2019 Ferrari cheating scandal punishment revealed

Ferrari, the longest tenured team in Formula One, experienced one of their worst seasons in 2020. This surprised many fans as the 2019 season was quite successful with the Italian team finishing second in the Constructors Championship. However, after the culmination of the 2019 season, it was revealed that Ferrari had violated technical regulations involving fuel flow and oil burning using a clever system that manipulated the sensors monitoring these rates. The FIA soon investigated the scenario further and culminated in a mysterious agreement with the team. Parts of this mysterious agreement are now being revealed, some of which might explain Ferrari’s poor performance in 2020. 

Written By Aryan Desai, Edited By Daniel Yi

Current FIA steward and former Formula One driver Mika Salo, disclosed some of the punishments Ferrari were given in an interview while discussing the 2021 Alfa Romeo Formula One car. Alfa Romeo, using the Ferrari engine, also suffered in 2020 and Salo was asked how the outlook for the team looked as they approach the 2021 season. 

Salo reportedly said, “They suffered from Ferrari’s cheat last year because they had Ferrari engines and were forced to use less fuel, so I think so Alfa Romeo may be in a good position if they can perform at their best in the race this season,”. Based on this statement, fans can assume that Ferrai’s poor performance in 2020 was not necessarily due to a developmental concern, but rather a consequence the Italian team had to face because of their cheating scandal in 2019. Being forced to use less fuel could explain Ferrari’s worsened race pace as they most likely had to rely on “Lean” fuel settings for longer durations during a given race.

A few months ago, reports emerged that Ferrari would be given special provisions to use new engines in order to amplify their performance for the 2021 season. Salo also responded to this development saying, “I don’t know if it’s a new engine but they’re allowed to use it to its full power. They were not allowed last year,”. During the 2019 season, Ferrari demonstrated their straight line speed dominance on the track which disappeared in 2020. The FIA placing restrictions on how much power Ferrari could draw from their engine could explain how the 2020 car was slower than the 2019 car. 

The complete details of this agreement still have not been revealed. It remains unclear if there exists another side of this agreement that might have benefitted Ferrari or saved them from a more severe punishment. But for now, the Tifosi can hope to see Ferrari excelling in 2021 and returning to the strength of the “Prancing Horse”. 

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