Date published: November 11 2019
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says if any team had breached the FIA’s fuel flow regulations that would have been “foul play”.
With rivals questioning Ferrari’s power unit, the FIA issued a Technical Directive ahead of the United States Grand Prix that outlined the rules relating to fuel flow.
The FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis highlighted Article 5.10.5 which states that “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.”
The TD was followed by a drop-off in pace by Ferrari only throwing fuel on the fire as to whether they were operating outside the rules.
Team boss Mattia Binotto has insisted they weren’t, reportedly even going as far as to threatening legal action after Max Verstappen blatantly accused them of “cheating”.
However, Wolff says it would have amounted to cheating if any team had been found playing around with the fuel flow.
“If somebody was doing what the technical directive clarified, it would have been foul play,” he told Autosport.
“And the way the technical directive was formulated it was a severe breach of regulations, so there is not even any talk about any grey areas.”
That’s a sentiment echoed by Red Bull’s Christian Horner.
“The TD was very clear,” he said.
“I think that is not to say that anybody was doing anything, but if they were it would obviously be illegal.
“The power unit is an incredibly complex piece of machinery both from a hardware and software perspective, and the clarifications that we have requested were standard stuff that goes backwards and forwards continually between the teams and the FIA.
“So it is always good to get clarity before wasting effort.”