In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, non-Ferrari powered Formula One teams have threatened legal action against the FIA following the governing body’s decision to reach a secret settlement with Ferrari over the legality of last year’s engine.
The FIA announced on Friday evening that a private deal had been reached between themselves and Ferrari regarding the legality of the engine. This was amid speculation that Ferrari had been in bypassed fuel flow regulations. The timing and nature of the decision prompted non-Ferrari powered teams to act.
In the statement, AlphaTauri, McLaren, Mercedes, Racing Point, Red Bull, Renault and Williams, all urged for transparency regarding the legality of the Ferrari power unit. Haas and Alfa Romeo did not issue a statement, as they were both using the Ferrari power unit.
“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.”
It is too late for Ferrari’s rivals to lodge an official protest or right of review over the power unit’s legality, as per the FIA regulations. According to the FIA’s International Sporting Code, a right of review needs to be brought 14 calendar days after the publications of the final classification of a competitor, and no less than four days prior to the FIA Prize-Giving Ceremony.
One of the reasons for the FIA electing to reach a settlement in regards to the matter is that Ferrari could not unequivocally prove that their power unit complied with rules at the time, whilst the FIA could say with certainty that the team had broken any regulations.
The matter could be submitted to the FIA International Tribunal, if the governing body decides to open a disciplinary inquiry if there are suspicions that rules have been breached.