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

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.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc leads Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, 2021 Hungarian GP

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc leads Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, 2021 Hungarian GP

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

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

Kubica to replace Raikkonen again at Alfa Romeo for F1 Italian GP
Previous article

Kubica to replace Raikkonen again at Alfa Romeo for F1 Italian GP

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
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022