FIA privately settles with Ferrari over engine issue

Last year, Ferrari were mired in a Formula 1 style political battle over their engine performance and through some crafty “seeking clarification” requests to the FIA, the hinted allegation was that the team had been using a system that flouted the on-board fuel sensor and were burning more fuel than allowed. Or so the allegations went.

Be it true or just circumstantial, Ferrari’s paced dropped off for the remaining races of the season in 2019 despite the team saying it hadn’t. However, the matter was dropped for the balance of the season and no official protest was lodged by other teams.

As we head into the 2020 season, the FIA released a statement today regarding Ferrari’s 2019 engines.

“The FIA announces that, after thorough technical investigations, it has concluded its analysis of the operation of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 power unit and reached a settlement with the team,” said the FIA.

“The specifics of the agreement will remain between the parties.

“The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 power units for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels.”

As many have pointed out, it is an interesting statement and suggests that whatever Ferrari was doing was possibly against the regulations. If it weren’t so, the statement would surely read differently.

The statement also suggests that Ferrari worked with the FIA to assist them in monitoring all the teams for whatever exploit the FIA and Ferrari were discussing. At least that’s how I read this statement. How do you see it? Did the FIA find something untoward with Ferrari engine and did a deal to get assistance from Ferrari on how to monitor any engine that might be using a similar system?

Time will tell but the FIA did introduce a second sensor on the cars in 2020 to attempt to mitigate any flouting of the system.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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That would say that Ferrari thought they were on the right side, but the FIA said “no”. After some back-and-forth, they came to an agreement on how it would be handled, including what penance would be served. Mostly something akin to a plea-bargain.


So Ferrari International Assistance have agreed to monitor all teams power unit performance to ensure the red team have the unfair advantage they need to mount a championship challenge. Alternatively the FIA have told Ferrari they have been caught, and don’t do it again. Until there is more clarity from one or both sides, rumours are bound to circulate that Ferrari have been unfairly penalised or have gotten away with cheating depending upon your feelings for the Italian team. I personally think that it is time all teams were treated as equals in the sport, and the organising body stopped… Read more »


If the team that complained cannot determine if there was a violation of the rules, what then is the purpose of the complaint process? Stated differently, every manufacturer should break the rules until getting caught. Thus allowing as many points as possible without penalty.


There seems to be developing a cold war between Mercedes and Ferrari about this.
Toto Wolff has even sent a letter to all non-Ferrari teams about it, they want to put pressure on FIA to make public what Ferrari did. The teams below Ferrari in 2019 are speaking with their lawyers about it…