Contradiction to UK: Germans report FIA didn’t bother investigating Ferrari PU

Reading through the Reddit pages and in particular the F1 subreddit today, I noticed an interesting link to Auto Motor und Sport, a very reliable Formula 1 source,  who are claiming that Ferrari’s Power Unit had not been investigated by the FIA after the Mexican Grand Prix.

This, in turn, contradicts racefans.net paid reporter and well respected F1 journalist Dieter Rencken who has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he reported from 300 Grand Prix plus other motorsport categories.

In his Mexican GP paddock diary column for racefans.net, Dieter claimed that ” the FIA inspected the system with the full co-operation of Ferrari”, and that the source had “knowledge of the engine’s workings”.

The rumour in the paddock as to how the Ferrari engine is so much more powerful than the rest lays in a theory that the combustion engine receives oil from the intercooler by an ‘accidental’ porous trait of the metal used in that system.

If such a system had been discovered and proven to be designed into the architecture of the PU, Ferrari would be culpable of ‘cheating’ thereby at the mercy of the FIA.

But for the FIA to determine such a breach in regulation, their investigators would have to look at the Power Unit themselves, and Dieter Rencken claimed that this was exactly what they did in Mexico. Further, according to Rencken and his source: “there were no discernible high-pressure points within the system from which fluids could leak.”

“Three distinctly different liquids are used for cooling.” – therefore the FIA didn’t see any oil being used illegally for oil burning in the combustion part of the engine.

Now AMuS say that this isn’t the case, and in-fact the FIA hasn’t investigated Ferrari at all. To quote AMuS yesterday:

“Rumours that the FIA stewards had investigated the Ferrari engine for alleged illegal tricks after the Mexico GP have turned out to be untrue. The FIA stated on request: “There was no reason to investigate the Ferrari engine. Only when a protest is filed will we act.” ”

So it’s strange that according to Rencken, an ‘official’ has investigated Ferrari, then we hear from the FIA – officially – that this isn’t the case. Who isn’t telling the truth? Certainly Rencken and AMuS should be considered reliable sources to TJ13, perhaps the FIA less so.

When asked about the possibility of a protest by Autosport on the Mexico grid, Binotto said: “I would be happy because then we can show how stupid they are, and stop the rumours.” 

So clearly Ferrari would be happy to proceed with an investigation, feeling that their case is water-tight. Maybe Mercedes and Red Bull could be holding back their card to protest, assuming that Ferrari’s power advantage will spill over into next season, by which time a protest or ‘clarification’ with the subsequent investigation might be considered more useful than protesting at the end of this season where no advantage could be gained.

TJ13 reported earlier this week that Mercedes now knows how Ferrari are gaining their power advantage (READ THAT HERE), and will themselves be implementing a similar system for 2020. Smoke and mirrors perhaps, but also maybe a warning for Ferrari not to continue with their power advantage into 2020 winter testing.

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