Ferrari sees double standard over Mercedes F1 engine saga

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has questioned why current intrigue over Mercedes’ Formula 1 engine design has not stirred the same controversy that his team faced in 2019.

Ferrari sees double standard over Mercedes F1 engine saga
Listen to this article

Red Bull has lodged questions with the FIA about design elements of the Mercedes F1 power unit, amid suspicions the team has found a way to super cool air in the plenum for a power boost.

F1’s regulations are clear that there is a minimum temperature for air in the plenum, while Mercedes is adamant that it is not doing anything out of the ordinary.

Red Bull is now waiting for answers from the FIA about whether or not Mercedes is doing anything wrong.

But while the matter has been discussed in public, and also between teams, it has not stirred up the kind of drama that Ferrari faced in 2019 when it too was subject to an engine rules clarification from the FIA.

Back then, Ferrari was believed to be using a clever system to get around FIA fuel checks, which was eventually stamped out by the governing body through the introduction of extra sensors.

And while the Ferrari design was the subject of an investigation by the FIA, the governing body was unable to prove that the Italian outfit had broken the regulations.

As a result, and because the FIA did not want a lengthy court case, a secret deal was reached which included Ferrari helping the FIA with guidance to improve the monitoring of F1 power units.

That outcome prompted a huge outcry from rival teams, with some outfits threatening to take the matter further in a bid to find out more about what Ferrari had been up to.

The affair also led to strained relations between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Binotto as they disagreed over the impact of FIA technical directives at the time.

But amid a 2021 season that has been dogged by the exact same kind of technical directives that dealt with the Ferrari engine matter, Binotto has queried why a number of FIA interventions this year have not delivered anywhere near the kind of ‘attack’ that his squad faced two years ago.

Asked if he saw a big contrast between how the Ferrari and Mercedes technical sagas have played out, Binotto said: “Without getting to the topic of the Mercedes engine, I would prefer to touch on other topics that are well known: flexible wings, and the management of tyre pressures which required technical guidelines.

"The FIA measures [technical directives] were necessary because there were those who had a different interpretation to the principles of the regulation. And all of this is no different from what happened in 2019.

“Why are there differences in attitude? Perhaps then we were too exposed to the media and suffered an attack from our competitors. But that is now a thing of the past.

"I think that getting to the kind of tone used in 2019 is still wrong. But I think it is important to underline that what happened then is no different from what is happening now, and has always happened in Formula 1.”

Read Also:

Binotto said that Ferrari had not lodged any of its own questions with the FIA regarding the Mercedes system, but confirmed he had spoken to Red Bull boss Christian Horner over the matter.

Asked if Ferrari was involved in any FIA action, Binotto said: “No, we didn't, even though like all teams and all manufacturers, we try to understand what our rivals are doing; we analyse the images and look at the GPS data.

“We had some doubts and we discussed them with Red Bull. I personally spoke to Christian Horner, but we did not submit any clarification questions to the FIA.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Monza a real taste of Ferrari passion for Sainz
Previous article

Monza a real taste of Ferrari passion for Sainz

Next article

Aston Martin to race with 007 branding at Monza ahead of new Bond film

Aston Martin to race with 007 branding at Monza ahead of new Bond film
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022