THE FERRARI Formula One team is being monitored by the FIA at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, as F1 bosses investigate claims that the Italian team has broken rules.
If found guilty of cheating, Ferrari could be excluded from the Formula One World Championship.
The drama concerns the car’s second battery system that is used to store energy. Rival teams fear it could help Ferrari get around restrictions on how much energy can be recovered, stored and used, potentially giving it a performance advantage on track.
Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s race director, is reported to have examined the Ferrari battery design and found no evidence of foul play. However the governing body has fitted extra hardware to the race cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, to monitor the performance of the energy storage system.
A spokesman for the Ferrari team said only: “We do not comment on speculation.”
Vettel, who is currently lying second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2018 drivers championship, said: “There are always rumours and this time they are about us. It is the FIA’s job to look after everyone. We trust them to do that. For us it is pretty straightforward: it is outside talk.”
“We have legality topics come up regularly,” said Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ executive director. “Some are more controversial but it’s the daily business of the FIA to check what the teams do, it is the obligations of the teams to comply with the regulation and this is an ongoing process.
“I have great confidence with whatever issues are coming up, the engine or the chassis, the FIA has been on top of it. This is, as far as I understand, the process that is taking place as we speak and we’ll see what the outcome is.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal said: “I’m sure the FIA have all the competence to be able to measure, administer and look at the car that is presented for scrutineering and during a grand prix weekend that it complies with the regulations. Of course it’s the team’s obligation to ensure that that happens.”