Mercedes and Red Bull are both happy with the FIA’s investigations into claims Ferrari is using its energy recovery system (ERS) illegally at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Rumors into Ferrari’s ERS use first surfaced in Barcelona, with it alleged that the team’s unique battery layout could allow it to bypass an FIA sensor and exceed the 120kW limit that can be deployed by the MGU-K. In response to such claims, and despite the absence of an official complaint from rival teams, the FIA has asked Ferrari to run an additional piece of hardware — understood to be another downstream sensor — during this weekend’s event in Monaco.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is confident that the FIA is able to monitor and analyze such a complex issue without it slipping through during scrutineering.
“We’re not an engine supplier, so maybe Toto [Wolff] can answer more on the engine specifics but there have obviously been some rumors that no doubt you guys are cottoning onto as well,” Horner said. “I’m sure that the FIA have all the competence to be able to able to measure, administer and look at the car that’s presented for scrutineering and during a grand prix weekend, and of course it’s the team’s obligation to ensure that that happens.”
Wolff himself says it is not unusual for teams to question what their rivals are doing from a technical perspective.
“Yes, Christian is absolutely right,” Wolff added. “We have legality topics come up regularly. Some are more controversial but it’s the daily business of the FIA to check what the teams do. It is the obligation of the teams to comply with the regulations and this is an ongoing process.
“I have great confidence with whatever issues are coming up, be it on the engine or the chassis, the FIA has been on top of it a lot. And as far as I understand this is a process that’s taking place as we speak and we will see what the outcome is.”
Ferrari started the season with back-to-back victories but has not won since Bahrain, and also enjoyed a run of three consecutive pole positions from Bahrain to Azerbaijan. Sebastian Vettel played down the additional scrutiny after FP2 in Monaco, when the German finished third fastest behind the two Red Bulls.