It was bound to happen, and today it did.
Last week's mysterious statement from the FIA following its investigation into the legality of Ferrari's 2019 engine raised more questions than it answered.
The very carefully worded statement mentioned a "settlement" and an "agreement" of which the specifics would not be made public.
Amidst talk of anger within the teams to the statement which has given rise to speculation that the Italian team had indeed been caught cheating but has basically got away with it, without explanation and without punishment, this morning seven teams issued a joint statement.
"We, the undersigned teams, were surprised and shocked by the FIA’s statement of Friday 28 February regarding the conclusion of its investigation into the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit.
An international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency.
After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter.
Therefore, we hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally. We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula One.
In addition, we reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts."
The statement is signed by:
McLaren Racing Limited
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited
Racing Point UK Limited
Red Bull Racing Limited
Renault Sport Racing Limited
Scuderia Alpha Tauri S.p.A.
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited
The FIA has handled this matter shamefully. Last year, as the first of the technical directives was issued, the performance of the Ferrari fell off alarmingly, and when Max Verstappen accused the Italian team of "cheating", there were few voices of dissent.
Rather than address the situation, the FIA - which to many has always been known as Ferrari International Assistance - appears to have enabled Ferrari and at the same time virtually forced its rivals into the situation we have today.
While Mattia Binotto has always protested Ferrari's innocence, this was the FIA's opportunity to prove it.
That it didn't, certainly not to the satisfaction of rival teams and manufacturers - not to mention the fans - speaks volumes, while the total lack of transparency and laughable talk of "agreement" and "settlementW added insult to injury.
And to think Chase and the gang thought they only had the coronavirus to worry about...
(Much, much) more to follow.