Charlie Whiting denies the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team were thrown under the bus, as Toto Wolff had critically declared, in the investigation into Scuderia Ferrari and their Energy Recovery System.
The report into the ERS investigation saw the FIA name both James Allison and Lorenzo Sassi, both former Ferrari employers now working in Mercedes colours, with Wolff criticising the way his employers were named, but FIA race director Whiting feels nothing was done wrong, and the names of the individuals were not particularly secret.
“I had a chat with Toto,” Whiting is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “I didn’t think it was any secret.
“I think in fact when we had a little chat with the guys yesterday, it was they who came up with the Ferrari man’s name. I don’t think it was any secret.”
Whiting also feels it would be wrong to say that Allison or Sassi are whistleblowers, and it is standard procedure for one team to query with the FIA whether other teams are running with legal cars, and the whole ERS investigation was ‘routine’.
“It was wrong to say that James was a whistleblower or something like that,” said Whiting. “He just, as many engineers do, came up to us and said ‘this guy started working for us and he says this team might be doing that’, and we go and check, and it’s not the case.
“This is a regular thing. It was just one of those normal conversations that you have with somebody: ‘We think Ferrari may be doing this, this and this because of that’, and we went and checked, and we thought ‘actually they could be doing that, so let’s have a check and make sure’.
“It’s taken us a little while to get to that, but as I say, it’s a pretty routine kind of thing for us, for people to come to us, especially when they’ve had staff members come from another team.
“Don’t forget Lorenzo, his information is at least eight months old, which in Formula 1 terms is quite old.”