FIA racing judge and former F1 driver Mika Salo has revealed confidential information about the FIA’s deal with Ferrari over their controversial 2019 power unit and says Ferrari has been penalized for the entire F1 2020 season.
The FIA reached an agreement with Ferrari in early 2020 after a detailed analysis of their 2019 power unit, but were reluctant to reveal what exactly it was all about after numerous inquiries they received from other teams over the past season.
Ferrari was in the spotlight in the second half of 2019 due to the suspiciously high power of their power unit in qualifying mode, and Red Bull showed a direct inquiry to the FIA that they suspect Ferrari has found a way to fool the fuel flow sensors.
The FIA subsequently issued several technical directives, but Ferrari was not found guilty so their power unit was marked as legal.
But the FIA issued a statement on February 28, 2020 saying they had completed an analysis of Ferrari’s power unit and reached a private ‘agreement’ with the Italian team.
In a live Twitch broadcast with rally driver Kristian Sohlberg, Salo revealed that Ferrari had to use less fuel than the maximum allowed 100 kg/h for the entire F1 season in 2020, which was a penalty for using too much fuel for most of 2019 when they managed to fool one FIA sensor.
The FIA has introduced a second fuel flow sensor for the F1 season in 2020, which must never detect more than 100 kg/h.
If Salo’s claims are true, Ferrari suffered a double blow in 2020 because not only did they lose the 2019 advantage when they injected more fuel but they had to use less fuel than all their rivals because of the FIA penalty.
Collateral victims are also Ferrari customers Haas and Alfa Romeo who also experienced a dramatic drop in competitiveness and fought with Williams for last places.
Salo was already in the spotlight last year because he gave confidential information to a Finnish commentator as a FIA judge during the Russian Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton received two five-second penalties for test starts and the Finnish commentator announced this penalty before the official announcement of race control.
2020 vs 2019 BELGIAN GP TIMES COMPARISON REVEALS FERRARI PU POWER DROP
The fast track of Spa Francorchamps has revealed a dramatic drop in the power of Ferrari’s power unit compared to its rivals from Mercedes, Honda and Renault, and the Ferrari team is the only one to set a slower time in 2020 than 2019.
The table shows the best weekend times of 2019 (Q1, Q2 or Q3) and the best weekend times of 2020 which shows that the two teams improved dramatically, for about four seconds – Williams and Toro Rosso Honda, who recorded a very weak performances in 2019.
Five teams gained about two seconds thanks to improvements to the chassis and engine – McLaren, Racing Point, Renault and Mercedes, which in 2019 and 2020 had very good performances on this track.
But the three teams with Ferrari engines stand out as they have shown convincingly the least progress or in the case of Ferrari, they have become slower.
Haas managed to gain nine tenths, Alfa Romeo four tenths while Ferrari was almost half a second slower than in 2019.
The difference compared to other engine manufacturers is more than clear, but Ferrari’s situation is even worse than with Haas and Alfa due to the chassis, which in 2020 had much more aerodynamic drag, which on a track like Spa is fatal due to the first and third sectors as drivers spend most of the time on the full throttle.
2020 BELGIAN GP – BEST GAINS COMPARED TO 2019 BELGIAN GP
|Team||Engine||2019 best lap||2020 best lap||Difference|