Ferrari had to rebuild the engine
The FIA has sent a six-line email with explosive content. It says that after the investigation of the 2019 Ferrari engine, an agreement was reached with Scuderia, but it was agreed not to disclose it. What is behind it? The bomb struck ten minutes before the end of the test drives in Barcelona. The FIA press release was only six lines long. Apparently it said nothing and yet everything. Between the lines. Here is the exact wording:
“The FIA announces that after a thorough technical review, it has completed its analysis of the operation of the Ferrari power unit and has reached an agreement with the team. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of this agreement. “
“The FIA and Ferrari have also agreed on a number of technical obligations that will improve the monitoring of all drive units in Formula 1. Ferrari has also agreed to support the FIA in its regulatory duties and research into sustainable fuels to reduce CO2 emissions. ”
The time of publication shortly before the test drives closed said a lot. He was deliberately chosen so late. This ensured that the parties and third parties concerned could no longer be interviewed in the paddock. The Formula 1 community will not meet in Melbourne for two weeks at the other end of the world. If any. Until then, the Corona virus will make the headlines and the matter between FIA and Ferrari will take a back seat.
The real story would probably not be a glory sheet for Formula 1. Therefore we will never know their details. So why did the FIA comment on the case again? Probably under pressure from the competition. Mercedes and Red Bull knew that the world association Ferrari had the engine on its line. You could no longer sweep that under the carpet.
Litigation would be too risky
You can interpret a lot in the first sentence of the statement. To put it politely, the FIA inspectors have clearly found irregularities in the operation of the 2019 Ferrari engine. Sharper tongues would speak of fraud.
It is another matter whether the FIA is able to prove this in detail in a legally reliable manner. Ferrari would certainly have appealed against a drastic punishment. A legal dispute would definitely have washed a lot of dirty laundry and might not have brought the desired result.
So it was easier to reach an agreement by hand, which could be as follows: You went too far with the engine. From now on, this will no longer be tolerated. You also pay a penalty for it. Of course not directly, because that would have been too obvious. Ferrari is funding the FIA’s research into CO2-neutral fuels. This can quickly add up to a double-digit million sum.
Ferrari has been officially suspected of tricking the engine since the USA GP. The FIA sent out several technical directives in quick succession to prevent what Ferrari’s competitors accused it of doing. Inject more fuel than allowed by manipulating the measurement signal for flow rate measurement. New regulations for oil consumption. Tighter checks on the elasticity of the gasoline lines. Introduction of a second sensor to which the teams have no access.
When Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari suddenly had a discrepancy between the petrol specified in the data sheet and the fuel in the tank at the season finale in Abu Dhabi before the start of the race, the measure was obviously full.
New engine with less power
Rumor has it that the FIA inspectors then confiscated an entire Ferrari engine to test everything over the winter. And it should have been discovered how Ferrari has increased the performance of the engine in certain phases. Apparently using methods that are not quite in line with the rules.
The FIA was thus under pressure. She could no longer keep the case silent. She apparently did not want to step him out in detail in public because that would probably have done more harm to the sport than it would have benefited. The suspicions were apparently so serious that Ferrari had to agree to the sanctions. Of course, they are much too mild for the opponents.
But Ferrari may pay the colliery on the racetrack this year. A completely new engine had to be built in Maranello over the winter. Even the turbocharger and the energy recovery system were affected. According to measurements, this new engine has significantly less power than the old one and is one of the reasons for the disappointing top speed on the straights
Ferrari bases the PS diet on the concern for reliability. One could react with the second specification at the earliest. It usually comes after the seventh race. Since the World Cup for the Italians can be lost long ago.