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Binotto questions different levels of scrutiny

NEWS STORY
09/09/2021

As Red Bull questions the legality of Mercedes engine, Mattia Binotto has questioned why the German manufacturer hasn't faced the same level of (public) scrutiny as Ferrari.

In recent weeks, as part of the ongoing war of words between Red Bull and Mercedes, the Austrian team has called on the FIA for clarification over the possible use of air circulating in the plenum on the German power unit being kept below the minimum temperatures set by the FIA.

Such a move would allow those teams using the Mercedes engine to temporarily run the unit at a lower temperature and thereby benefit from a performance gain.

Binotto claims that while the query over Mercedes has been given little publicity, the investigation into the Ferrari engine in late 2019 was carried out in public courtesy of a string of technical directives.

"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," said Binotto of the investigation into Mercedes.

"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."

Comparing the current situation with that of his own team in 2019, he said, according to Motorsport.com.

"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?" he asked. "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.

"Getting to the kind of tone used in 2019 is still wrong," he admitted. "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."

Of course, the findings of the infamous fuel flow limit investigation in 2019 were never made public, the FIA controversially reaching a 'secret' agreement with the Italian manufacturer, a move that caused uproar among rival teams.

While the FIA argued that the reason for the findings not being made public was because nothing could be proven, the dramatic drop-off in performance at the end of 2019, which continued throughout most of 2020, told everyone all they needed to know.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 10/09/2021 11:58

"@ Spindoctor. The only reason we got the 'evidence' out there on the bendy wings was because it was highlighted by onboard cameras and pounced upon by the Sky TV crew. Mercedes front wing was also highlighted in visual evidence but there has been no published public response, in fact nothing has been said at all...AFAIK. That fact is what leads one to think that someone somewhere is protecting Mercedes from scrutiny ...which is a logical thought progression until proved otherwise."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 10/09/2021 10:16

"If Ferrari or RBR have real evidence of foul play they should present it openly - as was done with the notorious "flexi-wings". The idea that FIA (presumably with the collusion of Liberty\Formula One) are turning a blind eye to Mercedes' cheating as some are implying, smacks of tinfoil hat conspiracy. Logically the opposite is true - holding-back the Mercedes behemoth & spicing-up the championships would be in the interests of both F1 & FIA.

Unless they have actual evidence, it would be good if we could get through the rest of the season without any more of this stuff from any of the Teams.
"

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3. Posted by kenji, 10/09/2021 3:49

"@F1F@N...I certainly agree with your summary especially the points re 'bendy wings and DAS'. What I don't fully understand is how the FIA can get away with 'no comment' re the Mercedes front wing issue? AFAIK there has been no decision published."

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4. Posted by kenji, 10/09/2021 3:40

"I fully understand where Binotto is coming from. It's important to keep some perspective and look at it from their point of view as an element of debate. Ferrarii were not found 'guilty' of anything during the last lot of 'hoo har' around fuel issues yet they were placed under intense scrutiny. They are fully entitled to ask these questions. As for the FIA chasing Mercedes down looking for elements of 'rule bending' i would think that there is a valid reason for that and that they are no more cleanskins than any other team on the grid. When you look at the massive budgets and personnel numbers that they employed, that alone would raise the question...what are they all doing all day? "

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5. Posted by F1F@N, 10/09/2021 3:40

"To all these Mercedes fans commenting in this forum. Binotto isn't wrong when he said they were scrutinised more aggressively than what Mercedes is now. The FIA has never taken parts from a Mercedes after a race. The fact that there are always FiA at Mercedes doesn't mean they are more scrutinised. It means that Toto's friends are hanging with him. Thats why he ran to them when there was an impending penalty for Lewis earlier this year. The flexi wings have never been taken seriously but when RBR had scrutiny the FIA placed dots on their wing and scrutinised it. It never happened with Mercedes. And Lewis only had to mention that it looks bendy. Other teams laid complaints about Mercedes flexi wings and .......nothing.

DAS system approved in 2020 for Mercedes changed ride height and it was proven by RBR. The rules are clear when it comes to moveable aero and yet it was allowed for Mercedes and banned the next so no other team could use it. Which clearly indicates that it was in fact illegal.

I could go on and on about the FIA consistency and how Mercedes gets away with stuff. The FIA is mainly British and we all know who they favour when they have to make a call. Mainly the reason why Mercedes got another Brit to drive along Lewis next year. "

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 09/09/2021 20:37

"Let's face it, we all know why the boys in red are under more scrutiny than ANY other team, their history of 'rule bending' (i'd rather use the correct term) is legendary."

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7. Posted by Great_white_shark, 09/09/2021 19:29

"I am not sure what Binotto is trying to accomplish by saying this because there is no way you can work in Formula 1 and not be aware that Mercedes have been the most scrutinised team in my knowledge since they became dominant. They were the first team to get audited since the introduction of the budget cap, they always have FIA inspectors in their garage looking at every single thing from fuel samples to tyre prep. They have been keen to catch Mercedes cheating to bring the battle closer between teams. I personally think Binotto is trying to mislead the people breathing down his neck and demanding results. It is easier to explain you are unfairly targeted than admitting you fell short"

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8. Posted by Mad Matt, 09/09/2021 18:13

"It's like listening to a bunch of whining teenagers.. no wonder Bernie was able to keep them under control for so long!

(BTW this applies as much to Mattia as to Christian and Toto.... )



"

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9. Posted by Roli, 09/09/2021 16:06

"What Binotti is really saying : "we got caught, they havnt""

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