Ferrari engine controversy still leaves "sour taste" with rivals

The controversy over Ferrari's Formula 1 engine settlement with the FIA still leaves a "sour taste" with its rivals, even following the team's performance slump this year

Ferrari engine controversy still leaves "sour taste" with rivals

Ferrari has experienced a difficult start to the 2020 season after suffering a huge drop in straight-line speed performance compared to last year.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finished 13th and 14th respectively in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix as Ferrari spent a total of five laps with a car running inside the top 10.

The drop in performance has come following Ferrari's controversial private engine settlement with the FIA over the winter amid questions from rivals over the legality of its power unit last year.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the affair still left some lingering frustration despite seeing Ferrari drop out of contention at the front this year.

"The whole thing has left quite a sour taste," Horner said.

"Obviously you can draw your own conclusions from Ferrari's current performance.

"There are races that we should have won last year arguably if they had run with an engine that seems to be quite different to what performance that they had last year.

"It's obviously very tough for them, but I think their focus has obviously been in the wrong areas in previous years, which is why they're obviously seem to be struggling a little with whatever was in that agreement."

Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff has previously spoken about the pressure Ferrari's power unit performance through 2018 and 2019 put on the Brixworth engine team, saying they were pushed "to almost burnout".

Wolff said on Sunday that he would agree with Horner's "sour taste" comment, revealing that Mercedes lost engine staff as a result of being stretched by Ferrari.

"Ferrari is an iconic brand, and fantastic people that build these cars," Wolff said.

"It's difficult to say, because I don't want to put any more oil into this.

"But we were really stretched so much last year and the year before, that we suffered.

"We lost some people. We lost some people in terms of, just being at the end of their health.

"And this is why I would probably follow Christian's comment."

Wolff said earlier in the Belgian Grand Prix weekend that Ferrari had to question decisions taken by "certain members of the team" in the wake of its performance slump.

Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto explained after the race that the team felt "disappointed and angry" with its display.

shares
comments
Ferrari "disappointed and angry" after Belgian Grand Prix struggles
Previous article

Ferrari "disappointed and angry" after Belgian Grand Prix struggles

Next article

Ricciardo: Abiteboul should be "nervous" about losing F1 podium tattoo bet

Ricciardo: Abiteboul should be "nervous" about losing F1 podium tattoo bet
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023