Ferrari want clarity from FIA over engine

Date published: November 2 2019

Ferrari's 2019 development above expectations says Mattia Binotto.

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto hopes the FIA will step in and confirm to the grid that the team’s power unit is legal.

Several teams have been in touch with the FIA about the legality of Ferrari’s power unit, hoping for confirmation that certain areas they would like to also develop are within the regulations.

Ferrari’s SF90 is far quicker in a straight line than the rest of the field due to the engine power –  the team have used it to full effect since returning from the summer break by qualifying fastest at every race, with the exception of Mexico where Charles Leclerc was promoted to pole following Max Verstappen’s penalty.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is one of those most skeptical of Ferrari’s performance gains.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said: “We’re on Mercedes’ level in the race.

“The only thing missing is the qualifying mode. This extraordinary performance increase of Ferrari is another topic.

“I’d rather not comment on suspicions. But when you look at the [power] curve and see how fast they are, it’s amazing how an engine can stand out [like that]. Let’s wait and see what happens there. The FIA has to clarify that.”

Marko said that the power isn’t there every lap for Ferrari, but when they do use it, the team have a big advantage, referencing Lewis Hamilton’s inability to pass Sebastian Vettel in Japan even with DRS.

“The effect is generally there, but they can’t use it every lap,” he explained.

“You saw in Suzuka when Hamilton was challenging Vettel: DRS, slipstream, everything was useless. He wasn’t able to pass him.”

All this talk has got Binotto rather frustrated, to the point where he wants the FIA to investigate and clear their engine, so that teams can then go back to being “focused on their own effort”.

“I think there are two aspects,” said the Ferrari principal at the United States GP.

“First we are annoyed by the rumours because in the past, as people got a great advantage on the power unit, the only reaction we had as Ferrari was simply to work even harder to improve our package. We never blamed them of cheating,

“I think other teams at the moment are faster than us in cornering. We are not blaming them in cheating in cornering, so I think I will be more happy if people focused on their own effort and developed their own car.

“On the other side we are relaxed because we know exactly what we are doing. We know we are legal and the FIA is controlling our package every single race. They are inspecting all the data that is available to them, and inspections have been made.

“So what should I say? Hopefully the FIA will clarify to everybody that what we have got is legal and we are not cheating.”

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