Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has confirmed the FIA has fitted a second sensor on the team’s battery but denies it is costing performance.
At the Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari’s unique battery layout was called into question as rival teams were concerned it could circumvent regulations about how energy is deployed. The FIA investigated at the time and was satisfied that nothing illegal was taking place, but has continued to monitor the situation.
Arrivabene admits a second FIA sensor has now been added to the Ferrari battery but insists it has not caused any loss in power unit performance, despite the competitive order compared to Mercedes appearing to shift from the Singapore Grand Prix onward.
“In the straight, we were absolutely ahead in Singapore, and in Russia, we were more or less like Mercedes in the straight,” Arrivabene told RTL in Suzuka. “Where we lost was in the slow-speed corners … Not at all (on the straight) and we have the data to confirm that.
“Talking about the sensor … Yeah, our battery layout, it’s quite complex, so we agreed with the request that we had from the FIA to work together with them and to facilitate their work, that we add a second sensor. But it doesn’t change the performance of our car in any case.”
While confident no performance has been lost, Arrivabene is concerned the FIA’s work has become public knowledge as he fears Ferrari’s competitors could learn from the information.
“I think it’s strange that everybody knows about the second sensor, because as I said our battery is quite complex, but it’s also an intellectual property of Ferrari. I hope that because everybody knows about the second sensor, in future, everybody is not going to be informed about our project. That could be a serious matter.”
Sebastian Vettel was the lead Ferrari during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday but was over 0.8s slower than championship leader Lewis Hamilton.