The FIA investigated Ferrari in Monaco, deemed legal; New monitoring systems installed on the Ferrari’s
The FIA might have accidentally stated where their inside information came from to justify the investigation; Mercedes has concerns that source was brought to light
The F1 paddock was under the impression that Scuderia Ferrari might have found a way of delivering more than the allowed 120kw from it’s MGU-K.
The FIA opened an investigation into the F1 team following the concerns that were made aware to them from competing teams. It was deemed ‘legal’ in Monaco. However, the FIA have added monitoring systems to the Ferrari going forward.
Whiting was made aware of the possible legality issue when Mercedes technical director James Allison spoke with the media on the subject. Whiting then told the media himself that Lorenzo Sassi forwarded “a little bit of information” to the FIA for their investigation.
Lorenzo Sassi is now working for Mercedes. However, he was previously worked on engines for Scuderia Ferrari.
Mercedes isn’t happy that note was dropped to the press. Mercedes AMG Petronas principal Toto Wolff stated that he has concerns that Whiting announced where the information came from to the media.
“I didn’t think it was any secret,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting stated. “In fact when we had a little chat with the guys [media] yesterday, it was they who came up with the Ferrari man’s name. I don’t think it was any secret.
“The fact that James … it was wrong to say that he was a whistleblower or something like that. 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 [due to his period of gardening leave after leaving Ferrari], which in Formula One terms is quite old.”
The investigation took awhile. Why?
“I prefer not to use the word investigate, we were really trying to get to the point where we would be entirely satisfied [it was legal],” he said. “But the power being delivered to the MGU-K is correct.
“It was difficult to explain exactly what we were seeing. That’s why we kept going through it with Ferrari, because it’s a very complex and totally different system to everybody else’s. In much the way we do with the other bits in the car, we have to understand these things and it took us a bit longer to understand what was going on.”
“Their duty is to satisfy us that the car complies, as you know, but they’ve been finding it hard to satisfy us. But by the time we got to here and looking at data, software changes that were implemented, it becomes clearer exactly where we were and after the first day of running we were then able to say ‘OK we’re happy now. We understand it now’.”
Is the investigation over?
“I can’t say that with complete certainty at the moment. We want them to put extra monitoring on, but at the moment we’re having to do it in a rather painstaking way that takes a little longer than we would’ve liked.”
“I think we will arrive at the same conclusion I would imagine but, in Canada they will be providing a change of software which will enable us to … I’m hesitating slightly simply because I’m not quite up to speed with the exact technicalities of this because I’m not an expert of this.”
“But what we’re trying to do is to monitor what the difference is between the two halves of the battery are, and that’s the crux of the matter because other systems treat their battery as one. Ferrari, it’s one battery, but they treat it as two. And that’s really the fundamental difference between the two. I don’t think it’s a secret I’m giving away there.”