A Ferrari spy led to the FIA investigating the Ferrari engine last season, according to a report. Someone unhappy with the team ratted them out.
Disturbing reports are trickling in from Italy that Ferrari was spied on by insider(s) which led to protests by rivals regarding their engine last season. The protests eventually led to FIA prohibiting the Italian outfit from using the engine in question.
According to the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, someone with knowledge of Ferrari did the spying on the behest of FIA. This is what they write in their rather dramatic piece on the alleged espionage (translated from Italian).
“Last fall, a surgical industrial espionage took shape. Triggered by an antagonistic team of Ferrari with the complicity of someone who knows the most secret aspects of Ferrari.”
They go on to claim that a FIA technician has revealed these details to the newspaper. If found true, this could kick up a major storm in the corridors of power at FIA and Formula One.
“To admit it is a technician of the International Federation (FIA) who claims anonymity while telling how the federal investigation precisely at the instigation of a team took off.”
Ferrari was banned from using the much superior engine
After the news of Ferrari using an illegal engine broke out, an official protest was lodged with the FIA. Investigations took place, and Ferrari were found guilty and subsequently banned from using the engine in question. Recently, it was revealed that Ferrari and FIA have an agreement to keep the details of the investigation classified.
The engine ban led to Ferrari drastically losing power, and the performances started to dwindle. From winning three races on the trot Belgium, Italy and Singapore, Ferrari won none of the races thereafter. They eventually finished a whopping 235 points behind the Constructors Champions Mercedes.
The Maranello-based outfit is still struggling this season, with Team Boss Mattia Binotto admitting there is no short-term fix to it. The SF1000 is not performing to its capacity, designed for the more powerful (banned) engine of last season. From competing with Mercedes last season, they are now competing with the likes of Racing Point and McLaren
There have been suggestions that a overhaul of the organisational structure is being considered the Silverstone GP next weekend. Hopefully, this will spring a turnaround for the most successful team in Formula One history.