The FIA has today officially confirmed, following the statement issued a few days ago that having been unable to prove any infringement of the regulations concerning the operation of Ferrari’s powertrain, it has been forced to conclude an agreement with the manufacturer.
Therefore, Toto Wolff has just lobbied the FIA to get more details about this agreement. This exploit has today reinforced the rumour that he will become FIA president.
Indeed, it was surprising to see him only now stepping up to the plate when it was revealed by the German press that he was one of the team bosses who had already been aware of the deal since December 2019.
Further details on that, and the fact the Red Bull were involved with an Arrivabene supporter and Ferrari whistleblower over a year ago – TJ13 reported this in some detail earlier today – READ MORE ON THAT HERE
It is now clear that this is a strategy aimed at weakening Ferrari, which will no longer have enough credibility to veto his bid for the FIA presidency. It would therefore not be surprising to see him running against Jean Todt in the next elections scheduled for 2021.
Todt and Ferrari have a long history together, with the FIA president tenure as team boss at Ferrari during the dominant Michael Schumacher era. The inconclusive ‘conclusion’ the FIA stated with their press release also points to that bond.
Certainly, if you’re to believe the Italian media, all non-Ferrari aligned teams have declared a ‘state of war’ on Ferrari and the FIA.
To quote Planet F1’s article today with their translated snippets from the national papers of Italy:
Daniele Sparisici from Corriere della Sera wrote: “Ferrari and FIA are under siege.
“Yesterday morning at 11 o’clock Formula 1 declared a state of war. Ten days before the inaugural Melbourne Grand Prix.
“Toto Wolff’s campaign garnered 100 percent approval against the Federation and Ferrari for the agreement that ended the investigation into the 2019 Ferrari engine, which was suspected by opponents of having evaded the rules.
“In that document, of enormous vagueness, the FIA said that the details will remain between the two parties, adding that the Scuderia Ferrari would help to assist the technicians in the control of future power units and in research on alternative fuels.
“In those paragraphs most of F1 read a compromise was made to get out of an embarrassing situation.
“So Mercedes coordinated the blatant and unusual protest by dragging in its customer teams Williams and Racing Point, but also Red Bull, AlphaTauri, McLaren and Renault. Seven out of ten, those of the Ferrari galaxy (Alfa and Haas) are missing.
“They threaten lawsuits. There is political power and money at stake.
“The siege operation continued, the target is not only Maranello but also the president of the FIA Jean Todt, accused of having been too soft against his former team.”
Gazzetta dello Sport’s Luigi Perna agrees with the sentiment.
He wrote: “Now it’s war! This is war, politics, power and even of money.
“If Ferrari had been found guilty of some infraction, its second place in the 2019 Constructors’ ranking and the related cash prizes would be called into question.
“But is there also something more? Could Maranello have acted with the engine within the limits of the regulation, in one of its gray areas, but be perfectly compliant?
“The team principal Mattia Binotto, admitting that he had undergone many exams and that he collaborated willingly with the Federation, also proudly claimed that Ferrari were in bounds. So why so many secrets with the FIA?
“Maybe because the agreement would reveal the thin perimeter within which Maranello acted without breaking the law? F1, in wars like this, is vaccinated.”
Aessandra Rentico from La Republica feels the FIA is trying to cover up its own inadequacies.
“The whole affair has shown the FIA’s fragility: the F1 government does not have the means to discover the most sophisticated tricks that dozens of engineers from each team study and experiment with.
“It’s an unequal challenge: progress helps referees in other sports. On the contrary, the technology in Formula 1 serves to increase the gap between controllers and controlled. For the benefit of the latter.”
As for Il Resto del Carlino’s Leo Turrini he says a “spy” provided the info but refused to name the person.
“A spy arrived, someone who knows all too well the technical secrets of Maranello and explained to competitors where the “trick” lies, that is, in the management of the flow of petrol to the power unit.
“The FIA has not been able to prove malice on the part of the Cavallino, but to avoid any misunderstandings it has changed the rule on the flow of petrol. This explains the curious epilogue of the procedure, in practice a confidential transaction, however destined to send the red team’s enemies on a rampage.”
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