Published On: Sun, May 27th, 2018

FIA clears Ferrari Formula 1 team of breaking battery rules

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The FIA has concluded its investigation into Ferrari’s Formula 1 battery system, clearing it of any wrongdoing after suspicions it had found a clever way of getting around the rules.

There had been speculation Ferrari’s battery system could be utilised in a way that delivered more power per lap than is allowed.

There were even suggestions of an official protest from rivals.

Speaking for the first time about the matter, F1 race director Charlie Whiting has said that Mercedes technical director James Allison first approached the FIA at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Mercedes was eager to get some clarity on the situation, as it was unable to explain certain performance characteristics of Ferrari’s car.

The FIA duly opened an investigation and, despite suggesting that Ferrari had “difficulty” fully explaining the characteristics of its battery, the governing body’s conclusion reached in Monaco is that there was nothing untoward happening.

Whiting was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency: “We had some concerns in Baku that were difficult to explain and we worked through it with them.

“[The rulebook] says that it is the duty of the competitor to satisfy the FIA that their car complies at all times and they were having difficulty satisfying us. Here, we are now satisfied.”

Whiting added that the investigation had not been easy, and there some aspects of what Ferrari was doing that were not easy to understand

“Some things in the data we could not quite explain… we went through it with Ferrari and they gave explanations which were not particularly convincing,” he said.

“We wanted to really get to the bottom of it and in Spain [the previous race], they took some measures to make sure we understood it more and that we were seeing things that we were happy with.”

The FIA has also expressed some frustration that the matter had become such a big talking point over the past few weeks while the investigation was under way.

“The matter was exacerbated by unsubstantiated speculation that went through the paddock like wildfire,” added Whiting.

FIA president Jean Todt said: “If a team has some doubts, they could have made a protest.

“It would be much more healthy rather than to manipulate the press to address the problem.”

Ferrari has declined to comment on the matter.



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