Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

FIA still satisfied as Formula 1 rivals query 'strange' Ferrari

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting insists the FIA is still happy with the operation of Ferrari's hybrid system, despite ongoing discussions with rival teams

Earlier this year the FIA announced that an investigation into Ferrari suggested it was doing nothing wrong, but this has not stopped other teams questioning the strong performance of both the Scuderia's works cars and customer teams Haas and Sauber.

Is 'free energy' trick Ferrari's secret weapon?

Whiting and other key FIA players had a meeting with Mercedes representatives at the team's motorhome in the Hockenheim paddock last weekend.

When asked by Autosport for the latest on the Ferrari battery situation, Whiting replied: "We are entirely satisfied with everything on that front, as we said in Monaco.

"Some teams have been asking further questions and we were just there to try and help them have some peace, if you like."

Asked whether Mercedes had questions about Ferrari's legality or just wanted to know where the limits were for its own development, Whiting said: "Again, those discussions are private. I don't think I should be telling you.

"If you want to talk to Mercedes, they'll tell you but I think what goes on behind closed doors should remain behind closed doors."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff would not be drawn on the discussions, implying that it was a routine gathering.

"The exchange you're having with the FIA and some of the other teams, or engine manufacturers, is on a regular basis," he said when asked by Autosport.

"It's more visible if you do it on a weekend, on track, in the motorhome, but it's completely regular business to discuss various technical topics."

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul admitted he has seen "strange" data around Ferrari's performance, but he stressed that does not necessarily mean it is illegal.

"We know we have a power deficit, which up until now was against Mercedes," he told Autosport.

"We see that Ferrari has taken the upper hand, so congratulations to Ferrari in that battle. The step that they have done is amazing.

"It's a step that they have done to a certain degree that does not go with a hardware introduction.

"It's also a step that we see across all three teams, not just Ferrari, which is not necessarily a battle for us, but also Haas and Sauber, which are more of a battle for us.

"Clearly we are scratching our heads, because we look in particular at the GPS profile, and we see indeed that it's really strange what they are doing.

"But doing something strange doesn't mean that it's illegal.

"We must give credit to what they have done, and that should be an extra commitment to work harder, and try and do the same step on our side."

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg was among those raising questions about Ferrari.

"Something is going on there, it's not normal," he said at Hockenheim.

"Since a couple of weekends, since France I think, all Ferrari powered cars have a lot of power all at once."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Is Hamilton really worth £40million?
Next article Haas Formula 1 team 'got away with' risk-averse strategy

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe