Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff expressed his frustration after FIA announced the names of Mercedes team personnel who prompted the latest investigation into Ferrari’s power unit.
The Anglo-German team has prompted multiple investigations into Ferrari’s various technical solutions this year. Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes sent a letter to FIA, requesting clarification about the amount of oil useable for power units. It felt Ferrari was using oil which was injected into the turbocharger, exceeding the maxmimum amount of oil which is 0.6 litre. FIA race director Charlie Whiting cleared the matter and declared Ferrari’s solution legal.
After the Baku race, Mercedes got in touch with the FIA once again. The team thought that Ferrari was exceeding the maximum amount of electric energy with its twin battery arrangement. Analysing the GPS data, the engineers of the Brackley-based team found out Ferrari gained a significant power leap for the qualifying session. After a three-week-long investigation into Ferrari's ERS, using Ferrari’s performance diagrams, the governing body found nothing untoward about Ferrari’s power unit configuration. The Italian team has updated its software in Monte Carlo to ensure maximum legality.
Speaking to the press during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, FIA’s Charlie Whiting confirmed that it was Lorenzo Sassi and James Allison who were the front-runners in the war against Ferrari’s energy management. The duo was interesting because both were pouched by Mercedes from Ferrari recently and both have a rich know-how about Ferrari’s technical solutions. Even if they both left the team some time ago, they were informed about Ferrari’s long-term development plans.
It was a sensitive topic as it beseems Mercedes ill, indicating that both former Ferrari-members were used to gain an advantage weakening and destabilizing the Italian squad.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff thinks the governing body should not be as specific as to name individuals and should only suggest which team has made enquires about the legality of a rival's car.
„One of my roles is to protect my people, and if certain individuals are named in a wrong context, that is disturbing. The most important thing is to understand how the process goes and various teams question the FIA every single day,” Wolff is quoted as saying by autosport.com.
The Austrian believes only the team concerned should be mentioned, without revealing the names of the specific individuals.
"I think it's just important to not put somebody out there and say, 'This person has questioned a legality topic'.
"If you say that a team has done that, it's perfectly fine, that is modus operandi. But picking out individuals, and putting them out there is, I think, not the right thing to do."