Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya

Seven F1 teams demand explanation over secret FIA-Ferrari settlement

2020 F1 season

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The seven Formula 1 teams which do not use Ferrari power units have issued a statement that they are “surprised and shocked” by last week’s settlement between the team and the FIA.

McLaren, Mercedes, Racing Point, Red Bull, Renault, AlphaTauri and Williams say they “strongly object” to the deal between the sport’s governing body and the FIA, details of which are being kept secret.

The FIA announced last Friday it had “reached a settlement” with Ferrari over the operation of its power unit, but that the details would “remain between the parties”.

The seven teams – all F1 competitors excluding Ferrari and its engine customers Alfa Romeo and Haas – reacted furiously to the decision. A statement issued simultaneously by the group warned “an international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency”.

The teams committed “to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter” and added they “reserve our rights to seek legal redress” on the matter.

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The seven teams’ statement on the Ferrari-FIA deal in full

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Why the FIA struck a confidential deal over Ferrari’s power unit

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.

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.

McLaren Racing Limited
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited
Racing Point UK Limited
Red Bull Racing Limited
Renault Sport Racing Limited
Scuderia Alpha Tauri S.p.A.
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

This article will be updated.

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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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127 comments on “Seven F1 teams demand explanation over secret FIA-Ferrari settlement”

  1. They really put them self in a tricky situation with the confidential settlement, what did they expect?

  2. Unsurprising reaction from the teams considering the way FIA worded their statement about their settlement with Ferrari. Now, this necessitates a little more detailing into what really transpired — were Ferrari upto something innovative albeit making use of a loophole in the regulations or were they breaking those same regulations and the FIA & Ferrari perhaps scrambled to reach a settlement to save their faces in the public eye ?!

    Time will tell.
    For now, i am getting my popcorn :-)

    1. Any agreement regarding technical details of a team car would be confidential, the problem is the confidential word being in the statement.

      1. The trouble is, nothing in that FIA statement made it clear whether Ferrari are to desist, or continue to do whatever it is they do.
        Is Ferrari free to continue the same course into 2021?

        ‘A settlement’, like what the hell does that mean?.

    2. interesting. my impression was that Ferrari had a legitmate legal claim against the FIA over the entire process.

  3. This reaction from teams was expected as the report came on last day of testing and quite late in the day. So clearly “maFIA” was expecting a damn squib reaction to the press release.

    1. MaFIA! :)
      Frank Williams has thrown his lot in with the rebels!!
      Normal practice for Williams is to have a foot in either camp and wait to see how the wind blows. This tells us Ferrari are in hot water here.

  4. Faction lines are drawn with the Ferrari B-teams not signing. Could be the most interesting gate in a long time.

    I wonder what court they can go to?

    1. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, I think its in Paris or France somewhere. They can rule on sporting disputes and are independent of any governing body!!!

      @webtel What popcorn you got? I am going for sweet and salted mixed!

      Its amazing how F1 can create so many scandals that could be so easily avoided. With the focus firmly on 2020 a simple line to say they were unable to find any evidence of wrong doing, 2019 would have been put to bed and we would all be talking about Melbourne, Corona and DAS!!!

      1. Dale,
        The Court of Arbitration for Sport, Tribunal arbitral du sport in French, is located in Lausanne (Switzerland)

        1. correct!

      2. @Dale foster: I like it spicy.
        And about those scandals, one does wonder how many Ferrari have been involved in !!

      3. With the focus firmly on 2020 a simple line to say they were unable to find any evidence of wrong doing…

        But my guess is this would be a lie and were the decision or subterfuge to later come out, it would be even more explosive?

    2. Faction lines are drawn with the Ferrari B-teams not signing. Could be the most interesting gate in a long time

      Its not interesting at all. They were never involved in the first place, Mercedes only started dialogue with the 7 non-ferrari teams.

      Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff “sent a letter to all non-Ferrari teams in Formula 1 (ie everyone except Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Haas) to work together against the private agreement”

  5. The FIA are doing a good job of making F1 look like an absolute joke of a “sport”, especially to more casual followers/viewers which make up the majority of F1’s following worldwide.

    In what alternative reality did they think everyone would find this secret settlement acceptable?

    1. If I were a casual fan I would not even know this stuff was going on at all. I hav not seen any of it in the broader news, it’s all hidden away in specialized F1 or motorsport sources that you have to actively seek out. I don’t think you can call yourself a “casual fan” if you do that. But yes, the question remains, how could they ever think that a secret settlement would fly with the rest of the teams and fans?

      1. Nope, I was browsing the no.1 news site in my country and a few wheel scrolls down from the very top was an eye catching picture of a red Ferrari F1 and a title (translated obviously) “F1 at war! Mercedes and Red-Bull threaten FIA and Ferrrari with court over illegal engine”. Literally one of the main news on the site today. And we have no major affliction to F1 here in my country. Very few follow it.

        So wether people read any further or not, I’d say 50% of Estonians saw the headline and drew their own conclusions.

        1. Maybe it’s just where I live then. The media does usually focus on other sports here, but the big motor sport stories usually makes it in. Not this time. Yet, at least.

      2. It’s being reported by the BBC in it’s sports section… look harder.

  6. Jean Todt/FIA have really stuffed this up! They have managed to put of nearly half off the F1 grid but also a pretty big chunk of F1 fans.
    Perception is reality and both hard core and casual fans of the sport will not take kindly to a perceived favouritism of the sports managing body openly protecting one team at the detriment of the others.

    1. So true.
      What did they expect? Having an ex Ferrari Boss preside over a Ferrari “situation” isn’t going to help with the perception either. Having the Mercedes team Boss or the Rad Bull Boss taking over when he retires doesn’t seem like a very good idea either.

      1. I would expect that Todt would recuse himself from any FIA decisions involving Ferrari. That is the honourable and sensible thing to do. Now whether he did… I don’t know.

  7. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    4th March 2020, 11:02

    When I read about this ‘settlement’ in private I did wonder if Renault & McLaren would be upset that their ‘iffy’ scandals in the past were performed and punished so publically by comparison. To be honest it stinks. If Ferrari hadn’t done anything wrong then I can’t understand the need for a settlement – which arguably is the other team’s problem. But more importantly is the lack of transparency over the issue and the inconsistency with how this issue has been handled. It appears deeply unfair. If they did nothing wrong – prove it. If they did do something wrong, then say so.

    1. The way I read it is Ferrari did nothing wrong, but were perhaps producing a new technology that the FIA though was not in the spirit of the rules. Mercedes are doing the same with DAS, but that is out in the public, so the FIA capitulated on that one and banned it for 2021 and not 2020 to avoid public backlash. I think the FIA got put in a legal hole though with Ferrari patenting whatever technology they created, and and that paralysed and statement FIA made public. As it stands, it looks like they have banned some loophole Ferrari found, so anti Ferrari people should be happy and not angry.

      1. I wish they would a statement like you said, people would be not happy but sneaky of Ferrari as they found a loophole but FIA couldn’t do anything about it then remove if from the rules or rewrite the rules it can’t be used.
        Everyone would know about it and then nobody could complain about it.

        1. In general, how is finding a loophole, “sneaky”?

          Finding loopholes, perhaps masquerading as reading the rule book, is what F1 teams aspire to, surely? Some have even successfully found loopholes, apparently.

      2. that’s a good answer and very realistic!! im sure the other teams want to know what area Ferrari are working towards since there is not much left in development.

      3. Agreed kpcart and @macleod.
        It’s likely an issue of ip that we can’t visually see and thus they want protected. I’ll echo macleod’s sentiment that the wording should have reflected that if it were the case.
        In any case the ruling seems to have cost the Scuderia some time on the track. Which as a fan of the sport in its entirety sucks. I want the championship to be as close as possible for drivers and constructors.

      4. I thought that this related to their investigation of last year. If Ferrari did something similar to Mercedes wouldn’t the FIA react in a similar way, ie let it stand for this year but make it illegal for next. I don’t think it’s that easy to be honest.

        1. @macleod @fletch (don’t know how to tag the others)

          I believe the DAS was already outlawed for 2021 (and not 2020), in regulations revealed last year. It’s a minor difference I know, but it would show that the FiA had not opted to allow Mercedes off the hook to avoid backlash, but rather that Mercedes had cottoned on to a loophole that was available for exploitation for this year only.

          I’m pretty sure I read that in an article on this site but I cannot find it now. Hopefully somebody else can confirm it for me. Otherwise I’m just making wild, unsubstantiated claims. I’m not picking sides on it, I’ve got no horse in this race.

          1. “Indeed, the fact that such a system is referred to in the 2021 regulations issued last year confirms Mercedes claims that the FIA has known about the system’s introduction this year for some time.

            Article 10.5.2 of the 2021 regulations (pdf), which were issued in October last year, state that: “The re-alignment of the steered wheels, as defined by the position of the inboard attachment of the relevant suspension members that remain a fixed distance from each other, must be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotational position of a single steering wheel.”

            Article 10.4 of the 2019 regulations, which applies to steering, however, contains no such rule.”

      5. If the FIA have banned some Loop hole then it will only become clear when they publish the next amendment to their list of do’s and don’ts. As far as i know no such amendment has resulted from this latest ‘Settlement’. Meantime we can only guess at this loop hole.

      6. If a team does something that is not in the spirit of the rules then they are not punished, the loophole is simply closed for the next year. So I don’t think you are right about that.

      7. Patents are, by definition, public. The whole idea is to publish information about new technology for the benefit of society, and in return getting a time-limited exclusive right to that technology (unfortunately, the convoluted way they’re written today, the “benefit to society” part is quite limited).

        So Ferrari patenting tech cannot be a reason to withhold anything.

  8. The other 7 teams don’t really deserve an answer as there was no protest over the legality of Ferrari’s power unit. FIA investigated out of their own accord and settled accordingly. Ferrari would always protect the reputation of the brand and as such caving into the FIA’s demands is a form of settlement. If the other teams want to contest legality, then they have to protest at a race weekend. First it was the twin battery, then the TD on fuel flow, but what next? Even a protest as to the legality must have a basis. So what’s the basis now?

    1. Red Bull were the first to ‘protest’

    2. Not true, Mercedes and red bull ask for clarification of several engine parts.
      Multiple times.

  9. Hardly a surprise. Frankly, any other team, we’d know the full details as such would have been made reletively public.

    The Renault braking system controversy last year, Mclaren’s spygate, Mercedes ‘secret tyre test’ (Even though it seems that the only issue was that both team and Perelli failed to notify the FIA and both Red Bull and Ferrri had similar testing sessions)

    But Ferrari were given the option of hushing it all up. That was always going to result in a backlash.

    1. Your take of the Mercedes tire controversy is not correct.
      Read this for the full story.

      1. Isn’t it about time people (Ferrari fans) stopped dragging that up? It’s gone beyond boring. There have been dozens of similar issues in the last 10 years, but that gets dragged out, along with Brazil 2008, almost weekly.

        1. To be fair though, the British fans also keep dragging out past scenarios when they claimed Ferrari had been getting away with things back in the day. That too surely does get boring too.

          1. Not a Ferrari fan
            5th March 2020, 3:45

            Not just British fans. Merc fans, Red Bull fans & more than a few others seem to thrive on slinging mud at Ferrari.

  10. We didn’t have the pre-season quizz yet and we already have two good options for biggest controversy of the year.
    When we thought that Mercedes had made DAS the prime candidate for the award, Ferrari strikes back (with little help from FIA, or the other way around). There is no such thing as bad publicity they say… But from a marketing perspective, I would rather be in Mercedes shoes, especially if Ferrari doesn’t deliver the same level of performance than last year, it will only fuel speculations.

    1. “… it will only fuel speculations.”

      I see what you did there :)

    2. Why do you think DAS is controversial? Does it break a rule? Which one?

    3. How could the Mercedes DAS system be a controversy when the FIA says it was notified and gave permission for it to be fitted.

      1. @W-K and yet they also banned it for 2021. Free advantage to Mercedes this year it seems and months of lead time in development.

        Pretty dodgy too when you look at it that way hey.

  11. We’ve been trying to catch you for two years, but we still don’t know how you are doing it.

    If you tell us how you did it, and help stop others from doing it, we’ll call it even.

    Sounds plausible? There’s maybe another scenario…

    Ok, before there’s nothing other teams could prove. But this time an insider came forward and explained them how your system works. We have to do something now.

    Is there a rat inside Ferrari?

    Anyway, if other teams didn’t act upon the settlement, they could be accused of being too complacent.

    Next chapter, We’ll tell you how they did it, but you cannot make it public.

    1. There’s no need for the conspiracy theories. A settlement is a compromise reached between two parties who disagree, but each admits the other has a reasonable argument. Each side believes that they should win if the case is fought out, but not that they are certain to do so.

      I very strongly doubt that there is an issue of fact here. There’s likely no doubt at all about what Ferrari were doing, and instead it’s a question of whether clearly established facts show exploiting a loophole or a perfectly legal system.

      It’s worth noting that what you’re suggesting isn’t borderline legal exploitation of loopholes, but out and out cheating. That seems very unlikely to me, particularly given the outcome.

      1. whether clearly established facts show exploiting a loophole or a perfectly legal system

        Still baffles me Dave
        Both a ‘loophole’ and a ‘perfectly legal system’ should not worry Ferrari as FIA would have nothing on them and can only look at changing the rules to close these options (if they wish).
        I can’t see what’s in it for Ferrari in either of those cases to settle.

        1. You’re right that it makes no sense. I should have put illegal, not perfectly legal. The point being that the case likely hinges on whether or not something was within the rules, rather than whether or not it happened.

        2. Here’s the thing. If Ferrari are adding substance X to their fuel. The FIA would need evidence of this to ban it. Its likely any such substance is consumed over the course of the race, so that there is nothing tangible to find. You would have to do spot checks in the garage, or have some kind of cctv tracking the engineers to account for all practices over the course of qualifying and racing.

          The question is what can the FIA legislate against? Extra tanks for oil etc are now ruled out, but if this iwere within the engine, its not an ‘extra’ tank. We have the current rules on fuel flow, when this may not be about the amount of the fuel used, so much as the composition of the fuel after its modified by substance x.

          Is there a general clause againt fuel additives eg Nitro, etc, and if there is, how would you prove it was being used?

          1. With all the fuel sampling going on, there’s no chance of getting away with any illegal additives. There’s plenty in the rules to control what is in the fuel – and to police it.

            It’s also worth noting that what you’re talking about isn’t a loophole, grey area, or pushing a line too far. It’s just plain cheating, and would be a slam-dunk massive penalty if Ferrari were caught – so not the case here.

            If the allegation is that Ferrari are straightforwardly breaking the rules, then it would come down to a matter of fact: did they do it, or not? If there’s evidence, they’re guilty, if not, they’re innocent – at least as far as penalties go. There’s no need for a settlement.

            If, on the other hand, the allegation is that something Ferrari admit (once asked by the FIA) doing isn’t permitted by the rules, and Ferrari’s defence is that they interpret the rules differently, but not unreasonably, there’s good reason to agree a settlement.

          2. My understanding is that Ferrari were using an oil based solution as the cooling fluid in the intercooler and that it might have leaked into the air before entering the engine.

            The other suggestion I saw says they were using extra pipework in the fuel lines after the metering, to store a small amount of fuel that could be used for overtaking. Possibly been made available for injection by the DRS. This would explain the high speeds down the start finish straight during qualifying. Which enabled their 6 pole positions, that stopped after the Red Bull question to the FIA and subsequent FIA ruling in Austin.

          3. @w-k

            The latter suggestion there clearly doesn’t fit the known facts. That would just be plain cheating, and Ferrari couldn’t have hidden it once the investigation started. D

            The former is only slightly less obvious and also completely against the rules. It also raises questions about plausibility: F1 cars use 200+kg of fuel per race, a how much difference can a litre of two of coolant possibly make? No fuel is that energy dense.

      2. Not a Ferrari fan
        5th March 2020, 3:49

        Agreed, Dave.

        From another Dave

    2. Bruno Verrari
      4th March 2020, 13:41

      The oil- burning rat was James Alison…

      To keep the process efficient, I suggest you include DAS!

      1. That is the same James Alison who Ferrari got rid of as he wanted to work part time for a while following the death of his wife….that decision alone would haunt Ferrari, except they seem to be good at making wrong decisions…

        1. Bruno,
          The oil burning rat as you call was Lorenzo Sassi, not Allison.

          That is the same James Alison who Ferrari got rid of as he wanted to work part time for a while following the death of his wife

          Ferrari gave Allison full support after his wife’s death before the start of the 2016 season. He didn’t participate to the development of the car that year as he wanted to spend more time with his children in England. However the stroke that broke the camel’s back and made Marchionne furious was that the team asked him to join them at Silverstone nearly 5 months after he lost his wife and he refused. That’s when Ferrari decided to release him from his duties within the team.

    3. I love the huge difference between your username and your posts.

  12. As most of us have discussed at length what would happen when Ferrari gets found guilty.

    Let’s say the exact opposite happens, what do you think will happen?

    1. About 40 million should be reshuffled between the teams. Even Williams will profit with some millions.

      1. Ferrari will prove in front of a court of law that its PU is perfectly legal, thus it will restore its power advantage over the rest of the teams :)

        1. Why should it do that? Isn’t it for the FIA to prove a rule has been broken?

        2. @tifoso1989
          Only the tifosi would come out in full support to continue Ferrari’s cheating :)

          The court cases doesn’t matter .. Ferrari will lose again in 2020.

          1. @todfod

            Only the tifosi would come out in full support to continue Ferrari’s cheating :)

            Sorry to disappoint you, but what do you expect :)

            The court cases doesn’t matter .. Ferrari will lose again in 2020.

            Nevertheless Ferrari will get the biggest slice of the prize money and as for the championships Mercedes need to win them all in the next decade to reach Ferrari’s trophies. Of course that will be possible if they decide to stay in F1 because they need to sort out a lot of issues first DieselGate, sales dropping…

          2. @tifoso1989

            Sorry to disappoint you, but what do you expect :)

            I’d expect the tifosi to stay quiet when their team is found guilty of cheating.. Not praise it. But.. I guess political wins are the only wins that Ferrari has been able to accomplish ;)

            Nevertheless Ferrari will get the biggest slice of the prize money

            LOL.. They’re the highest paid losers in any sport. You should be proud.

          3. @todfod

            I’d expect the tifosi to stay quiet when their team is found guilty of cheating

            Relax, they haven’t been found cheating yet unless you have had access to the confidential settlement contents. I never praise cheating, don’t put words in my mouth.

            LOL.. They’re the highest paid losers in any sport. You should be proud.

            No they aren’t, in many sports sometimes the losers get more money than the winners because they have more pedigree and value for the sport than the actual winners. Just to name some: UEFA champions league, Boxing in general
            The thing is in the other sport no one complains about, only in F1 you hear this kind of noise about fairness which is actually driven by the hate some fans have towards Ferrari.

  13. As another user put it some weeks ago, the excrement has hit the air propelling rotating device!

  14. Well Ferrari have a lot of veto power, and it all sounds political rather than legal. Haas and Alfa dear didnt sign the complaint, that is politics too, Ferrari engine in their car. The problem is the public know nothing about any of the engines. For instance how exactly do Mercedes achieve 50% thermal efficiency?? There must be a lot metal technology going on that know one knows about, there is seemingly no development limits in a lot of the engine design
    Many F1 fans like the new Mercedes DAS system, calling it ‘innovative’ , yet at the same time it exploits rules loopholes. None of us know what rules the 4 engine makers are exploiting, Because no information is given to fans about the powerplants, and we can’t see them operating. It is too secretive what is going on with the powerplants, perhaps Ferrari created something genuinely innovative. I’m not going to jump on conspiracy theory bandwagons, that never brings out truth, but rather creates altnews, hate and anger. I will watch the politics unfold and read non biased articles like racefans article of the year so far yesterday on this issue. I suspect FIA will send a memo to the teams with more info and then it will be peace again until another saga ( the DAS saga could be brought into this by Ferrari/Haas/Alfa at Melbourne for instance, and is already banned for 2021, so teams can question why it is not banned for 2020 if it is considered illegal)

    1. @kpcart The key is the difference between a loophole and a rule violation.

      The FIA have said many many times that attempting to bypass the functionality of the fuel-flow sensor or associated systems (by, lets say, pooling fuel the other side of the sensor) is a violation of both the written rule and the spirit of it – an attempt to bypass a hard regulation that states the engine cannot consume more than X fuel at a given moment.

      DAS is definitely a loophole, because it exploits two grey areas with regards to both the axis of movement allowed of the steering wheel (the rules did not specify that it could only rotate along the axis of the steering column – which has been restricted in the 2021 regs following discussion between the FIA and Mercedes) and the toe of the wheel, which I believe is only enforced in so far as the suspension can only be modified with the use of tools (DAS does not modify the suspension when on the track).

  15. MB.I.A. + RB.I.A. > F.I.A.

  16. So now that we know that the FIA is corrupt..
    What are the 2019 Standings with Ferrari excluded?
    Lets calculate this and all pretend that Ferrari didnt score points in 2019 like it should be..

  17. Yes!
    We need to banish this maFIAt Specter and get the Truth. If it was all legal – ok, if it was not – also ok, but let it be the Truth, not some shady “settlement”.

  18. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to run the sport properly.

    1. Mainly because the manufacturer budgets and manpower enable far greater numbers of people working against the rules than the people creating them.

      It’s nothing like any other sport on the planet, it’s a science and a sport in one. And moderating science is hard

      1. @RB13 That has no bearing on the governing body accepting what we are led to assume is a monetary settlement for killing the investigation.

        Heck, the issue for the teams is they brought the case, so the least they deserve is to be advised of the reasoning behind the decision, if not the actual Ferrari IP behind the infraction.

        1. @optimaximal I didn’t say it did and I hope Ferrari have every 2019 result stripped if they did indeed cheat.

          But i’m just musing why the governing body has it much harder than most other sports.

    2. Because rules are not the same for everyone.

      1. And that’s the hard to understand part.

      2. That’s a by-product of the situation, not an answer to why the situation exists.

    3. It’s the most complex sport on the planet. More complexity = more difficulty. Simple.

      1. The complexity of the sport has nothing to do with the leadership making moves like this. Their actions have only led to more suspicion and, given Ferrari’s existing outsized monetary favouratism in the sport, I think anyone with a degree of management experience would say this is not the appropriate response to take.

  19. I bet FIA did not think about this.

    1. Nobody can be that ignorant.

      1. Oh I beg to differ, FIA have their proverbial pistol always aimed at their own foot.

      2. Let’s see what they do now?

    2. Or its a Bernie style controversy right at season start. All of a sudden F1 is trending on national news not just dedicated sites like this one.


    1. 200 Million … why not ?

  21. I’m not going to says who is right or wrong on this ( i think Ferrari is wrong….:))
    but in my opinion Ferrari should allow to unveil the secrecy of the settlement and if they are guilty,
    need to pay a big fine….not finish yet :)
    but then next year if i was Ferrari i would leave F1 and see ya.
    Since i can Remember everybody try to find loopholes ( some are spotted By FIA, some are not, and some are allowed by the FIA itself ex. tyres story in favor of Mercedes)…. so nothing new here.
    But in the same times the others teams have all the rights to get a further explanation… without all this drama and conspiracy theory that I’m reading about it. but at the end what do i know? I’m only a simple Fan in love with this sport since i was 7 :) ………………………………………………………..

    1. Ferrari have previously threaten to take their toys and not play anymore, the chances are they would do the same again.

      If we get some meaningful competition from Redbull this season, then Ferrari tantrums wont matter a jot. Right now they are the second best team out there, regardless of how they achive this.

      1. True but than they never did……. so i think its time ………. there is loads of hate for Ferrari, yes true they are annoying and arrogant …. but like i said, every team behind close doors will try to find any loophole….. look at Mercedes back in i think 2014 with the token to develop the PU, or the oil burning ( now in this case Mercedes was much clever to introduce the new engine before thy limit the oil to 0.9 instead 1.2… i think …) anyway i hope FIA will come out in Melbourne with a statement to clarify all… otherwise this will go on forever.

  22. I want to know too!!! That thing that no one is supposed to know.
    That said

    only following queries raised by other teams,

    emphasis on this quote, singe of a fit. the fia is the governing body should be transparent and apparently do exactly what whoever wrote this wants them to do, for them.

  23. Something that I have heard been thrown about is the idea that whatever it was Ferrari was doing was something developed by a third party & that whatever it was is something this third party doesn’t want to be made public.

    Another theory i’ve heard is the possibility that whatever it was Ferrari were doing been something the FIA at present can’t monitor & therefore it been something they don’t want other teams to know about until they have a way of ensuring they can look for it to make sure it’s something nobody else can do.

    The one thing I can say for sure is that whatever it was is something that the FIA believed they knew what the end result was (Higher fuel flow) but that they not only couldn’t figure out how that was been achieved but also couldn’t even prove it was been done as data wise everything was as it should be. It was felt the only way to figure it out was to get Ferrari to tell them & that Ferrari only agreed to do so as long as whatever they were doing was something that wouldn’t be made public potentially for the reason I suggested above.

    1. Very insightful as usual, thanks @gt-racer !

    2. That is why there are two checks of fuel flow this season.

  24. A couple of weeks ago, Ross Brawn was telling us F1 and he would be making all the rules in future. Any team that was too clever would find their idea banned at the next race, etc, etc.

    Since this affair blew up, I’ve not heard a word from Ross Brawn or F1. Isn’t he concerned that the FIA who police the rules appear to be unable to do their job? Shouldn’t we know if F1 and Ross Brawn were party to the decision to keep the results of this investigation confidential.

    If there are going to be races missing during the coming season, perhaps LM could televise any court proceedings in their place.

    1. Jon Bee I think Liberty would have been kept fully informed if not actively involved it the deal.

  25. Adrian Trifon
    4th March 2020, 16:04

    What I would really like, is to have a relaxation in the stupid FIA rules. I mean, fuel flow sensor, what is that good for?! If a team manages to finish within 100 liters reserve, what importance does it have?

    This rules only managed to kill innovation and also the show on track. We are left with a show on TV, very nice, but not without the show on track, this is utter bs.

    1. Sports, even prototype racing series, need rules and those rules need to be enforced.

      1. Obviously any sport needs rules. I am not saying no rules, just saying we need more simpler rules that can be enforced and are more transparent.
        Sometime we forget common sense and we go to this very complex things, which they do no add much value, rather the add overhead

  26. Ooof, even as signatories, the other teams put Williams in last place.

    1. @saturnvf1 I think that’s mainly because the teams signed it in alphabetical order…

  27. Mercedes exploits a loophole with DAS and everyone is impressed.

    Ferrari exploits and engine loophole and everyone accuses them of cheating and conspiring with the FIA.

    1. be careful Dane,
      because now you will get all the Ferrari haters saying that Ferrari is cheating not loopholes…just saying ;)

    2. Dane, the difference is, Mercedes went to the FIA first and spent an extended period of time consulting with them to establish the legality of DAS in advance of developing it – they haven’t been trying to conceal that device from the FIA.

      Under the way that the technical regulations are written, the onus is on the team to prove that their car is in a legal configuration for each race (Section 2.7, if you wish to look it up). By notifying the FIA of their intention to develop DAS and obtaining their technical advice, Mercedes was presumably able to put forward an argument that was sufficiently compelling for the FIA to state that they believed the car would be in a legal configuration.

      Right now, there does not seem to be any evidence that Ferrari went through a similar process of first clarifying whether their device would be legal before fitting it to their car.

  28. I am surprised by the hatred towards Ferrari in this development. Ferrari did nothing wrong at all but they were way ahead of other teams in terms of technology. As the secret resolution between FIA and Ferrari, I am not surprised. Ferrari is the brand of this sport. If Ferrari pulls out of this sport, no one will watch it trust me. So the FIA decision had to make Ferrari happy rather than the other 7 teams.

  29. NeverElectric
    4th March 2020, 16:36

    So, let’s not sugarcoat it – there clearly was some illegal or otherwise non-permitted stuff going on with that car. No other conclusion makes any sense given the wording of the FIA statement.
    This in turn makes the Mercedes triumph all the more impressive. Conjecture – and imagination – hold that for every piece of evidence of cheating that regulators find in a sports participant, several other pieces of evidence of other cheating go unnoticed…the ‘tip of the iceberg’ theory. Cheating is a cultural issue on a team (see the cycling teams that concisely dope, eg) that rehires the building of infrastructure and communications and concealment mechanisms around deceit, and is therefore rarely something a racing team can only do in one season. It’s a practice honed over time.
    It appears Ferrari were either caught cheating or nearly so. I would also add that this could not have been the first time they cheated – and anecdotal evidence and takes in the paddock have long held that speculation to be true.
    That makes the dominance of Mercedes in this era of engines absolutely astonishing. The mercs have, effectively, not just won – they did so despite one of their best opponents bending or breaking the rules.
    And if they are cheating by breaking engine regulations, what other skulduggery have they been up to? Remember when a furious Lewis Hamilton accused them of cheating their way to victory at the British Grand Prix in 2018?
    This will be a very interesting case if the seven teams decide to go to court.

    1. Yep, Mercedes are a phenomenon for sure.

      And the best defence salty Ferrari fans can muster on Twitter in response to today’s news is iLLeGaL pIrEllI tEsT 7 yeArs aGo. 🤣

      1. All right, the something is not right, let’s file a “inquiry” …Or few dozens of them.

    2. Um I think the 2018 quote was in response to being spun out at start by Rakiionen. Bit of a stretch to include that here I’d file that as a Lewis ‘I didn’t win at home’ sook more than actual proof of Ferrari cheating somehow lol. But yes impressive by Merc if Ferrari were using engine tricks in 2019. My take is they used it only in quali and maybe at most a couple or a few laps in race as it was not a sustainable power mode but could be used to build up a bit of extra free fuel in the system to burn. Hence why it helped them to an extent but in a full race the Mercedes pace advantage still on most occasions outweighed the advantage Ferrari had with short bursts of extra power that they used on quali and to a lesser extent in the race.

  30. F1 teams demanding of the controlling body … yet more proof that the tail is wagging the dog.
    Time for the FIA & Liberty to neuter them all.

    At least half the teams in F1 need the sport more than the sport needs them.

    1. But without the other half there wouldn’t be an F1 worth competing in for Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Racing Point or Sauber.

  31. Why didn’t they protest the Ferrari last year when they had the chance? Now they want to pressure the FIA with some unified public statement? LOL. Good luck with that.

    1. You’re missing the fact that for official allegations teams require certain evidence or reasonable (!) doubt… Which is extremely hard to do. RBR had an idea as to what was going and took the interesting route of asking for a ruling on that concept. Which was subsequently provided by the FIA: not allowed. Next, Ferrari loses pace inexplicably and now this settlement… I believe the other teams are well in their right to ask for more transparency.

      1. The ruling was made before the Austin race, where Ferrari failed to get pole position, or in the next two races, having won it in the previous six races.

    2. The same reason the FIA didn’t send Ferrari to court, presumably…

  32. The stupidest thing FIA did was announce they made a secret arrangement.
    Nobody should know there is an arrangement, because it’s supposed to be confidential.

    This secret should stay a secret for eternity.
    Love it when they break their heads to find out what Ferrari did.

  33. Ferrari’s veto power, mentioned by kpcart here, might be the reason why and how such weird situation came about.

  34. Can’t wait until FIA and Ferrari come up with “the explanation” of what Ferrari was doing. It will make absolutely no sense because there is no way they are going to say what was actually going on.

  35. Its fairly clear that the FIA and Ferrari were extremely deliberate with the wording of that press release.

    That can only mean that they either believe they can defend and win against any sort of legal challenge (and we’ll never find out what went on) expecting fully the reaction that it has gotten or that the people drawing up the statement were fooling themselves if they thought no one would notice.

    Pretty sure they weren’t fooling themselves so this discussion can go on for as long as it likes and we’ll get no closer to finding out what really happened.

  36. Interesting that there are no comments on here plumbing the theory this could be a deliberate publicity stunt by F1/FIA at season start. Its now international prime news, season start wouldn’t have been otherwise.

  37. All of this is rich coming from Daimler AG – a company willing to poison and kill millions of people just to sell some diesel engines. Go figure… Doubt Toto thinks he can take this to court usually European courts are very strict on IPR protection.

    1. They are, but they are also strict on governing bodies following the regulations. If they can prove the FIA did not investigate it as they should have done, for example, that would be a slam-dunk against the FIA. Let alone not telling teams what they now cannot do that they presumably could do before (regulating by stealth is not permitted, even though secret settlements are).

  38. Ferrari International assistance at it again

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