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Binotto: Rivals used rules pressure to distract Ferrari

NEWS STORY
11/12/2019

If Ferrari's revival after the summer break was suspicious, it was but nothing compared the Italian team's slump once the FISA's technical directives began to flow in its direction.

Once the season got underway again following the holiday, Ferrari scored five successive poles and three successive victories.

It was at this point that rivals began to question the Italian team's turnaround, with Red Bull, in particular, causing the FIA to issue a technical directive relating to fuel flow.

At the next race (Austin), Sebastian Vettel retired with a damaged suspension, while teammate Charles Leclerc finished 4th, albeit 52s behind race-winner Valtteri Bottas.

Further directives flowed, and as Max Verstappen publicly claimed that Ferrari had been caught cheating, the poles and wins came to an end.

Insisting that the engine was perfectly legal, team boss, Mattia Binotto claims that the suspicion from rival teams was merely a deliberate ploy to "distract" the Maranello outfit.

"They probably used the circumstances to put pressure on us," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "Pressure distracts. It is part of the game of Formula 1 to unsettle the opponent.

"We are satisfied," he said of the way the FIA handled the situation. "Because there is more clarity in a very complex set of rules. Will they be completely clear... Probably not.

"I am sure there are a few more directives to come in the future," he admitted. "As a team we should support the FIA to eliminate ambiguity in the rules."

As to the improvement in performance after the summer, he said: "The car got better.

"After winter testing the car was just not fast enough," he continued. "We still do not understand what happened between winter testing and Melbourne. But we then found more downforce step by step. That is the entire secret.

"We assume a maximum (advantage) of 20hp," he said of the engine, "which is still a respectable number. At a time when the engines are becoming more and more similar, 20hp is a big advantage, helping you in qualifying and in the race. I am proud of this development."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 12/12/2019 17:00

"How can you be distracted if what you're doing is 'legal'? It shouldn't be a concern. Why would an innocent man need to be looking over their shoulder?"

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2. Posted by Wokingchap, 12/12/2019 10:47

"So who are the FIA anserable to? Surely they should be punished for not penalising cheaters."

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3. Posted by Stitch431, 12/12/2019 10:01

"Sorry, Mr. Binotto but that is BS and you know it. So obvious it rarely comes. Ferrari counted on the competition to file a complaint with the FIA. What they did not count on, was that they would ask for clarification of the rules, and if they were allowed to implement this trick themselves. It seems the competition is well aware of the fact that the FIA is biased and rules in favor of Ferrari in most cases. The fact that all of a sudden Ferrari was not able anymore to take poles and wins, made it very clear that they have been cheating for a fact. In a normal functioning world, the FIA would have had to cancel the results achieved while cheating. Obviously they did not, conferming their biased position."

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 11/12/2019 16:21

""Cheating" no they just needed clarity! "

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