FIA responds to teams’ legal threat
By Mat Coch
Friday 6th March, 2020 - 10:05am
The FIA has issued a response to a statement published by seven Formula 1 teams regarding the outcome of an investigation into Ferrari’s 2019 power unit.
Concerns throughout 2019 surrounded the Ferrari engine, with suspicions it had found a way around fuel and oil burn restrictions.
They’re accusations refuted by the team, which maintains it ran with a compliant power unit at all times.
During the course of the 2019 season, a number of technical directives were issued to teams, coinciding with an apparent drop in Ferrari’s performance.
Responding to the statement made by teams, the FIA has claimed that it “was not fully satisfied” with Ferrari’s power unit but could not conclusively prove a breach.
The FIA’s full response read:
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 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.
The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.
The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 2020 Formula 1 season kicks off next week in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix (March 12-15).