercedes staff they have to serve up to 12 months gardening leave.

      1. Names and dates, please.

      2. What are you talking about? Only one ex-mercedes engineer works for Ferrari, Zimmermann. How many ex-Ferrari men work for Mercedes? The list is long…

      3. Merc allowed Mahle to tell Ferrari about oil burning early on, confident they would maintain an overall advantage anyway, maybe.

      4. Just for your information, Jock Clear resigned from his role in Mercedes just after Hamilton clinched his second WDC in 2014, he spent the whole 2015 year in a gardening leave and his first appearance with Ferrari was in the winter testing in 2016. Just like @Bio mentioned the number of staff that joined Mercedes from Ferrari is greater than the other way round in terms of number/position.

    8. I think it was right decision for Mercedes to assist Ferrari.
      If they didn’t help any other team the sport will be hurt by boring domination and for big manufacture as Mercedes, it better had great fight with Ferrari than get beaten by a drink company.

    9. Wow, I got a COTD :-D
      Thanks @willwood (this round-up was written by Will)

    10. Regarding the COTD… Not a fan (yet), I reckon he’s the best thing in F1 at the moment, but… VER is some sort of a spoilt brat and the genes of a cheat are already visible. More than sure, if it was the other way around, BOT would have been accused of impeding him in getting the PP and would have made a big fuss about it, very probably shouting again at the stewards. He passed RAI in USA by cutting the corner… and it was fair to him! If it was Schumacher, Rosberg etc doing what he did in USA and impeding BOT, more than sure they would have been accused again of some dirty tricks. Don’t want to think how big his mouth would have been if he was one of the WDC contenders…

      Regarding the Ferrari tech advantages: rubbish. A guy like Ecclestone shouldn’t be taken for granted. Plus, how exactly did FIA help them… showed them the new rules few years ahead, built the car(s) for them?!? I think this statement is quite ridiculous. If FIA helped Ferrari, then we can agree that FIA helped Mercedes too with these new regs. V6s turbos are not something Ferrari built, used, raced. It was something new for them. Not the case with Mercedes and Renault. They built V6s and turbos a lot more and for longer period of time than Ferrari ever did. So, following the same logic… Mercedes’ titles are cheats. We found out anyway that they kinda cheat by burning oil. Also, Horner wants badly now to get rid of these engines. If FIA does so and then RBR wins… they’re favoured?! According to Bernie… Heck Yeah…

      1. People were complaining about Ferrari International Assistance all those years. Afterwards more and more has been getting out. Like how Ferrari get 100 million a year from FIA/FOM. That’s back when the teams were running 200million to 300million budgets. They also gave Ferrari a veto on the technical regs. They helped by banning mass tuned dampers, buy changing the tyre regs mid season etc etc etc.

        The FIA actually protested against their own stewards decision to get Ferrari that ban. You seriously don’t think that is bizarre?

        FIA could have tweaked regulations to aid Ferrari getting further ahead in area’s where they were stronger or ban things which Ferrari wasn’t strong at. I guess Ecclestone could be a bit more clear on what regulation changes he;s talking about, but even without knowing exactly which, but it’s 100% clear that they did help Ferrari a lot during that era of shame.

        1. Wow, an era of shame?! First time I hear that. OK, you know something, I reckon I don’t remember everything exactly, but from what I remember it seems you make a mix of facts just to bash Ferrari. The mass dampers is something that has to do with Renault and starting 2005. Ferrari didn’t win much when 2004 ended, at least not champs. I’m a fan and I have mixed feelings about this monetary advantage. In a way it seems unfair, on the other hand it kinda seems fair. Believe it or not, F1 means Ferrari and viceversa more than many thinks. If tomorrow Ferrari will retire from F1, I’ll stop watching F1 for sure. Many will do, trust me. I don’t care much about the other manufacturer teams, they didn’t prove they have much in common with F1 and that they’re loyal, just that they come to F1 purely to satisfy some needs that barely have anything to do with F1 (marketing, road relevance, bla bla bla). Therefore, the only reliable team that everybody know it’ll be on the grid is Ferrari. Everybody else, more or less, come and go, maybe return.

    11. Bernie, seeking attention… Current regulations then favour Mercedes…

      Most modern F1 years were like that.

    12. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th October 2017, 8:58

      I still think Kvyat is easily strong enough to deserve to be in F1 even if it isn’t for a top team. If people consider Sainz to be good at qualifying, then they have to admit Kvyat is good too. Mid season, their average qualifying times worked out was actually slightly towards Kvyat. And since then, Kvyat had still managed to beat Sainz once or twice. So either Sainz is hugely over rated at qualifying since many concider Kvyat to be terrible, or more likely, Kvyat is much better than we think. He’s just had terrible luck and had better performances when the car isn’t really capable of points. I do agree he should have done better but I don’t think it is enough to kick him out of F1. At the moment, I think he’ll manage to soon get to be better than Magnussen, Grosjean, Ericsson, Wehrlein and maybe 1 or 2 others too. He did show he was decent in 2015.

      1. Speed is not the only thing that matters in F1, Kvyat is not the most likable of characters and he is inconsistent in races.

        The truth is, you are suppposed to move on from Torro to make way for fresh talent, he has to go and get himself a drive if he wants to stay in f1 but as we know, there are no seats. It is a shame that this has been handled so poorly, I wish they had just opted to not retain him next year instead of messing him around like this.

      2. @thegianthogweed I agree mostly – he has shown above average skill on good days – but he got flustered a few times too many, earning the flattering ‘torpedo’ nickname.

        Part of me was hoping they would retain him one more season, and he would settle in. But considering everything, he has had his fair share of opportunities. Time for him to move on to something else.

        Seeing how Hartly re-entered the arena after 7 years of careful career building in other series, maybe F1 came too early for Kvyat as well. Kvyat may not have kept such a good relationship witth his former ‘bosses’ though.

      3. I’d pick him ahead of any of the options Williams are reportedly considering

    13. Remember when it emerged Ferrari started building the most reliable engines then the FIA started punishing teams who couldn’t. Ferrari dominated. F1 died a bit back then.

      Then there were the seasons other teams made noises Ferrari with Schumacher (there’s a surprise) were using traction and launch control. The season it was allowed again, ferrari stalled on the grid, Max Mosely ran around the TV stations telling eevryone that *was proof* they wernt using it the year before. What a complete sham!

      1. Some wiki-page history:

        In the early 1980s, Mosley represented FOCA in the “FISA-FOCA War”, a conflict between FOCA, representing the mainly UK-based independent teams, and FISA, which was supported by the “grandee” constructors owned by road car manufacturers (primarily Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Renault). […] Mosley helped draw up the Concorde Agreement, a document which resolved the dispute by essentially giving FISA control of the rules and FOCA control of commercial and television rights.

        So basically Ecclestone and co. got the money, Ferrari got to write the rules (and get bailed out when need be by FIA decisions: Moseley after the 2007-08 McLaren-Ferrari wars essentially stated as such). Some version of this agreement is obviously still in force today.

      2. You seem to know too much info for an outside person. Soooo… FIA is helping Mercedes furthermore after 4 year already by punishing even harder the rest of the teams now that Mercedes engine is bulletproof regarding the reliability?!

    14. I’m neither here nor their on whether the FIA have directly helped Ferrari in the past. Many things can be suggested that if this rule wasn’t imposed, that it would have been a different result. Regardless, what I am absolutely certain about, is that if the FIA had directly changed the rules to favour one team or another, then I would suggest that it was in Mr E’s self interest to make that happen, Bernie is not the kind of guy to be out played by Ferrari, if it didn’t benefit him in some way and I’m certain that rule changes always were overseen and approved by Mr E, so its not a case of the FIA acting without his input.

      1. For sure. I have claimed all along it was the Max and Bernie and FIA show that decided post-Senna that F1 needed a new icon and a new storyline, so they moved MS and his crew away from the highly tainted Benetton team to Ferrari, gave MS more advantages hand over fist than any driver has had before or since, to create a new chapter by helping end Ferrari’s (at the time 16 year) WDC drought.

        And of course we have always known BE is a dictator type who loves power and money, and that Ferrari run, along with the controversy, brought the entity billions…pretty much made MS a billionaire so imagine what it did for Max and Bernie and Ferrari.

        In recent years when Ferrari admitted they had veto power over the rules but never used them, my response was and still is…when you are consulted about rule changes before they are made, and get your chance at that point to say yes to this and no to that, there’s no need to veto anything after that. The regs got announced, and of course Ferrari was all for them.

    15. These claims that the regulations are geared towards helping Ferrari might hold a little more credibility of the results reflected that.

      In the last ten years the rules have been anything but in Ferraris favour. The reduction in testing and the budget constraints took away their major advantage that landed them all those back to back championships. The engine freeze under the V8’s made it a chassis formula that favoured Red Bull and McLaren. These V6’s may make them more relevant but they aren’t the power units Ferrari would like to be making, they’re exactly what Mercedes, Renault and Honda want though.

      1. The way I see it, they gave MS/Ferrari a ten year run, the last half of which they dominated, and that predictability can always turn viewers off. Note many are of the opinion MS wasn’t ready to leave Ferrari or F1. His return to Mercedes was an indication of that. It became someone else’s turn, and that became SV/RBR, and 4 years after that curtailments to exhaust blown diffusers etc took it away from RBR and in recent years many here have complained about a Mercedes locking in of their advantage with the token system for pu’s. Brawn just finished saying on Friday to Brundle that another year of the type of domination by Mercedes that we had with the LH/NR lockout of the front row would have been ‘extremely tedious.’

    16. How about banning unlimited testing when Ferrari used to test their cars in Fiorano/Mugello (tracks owned by Ferrari) and in Monza/Imola (about 1/2 hours far from Maranello by highway) ? Was this part of the technical advantages granted by the FIA to Ferrari ?

    17. Not sure what Bernie suggest’s in actually that accurate but it’s food for the conspiracy types I guess.

      People always say that the FIA helped Ferrari while ignoring that a lot of the rule changes made after 2002 & 2004 were done to hinder Ferrari not help them.

      The reason Ferrari came from nowhere to dominance were not because they were helped, It’s because they hired the right people (Schumacher, Brawn, Byrne, Stepney among others) & Jean Todt’s management skill’s put those right people in the right position to maximize what they were good at on top of been able to remove a lot of the usual media politics from the race team.

      All you need do is look at what happened to Ferrari when those people left to see the real reason they had the success they did for as long as they did.

      It’s the same story with Red Bull, They brought in Newey & some other guys that totally reorganized there technical departments, Got one of the best drivers on his generation in Vettel & together turned a mid-field team into dominant championship winners & with a better engine the past 4 years they would still be where they were from 2009-2013.

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