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Let's Talk: The Ferrari Controversy.

* Written by Himanshu Kumar.





Introduction:


F1 has always been a high-spirit game full of adrenaline and entertainment. This sport has been around for a while now, and the growing popularity of this kind of race is rising at a very fast pace. From the legendary drives to best teams taking on the world championship among 10 teams and 20 drivers all fighting for the title and podium wins in every 22 grand prix is the target. The world's most prestigious motor racing competition and the most watched yearly sporting series are both known as Formula 1 racing, which first debuted in 1950: The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship, which includes 21 races in 21 nations on four continents from March to December. Formula One World Championship Limited, a subsidiary of Formula 1 (F1), owns the sole commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

As every sport is regulated by a law body, FIA regulated all the races from rules on the track to teams and the engines used in the cars among the 10 teams which compete in the F1 championship. There is always a team which stays at the top, teams like Mercedes, Ferrari and Red bull have been dominating the sport with their best cars and engine design. F1 has also faced several controversies regarding the rules and regulations. Teams are often found to be in some violation by the FIA, however, the punishment cost the teams huge losses and maybe a whole championship for the season. A common misconception about Ferrari's role in Formula One is that the engine is everything. Enzo Ferrari once succinctly stated, "I make engines and attach wheels to them." But for many years, this wasn't the case because Maranello's competitors had stronger engines. Then, in what seemed to be a turn of events, the 2019 Ferrari was faster in a straight line and had an advantage in power throughout qualifying. As soon as their rivals started complaining, the FIA investigated the fuel system in response to a Red Bull request for a technical explanation. After that, the investigation could not establish any wrongdoing, but suspicion persisted. A poorly executed FIA announcement only served to further agitate the situation. It is undeniable that Ferrari was the greatest in the industry for several years due to their 12-cylinder engines, which were the most potent on the grid.


The Regulations and Suspicions.


The 2014 regulations aimed to boost engine efficiency by employing two-hybrid systems and a fuel-limited V6 combustion engine. Because the present power units are incredibly complex. The engine development teams' major challenge stems from this latter element. The issue is that the hybrid output is capped at 161hp (120kw). Given enough energy recovery from both hybrid systems, this output is available to the driver whenever the car is no longer traction limited, or when the driver is at full throttle. However, hybrid systems have proven difficult to optimize and have only recently developed into reliable systems. Following Ferrari's improvement in performance during the opening races of the 2018 season, competitors Mercedes and Red Bull started to make assumptions about the Italian team's possible use of illegal techniques for enhancing power unit performance.

The FIA supposedly added an additional sensor to the claimed second battery on the Ferrari car in Monaco in 2018, according to rival teams' speculation, but race director Charlie Whiting vehemently denied the team was using such a solution at the time. 2019 September Back-to-back victories raise more doubts

At Spa and Monza, Charles Leclerc defeated both Mercedes vehicles that were in first place in the championship to win his first and second career races. He also claimed Ferrari's first victory of the season. Rival teams paid close notice to the enhanced Ferrari's performance, especially in straight lines. [1]Toto Wolff, the head of the Mercedes team, asserted that while the other three power unit producers were engaged in a level playing field of competition, Ferrari's unit was performing up to 50 horsepower better than the others. "An international sports authority has to conduct itself in a manner that upholds the greatest standards of integrity, transparency, and governance." We strongly oppose the FIA signing a confidential settlement deal with Ferrari to wrap up this situation after months of investigations that were carried out by the FIA only after inquiries made by other teams. To ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equitably, we, therefore, declare publicly our common commitment to pursuing complete and proper transparency in this matter. We act on behalf of Formula 1 participants, spectators, and stakeholders. Additionally, we reserve our right to file a lawsuit under the FIA's due process and in front of the appropriate courts. Following a probe into the team's engine, a confidential settlement has been reached between Ferrari and the FIA, which oversees Formula 1. Rivals had questioned the legality of the Ferrari engine from the previous season, which had a huge power advantage over the rest of the field. [2]


In The End


The FIA has now revealed a deal that will see Ferrari supporting officials with research into greener engine solutions after "thorough technical inspections. Ferrari has consistently insisted that its engine is legitimate. The settlement, the specifics of which are being kept a secret, has neither refuted nor backed this. The FIA declares that it has ended its analysis of the operation of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit and achieved an agreement with the team after conducting extensive technical investigations.

Teams' ability to run certain things during tire testing is still strictly regulated. Teams are prohibited from experimenting with new parts during tire testing sessions under Article 10.8 of the F1 Sporting Regulations. They are only permitted to use parts that have already been used at Grand Prix weekends or preseason testing. Maranello might have discovered an opening in the rules where the concept of "components" is ambiguous if the design of the said component is changed. To prevent this, the FIA implemented Technical Directive 04/19 this year, which requires that the fuel load be declared to the FIA in advance by a specific time on Sunday, a few hours before the race, and that the FIA can conduct random weight checks to see whether the fuel load in the car matches the declaration. The car's fuel is removed, it is weighed, it is then filled up again, and it is weighed once again. The discrepancy ought to line up with the declared load. After the race, the vehicle could then be measured once more.







*The author is a law scholar from Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University, India.
















(The image used here is for representative purposes only)



















References:



[1] https://www.planetf1.com/news/ferrari-punished-cheating-scandal/

[2] https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/ferrari-engine-scrutiny-teams-fia/4559167/