The dispute over the accusations of cheating against Ferrari in Formula 1 continues to cause a stir – Furthermore, the highest governing body, aside from the FIA, has now taken sides with FIA president Jean Todt.
Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko strongly criticised the FIA on Thursday, while the association justified its controversial agreement with the Scuderia – but could not finally rule out Ferrari’s misconduct.
“The whole thing has now taken on FIFA dimensions. Only one letter is still missing between FIA and FIFA. In any other federation, it would be political suicide what Todt (FIA President Jean Todt, editor) has allowed to happen as the leading head of the FIA,” Marko told the Münchner Merkur
“The FIA has brought a sport into disrepute in which we invest hundreds of millions of euros a year. This is no longer something that can be afforded now.”
The FIA had recently declared that they had officially closed their investigations against the Ferrari team – but have kept the results largely under wraps ever since. The functioning of the 2019 suspiciously powerful engine of the red team had been analysed and afterwards “an agreement with the team was reached”.
Led by the World Champions Mercedes and Toto Wolff, a total of seven racing teams had criticised the FIA in a joint letter of protest on Wednesday, reserving the right to “take legal action”.
On Thursday the FIA tried to explain their own approach. Although the doubts about Ferrari had not been cleared up, due to the complexity of the case, further measures could not clearly prove a breach of the rules. In addition, they had wanted to avoid the negative consequences of a long legal dispute with an uncertain outcome.
Yesterday, the World Motor Sport Council met to consider the request by Toto Wolff and his consortium of six other team managers for greater transparency regarding the agreement between the FIA and Ferrari.
Unsurprisingly, the highest authority in motorsport aside from the FIA, voted unanimously in favour of the organising body, and expressed its unwavering support for its leader, Jean Todt – whilst simultaneously wiping their hands of any responsibility to investigate further.
The verdict was announced in the following press release:
“The Council expresses its unanimous support for the President of the FIA and the Federation’s Technical Department in their examination of the matter concerning the agreement with Scuderia Ferrari.
“The Council firmly opposes any comment which damages the reputation and image of the FIA and Formula One.
“The only solution for the plaintiffs is now to file a motion with an independent tribunal.”
Jean Todt is a former rally driver who went on to become Peugeot Talbot Sport’s Director and then Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team principal, before being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari from 2004 to 2008.
In October 2009, he was elected President of the FIA, a position to which he was re-elected in December 2013 and December 2017. He will not stand for re-election in December 2021.
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