Ferrari: Queries over legality of F1 engine unfair and a shame

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto says it is a shame the legality of its engine design is being questioned because his team should be "proud" of its advantage

Ferrari: Queries over legality of F1 engine unfair and a shame

As reported by Autosport, a number of Ferrari's rivals have sought clarification from the FIA over the legitimacy of techniques they believe might be behind Ferrari's superior engine performance.

Ferrari has said it would welcome a formal protest into the matter so it could clear itself and prove its critics wrong.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport in Mexico, Binotto said: "First, all the F1 teams are working very hard to build competitive advantages.

"We have worked very hard to improve our power unit package which was not the best when the regulations came into force in 2014.

"If we are in front now, we should simply be proud of it.

"We need to be clear, it's somehow a shame reading what I read on the internet or in newspapers.

"Other competitors had an advantage in the past and nobody put any blame on that.

"As Ferrari, when we got a disadvantage on the power unit, the only thing we put is effort in trying to address it and improve our power unit.

"It would be a lot more fair to not read or hear some comments."

No protest has yet been lodged to challenge the legality of Ferrari's engine, although the teams concerned were left unsure how to proceed as they claimed not to have received a response from the FIA.

Binotto said Ferrari is "so relaxed that we don't care" about whether it would be better for the FIA to speak up and dismiss the concerns, and it's more "a problem for the others than ourselves".

He added: "The FIA is always and continuously looking at the telemetry data, always looking at all power unit's compliance to the regulations, and is always inspecting as they did every single year and every single race.

"I have no clear facts of protests or anybody indicating anything special to the FIA.

"We've got an advantage there, maybe not as big as people may believe, but it's only down to hard work and we are very proud of it."

Ferrari's engine superiority has contributed to a significant straightline advantage on some circuits, estimated at times to be as much as eight or nine tenths of a second.

However, Binotto insisted that is also in part down to its lower downforce aerodynamic philosophy compared to its main rivals, and the lower drag that comes with that.

"We are not the ones having the most downforce," he said. "That explains why we are not as fast in the corners.

"If you have less downforce you have less drag. That's obvious.

"I think the combination of our car, less downforce and less drag, gives us an advantage on the straights, plus some engine advantage."

Ferrari's progress with its car has reduced its cornering deficit and been key in turning an inconsistent struggle to fight Mercedes in the first half of the season into starting the last six races from pole position.

But Binotto said the team "has not progressed as much on the engine as we did on the car" this year, because "since the start of the season we put quite a lot of downforce on the car [so] today we are closer to our competitors in that respect".

He argued that whatever its gains were on the straights were effectively in direct competition with the strengths of Mercedes and Red Bull in cornering.

"That's a balance of where you may choose your working points," said Binotto.

"As we are gaining advantage on the straights, we never blame the others for being so fast in the corners.

"So are they so fast because they've got a trick?

"I don't think so. As we don't have a trick on the straights.

"It's just the way you manage your car and design your car, and how you use it."

shares
comments
Brawn: Mexican GP showed 2021 F1 aero rules can't come soon enough
Previous article

Brawn: Mexican GP showed 2021 F1 aero rules can't come soon enough

Next article

Hamilton and Vettel race Verstappen differently to other F1 rivals

Hamilton and Vettel race Verstappen differently to other F1 rivals
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

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 Autosport 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 Plus

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 Plus

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 of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate 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 shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader 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? Plus

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 Plus

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 Plus

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