Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya

FIA responds to teams’ complaint, confirms it doubted legality of Ferrari power unit

2020 F1 season

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The FIA has issued a clarification of the deal it reached with Ferrari over its power unit following the complaint made by seven teams yesterday.

The sport’s governing body was criticised by the teams for reaching a settlement with Ferrari following an investigation into the legality of the team’s power unit, while agreeing not to disclose details of the case.

The FIA said it was “not fully satisfied” that the power unit was being used within the rules, a view Ferrari “firmly opposed”. The FIA reached a settlement with the team as it believed “further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter”.

The settlement between the two was reached in accordance with the FIA rules, it stated, which allowed for the details to be kept confidential.

Yesterday the seven teams – all F1 competitors not powered by Ferrari – said they “reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts.”

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FIA statement in response to teams’ objections

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

Following yesterday’s announcement by seven F1 teams, the FIA would like to make the following clarifications:

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.

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.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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166 comments on “FIA responds to teams’ complaint, confirms it doubted legality of Ferrari power unit”

  1. Well I’m glad that’s all cleared up then.

    :-\

    1. LOL)

      1. WOW …!!!
        This is less than 14 hours old and by the time I finish typing, there will be 100+ postings.
        Some kind of record. Not sure I fellow can read them as fast as they are hitting the bottom of this forum.
        Luv it.

        1. Update … it was less than 4 hours.

    2. ActiveSuspender
      5th March 2020, 17:31

      Come on lads, for me it’s as clear as water.
      FIA didn’t have any smoking gun to prove any illicit behaviour by Ferrari after months of hard probing, therefore they reached an agreement (i.e. $$) to close the matter.

      For sure, Ferrari found a gray area and took advantage as Red Bull with flexible wings and Mercedes’ with DAS. However, the fair judgement of lots of reasonable and pleasant people like you is clouded by the fact that they are seeing “red”.

      1. I’m pretty convinced they knew Ferrari were cheating ( skirting the rules ) but FIA were embarrassed to admit this after numerous technical advisors looked at it and didn’t pick it up. Despite other teams pointing it out the FIA were hoodwinked just don’t quite know how they got away with it.

      2. This is not like DAS at all, that is a legitimate device within the regulations. What Ferrari did is burn more oil than the rules specifically allowed by bypassing sensors in order to deceive the stewards. This is why there is more sensors next year to stop them breaking the rules. The Red Bull wings fully complied with the regulations at the time but were clearly circumventing what the regulations were trying to stop hence the cease and desist and no penalty.

        The worry here is Ferrari have got away with cheating and likely robbed Red Bull of lots of points and probably 2nd in the WCC.

        1. ActiveSuspender
          5th March 2020, 20:13

          The fact is that neither you nor FIA have any evidence of “robbery”, “cheating” and so on.
          They didn’t even know for sure if and how Ferrari actually circumvented the regulations.

          It’s like all those undisclosed settlements for plagiarism or patent infringement. Sometimes someone settles even he is fairly sure to win in court, just to avoid higher legal expenses and all the hassle.
          It doesn’t correspond to a guilty plea.

          1. Stick your head in the sand if you like. Without their tricks this year they’ll be third fastest at best, enjoy the season.

          2. FIA is supposed to LOOK FOR evidence.
            If they don’t and call it “a settlement”, no wonder it smells like corruption.

          3. ActiveSuspender
            6th March 2020, 10:55

            Dear @liko41, it seems that FIA actually looked for evidence, probably spent hundreds or even thousands of their best engineers’ man-hours to have the most accurate insight from someone that doesn’t work for Ferrari, and found no smoking gun.
            As I can experience from my daily job, this sometimes happens, unfortunately.
            These are evidences that only a whistleblower inside the company could provide easily.

            What FIA could do was to revise regulations to prevent any further suspicious activity, and they did it as they did it for Red Bull’s flexible wings.

            And dear @slowmo, yes, I’m well aware of that. Ferrari’s season doesn’t look promising, I don’t know if the lack of performance is linked to the “trick”, but it’s a long season and I only hope it will be interesting until the end, even if it were a Mercedes-RB battle for 1st place.

            Peace :)

          4. @ActiveSuspender I do honestly believe the FIA had evidence that Ferrari have been in breach of the regulations but without the sensors required to prove definitively they only had a lot of circumstantial evidence that was not the smoking gun that would make it an open and shut case. I think the other teams need full disclosure so they can be happy that whatever Ferrari were doing cannot be done again in future and can be detected in the new regulations.

            I’m looking forward to the midfield battle this year, I think the title will be heading the way of Mercedes with little actual competition unfortunately but I have high hopes for next year.

        2. here goes another merc/redbull fan that knows everything!!!

          1. As opposed to the Ferrari fans who also claim to know everything?

          2. They cheated and frankly as a McLaren fan I’m more annoyed that their lack of transparency wasn’t punished in the same manner as McLaren got punished when they covered up their cheating.

            Funny how Ferrari fans think their team is more important than the sport isn’t it. We can all generalise.

    3. it kind of did. The fia didn’t find whatever it is that ferrari is doing and rather than spend another year tinkering with it the fia gave up. The fia was accusing ferrari and ferrari denied any wrongdoing, there is no definitive answer therefore they have settled. Had the fia worded things better this whole thing would have been far clearer and boring.
      I was having fun trying to figure out something that never happened in the firat place.

  2. As clear as mud

  3. Amazing! They made a lengthy statement that served no purpose whatsoever.

    1. @todfod – You’ve very succinctly described lawyers, politicians, PR reps, most corporations, and possibly my reply here!!

  4. I can’t see how this is going to just go away. Other teams have potentially lost out on millions in prize money if Ferrari have been allowed to retain results won with an illegal car. It’s not just a matter between the FIA and Ferrari. They’re being disingenuous, effectively saying it’s a settlement to avoid litigation. But a settlement is usually agreed with the wounded party – in this case that would be every team which finished behind Ferrari.

    I really think this is a case of the implications of excluding Ferrari from the 2019 championship result being so severe that the FIA will do just about anything in its power to avoid it.

    1. Helder Malheiro
      5th March 2020, 12:51

      FIA could not prove the PU was not
      operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times.
      That’s it. Period.

      1. They don’t need to. Ask Daniel Ricciardo.

        One momentary infraction is all it takes.

    2. You can’t punish a team like that when they have no evidence of any wrongdoing. All they have is suspicion no matter much other teams cry and Ferrari have all the plausible deniability in the world.

      1. Being unable to prove something conclusively is not the same as there being no evidence. If the FIA’s investigations demonstrated that everything was fine and above board with Ferrari, then they would have said as much and the case would have been closed. This isn’t what happened.

        The FIA have entered into a settlement with Ferrari – the details of which we don’t know for certain but will essentially be along the lines of Ferrari having to do something for the FIA, in return for the FIA not pursuing it further. Most likely in the form of a payment to the FIA and the threat of severe sanction if they don’t stop doing what they were doing. Hence the use of the phrase “effective and dissuasive” – in other words, the nature of the settlement should be enough to dissuade Ferrari from any further dodgy business.

    3. Ferrari could materially argue the same damages. That the FIA’s vague regulations, inadequate measurements & constant harassment, at the behest of Mercedes mostly, over the season distracted them from racing & cost them a championship.

  5. So there you go…with all the technical expertise at the disposal of the FIA it still was not enough to prove FERRARI illegality. That should be the end of the story however Mercedes et al may press on and then it will get even tastier
    . One article i read suggested that Mercedes used possibly illegal methods to gain insight into what Ferrari were doing!! High stakes here. Maybe they offered a whistleblower incentives…who knows but i must say it’s certainly spiced up the pre season period and that can’t be bad.

    1. Kenji, do you have a link to that article?

    2. I was thinking the same thing, about Mercedes being keen about getting technical information for free. I bet they would have got it easily if Whiting was still alive and in charge.

    3. who knows

      …indeed. I mean, there’s the whole legal precedent of whistleblower testimony only being admissible if it’s free of duress, but let’s ignore they in favour of an unsourced ‘people are saying’ story instead, right?

  6. That FIA statement makes things worse not better. It does not say the Ferrari engine was legal but they decided to stop investigating because the issue was complex.

    Of course it’s complex, these engines start out as complex and rapidly move to mind boggling. If the FIA can’t deal with that they need new people.

    As it stands multi million dollar law suits seem inevitable.

    1. Yeah, essentially what this says is that there are areas of power unit performance which the FIA are unable to police. And when faced with the hassle of investigating irregularities, they’ll just accept a bit of money to stop investigating. It’s a shameful way for a governing body to behave.

      1. Where does it say they have accepted any money?

        1. This is what they’re euphemistically referring to as a ‘settlement agreement’. Note that they refer to this in reference to Article 4 (ii) of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules. The text of the article addresses the options when an initial investigation is concluded and runs as follows:

          (ii) After the inquiry, and in view of the information gathered during it, the prosecuting body may draw up an inquiry report and decide:

          a) to close the case, or
          b) to bring the matter before the IT.

          The prosecuting body may also enter into a settlement
          agreement to terminate the procedure.

          The important point to note is the final paragraph. The FIA have not chose to simply ‘close the case’ as per option (a) but ALSO to enter into a settlement agreement. This almost certainly means that there was an agreement whereby Ferrari ‘settled’ this by paying an undisclosed amount to the FIA. Note that this is a settlement agreement rather than a sanction – by the text of the rules, sanctions are handed out by the IT (international tribunal). So Ferrari haven’t been punished, otherwise that punishment (whether direct or ‘suspended’) would be public.

          In the truest sense of the word we don’t know for absolute fact that Ferrari made a payment as part of the settlement. But the existence of the settlement tells us that the FIA did not simply close the case. I don’t think there can be much doubt that the settlement was a financial one.

          1. Thanks for the explanation. While I do think that the settlement can mean many different things your point of view seems to be quite a valid one.

          2. if FIA didn’t believe Ferrari PU legality and made Ferrari Pay a substantial financial settlement… do you really think that Mattia Binotto would be still there? or Camilleri? Ferrari is own by Agnelli Familiy …. and i do believe would have fired probably Binotto and Camilleri… I Don’t think is at simple as that… i think it is indeed very complex :)

          3. A settlement can be an agreement. It doesn’t necessarily mean an exchange of money.

            Why would Ferrari pay anyway if the FIA couldn’t determine anything? They’d be the first to avoid paying for something the FIA itself says cannot be proven to be wrong!

            Nonsense.

          4. @fer-no65 +1
            spot on ….

        2. A dissuasive settlement is effectively another name for a fine, so read into that how you wish…

    2. Soooo…. Basically it’s like the police officer not knowing what constitutes a crime. Ridiculous incompetent FIA cannot do their job to prove legality or illegality. I don’t see the other teams accepting that kind of conclusion without going to court. There is millions at stake. This is going to be super nuclear.

    3. It doesn’t say the engine was legal but equally doesn’t say the engine was illegal. That’s the main point. You can’t exclude, penalize or force a team to make changes if you’re not sure if they are doing something illegal.

      I said it back then, there’s a presumption of innocence in law. If it cannot be proven that you’re guilty, you’re innocent.

      Teams can shout all they want but the fact of the matter is that Ferrari is doing nothing that can be proven wrong. They’ll continue to be monitored just like every other team.

      1. Tell me this then, why would the FIA and Ferrari both opt to “enter into a settlement agreement to terminate the procedure”, when there is the option open to the FIA to simply close the case? Following the investigation there are essentially three options – close the case (effectively, no evidence, no wrongdoing, case closed), refer the case to the International Tribunal (bang to rights, clear breach of regs), or settle the case with no further action. It would seem obvious that the third option would only be used in cases where the first or the second could not be said conclusively.

        i.e. exactly as they say here – in all likelihood there is evidence of wrongdoing, but to go to a tribunal would be extremely messy, with a protracted legal battle that neither side would be confident of winning, costing huge sums for both parties and doing reputational damage to the sport in the process. So it’s in the interests of both the FIA and Ferrari to make this mess go away.

        1. In previous discussion of the “settlement” , there were references to Ferrari and associated suppliers, being able to retain the “Intellectual Property Rites” that were related to what they were doing. Clear implication that there was a technology or operating philosophy that has value and they want to keep secret. Yep, start watching the patent notifications. The story will eventually leak out, just hate waiting that long.

          1. @mazdachris as @rekibsn says. Plus, maybe there are legal implications about a “case closed” differing to an agreement to end the investigation. I think if they really knew where to start with the investigation they would, but they surely ran all the test possible, analysed everything as deep as they could go and couldn’t find anything. Going further only to potentially find nothing didn’t make sense.

          2. @fer-no65 If they “ran all the tests possible, analysed everything as deep as they could go and couldn’t find anything” then that’s the definition of case closed. No evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing – in other words the car was clearly and unequivocally legal.

            A settlement to avoid going to a tribunal is not something that’d happen if there was no evidence of wrongdoing. In order for a settlement to be the outcome, both parties have to at least believe there’s a possibility that they would lose at an international tribunal. That’s both parties mind, not just the FIA. It’s not an ideal outcome though is it – the fact this sort of conversation is going on here, and likely repeated countless times the world over, demonstrates that a settlement is controversial and damaging for both Ferrari and the FIA. If there was a means for the FIA to simply find Ferrari ‘not guilty’ then that’d be far cleaner and less controversial than a secret deal between the FIA and Ferrari to make the investigation go away.

            For them to agree to this outcome tells us that they knew that going to a tribunal would have been far worse, likely for all parties involved. The FIA effectively say as much when they say a settlement is “in the best interest of the championship and of its stakeholders”. Be under no illusion, this is compared to going to litigation, not compared to clearing Ferrari of wrongdoing.

            TL;DR – If the FIA found no evidence of wrongdoing then there would be no need for a settlement as exonerating them of cheating would be the best outcome for all concerned. People who know they can’t be found guilty don’t agree to costly and damaging settlements.

        2. @mazdachris, Well said a clear and logical precis. However there is another factor to consider (not accept as fact), that is the Ferrari factor, I suggest it is possible that the FIA did find an illegality but Ferrari jumped up and down, stamped it’s foot and said it would leave F1 if it was publicly branded as a cheat, but would agree to cease and desist if the FIA agreed to suspend the sanction and not release a guilty finding. Pure speculation on my part.

          1. This is very plausible. I believe Ferrari has threatened before to leave the sport or start a break away series.
            Their premise appears to be the sport can not exist without them

    4. It’s really not that complex, take 1 Ferrari PU from the last race, take 1 Merc PU, put them on the same dyno, run each with its own fuel at the proper 100kg/hr flow rate. If the Merc makes more power than the Ferrari in the specified rev range, then the Ferrari was cheating. Quite simple actually. Some other points would need clarification, but in all actuality, it is within the realm of possibilities to be accomplished.

      1. wow @megatron send you CV apply for a JOB in the FIA….. joking … don’t get mad…. i don’t think its as simple as that ….

        1. @domo70
          I have worked on engines my entire life, you might recognize the engine name in my handle.

          It is as simple as that

      2. @megatron given the FIA has parts and serial numbers for all races equipment, they could demand Ferrari produce the actual PU in question for testing. I mean, would they really have stripped, recycled and effectively destroyed all of last years engines, especially if there was the potential of a legal bid?

    5. The way I read this is : The FIA had strong suspicions that Ferrari’s PU was illegal but could not prove it and thus they signed a confidential agreement.

      1. @paeschli It’s not that they couldn’t prove it, but that they decided it would be better to settle rather than actually fight for the truth and hurt F1 in the process.

  7. Sonny Crockett
    5th March 2020, 12:47

    So provided teams that cheat do so in a complicated manner then the FIA will let them get away with it?

    What sort of message does that send to the paddock?!

    1. Given the FIA couldn’t prove the Ferrari’s engine was illegal, there’s no cheating involved as of yet.

  8. So, a clarification that confirms that FIA is unable to police the series due to it being too complex. Nice.

    1. 100% correct. Now, what is next? Is it worth investing in an increasingly complex regulation that can not be enforced, so it is useless? FIA should leave teams race on a simpler and more transparent regulations.

    2. Didn’t the FIA lose one of their senior guys to Ferrari not so long ago?

      1. I think he went to Renault. Mind you, it doesn’t seem to have helped them. Maybe the engine manufacturers “tell fables” when explaining some of their secrets to the FIA.

  9. I remember Ferrari’s dip in performance during the last Grand Prixs of the 2018 season. A rumour attributed that to FIA’s closer examination of Ferrari’s PU. My question is: what happened after that? Is that related to this somehow? I’m asking because I distinctly remember these talks from a year and half ago.

    1. Also mafia of F1 got away with technical infringement on 1 of their cars in last race along with whole lot of bad stewarding calls regarding this team leading to whole sham of conference on stewarding earlier this year.

    2. Well, maybe @carbon_fibre, I am sure not just the fans, but those 7 teams would like to know, but the FIA isn’t saying anything about it.

    3. If the rules are too complex to investigate/ enforce, maybe the rules should be changed. Why not get rid of this complex fuel flow requirement?

    4. 2019, not 2018

  10. This is laughable. We decided to stop investigating because the engines are so complex that we don’t fully understand them and so we are unable to figure out what Ferrari are doing. The FIA have just admitted that they are governing a sport that they don’t have the ability to police. Ha!!!! It doesn’t get any better than this!

    1. @velocityboy
      True.

      But, I actually think they were left with a choice … either humiliate a team that is synonymous with F1 by accusing them of cheating… or make themselves look like fools by saying they weren’t competent enough to find Ferrari’s cheat. They chose the latter.

      1. Ok I might as well jump in here I guess. The FIA are not the ones who started this, are they? It was Ferrari. And Ferrari it would seem did something sneaky enough that FIA cannot unequivocally prove what they were doing. It may even be that Ferrari are still absolutely convinced that what they have done does indeed not contravene the rules.

        But really though, this ‘FIA can’t police the series’ rhetoric is just that. Come on. 99.9% of the time they do a great job, and then as soon as a team reaches way out there for an advantage and this one happens to be complex and undetectable, suddenly the FIA are incompetent? Gimme a break.

        First of all this is on Ferrari, not the FIA. Secondly they have made everyone aware that they have been suspicious of Ferrari, have been unable to prove anything unequivocally, so they have changed the system to have two fuel flow meters to stop Ferrari from continuing doing what they have been doing.

        This reminds me of when Benetton was accused of still having the software on board for traction control. And using it. But FIA (might have still be FISA at the time) couldn’t prove it. The joke became that they went to Silicon Valley to hire the best computer person to help them police for this stuff, only to be told he already works at Benetton. And their response at the time…ya we have the software…prove we’re using it.

        Yeah it is unfortunate that FIA couldn’t prove what Ferrari has been up to, but I blame Ferrari first and foremost, for without their behaviour we would not have this issue. FIA have admitted they can’t prove anything, and maybe they even think Ferrari would have a technical leg to stand on if it went to litigation. Obviously this type of settlement does happen very often so there must be something quite unique about this situation.

        I’m not defending FIA to the death here, but to say they are incompetent and cannot police F1 is ridiculous. No wonder Brawn has tried to find all the loopholes ahead of time before this kind of stuff happens. Shows the teams can’t be trusted, but then, we knew that.

        1. @robbie I am not necessarily disagreeing with you, I think it is fair to see that generally FIA are doing a good job (obviously there have been a few incidents in the recent past involving Ferrari driver behavior on track where they did not seem to treat Ferrari as harsh as others), however could it be imaginable that the FIA rather puts this to bed now to keep the peace with Ferrari by saying that they cannot find indisputable proof, whilst they know they could find something.

        2. @robbie – I think you are proving the point you are trying to say isn’t the case. You say, “I’m not defending FIA to the death here, but to say they are incompetent and cannot police F1 is ridiculous.” But then you point to Benetton having software but the FIA being unable to prove they used it, possibly due to the experts residing at Benetton. That is the definition of being unable to police their own rules.

          In this current Ferrari issue, the FIA admit–only after all other teams complained–that they think Ferrari broke the rules but cannot prove it. Again, cannot police their own rules.

          If it was a letter of the law versus spirit of the law issue, they should say that. Then the clamp down makes sense. The FIA have called teams out before on somewhat more obvious things (holes in RBR floor), and less obvious things (Renault’s mass damper and Merc’s crosslinked suspension) and forced them to make changes. Why should this be any different?

          I’m not anti-Ferrari and I dislike the FIA/Ferrari conspiracy but they are doing it to themselves.

          1. @hobo I think by citing an example from the early to mid-90’s, I am showing that this kind of thing is pretty rare. For folks to say the FIA is incompetent and can’t police F1 implies they get nothing right, and that is far from the truth. So add to that the concept that Ferrari, it sounds like, have done an excellent job in trying to dupe F1, and all I’m saying is just because of this case, of which we do not know exactly what went on, this is not cause to castigate the FIA for everything they do.

            They can’t police their own rules? Of course they can. It helps of course when teams stay within the rules to begin with. When they don’t, this kind of thing can happen. In this case it sounds like they cannot absolutely prove what Ferrari has been up to. It sounds like it is about the proverbial ‘comma’ that Brawn spoke of a few months ago, some way they interpreted the regs that FIA cannot say is completely unfounded. Hence their response to the seven teams’ letter says pretty much the same as they already said. We admit we can’t prove what Ferrari was up to, but we at least got them to agree they were up to something, and we have affected a measure to stop it.

            So, compensate the other teams? Strip Ferrari of their standing of last year? They can’t, because they can’t prove unequivocally that Ferrari cheated.

          2. “They can’t police their own rules? Of course they can. It helps of course when teams stay within the rules to begin with.”

            This makes no sense. If I stay within the rules, there is nothing to police.

            That aside, the examples given are not all of them. Just in recent years: holes in floor, exhaust blown diffusers, double diffusers, crosslinked suspensions, f duct, bendy wings, mirror attachments as wings, DAS, and whatever was up with Ferrari’s engine/fuel system. Yes, the FIA handle minor things fairly routinely. But the minor things are just that. Whereas, when big things come up–often design issues with potentially significant implications on the WDC or WCC or both–we get various swings in how they are handled.

            The FIA handled some of those well, and some (like this current one) not at all well. If they cannot police a rule properly, they need to set up a rule that they can police. To use your Benetton software example, they should have set the rule that either only race-weekend-used software can be on the car or something to that effect. Then, it’s not an issue if Benetton used it or not, it is breaking the rule to have it on the car.

            Here, without better information, how will 2 sensors address whatever Ferrari was doing? Will they catch the behavior at all? Why would 2 sensors be more difficult to get around than just 1? Who knows? Maybe Ferrari and FIA know, or maybe only Ferrari. But we don’t. And that is an issue.

          3. @hobo Fair comment. My point was simply that it is the teams that are taxing the FIA with their bending of the rules or looking for loopholes or however one wants to word what is effectively a cheat to the spirit of the regs shall we say. There should be some compassion for the job they have when teams are constantly doing whatever they can to undermine the regs. FIA aren’t the enemy here.

            So if they can’t police a rule properly, they should change it so they can? Fair enough. They were policing it just fine in the hybrid era, so since 2014, until Ferrari threw this at them last year. And they have now gone to two sensors which presumably is the fix.

      2. @todfod I think that is a perfect illustration of the two views that can be taken on this matter. It is very sad though that politics are playing such a big role in this. If this would have been a different team, then surely the FIA would have punished them.

  11. Ferrari International Assistance at its best.

  12. Bring back the V12s?

  13. So… Max Verstappen hit the mail on the head. Ferrari were cheating.

    It was however too difficult to prove beyond doubt so the criminal gets away with the criminal behaviour. That’s not unheard of, however it’s against the spirit of fair competition and a re-distribution of prize money seems logical to compensate the parties that where done wrong.

    1. You want to redistribute Ferrari’s prize money after months of investigations turned up no proof they were cheating?

  14. “Mail” should obviously be “nail”

  15. Could it be that FIA’s investigation and settlement was between the 2018-2019 seasons? And that the settlement allowed Ferrari to further their advantage?

  16. Another aspect of this is if the FIA don’t understand what Ferrari were doing, can they be sure they’re not still doing it? It’s amazing they would make themselves look so weak. Did this ‘settlement’ include Ferrari explicitly explaining what it was doing to the FIA, or did it force them to change to a design that the FIA could understand? Preseason testing suggests that something has made them slower. Why hasn’t this been explained?

    There are many examples of borderline legal or loophole designs being outlawed without punishment for prior use, why couldn’t this have gone the same way? Issue a clarification, no penalty for Ferrari, no apparent bias from the FIA. If the engine was more obviously illegal, they’ve used it for all of 2019 so throw them out of the championship. There is a precedent for that, spygate most notably.

    1. Simi I’m of the understanding that introducing the second fuel flow sensors that all pus must have has taken care of the concern.

      1. It would appear that Ferrari lobbied for and succeeded in keeping the “technology” secret. This under the guise of intellectual property and value to their suppliers.
        From the lack of action from the FIA, it would appear that either they didn’t understand it or that it was not, strictly speaking, illegal. Ferrari standing fast on that last bit.
        Had the FIA gone public with it and added new regulations to stop the practice, then the IP value is dead. This way Ferrari (and suppliers) get to retain, for now, some exclusivity to the technology on the basis that they stop doing what worked so well.
        Man … isn’t this great stuff. What else is there till the Ides of March. Assuming the race is still on…. hope so.

  17. Everyone can read FIA’s statement however they want. The way i see it is that they searched for months for illegal parts and they found nothing.

    1. If that was the case why would there be a settlement?

      1. All indications pointed to Ferrari cheating, but the FIA simply couldn’t prove it with evidence. Hence, the settlement.

        1. Settlement could be:
          FIA: I know you (Ferrari) are cheating somehow but I couldn’t definitively prove it…
          Ferrari: Really? If you can’t find me guilty but try to penalize me I will sue you….
          Settlement: Ok, ok. Just stop doing that thing…. and you don’t sue me ok? Settled?

  18. it’s easy to mock the ‘complexity’ part but it is not as if been unable to prove somebody is doing something wrong is anything new or even just limited to complex engines.

    remember the red bull flexible wings of a decade ago? the front wing was pretty clearly flexing beyond allowed limits when out on track but since they were passing all of the deflection tests (including the fia making the test’s tougher) it couldn’t be 100% proven they were not total legal. and something similar happened with red bull a bit later where the front part of the floor was clearly running closer to the track than was allowed at the time as the thermal imaging camera fom had looking back from the nose of the car showed it getting hot due to touching.

    if a team are using a new technology or system to do something and its something the fia have not seen before or doing something that is only 100% understood by those who developed it i think it is understandable for the fia to not be able to 100% prove (or disprove) what is been done. we have seen it before and will no doubt again, just part of the sport.

    1. Exactly, how can a system be deemed illegal if it passes the tests proving it’s legality?

  19. Sonny Crockett
    5th March 2020, 13:23

    MaF1a

  20. I vaguely remember one of the Ferraris taking a skip on one of the random fuel checks or weigh-ins late last season… I believe they got fined and they accepted it gladly. I’m wondering if that was also a part of their cheating process…

    Hmm… Ferrari is as shady as it gets.

    1. Your memory fails you, FIA detected it because Ferrari actually went to the fuel check.. the weight were all correct it was just a mistake in the papers of declared fuel..

  21. Abridged version:

    “Everything is fine because Ferrari said it was… and it’s too much effort to prove them wrong”

    1. Your abridged version is biased against ferrari. The unabridged version is opposite to what your version. It says FIA weren’t happy with the legality but couldn’t prove anything illegal, that is on the FIA not Ferrari.

      1. “The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations.”

        Yes, Ferrari said everything is fine.

        “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.”

        and yes, FIA said that’s too much effort to prove them wrong

        1. the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach

          It’s not too much effort, it’s impossible

    2. @joeypropane Well remember how Benetton had a car with a hidden traction control system. The FIA didn not disqualify Benetton for pretty much the same reason as Ferrari is getting away with their cheating. It’s very difficult to prove after the fact that the cheat was used during a race.

  22. Another interesting bit of this scandal is that the other 2 teams supplied with Ferrari engines didn’t seem to be as fast in a straight line. Ofcourse, this can be attributed to a lot of other reasons, like a draggier car or more downforce, but it looks like Ferrari used the trick only in their cars. And as far as I know, the engines used by the works team should be identical to those provided to the customers teams… Did the others know about this and didn’t use it or did Ferrari disguise it so well that it went under the radar of its partners?

    1. What trick? FIA didn’t say there was any trick, only they suspected but couldn’t provide be it.

      1. ah ah ah i love all this Drama before the season start… what they did ? how they did it ? FIA ferrari intentational AID….how they can prove it they did something wrong ..ahahaah F1 as its best…..

      2. @kpcart: the FIA & Ferrari reached a settlement. A settlement – the definition of it is that some wrongdoing was done and found but an agreement between parts was arranged behind closed doors.

        If there was nothing to be found or the FIA couldn’t prove anything, why would Ferrari agree to something like that which is a PR nightmare in just one sentence?!…

    2. Depends how you interpret ‘identical’: physically the same or both software an hardware?

  23. More popcorn !!!

  24. I, for one, see this as a step forward (though not far enough).
    1) FIA concludes after ‘extensive and thorough investigations’ was most likely cheating!
    2) Ferrari decided that rather than forcing FIA to prove that they were wrong, to settle and support FIA in many ways without getting anything in return (other than stopping the investigation).

    1. I more or less agree there @coldfly. THe only thing that feels stupid, is the same we clamoured when REd Bull were obviously cheating not too long ago and the FIA were also unable to prove it because of how the testing was formulated – it should be on the team to prove their innocence, not just the FIA finding the right tool to police things.

      1. And there we disagree, nobody should prove their innocence, is the FIA (or an sport court if things ever reach to that point) that have to prove they are guilty (innocent until proven guilty)

        1. You’re innocent until proven guilty if almost every country on earth, why should it be different in F1?

          1. This isn’t a criminal case, this is a civil case and in very few civil courts are you innocent until proven guilty, because those are not concepts that have any relevance. You are either a party who has been damaged or a party who has done damage and a judge will review the evidence and come to a conclusion in court- you don’t need to prove anything, only provide the more compelling evidence. The reason is of course, no one is getting locked up, Ferrari’s settlement isn’t taken from the families of the workers – that’s literally the point of a corporation, to ensure that the people working there don’t get punished for what the company does.

      2. (@bascb) if they have to prove innocence for everything, it’ll never, ever end. It has always worked the other way round in any sort of legal situation. You are innocent until proven guilty.

        1. In general, that is true @fer-no65. However, there are situations where it makes sense to have it the other way. For example, if you get government grants, the onus is on you to prove that you are elegible. Technical sports can be one of those.

          If it is clear that there is no technical way to do legally what they are doing (i.e. the Red Bull flapping wings, now this Ferrari engine), as was probalby shown only too clearly by gps mapping paired with sound analyses etc, I think an argument can be made to have the onus on the team to prove to the fia how they did this in a legal way.

          1. @bascb wouldn’t that be unfair? the rulebook would have to state that in specific cases, it’s the team that has to provide the information that they are complying with the rules. How do you determine those situations? Ferrari (or Red Bull) would say their cars pass scrutineering, so that’s proof enough.

            I don’t know why people mention the Red Bull flexi-wings btw. That was just a clever design which passed the test every time, even when they made it even more strict.

          2. @fer-no65

            wouldn’t that be unfair?

            No.
            The same exists in the legal system. If a person suddenly owns expensive cars and houses without a clear source of income then that alone can be used as evidence of criminal activities.

          3. @f1osaurus gives a good example of where it is appropriate to have someone prove their innocence.

            Also, Red bull wings were clearly illegal, but since the y were good enough at strengthening them to pass ever stricter tests, the team managed to avoid punishment for some time, until finally the FIA managed to close the loophole that made this possible @fer-no65

    2. @coldfly I completely agree. Unless the complaining teams themselves are willing to write a blank cheque to cover the legal costs of the FIA to pursue this (and I suspect they won’t) then it looks like the FIA probably made the most pragmatic decision in the circumstances.

      I think it’s also clear both sides knew any proceedings could go either way and get expensive in the process so a settlement is the obvious solution and it sounds like the FIA’s rules allow for exactly this sort of situation.

      It’s easy for all the armchair experts to give the FIA stick for being unable to build a watertight case but we see it daily in the justice system – the police can be as convinced as they like that someone is guilty but if the CPS can’t build a strong enough case then the individual can’t be put through the courts.

  25. What this tells me is Ferrari ‘probably’ found a loophole that gave an advantage. The FIA couldn’t ban it as they couldn’t prove anything. Isn’t this the kind of F1 innovation that is what so called fans have been bragging about it in last couple weeks (mercedes DAS supporters, finding loopholes). The das can be proven to be illegal, hence straight away banned, but surprisingly only from 2021 (might be linked to this ruling in legal reasons). Effectively this is the same decision as Banning DAS, but the FIA can’t pinpoint what they are banning, so do a deal instead in good faith. Ferrari outsmarted the FIA here and the rules. So now who can prove they won’t use the technology again come Melbourne? Since no one knows for certain what they are doing? Not least the FIA. Ferrari’s test engine might have been detuned for all we know so that the FIA believes their deal is working. The fia’s wording implicates itself at fault in this whole process, and not Ferrari. I suspect Mercedes will now copy whatever technology they think Ferrari has as it seems undetectable by FIA scrutineering. God knows how other teams knew Ferrari found a loophole if even the FIA can’t pinpoint what it is, maybe a whistleblower

    1. Rubbish. The DAS is legal according to the current regs. It is being made illegal for 2021 by a *change* to the regs. The FIA are moving the goalposts to make it illegal.
      The question you raise is a good one though: if the FIA really don’t know what was going on (although they suspect it was illegal) then how can anyone have any confidence that it can be prevented from happening this year? Ferrari are making a bog show of their supposed lack of straight line speed. I expect this to evaporate at race#1.

      1. As far as I know the DAS hasn’t been deemed legal yet, it all depends on how the rules are interpreted.

        1. it all depends on how the rules are interpreted

          And if/how they use it, @paeschli.
          DAS might be legal, but using it under ‘parc ferme’ rules (from quali to race start) could be illegal. Even if DAS is seen as part of the ‘steering set of functions’ (which makes sense to me), merely using it could be seen by the stewards as making a change to the suspension set-up. This is illegal during parc ferme.

          1. @coldfly It’s a steering wheel that steers the wheels. Only in this case it steers the wheels in the opposite direction of each other.

          2. William jones
            6th March 2020, 1:27

            Forgive me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t parc ferme end when the cars begin the warm up lap? So Merc can use it in a race, but not after qualifying ends until the formation lap and have fully complied with parc ferme rules?

      2. It is being made illegal for 2021 by a *change* to the regs.

        The latest 2021 regulations are from October 2019 though.

  26. 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.

    Well obviously not, they’ve caused considerable damage to their own and Ferraris reputation.

    Watching an interview with Joe Saward this morning, he mentioned article 2 of the FIA statute saying the sport will be run in a transparent manner. Whoops another clanger by the FIA. I would imagine there will be a little of public grandstanding and a lot of backroom negotiations going on over the next few months.

    1. ActiveSuspender
      5th March 2020, 21:18

      They have been transparent, if they hadn’t been they wouldn’t have issued this long press release and the previous.

      1. We assure you, we have been fully transparent in telling you that we’re hiding things from you.

      2. Not really – this most recent press release has only been published because of the threat of legal action by the teams, whilst some sections of the press have claimed that the FIA was also initially refusing to publish the first statement until the teams also threatened legal action back then.

        There is a very marked difference between the detail in the releases here against the one that was released into Renault’s brake bias adjustment mechanism, for example, which was released without the need for the other teams having to issue threats of legal action against the FIA in order to obtain those details.

  27. Wellbalanced
    5th March 2020, 13:51

    The FIA could not conclusively show Ferrari were cheating. Suspicion is not enough. So for all intents and purposes Ferrari are to be treated as not having cheated.

    Whether there was then on a settlement or not is irrelevant. Case closed, insufficient evidence, as clarified by this further FIA statement.

    A separate question is whether the FIA need to reasses their policing capability going forwards.

  28. So, in other words,
    FIA: “Listen, Mercedes says you were cheating and we believe them.”
    Ferrari: “Why?”
    FIA: “‘Cause Lewis said you were, so…”
    Ferrari: “How? What were we doing that was against the rules?’
    FIA: “Well…we’re not really sure…but whatever it was we’re pretty sure your cheating and we need you to stop.”
    Ferrari: “No. You can’t prove anything.”
    FIA: “HEY, Don’t make me come over there!”
    Ferrari: “OK, ok, we’ll call it a draw.”

    1. Graham Shevlin
      5th March 2020, 15:28

      Here is what probably happened:

      FIA: We suspect you have been circumventing the fuel flow limit using special fuel and some very smart engineering.
      Ferrari: Well, then you need to prove it.
      FIA: If we prove it, you will be excluded from the 2019 Constructors Championship and the 2020 season. Are you feeling really lucky?
      Ferrari: We deny any and all impropriety.
      FIA: We will signal that a team should protest. Somebody has evidence
      Ferrari: We deny it. We cannot reveal anything because it is proprietary IP.
      FIA: Whose IP?

      Ferrari: I see you want funding for certain initiatives.
      FIA: Please elaborate
      Ferrari: If we agree to a settlement where we admit nothing, and fund those initiatives, will that be satisfactory?
      FIA: Keep talking

  29. This is not a sport any more. The FIA is now admitting that they cannot effectively police the legality of the power units (or *the team’s operation of the power units*). In related news the power unit regulations will not be changed. F1 is over as a credible competition and has truly embraced being a circus.

    1. Nope. Specifically they could not police for the one trick that one team has tried. Otherwise they overwhelmingly do a great job, imho. It is the teams that constantly look for loopholes and cheats that tax the FIA. If F1 was to be deemed over as a credible competition that would have happened long ago, as we have had decades to understand and witness the kinds of trials and tribulations the teams put the governing body of the era through when it comes to the technical regs.

      You’re saying it is credible for teams to try to cheat, and as soon as they throw the FIA a curveball, now F1 is no longer credible.

  30. Whats wrong with a long litigation?
    This is just dung response

  31. Wow, nice, now we can move on, we can be sure nobody cheats…

    Oh, wait *facepalm*

  32. The FIA (Or other governing bodies) not been able to conclusively prove something isn’t new. You can look at the 1994 Benetton Traction control, The Red Bull Flexible wings, Ferrari flexible floor, Launch Control in 2000 & many other examples of something been suspected but not 100% provable for various reasons.
    Same happens in other categories, I think back to CART allowing traction control in 2002 because it was suspected one of the engine manufacturer’s was running it but CART officials were unable to prove it so they just let everyone use it.

    It’s very easy as a fan to look at these things as the FIA dropping the ball (Because fans tend to have a fairly simplistic view/understanding of some aspects) but you must remember that you have thousands of people working at the teams including some of the top people in there fields running some of the most advanced computer models specifically to push the boundaries, look for loop holes & exploit them. Meanwhile at the FIA you have I think under 100 people using computer systems & software that are far less advanced to what the teams have access to with far less budget to spend on them than what the teams have.

    A majority of the time they do a good job but every now & again you will have a situation like this not necessarily because the FIA aren’t good enough at policing these things but more because the teams are so good at coming up with things that are hard to figure out.

    1. Should also be pointed out maybe that the FIA are making the fuel systems a standard component from next year in part as a result of what Ferrari may or may not have been doing.

      Similar to when they switched to a standard ECU to ensure nobody was running TC from 2008.

    2. As much as I dislike the Ferrari F1 team*, this is the most measured and impartial view of the matter i’ve seen anywhere.

      *I like the road cars a lot.

      1. @gt-racer @RB13 Agreed. Been saying similar things in posts above to some posters.

    3. ActiveSuspender
      5th March 2020, 21:21

      Can I vote this for COTD? Sensible and very well explained.

  33. A Ferrari man is head of the FIA. Ferrari get special money, just for being Ferrari. Ferrari get a veto on the rules. It appears that Ferrari can even cheat and have it covered up.

    And yet they still can’t win. It’s not a great look.

    If Ferrari had to race on the same basis as the other teams – without all these special advantages – they’d obviously be dead last.

    Can you imagine such favouritism in any other sport? It would be a joke.

    1. they didn’t found anything illegal on the Ferrari PU… and the statement didn’t say that they found anything illegal …… so as it is today they didn’t cheat….. so going on your logic , benetton back in the day they were cheating, so RedBull, so Mercedes so Williams very back in the day ………Question for you: why you hate so much Ferrari ? just asking

      1. also you have a very short memory … because in the Schumacher period the Federation start to bend and change rules becasue Ferrari was winning everything… every race at that time was worth to watch until the first corner and than boom finish 1-2 Ferrari …. so the FIA at certain point start to change rules… for the good of the sport ( like bernie would had said…) ;)

    2. Ferrarista Ottimista
      5th March 2020, 18:35

      ridiculous.
      Mercedes cheat from 2013!
      since Illegal test with Pirelli they should be expelled but there have been burnt oil, broken agreements, rims with holes, rules known in advance, FIA always in favor (see canadian gp), DAS (oh it’s legal only this year) , tire change (0,4mm for yooooou)

  34. Wow that clears things up, Thanks for all the extra

    details

  35. Bruno Verrari
    5th March 2020, 15:59

    The loudest screaming toto or christian should have contested the legality aof the Ferrari engine during one of the 2019 championship races. He didn’t and now it’s pointless, so shut up and move on; basta!

    1. RedBull did contest it, multiple times. FIA issued a technical directive before US GP. Ferrari seemed slower ever since. It’s not pointless, FIA made a big mess. Not sure who should shut up.

  36. 96/5000
    Big balls
    Is that what is now expected of the seven teams?
    Go ahead and prove the alleged illegality

  37. If the FIA can’t prove categorically that the Ferrari PU is breaking the rules then it stands to reason that the FIA can’t prove any PU is breaking (or not breaking) the rules. Bodes well for the budget cap, don’t it?

    F1 is not a sport. I wouldn’t even call it a ‘show’. It’s more an elaborate commercial for Mercedes. If anyone challenges this narrative they must be stopped. That’s what this is all about.

    Interesting that Mercedes initiated the 7 team ‘petition’ even though they won everything and (seemingly) stand to gain nothing from this saga…

    1. @asherway isn’t your narrative rather undercut by the fact that Red Bull were the ones who were issuing the technical queries to the FIA that many link with Ferrari’s rather sudden drop in performance?

  38. Full of them
    No doubt

  39. Yes, if it’s a loophole. If they are operating the engine illegally though they are cheating. And now the FIA seems to acknowledge that teams can get away with cheating because the PU’s are too complicated. Happy day.

  40. The bit about litigation as an excuse for the settlement is depressing. The FIA, with the finest white-shoe firms on retainer, did not want to take on Ferrari’s expected delaying tactics and legal chicanery, and simply caved? That’s not a good look or a good precedent for the sport. Mercedes could have taken this approach with DAS—say, it’s fine, and if you give us any static we will make sure this is being litigated for 10 in 10 jurisdictions years because we have all the lawyers money can buy.

  41. What I’d like to know is how can there be a settlement between Ferrari and the FIA wherein Ferrari agrees to effectively pay restitution to the FIA in the form cooperative green initiatives, when the aggrieved parties are the teams who potentially lost out on prize moneys. That’s akin to prosecutor in a civil case coming to a financial settlement with the defendant and telling the accuser thanks for your service.

  42. Ferrari get away with it every single freakin’ time. They are by far the slipperiest team on the grid. It is time they received a $100 million dollor fine and or banned for a year. Everybody always defends them. Never a truer acronym than FIA = Ferrari International Assistance. People often say, “oh but they are essential to the sport… the sport needs manufacturesers… their history” etc… blah blah blah nonsense. Formula 1 will be just fine without them, if not better off. Their reputation has far exceeded their real and actual true value and worth to the sport. Their legacy check and vito needs to be immediately rescinded. A more fair and equitable way of divying up the F1 money pot needs to be adopted to protect the sport. I would most certainly not be sad to see the back of them if it came to that.

  43. So its official. Ferrari cannot prove they were not cheating in 2019.

    1. And the FIA cannot prove they were.. hence the settlement.. lol

  44. I think FIA also said that cant prove the illegality of the PU when its off. So the PU complies with all the sensors and FIA directives. I think Mercedes and RedBull wants to know what Ferrari are working towards too ,so they can exploit it too. Im sure Mercedes PU is very complex like the new DAS , but no one ever questioned how Mercedes won the last 6 years in this kind of matter

  45. To me this statement reads like: “Don’t worry about it, it’s too complicated and you wouldn’t understand. We asked Ferrari and they said they didn’t do anything wrong. Besides Ferrari is cool, they gave us a fruit box and said don’t worry about it. Now you run along and forget this ever happened.”

  46. I thought I’d seen the whole release, and thought it clarified exactly nothing. This version is longer, and does clarify something… …mostly that the FIA is being petty.

    The critical bit (and the bit every single other version of the release I’ve seen misses off) is

    “and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.”

    This year, as every year prior, F1 has run under a letter-of-the-law system. Either something is allowed or it is banned. Either there’s an unequivocal breach, or there isn’t. Primarily, this is so that everyone knows what they need to do and everyone knows what to expect from enforcement.

    If the FIA doesn’t have unequivocal proof of breach, then litigation would not have been long and complex as it claimed. It would have been a quick and relatively easy Ferrari victory, no matter how the FIA attempts to spin it. Its “suspicions” would have been no help in a court situation.

    So why was there a settlement? Well, Ferrari values its relationship with the FIA, and looking co-operative here will likely help it down the line. Also, in 2021, from what I understand, the FIA is attempting to ban blatant exploits of loopholes. If it thought Ferrari was doing a blatant exploit of a loophole, then a settlement preventing prospective breach would lead to pretty much what we have here.

    There’s still no excuse for baking the press releases in mud before sending them. As it stands, every team has reason to be upset: Ferrari because it looks like it’s had its name drug through the mud for no reason (which might even breach the settlement…), and the other teams because they don’t know enough about what’s been banned to be sure of avoiding the same trap themselves. Therefore, I’d like to suggest to the FIA that in future, it hires me to copy-edit its press releases. If it doesn’t like the idea of me doing it for some reason, then anyone else who has commented in this article (or indeed Keith or Dieter) would also be valid choices.

    1. Yes, you know better than the Fia’s lawyers and engineers based on your personal experience of reading about the situation on the internet. You’re just a god amongst sentient monkeys, we should worship at your feet and never let you walk on any surface that hasn’t been cleansed by the tongue.

  47. If the FIA didn’t find anything, the case would have just been closed. The PU may not have been illegal according to the rules as currently constructed but could have been against the “spirit” of the rules which is why the FIA still found the PU to be operating in a way it felt was illegal, ie burning more fuel or creating more emissions than currently allowed. The burden of making a case one way or the other may just be a complex situation that would cost too much money and tarnish the reputations of both parties involved. Thus a settlement is reached, no one looks more guilty or foolish than the other and Ferrari gets to keep their intellectual property to themselves in return for some charitable cause that could, in time, further boost its reputation.

  48. I want to apologize for my post the other day stating we know Ferrari cheated as it was never proven.
    Since the “fix” is a 2nd fuel monitor my guess is that Ferrari was flowing fuel past the first fuel monitor at the legal flow rates but then somehow storing some of the fuel before it flows into the engine. F1 teams are always looking for an edge so the amount of “stored” fuel is infinitesimal but provides some boost during certain conditions. We all see Ferraris slow in the corners but unbeatable in the straights. Again a guess, but were they storing fuel in the corners and then using it in the straights?

  49. Ferrari are using metal porosity to cache fuel. Something that is incredibly difficult to test. You heard it here first. That is all

  50. Evidence is not found. You need to look for it.
    Giving up looking for evidence when you know something doesn’t work properly and covering all up with a private settlement smells fishy.
    That looks mafia-esque.
    And, being an Italian, saying this hurts me badly.

    1. I think the thing about this whole story is that if something was found that was not allowed by the rules (full stop) we would know. The problem is that Ferrari as a company has proprietary technical knowledge that is it’s own property. All teams on the grid have this and is the reason that MacLaren were fined for having data they shouldn’t. If what they have been up to is in the “grey” area of the rules then they could have said to the FIA its ours you cant leak it. Now if the teams want to argue that they have a right to the data then when the race officials rule on the legality of DAS all teams should know if its mechanical, electrical or hydraulic and how it works.
      In other categories of motorsport when cars are inspected they are done in the open for all teams to send a representative to see, they could bring this into F1 if they wanted to, but how many teams want the paddock to know everything on their car?

  51. So if FIA is admitting to having found nothing, Ferrari is completely cleared, and in reality is the one hard done by with the insinuation of the definition of this ‘settlement’. Not seeking to be fully exonerated will be a mistake.

    1. William Jones
      6th March 2020, 12:45

      It wouldn’t be a mistake if your assumptions are wrong

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