Formula One’s governing body, the FIA has responded to the joint statement regarding the investigation into Ferrari’s power unit that has been released by seven F1 teams yesterday.
Last Friday, on the final day of pre-season testing, the FIA noted in a statement that it has reached a private settlement with Ferrari following thorough investigation about the team's 2019 power unit.
The governing body refused to release further details about the results of the analysis, but it said that Ferrari will be assisting in various technical matters including the research on sustainable fuels and monitoring of the operation of F1’s power units for forthcoming seasons.
Although the FIA hoped to put Ferrari’s engine controversy to rest, the seven teams not using Ferrari's power units released a statement yesterday in which they expressed their displeasure. Italian media reports suggested it was Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff who sent a letter to the six other F1 outfits, asking them to join forces with Mercedes to put pressure on FIA to release further details about its settlement with Ferrari.
Wolff’s criticism came after FIA cleared Mercedes’ latest controversial technical innovations called DAS (Dual Axis Steering) that the team introduced on the second day of pre-season testing.
The letter that has been signed by Mercedes, McLaren, Racing Point, Red Bull Racing, AlphaTauri, Williams and Renault asks the governing body to provide "full and proper disclosure in this matter". The letter also questions the behaviour of the governing body in this case, also reminding it of its "responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency."
Wolff was clearly displeased how the governing body managed the situation: “The whole thing is a huge mess. It's not okay what Ferrari did, but even less okay how the FIA handled it. All of the teams are upset,” the Austrian said.
Just a day after letter, the FIA swiftly responded again, releasing further information about the process and also stating that the confidentiality of the terms of the agreement is "provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the Judicial and Disciplinary Rules".
FIA Statement Following Communication from Seven Formula 1 Teamshttps://t.co/qrsNYpczu1— FIA (@fia) March 5, 2020
FIA's Full Statement
„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.”