Formula 1 teams have all decided to take legal action against the FIA, to ensure that the truth about its investigation into Ferrari’s 2019 engine is released. in a joint statement issued by the seven non Ferrari Power teams, they all said they were shocked and surprised by the governing body’s decision to reach a secret agreement with the Maranello based team over the matter.
The move comes after motor Racing’s governing body announced on Friday night, that a secret deal had been reached with Ferrari regarding the legality of its engine last year, amid suspicions the team had got around the regulations, it said that the private deal would include Ferrari helping to offer insight to better power units in the future as well as offering assistance in developing future sustainable fuels.
The nature and timing of that decision which came as a complete surprise to a number of teams, has prompted Ferrari’s rivals to get together the situation has exploded in the wake of suspicions that ramped up over the course of the 2019 season, regarding whether or not Ferrari have found a way around F 1’s engine regulations, two theories emerged over the course of the season about what the Italian outfit could be doing.
The first was that it could be using a controlled leak through the inter-cooler, to allow oil to be able to enter the combustion process and help provide, a temporary power boost.
The second theory was that Ferrari had managed to briefly exceed, the 100 kilograms per hour fuel flow rate limit, between the points where the FIA measurements were taken the extra fuel getting into the engine could then be used for more power.
Despite the suspicions Ferrari was checked by the FIA and nothing untoward was ever found, the car passed scrutineering checks at every race, before the Mexican Grand Prix though Red Bull wrote to the FIA, asking for clarification whether or not utilising a system that got around the fuel flow sensor would be allowed. such queries are often done to root out what rivals are doing, the governing body responded by stating that such a system would not be allowed.
It was clear that gaming the fuel flow rate to boost it between the point that measurements were taken, would be against the rules. when Ferrari’s straight-line speed performance Julie took a dip in Austin, and the advantage that had been so clear in the weeks before the race disappeared, rivals were quick to surmise that something was not quite right, there was talk of one of Ferrari’s opponents going as far as a protest at one of the end of season races, to bring matters to a head once and for all, but in the end it never happened.
As Ferrari season ended, with a fresh technical directive emerging saying that teams would be ordered to run to fuel flow sensors from 2020, to prevent teams getting around the restrictions, the chatter over Ferrari’s power unit fell away.
In public at least rivals seemed happy that the change of rules for 2020, would stop teams exploiting the fuel flow sensor matter despite a still unexplained issue, regarding a discrepancy over Ferrari’s pre-race fuel levels of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But behind the scenes and unknown to the outside world, the FIA begun their own formal investigation into the Ferrari power unit, to fully understand what had been happening. that lengthy and detailed investigation resulted in the FIA statement and that caught rival teams by surprise both with its timing and what it said. in fact they’re so unhappy that McLaren, Mercedes, Racing point, Red Bull, Renault, Alpha Tauri and Williams, have now all the FIA to give full disclosure of the truth behind the Ferrari affair.
They’ve asked for full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally.
If the FIA does not respond in a satisfactory manner, then one Avenue is to try to push for a court hearing on the matter and that could be called by the FIA president, Jean Todt.
The FIA statutes do offer the chance for the governing body to open a disciplinary inquiry, if there are suspicions that the rules have been broken, the matter could then be submitted to the FIA International Tribunal, where a full hearing and definitive ruling on the matter would be issue.