More of Ferrari’s rivals have joined Mercedes in dismissing Mattia Binotto’s claim that most teams have been affected by the FIA’s investigation into power units.
Ferrari and the FIA reached a private settlement after the Italian giants’ engine was looked into following their consecutive 2019 victories in the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grand Prix.
As a result, Ferrari team boss Binotto admitted the rule changes and technical directives had impinged on their cars’ subsequent performance – and claimed other teams had also been forced to adapt.
But after Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff rejected the notion as “complete bullshit”, drivers Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) have also insisted their cars have been unaffected.
Asked by RaceFans.net whether the Honda engine had lost power since last year, Verstappen said: “No, definitely not. We clearly have more power than last year.
“It feels very normal, like it has always been doing and it feels OK.”
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 19, 2020
Ricciardo said of the Renault power unit: “I would say it doesn’t feel worse, so I’ll draw a line on that one. The engine doesn’t feel slower or worse.
“I think we’ve improved a little bit. But certainly one thing which Renault addressed over the winter was reliability. That was really at the top of the priority list, so we knew there wasn’t promises of 50 more horsepower or anything like that to start the season. It was a reliability thing, that was a priority.
“I know the kilometres they did on the dyno were, I think…I don’t know if I’m allowed to say but I think they broke a few records there, so it was certainly focused around that.”
Wolff, in addition to his “complete bullshit” comment, had also said: “There is a clear regulation on power units. There had been clarification in Austin what is allowed to do or not, which were important, but nothing that was in any way surprising because if you comply to the regulations that was anyway clear.
“I think the irony of the story is that we were pushed by some of our competitors to absolutely new levels. It brought us to almost burnout last year to develop and innovate in a way to be competitive on track.
“And here we go, I think we made a substantial jump in performance from 2019 to 2020 because we needed to last year. And that is a little bit ironic for me.”