The FIA has responded to seven of Formula 1’s 10 teams’ demand for disclosure over its “settlement” with Ferrari about how it used its engine during the 2019 season.
On Wednesday, seven of Ferrari’s rivals released a joint statement saying they were “surprised and shocked” by the FIA’s investigation into the Scuderia’s 2019 power unit usage and wanted a full explanation after very few details were provided.
Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Racing Point, Alpha Tauri and Williams’ stand was in response to the FIA’s own statement last week, which confirmed it had reached a “settlement” with Ferrari following the technical investigation into its engine amid suspicion from rivals that the Italian squad was doing something untoward after making significant performance gains in the second half of the campaign.
The FIA responded on Thursday confirming it was “not fully satisfied” whether Ferrari’s use of its engine was “within the limits of the regulations at all times” but could not find conclusive proof, leading to its settlement in the best interests of the world championship.
F1’s governing body has defended itself by referring to Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR) which permits it to enter a confidential agreement over the issue and has warned it “will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator”.
The FIA’s statement in full:
“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.”