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Wolff admits doubt on legality of Ferrari power unit

NEWS STORY
24/07/2018

Having claimed that Ferrari had a five-tenths advantage over Mercedes on the straights at Hockenheim, Toto Wolff has come close to suggesting that the recent improvement from the Italian team and its customer teams is due to exploiting an area of the regulations that the FIA is unable to police.

Speaking at an AMG media event in Germany, the Austrian, doing his best not to make a direct accusation, made it clear that he has severe doubts about the legality of his rival's engine.

"If someone, and I'm not saying somebody is, because the fact is I don't know, we are not in anybody's engine, we are not in anybody's bodywork, but if someone were prepared to risk his reputation then there is very little possibility to police that," said the Austrian.

"You need to rely on the integrity of people and organisations, and we do that," he insisted, according to ESPN. "At the end of the day with all the scepticism and paranoia that has always existed in Formula One we rely on the integrity of the FIA, we rely on the integrity of our competitors, because that's the only way we can go racing on a Sunday.

"What we've seen is that on racetracks that should have suited us - Silverstone and Hockenheim - they had a car that was very good on the chassis side and a power unit that was the benchmark in the field," he continued. "The only reaction we can have to that is not to say 'What are they doing?' but the reaction should be 'What can we do in order to accelerate our own development program?'.

"My mind-set is really that everybody is respecting the integrity (of the regulations) because that is the only way we can go racing. If you doubt that, then the whole sport would have a problem, and I don't."

Though the FIA has given the Ferrari unit the all-clear, there remains concern among the rival manufacturers that the Italian company has somehow found a performance gain related to the hybrid system, the increase in performance for both the works and customer teams following the introduction of an upgraded MGU-Ks and energy store.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by @R1Racing71, 25/07/2018 15:18

"Reading between the lines here, it appears that Mercedes know exactly how the Ferrari engines are gaining extra power, and that the method is not entirely legal.
Knowing full well that it would be counter productive for the FIA to either penalise or disqualify Ferrari for any technical infringement, means that Mercedes are now free to pursue a similar upgrade to remain on par.
Exciting stuff this F1 lark isn't it."

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2. Posted by Tafferel, 25/07/2018 10:07

"@Egalitarian - I agree. Over the years I've overheard paddock/pit lane conversations at club and lower FIA race levels where drivers have said things like 'He must be cheating, because I'm a bit moody and he was keeping up with me'. I've even seen people ask engineers what it would cost to take their moody car to the next level because someone out there has worked out how to keep up with them. I imagine Toto can't make a full accusation because then the scrutiny might come back to their cars, I can't believe James Allison didn't arrive at Brackley without just a tiny recollection of some of Ferrari's ideas for this season."

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3. Posted by Greg, 25/07/2018 9:34

"The 2 battery might be the way to go as @twiinzspeed has noted. One depliys as the other is harvesting. So always ready and also maybe double charge at once if needed."

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4. Posted by Egalitarian, 25/07/2018 1:13

"I am always suspicious when someone accuses another of cheating just to be on the same level as the accuser. "They must be cheating because the only way they could get that result is by [insert solution] - which is what we are doing""

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5. Posted by Twiinzspeed, 25/07/2018 0:49

"Yep. Toto knows exactly what he's doing when he talks like that. It seems kinda whiny to insinuate Ferrari must be cheating because nobody could possibly build a better engine than Mercedes. Haha. I hope Ferrari continue to push there development. Besides, all dynasties eventually get beat. I'm thinking the 2 battery solution must allow Ferrari to harvest and deploy faster or maybe simultaneously better than the other designs. And the fia already said it's legal. So a bit of sour grapes from Toto imo...."

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6. Posted by JClark-Monza1967, 24/07/2018 18:47

"What a lot of double speak from Wolfe. If he thought that Ferrari was in fact "cheating" he would be all over it and involve the FIA. But instead he's just whining and implying that they're cheating because Merc has been outdone and he just can't stand or admit that Ferrari has a outfoxed them. I'm so tired of this crap from him and my respect for him shrinks every time he talks like this."

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