Formula 1

World Motor Sport Council Supports FIA Decision over Ferrari Power Unit Settlement

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has defended the FIA over their controversial settlement with Scuderia Ferrari regarding their power unit during the 2019 Formula 1 season and rejected calls from seven teams for transparency.

The statement asking for clarity was signed by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, McLaren F1 Team, Renault F1 Team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, Racing Point F1 Team and Williams Racing.  The statement also stated that “an international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency.”

In a meeting in Geneva, the WMSC backed the decisions from the FIA not to disclose any details about the investigation or settlement, with the seven teams that requested the clarification being slapped on the wrist for questioning the decisions.

“The Council expressed unanimous support for the FIA President and the FIA Technical Department in regard to the overall management of the case, and strongly opposed any comments that undermine the reputation and image of the FIA and the Formula One World Championship,” read a statement from the WMSC.

FIA: “Further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case “

The FIA did issue their own response to the teams’ request, stating that they were quite within their right to withhold information due to the rules and regulations in place. 

They admit there were some concerns about the legality of Ferrari’s power unit, but there was unlikely to be enough conclusive evidence to prove it was breaking the regulations.

“The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times,” said the FIA statement.  “The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations.

“The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

“To avoid the negative consequences that a long litigation would entail especially in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of such litigations and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders, the FIA, in compliance with Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR), decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings.

“This type of agreement is a legal tool recognised as an essential component of any disciplinary system and is used by many public authorities and other sport federations in the handling of disputes.

“The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.  The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

The FIA admits there were doubts that the Ferrari power unit was legal but it was not worth a full investigation – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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