Modesto Menabue, a former engine specialist with a long history at Ferrari, spoke about the infamous secret agreement with the FIA regarding the alleged irregularity of the 2019 Power Unit and more.
Especially after the incident in Las Vegas with Carlos Sainz, discussions about Ferrari’s political influence in Formula 1 have resurfaced. Many believe that the prancing horse has lost part of its status in recent years. We all remember the infamous agreement with the FIA between 2019 and 2020 regarding the alleged irregularity of the 2019 Power Unit, with the SF90’s incredible top speed raising eyebrows, especially for drivers like Max Verstappen.
Modesto Menabue’s comments:
“In Ferrari, you cannot go beyond legality,” begins Modesto Menabue, a former engine specialist at Maranello from 1978 to 2019, in an interview with Formula1.it. “Maranello is a sieve; everyone talks. That engine, designed from the 2019 one, was like the Mercedes. But, if politically you’re worth zero…”.
To strengthen the argument that the red team has lost much of its political weight recently, Modesto Menabue used the example of what happened to Carlos Sainz in the first free practice session for the Las Vegas GP a few months ago. Besides the significant scare, Carlos Sainz also had to serve a 10-place grid penalty for exceeding the maximum limit of replaceable components.
“Las Vegas was a glaring example: millions in damage to the manhole, and a subsequent penalty for the battery. People with guts wouldn’t have let you race. In Ferrari, they have never shown to have the guts. Luca di Montezemolo would have rushed.” – he pointed out.
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Continuing the interview, the former engine specialist also addressed another very sensitive issue in recent years at Ferrari, namely the issue of leaks: “After Allison was sent away, FIA technicians came for targeted checks. There was, for example, a movable air intake in one area of the car, designed by Allison. Forbidden, but not noticed. The commissioners specifically checked that, saying there were moving parts. How did they know?” – the former engine specialist continued.
Finally, a prediction about what we can expect from the 2024 Ferrari, after the disappointing results of the previous Formula 1 season: “I hope it’s better than the 2023. I don’t think they will surpass Red Bull, nor will McLaren or Mercedes. Red Bull has a significant advantage; they finished development in July. Everyone will go their own way, Adrian Newey has set the pace, and I believe they will be ahead until 2025.” – Modesto Menabue concluded.