The FIA have defended their private settlement with Ferrari over the legality of their 2019 power unit, despite heavy criticism.
Last week the FIA announced that it has reached a “settlement” with Ferrari relating to last year’s engine but did not declare whether the settlement was because the Scuderia’s power unit was legal or if it wasn’t.
Rivals had accused Ferrari of breaching fuel flow rates and by passing the FIA sensors, and following the announcement Mercedes boss Toto Wolff brought all seven non-Ferrari powered teams together to demand an explanation.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has even called for “$24 million” in compensation after his team finished P3 in the 2019 Constructors’ Championship behind Ferrari.
In a statement, as quoted by Sky Sports, the FIA said that while it was “not fully satisfied” after their investigation, Formula 1’s governing body 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.”
“The FIA has 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 read.
“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.”
In an open letter sent to the FIA by Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Racing Point, AlphaTauri and Williams, they expressed 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.”