FIA announces private "settlement" with Ferrari over F1 engine

The FIA has reached a private 'settlement' with Ferrari over its power unit from last year, after concluding an investigation into its engine.

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Ferrari was at the centre of intrigue last year amid suspicions that it had found a clever way of getting around the fuel flow sensor restrictions to provide a power boost. However, the team was never found to be in breach of the regulations and no team ever formally protested the outfit.

But in a statement issued by the FIA on Friday, the governing body said that an agreement had been reached with the team over what it did in 2019.

"The FIA announces that, after thorough technical investigations, it has concluded its analysis of the operation of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit and reached a settlement with the team," said the statement.

"The specifics of the agreement will remain between the parties."

It added: "The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 Power Units for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels."

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The wording of the FIA statement is especially intriguing, as the governing body does not state that it found the power unit to have fully complied with the regulations.

Furthermore, the fact that there is some kind of private settlement, plus agreement to help monitoring of power units going forward, suggests that there may have been a trade off in terms of not taking the issue further.

Last year there were a number of technical directives issued regarding what teams were and were not allowed to do with the fuel slow sensors. The issuing of this coincidence with a period in the championship when Ferrari's straightline speed advantage fell back.

In a further bid to counter teams finding ways around the rules for this season, the FIA has introduced a second fuel flow sensor to better check what teams are doing.

Ferrari consistently denied that there was any wrongdoing last year, with team principal Mattia Binotto claiming that the power unit was always shown to have been legal.

"If I look at the whole season, we have been one of the most checked teams, that was before or after the technical directives,” he said at the end of last year. "And when you got a performance advantage, and certainly we got it during the whole season, we have been the most checked.

"Being checked I think it's normal, it is somehow good because through the checks you are proving your legality. After the technical directives, the number of checks on our cars have multiplied. The reviews have been shown to FIA the details have been discussed.

"So whatever could have been done through collaboration with FIA has been done. We have never changed our way of operating the engine for the last part of the season, showing that somehow our power unit has full legality.”

 
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