Ferrari cleared of Imola tyre test rules breach

Jon Wilde
Carlos Sainz stands by stricken Ferrari. Imola April 2024.

Ferrari have been cleared by the FIA of any wrongdoing in the Pirelli tyre test they recently conducted at Imola.

Along with all of the other nine teams, Ferrari are testing prototype tyres for the 2023 season and joined Alpine, AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo in getting the programme up and running after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

But after that test, suspicions emerged that Ferrari may have breached the rules by running different specifications of floor on their car when Charles Leclerc drove in the morning and Carlos Sainz in the afternoon.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, from above. Italy, April 2022.

That would have been against the regulation that states: “Cars at these tests must only use components of a specification that have been used in at least one race or TCC [testing of current cars] during the current championship year. These cars must fully comply with the provisions of the Technical Regulations.

“No test parts, component changes or set-up changes will be permitted which give any sort of information to the competitor that is unrelated to the tyre test.

“Mechanical set-up changes, driver control changes and component changes are permitted if agreed in advance with the tyre supplier that they are necessary for the correct evaluation of the tyres or to complete the tyre test.”

The suspicion is reported, by Motorsport.com, to have come from at least two rival teams after it was noticed Sainz had appeared to be running with a different floor on the car.

The teams asked the FIA for clarification about the matter and whether Ferrari had done anything wrong, and an investigation then ensued.

 

Discussions took place between the Italian team and the FIA in Miami and it is being reported the sport’s governing body were convinced nothing untoward had occurred.

No official statement on the matter has been released, but the explanation is that damage had occurred to the floor in the morning that meant it needed to be changed for Sainz in the afternoon.

To comply with the rules, it transpired the replacement floor was actually an older spec that had been run earlier this season.

 

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