Serious accusations Ferrari and Renault cheated? Armies of engineers are examining the regulations to spy on grey areas and use technical tricks to gain their own speed advantage.
This happened during the subsequent Renault disqualification from the Japan GP due to an automated braking system in the cars of Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. Plus of course, we have Ferrari’s miracle engine being once again subjected to accusations.
Racing Point had submitted a protest against Renault’s braking system after the Japan race. This obviously adjusts the brake balance for a particular corner type without being activated by the driver and was classified by the FIA as illegal driver aid. This is prohibited, so Ricciardo and Hülkenberg were forced to relinquish their sixth and tenth places at Suzuka.
Racing Point noticed the system after some footage came into the public domain showing Daniel Ricciardo’s shake down laps in the Renault car in winter testing.
Ricciardo drives a test lap in Barcelona – and in the steering wheel settings you can see the brake balance adjusting itself as if by magic. Check it out on the video player above.
Allegedly the drivers knew about the system, but were silenced by team boss Cyril Abiteboul. Hülkenberg, who will be ditched at the end of the season, did not follow the orders and said: “Nothing changes in the car for me.
“The focus is on the future. We still have four races and are trying to capitalise and get what we can”.
Over at Ferrari, Vettel and Leclerc clinched five pole positions in series in qualifying thanks to the power boost of the upgraded Ferrari Power unit and, according to Lewis Hamilton, are uncatchable on the straights.
An unnamed team boss described Ferrari’s top speed advantage as “grotesque”. And Max Verstappen struggled, revealing:
“Ferrari has been getting more and more out of the engine over the year. It’s hard to beat that.”
But is the Ferrari engine illegal? At the beginning of the season, the competition suspected that the Scuderia engineers were sucking more than the permitted four megajoules out of the hybrid system by bypassing a sensor.
However, the FIA plugged this supposed control hole. Now their rivals suspect that a deliberate leak in the radiator system would feed oil into the combustion process.
Leclerc suspects envy behind the accusations: “Whenever a team is in a good phase, everyone looks at every little thing and tries to destabilize the team. That’s what’s happening here.”
In Mercedes hanno le idee chiare sul dove provenga il vantaggio di PU della Ferrari SF90 e stanno cercando di implementarlo sulla loro PU 2020. Intanto la FIA ha esaminato, in via preliminare, il sistema di raffreddamento della SF90 non riscontrando anomalie #TechF1 #F1
— PG Tech (@SmilexTech) October 28, 2019
During the Mexican Grand Prix event, further allegations were made about Ferrari’s power unit to the point where the FIA inspected the system with the full co-operation of Ferrari, and there were no discernible high-pressure points within the system from which fluids could leak. Three distinctly different liquids are used for cooling.
According to Toto Wolff, boss of Mercedes F1 team, the German marque has recently done what the FIA couldn’t and discovered the secret behind the Ferrari power.
During Ted Kravitz’ Notebook on Sky F1 during FP3 on Friday, Wolff acknowledged that his team would in-fact be implementing a similar system in their 2020 car for next year.