Mercedes: Ferrari "deserves" Haas wind tunnel advantage
Mercedes says it takes its hat off to Ferrari if it gained an advantage through its relationship with Haas, in the wake of the FIA's clampdown on aerodynamic collusion.
The FIA stewards imposed new restrictions on how closely teams can work together on wind tunnel and CFD work, amid concerns that Ferrari had cleverly benefited from its tie-up with Haas.
Although the FIA made it clear that Ferrari had acted within the regulations, the new tighter restrictions may force it to do things differently in the future.
And although Mercedes is satisfied that there was no rules breach, motorsport boss Toto Wolff suspected there may have been some clever interpretation of the regulations earlier this year.
"I don't think that they operated outside of the regulations," said Wolff. "I think Ferrari/Haas interpreted the rules in the right way, and it wasn't for us to seek clarification of the past.
"We just wanted to be rock solid for the future, for us mainly. And, in the way we did it, for everybody to have that transparent information."
When asked by Motorsport.com if he believed Ferrari had gained an advantage through what it did, Wolff said: "I don't know.
"This is a sport about gaining advantage and if they gained an advantage by interpreting the rules like they did then 'chapeau'. They deserve it."
Wolff said his outfit had evaluated the possibility of linking up with other teams to pool aero resource in the wake of the what Ferrari/Haas did.
However, he welcomes the fact that it now knows such a move would be in breach of the rules.
"We asked the FIA for clarification, about what we could do in the future," he said. "We were looking at partnerships with some of the teams - which are our engine customers - in order to optimise on the aero development. We were not quite sure.
"The regulations were a bit vague and ambiguous in certain areas, and this is why we asked for guidance from everybody, so every team would have in a transparent open communication, a guidance from the FIA.
"I am comfortable with the outcome because the stewards' decision gives us clarity and that was the main purpose of the exercise."
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