Date published: December 15 2019
Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto believes the series of checks and clearances on their engine in 2019 proves they weren’t cheating.
The Scuderia’s low-drag approach gave them a straight-line speed advantage in 2019, but questions were asked when that surged to a dominant level after the summer break.
Belgium kicked off a run of six poles in a row for Ferrari, but engine-related technical directives in Austin and Brazil coincided with a sudden drop in qualifying performance for the team.
But despite the rumours of foul play that were started by this Ferrari were never handed any punishment from the FIA, and Binotto says this proves that their engine was legal all along.
“If I look at the whole season, we have been one of the most checked teams, that was before or after the technical directives,” he told Autosport.com.
“And when you got a performance advantage, and certainly we got it during the whole season, we have been the most checked.
“Being checked I think it’s normal, it is somehow good because through the checks you are proving your legality.
“After the technical directives, the number of checks on our cars have multiplied.
“The reviews have been shown to the FIA the details have been discussed.
“So whatever could have been done through collaboration with the FIA has been done.
“We have never changed our way of operating the engine for the last part of the season, showing that somehow our power unit has full legality.
“Otherwise had that not been the case, if there would have been any non-legality, it would have come out at the very first check.”
Ferrari’s CEO Louis Camilleri pointed to their reputation overall as a company, and so wasn’t happy with the suggestions of cheating.
“Ferrari is a public company. It’s known worldwide,” he explained.
“Integrity and compliance is key. I think people need to factor that in when they try to look at these allegations.”
Ferrari were fined €50,000 at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi after the fuel in Charles Leclerc’s car pre-race didn’t match the amount declared by the team.
Unsurprisingly Ferrari’s rivals were expecting a harsher penalty – Red Bull principal Christian Horner saw it as a clear disqualification from the race, but Binotto maintains that everything was correct from their side.
“There have been plenty of measurements, which were all coherent,” he said.
“Only one measurement was not matching, of which we were not aware, which we have not seen and which we have been informed about by scrolling through the document issued at the end of the race.
“At that point, you cannot verify anymore because the fuel was consumed.
“On that Sunday all data was coherent except one [point] but there was not even a way to come back on what happened.
“No one can explain what happened on that measurement.”