Verstappen 'cheating' jibe draws sharp response from Ferrari CEO

Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri lashed out at Max Verstappen‘s suggestion that the Scuderia had cheated to gain its power advantage over the course of the 2019 F1 season.

An engine upgrade introduced after the summer break vaulted Ferrari into a position of dominance, particularly in qualifying as the six pole positions between Belgium and Mexico were won by either Charles Leclerc or Sebastian Vettel.

The run was ended at the United States GP, where Ferrari struggled for pace in a race that immediately followed the FIA issuing a technical directive regarding fuel flow systems – seen widely as an attempt to get to the bottom of Ferrari’s sudden gains.

Speaking after that race, Verstappen said of Ferrari’s struggles: “That’s what happens when you stop cheating.”

And Camilleri revealed the impact of Verstappen’s words, both inside the team and outside, while taking aim at his comments further.

He said: “Why should I lend credibility to a 22-year-old?

“Sensational declarations generally don’t take you very far. Max is 22 years old, why give him credibility when we’re Ferrari?

“Sometimes silence is more powerful. This is my point of view.

“Verstappen wanted to put incredible pressure on Ferrari and Mattia Binotto said we had FIA inspectors everywhere.

“His words created all sorts of problems within the team.

“I understand his frustration at the fact that sometimes we remain silent, I fully understand it.

“But I think we are Ferrari and we must avoid the controversy, because if you don’t it’s like playing a losing game, and I don’t think we should stoop down to this level.”