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Ferrari facing fresh protest from rivals ahead of Monaco Grand Prix

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Ferrari believe to their core that they are Formula 1.

They've been part of the F1 club since 1950 and been dominant for most of that time.

They've pushed the rules, interpreted technical specifications in a uniquely Ferrari way, and in recent times, challenged Formula One management with a threat to walk away from the sport if the rule changes proposed in coming years don't suit them.

And in some circles, F1 fans have suggested that perhaps they should put up or shut up. Either play the game or leave. 

It seems that Ferrari has never really liked a level playing field or the move towards a more generic F1 car. They abhor capped expenditure, are irritated by constant technical restrictions, and dislike the stream of effervescent ideas coming from F1's owners Liberty Media. 

The Maranello-based team has a history of sailing close to the wind in terms of interpreting the FIA's rule book, and it seems, following their censure for Halo-mounted wing mirrors, they've transgressed again.

According to a report in Auto Motor und Sport, F1 rivals are considering a formal protest against Ferrari at next week's Monaco Grand Prix, following allegations that the Italian team is able to extract more power from its battery and energy recovery system, than the prescribed four megajoules.   

The bit of technical wizardry in question, centres around the Scuderia's ability to modify the energy harvest and battery output during a race, and utilise this extra 'juice' to produce an additional 20bhp. The chicanery effectively bypasses the vital FIA mandated sensors that measure electrical usage. 

According to AMS reporter Michael Schmidt: "The alleged trickery is so complicated that FIA engineers are struggling to understand it."

Spanish F1 Grand Prix

And due to the complicated nature of the rule breach, it is unknown whether the allegations have foundation, but Ferrari's main rivals in 2018 Mercedes have urged the FIA to act with greater urgency around potential cases of illegality.

Ferrari will dispute the claims and look to FIA President Jean Todt - a former Ferrari team boss, for a sympathetic ear.

However, Mercedes non-executive chairman and F1 great Niki Lauda is keen to force the FIA's hand and investigate a possible bending of the rules. 

"Any race in which grey areas remain grey can be a lost race," Lauda stated. "The FIA has to clarify these unanswered questions by the race in Monte Carlo."

AUTO-PRIX-F1-AUT-PRACTICE

Other teams have also voiced their concerns and have asked the FIA for clarification on how Ferrari are distributing their electrical power. The suspicion is that they're able to harness short, additional power boosts of 20hp - especially during qualifying.

Normally reticent over proposed rule changes, team Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 further raised eyebrows with their quick agreement to the proposed aero rule changes for next season and the removal of the MGU-H energy capture system for 2021.

This added to the suspicion already circulating the pit lane of an FIA rule violation. 

Sanctions for teams that deliberately circumvent the rules can be punitive, though many in the sport are reluctant to see teams penalised for simply pushing the rules and their interpretation of the FIA's guidelines. Finding an advantage has been the mantra of all teams since F1 was created.

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Topics:
Valtteri Bottas
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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