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Ferrari and FIA engine settlement

Discussion in 'F1' started by A348W, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Bas Jaski

    Bas Jaski Two Time F1 World Champ

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    So they couldn't prove it. i.e. grey area = not illegal at the time rules where written.
     
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  2. classic308

    classic308 F1 Veteran

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    the same way Red Bull got away with flexi wings from 2010-2013. Bottom line is that FIA should have kept their mouth shut. As mentioned above, a prosecutor may have evidence to suspect a crime was committed by person x but not enough to convict person x. No different here. And no the FIA have no duty to disclose, especially if it compromises Ferrari IP. Formula one is sinking under the weight of its own rules.
     
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  3. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    Just the opposite !!
    The FIA should be more transparent.
    Deals behind close doors are unhealthy and the truth soon comes out.

    If the FIA heard, or suspected anything wrong, what could stop them from unpounding the car, have expert engineers examining it, stripping the engine, and asking for explanations from Ferrari ?
    Basically follow the prodecure any amateur club follows when it suspects foul play, instead of *****-footing like they do at the FIA.
     
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  4. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    The questions being asked about Ferrari's powertrain inquiry

    After the FIA had announced it had reached a settlement with Ferrari over an investigation into its 2019 powertrain, the seven non-Ferrari powered teams united to lobby the governing body for full disclosure. But can they appeal - and what happens next in the saga?
    No one could have predicted that the 2020 Formula 1 season would erupt with its biggest row for years with just 10 minutes of pre-season testing remaining.

    But that's exactly what happened last week when the FIA issued a statement at that moment regarding a secret 'agreement' it had reached with Ferrari over an investigation into its 2019 power unit.

    The timing and nature of the statement, which caught rival teams by surprise, prompted private anger and disappointment.
    Rather than appearing to have had total transparency over a controversy that had bubbled away for much of last year, and rival teams having been informed and agreed on a settlement, the ultimately secret nature of the case prompted more questions than answers.

    How deep had the FIA investigation gone? Did the lack of any comment saying that the FIA was fully satisfied the engine was legal mean there are doubts about it? Why was there a need for an agreement if the engine was found to be legal?
    And, crucially: why was the FIA unable to prove one way or another the legality of the engine?

    It was those swirling doubts and fears of a conspiracy that prompted the unprecedented move by seven F1 teams on Wednesday to issue a joint statement urging the FIA to give full disclosure on the matter.

    "After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter," they said.

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    Just more than 24 hours later, the FIA responded by explaining that while it had suspicions about the legality of the Ferrari engine, it could not prove that the team had breached the rules. So instead, it used its own procedures to reach a deal rather than risk a lengthy court case that had no guaranteed outcome.

    But irrespective of the FIA's feeling that its stance has been correct for the good of the sport, the concern remains that not only have the FIA tried to sweep the matter under the carpet and make it go away, but it has also set a dangerous precedent for the future.

    In effect, the get-out of a secret agreement gives teams a green light to exploit rules in whatever way they like, if they know it cannot be proved. Then, when suspicions are raised, they can offer up assistance in helping prevent other teams getting away with it in the future...

    The timing and nature of the FIA's statement, which caught rival teams by surprise, prompted private anger and disappointment in the ranks
    With views clearly divided over the matter between Ferrari and the FIA on one side, and the majority of teams on the other, the only certainty is this: wherever it goes not everyone is going to come out of this affair as a winner.

    Primarily, the anger over how the FIA has treated matters means there is now a genuine possibility of teams pushing for Ferrari to be properly investigated by a court over what happened last year - which could set up a hugely important trial.

    Teams may think that it is not enough simply for the FIA to not have been able to prove that everything was above board with the Ferrari engine last year: so may demand that the governing body goes as far as taking the matter to an International Tribunal.

    Once there, it is hard to predict what may or may not happen. But the very prospect of F1's most famous team being tried for such a major rules break would be damaging for the image of both F1 and its most famous team, at a time when the sport is trying to get ready for its much-anticipated revamp in 2021.

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    Should the tribunal decide that Ferrari has breached the rules, then a whole host of sanctions could be available - including disqualification from the world championship. That itself would be a remarkable outcome, but where would that then leave Ferrari over a decision to commit to F1 longer term?

    If Ferrari was to be given the all-clear, then that would be a relief for everyone at Maranello. The suspicions over last year's power unit trickery would be partially wiped away, but the outcome would prompt huge disappointment from rival teams who remain convinced that Ferrari's circumvention of the rules - believed to be those pertaining to fuel flow - should have been stamped out.

    Furthermore, such an outcome would prompt questions over why the FIA was unable to prove the Ferrari was or wasn't legal in the first case.

    As F1 cars have got ever more complex, it has become increasingly difficult for the FIA to fully keep on top of teams' innovations, especially if those teams are operating within the grey areas of the regulations.

    Go back to the famous 'Option 13' controversy of Benetton's launch control in 1994 and, while the FIA managed to uncover the hidden menu screens that activated it, it could never prove that the system had been used illegally. Had it been the case, then the team could have been thrown out of the championship.

    But the FIA regulations are emphatic that it is the duty of the competitors to prove that their cars are legal at all times. It's not enough to simply argue that it cannot be proven a team broke the regulations.

    After all, Article 2.7 of Formula 1's technical regulations states that: "It is the duty of each competitor to satisfy the FIA technical delegate and the stewards that his automobile complies with these regulations in their entirety at all times during an Event."

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    If the impetus for the secret arrangement between the FIA and Ferrari was simply that the FIA couldn't prove Ferrari was acting illegally, and Ferrari couldn't prove its car was always legal, then still the onus should really be on the team to get its argument across the line.

    What will be interesting in this case is if rival teams have any extra information to shed light on what Ferrari was up to, and can add to the evidence already in the FIA's possession. If so, it'll be even more compelling if such information is enough to strengthen the arguments on either side.

    As F1 cars have become more complex, it is increasingly difficult for the FIA to fully keep on top of teams' innovations, especially if they are operating within the grey areas of the regulations.
    There have been suggestions since Friday's announcement that whistle-blowers from Ferrari had been in contact with some of the team's rivals, rather than the FIA, to let them know what had been happening. If that's the case, then has such inside knowledge found its way to the governing body yet?

    Where this saga goes from here is hard to predict. The seven teams against the verdict will now be taking stock of the FIA statements; and perhaps wait for a formal response to a letter they wrote to the FIA asking a series of detailed questions about the affair. But what is essential is that the saga of the Ferrari power unit is not brushed under the carpet for a second time.

    The interest surrounding the affair, and especially the doubts it has put on the legitimacy of last year's championship battle, means only a full and open explanation of what's happened will be good enough for teams, F1 and, most importantly, the sports fans.
     
  5. subirg

    subirg F1 Rookie

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    If only Ferrari’s team management and strategists were as capable and cunning as their engine engineers!
     
  6. rovexienus

    rovexienus Formula Junior
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    My intent is to be satirical about this episode, obviously I failed in that.

    Seriously now, my assumption is that all technical developments of all teams cannot be fully and successfully tested against the rules by the FIA, only some (such as the obvious ones like DAS).

    If my assumption is correct (and I am not sure it is), I find it a bit ironic that a group of teams among the most technologically advanced would join forces to point their fingers at one team, and also at the FIA.

    By pure coincidence, last night I watched again the comedy "The Life of Brian" of the Monty Python. It occurred to me that the scene about the lapidation has similarities with what formula 1 is showing us today.
     
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  7. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    Over here we like to say "sticking the boot in"
    any chance those teams get to get one over Ferrari is grabbed with both hands or feet:).

    Unfortunately this is the grubby side of F! and the pure aim is MONEY. Its all rather childish and designed to destabilize, SF are just as guilty as others when it comes to protesting.

    F! should accept the FIA decision and move on
    Tony
     
  8. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    So, we don't know if the results of last year were legitimate, but the FIA allows this year's championship to go ahead without more explanation.
    No wonder there is a malaise among 7 teams.
    Maybe a boycott would force the FIA to come clear on this issue?
     
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  9. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    The aim is money, because F1 is big business where each team is a commercial enterprise.
    The teams want to operate on a level playing field and not on moving ground.
    After all, there are $millions at stake for each of them, and it's the duty of any CEO to defend the interests of his company.
    I think the 7 teams are perfectly right in pushing the FIA in a corner and force it to reveal what it is up to.
     
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  10. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Formula Junior

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    I'm pretty sure that in the past with these kind of situations, the FIA have allowed previous results to stand as legal, whilst tightening up regulations and/or compliance testing procedures going forward (flexible wings springs to mind).

    Not sure why they haven't taken the same approach here.
     
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  11. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    This is where the FIA is seen as very lenient compared to some other international sporting federations.
    The FIA hides behind the excuse that it suspects, but cannot prove, thus can only issue warnings, but has to endorse past results.

    This is in sharp contrast with the International Cycling Union in his dealing with doping, for example.
    For years, the ICU suspected doping among the US/Postal Union professional road racing team, but couldn't prove it.
    US/Postal Union and his leader, Lance Armstrong, were always one step ahead of detection by the ICU, and all the tests proved negative.
    The drugs taken were so sophisticated, they weren't detected, and the ICU was unable to sanction.
    This went on for years, and Armstrong and his team dominated cycling, earning win after win.
    Everybody knew that doping was going on, but nothing could be proven.
    It took the dedication of chemical experts to discover new methods to detect the substances used, and uncover the plot.
    When drug use was proven, the ICU took drastic measures.
    Retroactively, the International Cycling Union took away all the wins dating back from its begining (1998-2012)..
    They banned the team riders for life, and stripped Lance Armstrong of all his achievement, including 7 wins in the Tour de France.
     
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  12. Canuck550

    Canuck550 Formula Junior

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    FIA screwed SF this year, blind not to see this....mid pack team this year.
    Basically told SF, cannot do crap about last season, as they need SF and yes the FIA knows SF is F1, as SF brings way too much money to the sport
    However, did a heck of a job handcuffing them for this season
    Rest assured, FIA knew what they were doing with this announcement and it has played well for the FIA, Merc and Redbull, as Redbull will see second place money this season, retribution from season past.
    Which is why SF has already conceded.... Certain they are working on the 2021 car
     
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  13. JL350

    JL350 Karting

    Jan 20, 2013
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    So what happens if Ferrari were within the rules and within the spirit of the rules and if the FIA say what was found and gives away IP and a competitive advantage?

    Maybe there is no conspiracy after all....
     
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  14. Sig. Roma

    Sig. Roma Formula Junior

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    I was talking to a friend in Belgium a few hours ago, and he contends the power unit was illegal as the system allowed some flow at greater than the regulated amount. But I learned 40+ years ago that when you try to put more flow through a fixed orifice the pressure drop is greater due to the resistance. I don't know how the fuel regulator works, but my guess is won't allow a much great flow through it without a significant penalty in pressure.
     
  15. rovexienus

    rovexienus Formula Junior
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    Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick. Francis Bacon
     
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  16. Sig. Roma

    Sig. Roma Formula Junior

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    And I forgot to mention, that in a flow regulator which is pressure compensated, the excess flow goes back to the tank. My guess is this device is far more sophisicated than the tech we applied in fork lift trucks 40 years ago, and must have a computer, so can't they read the computer and discovered what happened?
     
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  17. A348W

    A348W Formula 3

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Agree.

    Because the FIA have released vague statements they gave left the door open to speculation. entirely there own fault!

    So any competing team is most always going to take an opportunity to disqualify a competitor if found to be cheating; and the FIA language is so vague sf could have been, even if they weren’t!!!

    And besides, as Marko states,if red bull were 2nd instead of 3rd in the constructors, that would be worth 24 million extra from F1, let alone other opportunities. So reflect into your own companies....how far would you/ your directors go for 24million???? I suspect a long way; and I’m guessing the teams lawyers are all busy at the moment!

    To my mind the only one that comes out bad in this is the FIA. Ferrari come out ahead; last years results stand, they keep their money, they will get extra credit and intel for their part of the “settlement” in supporting future FIA research. (Talk about opening up the Crown Jewels!!) The other teams have all written 19 off anyway and can now claim moral high ground on the FIA for when the next issue arises.

    If I was Ferrari, I’d keep my head down, ignore it all and get on with developing the 21 car; this year I’d already a write off.
     
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  18. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    be careful what you wish for (F!) springs to mind, the FIA doesnt have to divulge anything when it comes to patents and or designs of the car especially when neither can prove if its legal or not. thats the whole point of technical directives to steer teams back on course. The design of whatever SF did was confidential and should remain so.

    where does it stop?

    Do the FIA start divulging copyright and detailed design when teams seek clarification of the regulations or are caught infringing them throughout the season- i dont think they should and other teams bitching about the latest episode is just that.

    Disclosing even a small amount of that design can give a massive boost on how the engine functions, give them X and they can certainly work out the rest.

    Admittedly they handled it badly

    Best Regards

    tony
     
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  19. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    Correct but the car only has 100kg of fuel to start with.

    The big question is how much fuel do they have in the car at the end which leads to what they may use as an igniter - oil?.
     
  20. Sig. Roma

    Sig. Roma Formula Junior

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    My pal in Belgium indicated the problem was via the pressure flow regulator, and not oil (and didn't Mercedes try oil some years back)? He said that sometimes the system flows 15 and sometimes 5 (not exactly the system flow rate), but how can you put the additional fuel into the engine (into the intercooler?) and how can you not burn any more during the race and still pass the tests. I don't know.
     
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  21. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    I'd hazard a guess that part of the problem is the FIA are totally under equipped to rat out the clever ways teams can disguise and trick them with inventive ways of circumnavigating around the rule book.
     
  22. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    I have to say this: F1 was far easier to understand in the past (like 20 years ago).
    Technology has made it too complex, and FIA has become too political.
    The public at large don't benefit from any of this.
     
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  23. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    I guess its why SF want it kept a secret, not from a cheating Point of view, moreover to protect their design / property. The regulations are quite specific:-

    5.1.4 Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h.

    5.10.5 Any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate or to store and recycle fuel after the measurement point is prohibited.

    5.14.2 The addition of any substance other than fuel, as described in Article 5.10.3, into the air destined for combustion is forbidden. Exhaust gas recirculation is forbidden.

    5.10.3 All cars must be fitted with a single fuel flow sensor, wholly within the fuel tank, which has been manufactured by the FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA. This sensor may only be used as specified by the FIA. Furthermore, all fuel delivered to the power unit must pass through this homologated sensor, and must all be delivered to the combustion chambers by the fuel injectors described by Article 5.10.2.

    6.6.1 The hydraulic layout of the fuel system should conform to the schematic layout of the fuel system as given in the drawing

    So from a technical point the regulations are pretty rigid, the only escpe is the external Preesure relief valve (PRV) across the high pressure pump. A trick to increase fuel flow under certain conditions? Perhaps SF deem it necessary in this area?

    To increase flow rate is to increase the rate at which you use it, as its limited to 100kg/hr then the only way i can see it benefiting is they have made the engine super efficient.

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  24. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Formula Junior

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    I think the idea of the rules is to reward efficiency, but AFAIU it's the 100kg/hr rule that's the issue: an hour is an awfully long time in an F1 race so that leaves plenty of wiggle room for using a higher rate for some of the hour and a lower rate for the rest.
     
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  25. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    Inevitable they are all doing that, that wouldnt give the performance gain imo

    5.1.5 Below 10500rpm the fuel mass flow must not exceed Q (kg/h) = 0.009 N(rpm)+ 5.5.
    and the sporting regulations

    30.5 No car is permitted to consume more than 110kg of fuel, from the time at which the signal to start the race is given to the time each car crosses the Line after the end-of-race signal has been given. Other than in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards), any driver exceeding this limit will be disqualified from the race results.
    the interesting piece i have found is the contradiction in the regulations

    Interestingly

    5.1.4 states "must not use more than 100kg/h", the appendix issue 11 says - may not. Perhaps they determined it may exceed that!!

    Red faces somewhere!
     
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