F1 responds to Ferrari rivals and explains settlement amid engine row
F1's governing body explain and defend decision to reach private settlement with Ferrari after seven teams issued critical statement
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 05/03/20 5:01pm
The FIA has responded to the seven F1 teams who have challenged their handling of the Ferrari engine case.
The seven teams who do not run Ferrari engines issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying they were "surprised and shocked" by the FIA's decision to enter into a private settlement with the Scuderia after long-running investigations into their power unit.
The FIA has now issued a statement clarifying that move - and said it was within its statutory rights to enter into such an agreement.
The governing body said that while it was "not fully satisfied" at the end of its extensive investigations into Ferrari's power unit, it 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".
Ferrari have consistently denied any wrongdoing and said their 2019 car adhered to the regulations.
"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," read a statement.
"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."
In a rare collective team statement, the seven teams who do not run Ferrari engines - Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Williams - said they "strongly object" to the FIA-Ferrari settlement and said they would "pursue full and proper disclosure".
The added that they "reserve our rights to seek legal redress" within the FIA's court structures.