Mercedes announced their “displeasure” with the FIA’s “confidential settlement” with Ferrari over the investigation into the Italian team’s 2019 power unit. The statement was signed by every team except those running Ferrari engines.
The issue started in 2019 when several teams raised suspicion over the apparent power advantage Ferrari’s engine suddenly displayed. The FIA launched an official investigation into the matter and announced a private settlement as pre-season testing was coming to a close. The FIA statement read:
“After thorough technical investigations, it [the FIA] has concluded its analysis of the operation of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit and reached a settlement with the team. The specifics of the agreement will remain between the parties.
“The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 Power Units for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels.”
The “private” nature of this settlement disturbed a lot of the teams in the paddock. Rumours came out early this morning that Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff was rallying the teams to protest FIA’s lack of transparency in the matter. This led to seven Formula 1 teams sending a joint statement to the media. The statement was signed by every team except Haas and Alfa Romeo, who have a close relationship with Ferrari and use their engines.
“We, the undersigned teams, were surprised and shocked by the FIA’s statement of Friday 28 February regarding the conclusion of its investigation into the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit,” read the statement.
“An international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency.
“After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter.
“Therefore, we hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally. We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula One.
“In addition, we reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts.”
The statement was signed by: McLaren Racing Limited, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited, Racing Point UK Limited, Red Bull Racing Limited, Renault Sport Racing Limited, Scuderia Alpha Tauri S.p.A. and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited.
We will bring you more information as this story develops.