FIA 'not satisfied' with legality of Ferrari engine, but defends settlement

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The FIA said that it settled with Ferrari after being unable to build a "conclusive case" against the team over last season's engine

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The FIA has said that it is “not fully satisifed” that last season’s Ferrari engine was being operated legally, but has defended its confidential settlement with the team.

Seven of the ten Formula 1 teams have threatened legal action over the decision, which imposed no penalty on Ferrari.

In a new statement, the governing body of Formula 1 said that it wasn’t confident that it could prove that Ferrari had been in breach of the rules, following accusations from rival teams.

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It insisted that its private agreement with Scuderia Ferrari was well within its “Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR)”, adding that it had acted in accordance with its own regulations and would continue protect the sport and its reputation through its role as regulator.

The settlement was announced last week. It was followed, on Wednesday, by a joint statement from the seven non-Ferrari powered teams, which called into question the legality of the private settlement reached by the FIA and Ferrari, and threatened to pursue the case in court.

Though the FIA has kept the exact details of the arrangement with Ferrari secret, it has now published further details of the matter in response to the teams.

“Following yesterday’s announcement by seven F1 teams, the FIA would like to make the following clarifications:

“The FIA has conducted detailed technical analysis on the Scuderia Ferrari Power Unit as it is entitled to do for any competitor in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

“The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times. The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations.

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“The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.

“To avoid the negative consequences that a long litigation would entail especially in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of such litigations and in the best interest of the Championship and of its stakeholders, the FIA, in compliance with Article 4 (ii) of its Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (JDR), decided to enter into an effective and dissuasive settlement agreement with Ferrari to terminate the proceedings.

“This type of agreement is a legal tool recognised as an essential component of any disciplinary system and is used by many public authorities and other sport federations in the handling of disputes.

“The confidentiality of the terms of the settlement agreement is provided for by Article 4 (vi) of the JDR.

“The FIA will take all necessary action to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

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