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FIA issues statement in reaction to the 'Malfeasant Seven'

NEWS STORY
05/03/2020

In reaction to the joint statement issued by seven teams yesterday, which was itself in reaction to the FIA's statement following its investigation into Ferrari's 2019 power unit, Formula One's governing body has today issued the following:

"The FIA has conducted detailed technical analysis on the Scuderia Ferrari Power Unit as it is entitled to do for any competitor in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times. The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations. The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

To avoid the negative consequences that a long litigation would entail especially in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of such litigations and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders, the FIA, in compliance with Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR), decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings.

This type of agreement is a legal tool recognised as an essential component of any disciplinary system and is used by many public authorities and other sport federations in the handling of disputes.

The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.

The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship."

Among the many questions this saga - and today's statement - raises is that in light of the FIA's admission that it was unable to put together a "conclusive case" due to the "complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach"

What hope of it policing the budget cap.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 10/03/2020 22:59

"Trying to make sense out of this fuss, I smell the verbal hair splitting of lawyers trying to deal with the genuine cleverness of mechnics and engineers. Tell them how much fuel they must be in the tank after the race, they will figure out how to have the tank as close to that figure as possible. Now the idiot rules makers imagine that they are creating uniform results, forgetting that racing is all about UNequal results. The team wants the fastest and most reliable car and driver possible. This means they pay people to deliver that. A lot. The sanctioning body thinks money in the hands of teams should be equal (of course they don't think that about their own money!). But who in God's name thinks a Ferrari is no better than a Renault? Or a world in which they were the same would be worth living in? Mercedes complaining about Ferrari is just part of the game. People who think bluffing should not be allowed in poker because it is "dishonest" don't understand poker. People who think winning races by deception is "unsporting" don't understand sport. Beating the rules is as important a part of racing as playing mind games with the competing drivers. For the tifosi outwitting Mercedes is as much fun as out driving them. And the opposite is true for Mercedes. Let them race for crying out loud. And leqve the whining to engines."

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2. Posted by mickl, 07/03/2020 14:39

"Stupid is as stupid does."

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3. Posted by Tardis40, 06/03/2020 20:29

"Their rules are so complicated and convoluted they don't understand them themselves."

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4. Posted by yakker, 06/03/2020 10:15

"Are the FIA saying the PU was legal but the fuel flow was not, but the FIA could not determine how Ferrari fooled the fuel flow sensor? This fuel business seems to be difficult to monitor for the FIA afterall Ferrari were getting away with the amount of fuel in the car (Abu Dhabi), and the issue of using "oil" as fuel during the race."

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 06/03/2020 9:42

"What makes the above statement different to previous is the word "dissuasive" included with the "settlement agreement with Ferrari" meaning if you do this again this penalty will apply, but surely the FIA have the powers to impose such penalties without a dissuasive agreement in place, so in effect letting them off. "

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6. Posted by TokyoAussie, 06/03/2020 3:25

"Sounds a bit fishy. If the FIA want to investigate an engine for compliance and find that it does comply, a simple statement stating that the engine complies would be sufficient. Why is there talk of reaching an agreement with Ferrari? Sounds fishy."

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7. Posted by Egalitarian, 05/03/2020 23:23

"@Bill Hopgood. I agree it certainly is interesting. Amazing what is worth pursuing. I recall the FIA being relentless in its pursuit of McLaren years ago. Was it worth it? Probably.
So why not Ferrari? For the good of the 'sport' , it is worthwhile to discover any transgressions and suitably punish any one found cheating.
We have the same herein Oz politics. Journalists expose potentially illegal activities, but that embarrasses a few people- so the Federal police raid the homes and offices of journalists and real news organisations (sorry uncle Rupert, yours don't count...) . Somehow, pursuing journos in pursuiit of the truth is worthwhile. Yet a parliamentary Minister is tied to a (proven to be) forged document to embarrass another politician... The coppers didn't even interview any of the parties - not worth the effort. "

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8. Posted by Roli, 05/03/2020 22:41

"Just goes to prove that the regulations arent worth the paper they are written on. Too restrictive, get rid of the turbo, get rid of the eveready battery, get the v12's back"

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9. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 05/03/2020 17:29

"The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

I'm a bit thick on complex legal speak so I'm trying to put this into plain language:
Ferrari are smarter than we (FIA) are as we have made rules so complicated around the PU that we can no longer effectively tell if the PU is at all times of racing, within the rules. We (FIA) could spend longer trying to figure out what was going on but that could drag on for ages, and who wants that? Certainly not us or Ferrari and besides, suspicion could fall on this years PU and how to tell if it is OK during all times of use. Let's (FIA, Ferrari) just agree (Settlement) that there is nothing really to see here and leave it at that. It is better to just move on and forget about the whole thing. We are sure the other competitors will understand... Besides, other sports and authorities also do the same thing (settlement) so it must be OK.

Just thinking about what I interpret from the technical side of things, either the FIA make a change to simpler PU or they say anything goes, unlimited formula.

At the moment the confidence that we fans have that the FIA can find out what a team is up to is pretty shaken. One can only imagine how Honda, Renault and Merc feel about this.

Then again, I could have this totally wrong as I'm not too flash on the contractual legal speak."

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10. Posted by Wokingchap, 05/03/2020 16:07

"Ferrari ARE cheating Bstards and always have been. They deserve a heavy penalty imo.""

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11. Posted by Hobgoblin, 05/03/2020 13:20

""and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders" - one would assume that the other teams are also stakeholders, all of whom would benefit from a Ferrari sanction, so maybe its in the interest of only a select few stakeholders?

"decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings." - without knowing exactly what this means, it appears to be some form of sanction - albeit fairly mild. Why then, if Ferrari are as completely innocent as they maintain did they accept ANY sort of sanction, or indeed any outcome other than a complete and public vindication?

I smell bovine fecal matter..."

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12. Posted by kenji, 05/03/2020 12:53

"If you consider the technical expertise that the FIA threw at this and they still couldn't mount an effective charge of illegality then Ferrari have come through as being clean. There can be no other conclusion.There is a concerted viewpoint that Ferrari are cheating but until this can be proved beyond reasonable doubt then Ferrari have been successful. People will continue to rave and rant but seriously...what are the alternatives. Mercedes no doubt have a complex agenda here. Force Ferrari to employ resources to fight this allegation therefore deflecting them from the real job of competing this season and forming up for the '21 year. There are many other benefits too. Despite this, maybe Wolff is playing the retribution game for Ferrari's veto of his job application to succeed Todt. Wolff is a very political animal and in this game nothing is off limits."

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13. Posted by Rock Doc, 05/03/2020 12:49

"So during the season the FIA looked under one cushion for the remote and didn't find it.

After the season they decided to have another go and looked under the second cushion. Still no remote.

Then the FIA said 'It ain't worth the fight' and stopped looking.

Ferrari then handed back the remote."

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14. Posted by klmn, 05/03/2020 12:41

"Is this Todtgate or Fiagate ??"

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