Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Ferrari slump leaves Horner with “sour taste” over lost 2019 wins

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Ferrari’s slump in performance at Spa-Francorchamps reflects how hard the team was hit by its settlement with the FIA over its power unit, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Having won the Belgian Grand Prix on the power-sensitive Spa circuit last year, Ferrari were the only team to lap the circuit slower this weekend than they did 12 months ago. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc struggled to 13th and 14th place in today’s race.

Ferrari reached a secret settlement with the FIA following an investigation into its power units before the season began. This led to changes in the engine regulations which Ferrari has admitted affected the performance of its car.

Horner said “the whole thing has left quite a sour taste” and suggested the power advantage Ferrari enjoyed before the settlement helped them to victory in races Red Bull could have won.

“Obviously you can draw your own conclusions from Ferrari’s current performance. But in those races we should have won last year, arguably, if they’d have run with an engine that seems to be quite different to the performance that they had last year.”

Ferrari’s current situation “is obviously very tough for them”, said Horner. “But I think it’s that their focus has obviously been in the wrong areas in previous years, which is why they obviously seem to be struggling a little with whatever it was in that agreement.”

He believes Ferrari now have the least competitive engine in Formula 1. “You’ve got Mercedes a clear leader. Then I think Honda and Renault are reasonably close depending on on circuits and conditions. And then you’ve got Ferrari, obviously, at the back of the queue.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who said yesterday Ferrari’s problems were due to decision made by certain members of the team, echoed Horner’s comments.

“Ferrari is an iconic brand and fantastic people that build these cars,” said Wolff. “And it’s difficult to say because I don’t want to put any more oil into this.

“But we were really stretched so much last year and the year before that we suffered and we lost some people in terms of just being at the end of just the end of their heads. And this is why I would probably follow Christian’s comment.”

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89 comments on “Ferrari slump leaves Horner with “sour taste” over lost 2019 wins”

  1. I mean, it was one race at Singapore where they had a chance and Ferrari beat them. Obviously it’s not nothing, but the plural is a reach.

    1. Also, I’m fairly certain that Hamilton would have won that race if Ferrari were slower (because of how strategy played out).

      Red Bull literally lost nothing in 2019

      1. Max lost 8(*) extra podium finishes, even Albon would have had 3 podium finishes.

        (*) I’ll count GB as a podium finish as with a lesser engine Vettel would not have had the chance to bump into Verstappen’s rear end and Max would not have fallen behind Gasly, who therefore would not score a single extra podium with a lesser Ferrari. Albon is indeed better than Gasly, at least in the Red Bull.

        Though the engine is not very powerful now, it seems the car is very bad too. Maybe Vettel and Leclerc could score more points if they swapped places with the Haas drivers.

      2. just f1 stuff. both rb and especially mercedes are running “trick” suspensions, teams just find a way of getting themselves better results. flexi wings, tyre pressure “tricks”, running underweight. everyone pushes the limit.
        Merc as Honda suggested, has something hard to understand on the pu as well, horner must be convinced the new directive will stop that, we shall see.

    2. @hunocsi a bit cheeky from Horner, but his argument stands, as they could’ve had 2nd place in the constructors had Ferrari ran a legal engine last year…

      1. Fer no 65 – agreed

  2. Sainz in 2021: GP2 Engine….GP2 Engine….

  3. After 2008 Ferrari have beaten in aero by red bulls and engine by the Mercs.
    They need a regulation change to escape the midfield.

    1. Ferrari needs something they can no longer do: the ability to throw endless amounts of money at it.

      1. ColdFly (@coldfly) Agreed. Mind you the extra $100 Million and the technical veto is not helping is it.

    2. Where did the regulation changes in 2009 and 2014 leave them competitively?

      Even their competitiveness in 2017 is now questionable

    3. I think Ferrari are already focusing heavily on 2022 while they CAN spend endless money at it. If there was no reg change there’d be less issue but I think their focus is repackaging the engine to be more beneficial to new regs rather than ‘fixing’ their power issues in the current package. Only a hunch though.

  4. The FIA – Ferrari Immunity Act – should be taken to task over this “secretive agreement”. Terrible example of governance at the highest level of motorsport.

    1. Todt at the helm of FIA and his son managing Leclerc doesnt help either.

  5. Red Bull must be the most overhyped team on the grid. At least Ferrari build WDC contenders in 2017 and 2018. What has Red Bull done in the hybrid era other than a few wins here and there?

    1. Ferrari were never close to winning a WDC in the hybrid era. The thing about Red Bull is they have consistently been able to win a few races in every season of the hybrid era.

      1. proud_asturian
        30th August 2020, 17:49

        What is 2015?

        1. Slow Prancing Horse
          30th August 2020, 18:00

          You mean 2015 the year where Mercedes were utterly dominant that even Rosberg could win a Championship?
          I remember.

          1. Rosberg didn’t win the championship in 2015?

          2. Slow Prancing Horse, your answer makes no sense at all.

            Firstly, proud_asturian was challenging the assertion that Red Bull “have consistently been able to win a few races in every season of the hybrid era” by correctly pointing out that Red Bull did not win any races in 2015. Your dismissive remark therefore makes no sense when the poster you are responding to was correctly pointing out that the original assertion by Patrick about the performances of Red Bull in the hybrid era were incorrect – so commenting about Mercedes is totally irrelevant in that context.

            Secondly, it would appear that your memories of the 2015 season are rather different to those of everybody else – because Rosberg most certainly did not win the World Drivers Championship in 2015…

      2. Sleeping in 2017 and 2018?
        Stop the lies. Vettel screwed up In those two which was a Breeze for Ferrari.

      3. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        31st August 2020, 0:59

        revisionism. The team fumbled its way in the development race against Mercedes and Vettel made crucial errors in both years. Like Vettel’s 2010-2013 streak, it’s easily forgotten that Hamilton could’ve been only a four-time WDC if Ferrari were managed properly, they allowed Vettel not to be held up by Kimi in Germany, etc.

        1. Don’t forget about Ferrari’s strategists. They deserve a part of the blame as well.

      4. @paeschli Ferrari could easily have won the 2017 and 2018 championships if they had had a better driver. 2018 even with a 54 point lead according to analysis done by Auto und motor sport.

        Even 2019 could have been very close. Just think if they had actually won in Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Russia, Japan and Mexico and had not crashed two cars in Brazil. Instead their drivers crashed, spun off or were too busy ruining each other race.

    2. @kingshark, I think it’s questionable if even those 2017 and 2018 Ferrari cars were legal. Even at the time I found it strange that suddenly Ferrari overtook Mercedes for PU dominance. Certainly in 2018 there were signs of everything maybe not being right. As for Red Bull, they have at least succeeded in keeping Honda interested and given them some redemption. Also Red Bull made the initial come back after Covid possible this year. Also they have brought one of the biggest talents of the last 10 years into the sport, being the only team recently to challenge Mercedes, and repeatedly performed world record breaking pit stops. But yes, they haven’t lived up to the hype of truly being on-par with Mercedes, I give you that.

      1. @ me4me
        In 2017 Ferrari had an inferior engine to Mercedes but a superior chassis, as you can tell by the race results of Monaco/Hungary.

        When has Red Bull ever done that?

        1. @kingshark Red Bull has had that too. Most of the Monaco, Malaysia and Mexico races Red Bull had the best car.

          Verstappen crashed during most of those Monaco weekends, but Ricciardo won one and could have won more (if it’s wasn’t for the team). Verstappen should have won 2019 too. Mexico they won a few times and Malaysia as well.

          Hungary 2019 they also had the best car. It’s only because Verstappen didn’t manage his tyres well enough that he lost that race.

          1. @f1osaurus
            Nah, Mercedes was definitely the best car at Hungary 2019. Not buying that one.

            If Hamilton performed in qualifying he would have won that race in a straight forward fashion. He made things more difficult for himself with his mediocre performance on Saturday.

          2. @kingshark Nope Red Bull had the fastest car got pole and could/should have won that race.

          3. @f1osaurus
            Mark Hughes, who is a well respected journalist and a huge admirer of Hamilton, categorically states that Mercedes had 0.15s/lap on Red Bull in Hungary. He spoke with numerous engineers in the paddock about this.

            I’ll take his opinion over yours, thanks.

          4. @kingshark Even if you do believe that, Verstappen had track position and he threw the win away with bad tyre management.

            So his opinion is irrelevant unless Hamilton was over a second a lap faster.

          5. @f1osaurus
            The only reason why Verstappen had track position is because he did a much better job on Saturday.

            For someone who rates Hamilton so highly, you seem to have rather low standards for him. Bottas was 0.018s slower than Verstappen in qualifying and you think that it was impossible for Hamilton to take like?

          6. *take pole

          7. @kingshark So what? Verstappen still threw away that win due to poor driving. A minute lap time difference is inconsequential.

            Hamilton destroyed Verstappen on Sunday when it should have been an easy win for Verstappen. Is that really so hard to understand?

            It’s like that every time. He just needs to be in the fastest car (or similar performance) and they he would win everything. Over and over he shows he wouldn’t. He keeps messing up. Vettel is even worse and also Leclerc is not at the same level either with only 2 wins out of 7 poles.

          8. @f1osaurus
            What makes you think that it should have been an easy win for Verstappen when:

            1. Mercedes was faster than Red Bull (confirmed by engineers)
            2. Mercedes had better tyres and better strategy

            How low do you rate Hamilton, that you think that Verstappen should easily beat him despite worse tyres, worse strategy, and an inherently slower car?

          9. @kingshark I explained this already 3 times. Veerstappen had track position on a track where overtaking is pretty much impossible. He just had to cruise to the end. Instead he panicked, ruined his tyres and just let Hamilton drive past.

            Mercedes did not have the better strategy. If Verstappen had kept his cool and managed his tyres properly, Hamilton would never have gotten past. Instead he panicked and blew it.

            Just like in Styria. Which cost him P2 against Bottas in exactly the same way.

          10. @f1osaurus
            Leclerc was on the same strategy as Verstappen and his tyres died too at the end (he got overtaken by Vettel). Verstappen didn’t panic, his and Leclerc’s strategy was just suboptimal.

          11. @kingshark Verstappen panicked to the max. He ran out of tyres 8 laps before the end of the race!!!!

            He could simply have managed the tyres like all the other drivers on that same strategy. It was the optimal strategy. Almost the entire field did exactly the same strategy.

            Dud you are seriously desparate with your cherry picking of problems. Verstappen was destroyed in Hungary because he panicked. Just like in Styria when he destroyed his front wing and his tyres when he panicked about Bottas behind.

          12. @f1osaurus
            Just because most of the grid followed that strategy does not make it the best one.

            Leclerc also did the same strategy as Verstappen, and he ended up losing to Vettel because of it. What I find interesting is that you didn’t mention my point about Leclerc at all.

            Vettel was 20 seconds behind Leclerc after pitting for fresh tyres, the same distance Hamilton was behind Verstappen. Vettel closed in on Leclerc and overtook him at the end, like Hamilton did with Verstappen.

            This proves that Leclerc and Verstappen were simply on the inferior strategy.

          13. @kingshark That almost all drivers used it doesn’t make it the best strategy per se no. True. However the fact that it was the best strategy made it the best one (and also the reason almost all drivers picked it).

            Although Pirelli though starting on soft would have been better:
            https://press.pirelli.com/2019-hungarian-grand-prix—qualifying/

            Indeed I also didn’t care why you were trying to deflect Verstappen’s panicked tyre fail with a mention of Leclerc also failing. Somehow you’d think the fact that Leclerc was equally bad would redeem Verstappen? No.

            But to placate your nonsense I checked. Low and behold, you are even more wrong than I thought. Vettel made only one stop. Just like the rest!

            Like Hamilton though, Vettel was better at managing his tyres so he could prolong his first stint (while still doing a decent pace). Leclerc and Verstappen were both really poor at managing their tyres and had to stop way too early for their strategy to work. So they would be more likely to manage their tyres poorly in the second stint too. Which they both did.

            To compound on their fail, because of their early stop, they would need they actually needed to manage their tyres even more for the second stop and they both didn’t. So they dropped off the cliff.

            So yes Leclerc was just as big a fail as Verstappen. That doesn’t negate Verstappen’s fail.

            Besides, Vettel used softs in his last stint while medium was more common. Completely incomparable situation either way.

          14. @kingshark That almost all drivers used it doesn’t make it the best strategy per se no. True. However the fact that it was the best strategy made it the best one (and also the reason almost all drivers picked it).

            Although Pirelli though starting on soft would have been better: google “pirelly 2019-hungarian-grand-prix—qualifying”

            Indeed I also didn’t care why you were trying to deflect Verstappen’s panicked tyre fail with a mention of Leclerc also failing. Somehow you’d think the fact that Leclerc was equally bad would redeem Verstappen? No.

            But to placate your nonsense I checked. Low and behold, you are even more wrong than I thought. Vettel made only one stop. Just like the rest!

            Like Hamilton though, Vettel was better at managing his tyres so he could prolong his first stint (while still doing a decent pace). Leclerc and Verstappen were both really poor at managing their tyres and had to stop way too early for their strategy to work. So they would be more likely to manage their tyres poorly in the second stint too. Which they both did.

            To compound on their fail, because of their early stop, they would need they actually needed to manage their tyres even more for the second stop and they both didn’t. So they dropped off the cliff.

            So yes Leclerc was just as big a fail as Verstappen. That doesn’t negate Verstappen’s fail.

            Besides, Vettel used softs in his last stint while medium was more common. Completely incomparable situation either way.

    3. They were likely cheating since 2015. I thought it suspicious that their engine in 2015 had such an improvement to be on level with Mercedes over a short winter.

      1. @david-beau
        Please provide evidence for your claim

        Also, Ferrari engine was almost certainly not on par with Mercedes in 2015-2016

    4. did they build title contenders in 2017/18 or was a dodgy engine making it seem like they had a title contending car?

      1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        31st August 2020, 1:01

        meh. F1’s been littered with “dodgy” things in the eyes of the law.

        What Ferrari will rue is that they were on to something that gave them an edge, but they failed to win because they didn’t get other things in order.

        Imagine Benetton having all of those “Michael’s secret stuff” in 94 and 95 and not winning.

    5. @kingshark

      To be fair.. if they cheated to the extent that Ferrari has been, they could have been battling the Mercedes for wins every race weekend.

    6. What has Red Bull done in the hybrid era other than a few wins here and there?

      To compare the two you probably need to take out the PU. Which team lost more often to a minor team with the same PU?

  6. In power sensitive tracks Mercedes were second best and RBR were nowhere near them pace wise. Austria & Interlagos were the exception with the hot conditions and the altitude. Horner is blaming Ferrari for RBR losing races they didn’t have any business winning and Wolff is blaming Ferrari for losing some of his engineers because he pushed them to their absolute limits and messed with their work-life balance. Who’s next ?

  7. It’s debatable whether wins were lost as he says, but they can certainly argue that 2nd place in the constructors championship, and the prize money that comes with it, was lost due to Ferrari’s very questionable engine.

    Red Bull, and indeed any team who lost points to a Ferrari-powered car in 2019, would be right to feel aggrieved by this saga.

    1. JackySteeg: totally agree. Such lack of transparency in the ruling against Ferrari is very very bad for the sport. As ‘iconic’ as Ferrari is, it is time for us to assert that F1 would stioll be an exciting sport even if Ferarri did not participate. Indeed, it may well be a better sport if the ‘financial bias’ for this team were removed and spread more evenly to others.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        31st August 2020, 13:57

        That’s not true – Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin or any of the sportscar manufacturers don’t compete in F1. We are lucky that McLaren began manufacturing some stellar supercars that rival Ferrari.

        I do agree that it’s morally wrong to hide the settlement but it’s probably better for the sport overall to avoid this. This was obviously not a minor attempt to stretch the rules – it seemed more like a concerted effort by the entire team to break the rules.

  8. Yeah, I’m sure Ferrari feels the same when RB had flexile wings. Horner is such a politician… Ferrari was forced to change their engine in the last part of the 2019 season and immediately lost performance. But they were still relatively competitive… So no doubt they “hack” played a role, but it’s far from explaining the whole story. Their 2020 car is a bitch, end of story. Horner should focus on improving how they manage their second driver.

    1. Their 2019 car was less aerodynamically draggy. That’s why a clarification of the rules that resulted in reworking their fuel flow bypass didn’t have as big an impact on their performance as it does now. Their 2020 car was being made already by the time the clarification came out at the end of last October. Their car had more aero downforce built in which was justified by their power hack last year. Once the hack got outlawed, Ferrari was stuck with a compound of less horsepower and more drag. Seb’s best race based on performance came at Hungary where lower horsepower and higher drag don’t penalize as bad. Covid took away tracks with those aspects this year. Estoril or Imola may be their best chances to be in the top 4 teams.

  9. ‘Embarrassing, very embarrassing, GP2 engine.”
    ”The engine feels good, much slower than before. Amazing.”

  10. It’s not just the winning races that RB could have won. Overall RB should have been second in the championship last year but for Ferrari wins like the one at Spa. Remember that one; where Hamilton was clearly quicker over a lap and Leclerc kept pulling away on the straights when LH had DRS? If Ferrari hadn’t been quite so blatant about it they might have kept the blag going for longer. I very much hope that Ferrari stay in the dumpster for a long time to come because they’ve earned it and there needs to be a painful penalty for what they pulled.

    1. So, basically your saying if Ferrari has a quicker PU it’s right away cheating bc they are not allowed to pass up Mercedes is the right..
      Bc Hamilton should’ve won that race, you know something, your statement sounds pretty bias.

      1. It was performances like that that led to the protests that led to the investigation that lead to the TDs. They were cheating. Now they’re not. Now they’re donkeys.

  11. But what exactly was the illegal thing Ferrari was doing, does anybody know?

    And how come it is affecting both qualifying AND races. Qualifying can be understood as people use oil as fuel, pump in more than the 100 kg/hr limit but consume differently based on the software configuration. But difficult to do that in races with the overall fuel and oil limit.

    What it also means is if Mercedes were to do what Ferrari did last year, they would be even more faster (while still consuming half of the fuel used by V8s). Staggering engineering achievement (as an aside)

    1. Teams were not running near the fuel weight limit so Ferrari could put more fuel in for the race to burn if they were fooling the fuel sensor. The fact that they were pulling so much extra power made them stand out as clearly doing something dubious. If Ferrari want to stop accusations they cheated they need only rip up the NDA they forced the FIA into.

      1. Telling that after that LeClerc’s mechanics didn’t put in the correct amount of fuel they declared prior to the race at Abu Dhabi.

    2. The fact we don’t know exactly what they did is entirely the problem. No, we don’t know.

    3. But what exactly was the illegal thing Ferrari was doing, does anybody know?

      The sensor only measures the fuel flow X times per second. The suggestion was that Ferrari was pushing more fuel through the lines when the sensor “wasn’t looking”.

      So they push the fuel through in a wave with exactly the troughs at the moment the sensor is measuring and the peaks when it’s not measuring. That way you can go above the 100kg/h yet the sensor doesn’t report it.

      Which is why the rules have now been changed so that there are two sensors keeping track of flow and the teams don;t know the exact timing anymore of when the sensor is measuring.

  12. “I don’t want to put any more oil into this”. Subtle burn there from Toto?

    1. Was just going to say the same thing. A comment fully rich with meaning.

    2. Seriously – like when you read the caption contest entries and see an instant winner. :D

    3. Two relevant puns in 2 sentences, by 2 different people. Bravo.

  13. Well the same can be said when RB won races while cheating with the flexi front wings.

    1. Atleast RBR doesnt leech millions of $ from prize money just to show up at races.

      1. Chaitanya I’m no fan of the Liberty Ferrari deal at all. In don’t believe the sport needs Ferrari so much that they deserve special treatment.

    2. @johnrkh

      True. But at least they were caught straight away, and the ban implementation was relatively quick, and made public. Who knows how long Ferrari were cheating for .. 2 seasons, 3 seasons, 5 seasons?

      1. @todfod True but who do we blame Ferrari for cheating or the FIA for not looking? I mean the preemptive strike on PU modes is clearly aimed at Merc even though there is no suggestion of cheating. It only really gained traction after Ferrari relisted their car was a dog and RB/Honda were left wanting in the power department.
        I notice Renault have kept quiet in that area because I think their PU is pretty good this yr.

      2. Who says that they were cheating at all, the whistleblower? Thank god that the brits dont have those around them.
        One thing is very clear, if they were really caught cheating, no secret agreement would get them out of this one.
        The question remains, what kind of cheating are the others doing to keep full digit performance gains on a format that is supposed to be equal to everybody.
        The more you know about engines and how they work, the more strange some differences seem to be. And these are not alien engines on the british Mercedes.

      3. @todfod
        They were caught in the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP and were excluded from qualy. That’s not straight away, the allegations that RBR have found a away to bypass the FIA checks came as early as the 2010 season.

      4. @todfod Red Bull was never caught for their flexible wings. The tests were slightly changed (but never made more strict) to try and ban the flexi wings, but it never did anything. TV footage still showed the wing flex massively.

        At some point the FIA made the flexing OK and since then all teams implemented the same flex. You could suddenly see all of them run with these “spider” rigs on the front of their cars. Just like Red Bull had done just before their wing started flexing.

  14. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st August 2020, 3:39

    If I read this correctly, this whole Ferrari thing has created a mess of tremendous proportions for so many teams including ironically even Mercedes.

  15. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
    31st August 2020, 4:04

    Not lost on me that Wolff and Horner waited a few GPs into the season, Ferrari’s failures completely revealed, to kick dirt on the corpse.

    1. @imabouttogoham Well if they had been just as fast then there would not have been an issue would there? The fact that Ferrari is now so much slower is exactly the evidence to show the extent of Ferrari’s cheating.

  16. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    31st August 2020, 7:17

    It’s likely that FIA couldn’t figure out what Ferrari were doing and offered them a deal: Tell us what you’ve been doing and we won’t DSQ you from the championship. The only penalty you’d get is not veto the the engine freeze in 20-21. Ferrari accepted it, spilled the beans, FIA were left looking like idiots, and it formed the basis of the upcoming engine modes ban next weekend onwards.

    Can you imagine the uproar if it was found that Ferrari was cheating for half the season (probably longer), and all the results from the previous seasons suddenly became questionable? It would be an ultimate massacre at the hands of the media, and bring the sport into great(er) disrepute.

    2 years of trundling around in the midfield won’t affect Ferrari much, financially at least, and they can always come back with the rules reset in 2022. Win-win for everyone involved.

    1. @asleep..
      This is more or less what happend in the cycling sport ( lance Armstrong for example). If you (FIA/Ferrari) want to remain credible you have to accept the pain.

  17. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    31st August 2020, 7:38

    It’s likely that FIA couldn’t figure out what Ferrari were doing and offered them a deal: Tell us what you’ve been doing and we won’t DSQ you from the championship. The only penalty you’d get is not veto the the engine freeze in 20-21. Ferrari accepted it, spilled the beans, FIA were left looking like fools, and it formed the basis of the upcoming engine modes ban next weekend onwards.

    Can you imagine the uproar if it was found that Ferrari was cheating for half the season (probably longer), and all the results from the previous seasons suddenly became questionable? It would be an ultimate massacre at the hands of the media, and bring the sport into great(er) disrepute.

    2 years of trundling around in the midfield won’t affect Ferrari much, financially at least, and they can always come back with the rules reset in 2022. Win-win for everyone involved

    1. If the FIA could not find anything, on what grounds would they have DSQ’d Ferrari from the championship? If they had nothing on them, they would have been in no situation to force Ferrari to do anything.

      How it played out exactly, we will probably only find out years from now when someone in the mix of it writes a memoir.

    2. @asleepatthewheel @lescombes82 One of the things that I heard is that the FIA had a good idea of what Ferrari were doing but couldn’t figure out how they were doing it.

      Other teams pointed them in possible directions & the FIA looked at those theories but found nothing even though they knew at least one of them was almost certainly correct.

      When the FIA introduced that clarification towards the end of last year they saw a drop in Ferrari’s engine performance & a change in how they were deploying power & it apparently made them believe they were on the right track but again couldn’t figure out how Ferrari were doing what they were still doing albeit not as effectively as before. They took parts of Ferrari’s engine & had it looked at & believe they found something but again couldn’t figure out how it was been achieved.

      They allegedly went to Ferrari & told them they believed the engine was illegal & that they were confident that with further investigations performed by industry experts they would be able to not only prove it but figure out how it was been achieved & that if they went down that route & found that belief was correct then they would go after the harshest penalties available.
      However if Ferrari told them what they were doing, How they were doing it & worked with them figure out how to close off that area of development (As they believed others were looking at similar development paths) then that would be the end of the matter in the eye’s of the FIA & Ferrari would avoid further sanction. Ferrari picked that option seemingly knowing if the FIA took it further & found evidence they would be in trouble.

      An additional belief is that another reason for the secrecy when it comes to the details is that part of what Ferrari were doing involved something developed by one of it’s partners & that that partner (Potentially Shell or Magneti Marelli) didn’t want the details made public.

    3. @asleepatthewheel That’s literally what the FIA said. They knew something was wrong, they had a basic idea how, but a lengthy battle proving it would damage F1 more than asking Ferrari to stop and help root out the same cheat for others for others would.

  18. OK Horner, so sue FIA and Ferrari. It’s no good moaning that the secret deal they made over Ferrari’s engine leaves a sour taste if Red Bull aren’t going to do anything about this absurd privilege Ferrari get because they’re ‘special’ and the one ‘indispensable’ team. No sport should have the lack of transparency FIA show with Ferrari, or have special non-performance related bonuses for one team. Until the other teams make a stand and say bye-bye Ferrari if they don’t want to compete on equal terms, these complaints just ring hollow.

  19. Um…Mercedes would’ve got those wins Horner. The only win they would’ve maybe got was Singapore for Verstappen, but that’s not really a power track anyway so that might not have been due to the Ferrari engine.

  20. I can remember when Red Bull had their illegal flexible front wing – cleverly designed to pass the scrutineering tests, but flex and running with reduced ground clearance during a race to give them an advantage It only stopped once the test was changed to reveal the flexing. I don’t think for a minute that Christian Horner feels guilty about winning races with that, which makes him a hypocrite.

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