Seven F1 teams have released a critical joint statement claiming they “strongly object” to the FIA reaching a private settlement with Ferrari regarding their 2019 engine.
The FIA announced last week that they had made a settlement with the famous Italian team after long-running technical investigations into their power unit, which was the subject of much speculation last season due to Ferrari’s straight-line speed.
Details of the agreement were kept private but the governing FIA said both parties had agreed to “a number of technical commitments”.
The other F1 teams not powered by Ferrari engines – Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Alpha Tauri, Racing Point and Williams – have now joined forces to say they were “shocked” by that report and want “full and proper disclosure” from the FIA.
“We, the undersigned teams, were surprised and shocked by the FIA’s statement of Friday 28 February regarding the conclusion of its investigation into the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit,” a statement read.
“After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter.
“Therefore, we hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally. We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula 1.”
They added that they would seek legal redress before the competent courts.
The 2020 season starts on March 13-15 with the Australian GP, live on Sky Sports F1.
What’s the story with Ferrari’s engine?
Ferrari’s engine was the class of the field in 2019, so much so that they were often gaining half a second over their closest rivals on the straights in qualifying.
Mercedes and Red Bull were particularly irked, and had theories about how they were achieving that advantage – most relating to Ferrari finding away of getting around the fuel-flow sensor – but never made a formal protest.
Ferrari denied anything untoward, and their engine was regularly checked by the FIA. A number of new technical directives were issued last season, tightening fuel-flow rules, but we heard nothing more regarding the Ferrari engine.
Until the final Friday of winter testing.
In a statement released in the evening of that final day, the FIA said that, after thorough analysis into the PU, they had reached a private settlement with Ferrari and that the Scuderia would “assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels.”
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