Despite heavy criticism, the FIA have decided to defend their private settlement with Ferrari surrounding the legality of their 2019 power unit.
The FIA had announced that a settlement was made with Ferrari last week, relating to the engine that was used last year, but the decision as to whether it was made because the Scuderia’s power unit was legal or not is yet to be known.
Ferrari were accused of breaching fuel flow rates and by passing the FIA sensors by rivals, and the announcement followed a stern talking to from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to all seven non-Ferrari teams to demand an explanation.
The anger amongst the industry did not stop there, with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko calling for $24 million in compensation as a result of his team finishing P3 in the 2019 Constructors’ Championship, behind Ferrari.
In a statement as per Sky Sports, the FIA admitted that they were “not fully satisfied” after their investigation, but the F1 governing body decided that “further action would not be necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide unequivocal evidence of a breach.”
“The FIA had 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 statement said.
“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.”
Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault, McLaren, Racing Point, Williams and AlphaTauri sent an open letter to the FIA, expressing “a shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally.
“In addition, we reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts.”
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