Ferrari are being scrutinised on several fronts after their Halo mounted mirror concept was deemed illegal, now they are being suspected of tinkering with the battery in a manner that has given them a power boost in qualifying, as well as the long oil burning saga that raises its head every time a red car puffs.
The Halo mounted mirrors had an elaborate winglet add-on which was “clearly not related to looking at cars behind you” and has since been banned as from the next race in Monaco.
Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting explained the reasoning behind the ban, “It’s a liberal interpretation of the word ‘mounting’ that’s how they become legal, because there is no bodywork allowed in the area in the upper part of that.”
“The interpretation hinges on whether we think that’s a mounting or not. We somehow think not so we’re going to take some action on that.”
“They [Ferrari] think it [the winglet] contributes to the rigidity of the mirror. It’s just a matter of interpretation and such a tenuous interpretation is not something we’re happy with.”
When asked to confirm that the Ferrari mirrors were indeed banned, Whiting replied, “Yes, you could say that. If it was a clear breach of the regulations, they wouldn’t have been allowed to use it [in Barcelona]. But we’ll clarify that to everybody.”
And the winglet mirrors be in Monaco? “No. If we do we’re probably going to see the stewards about it. The technical directive will make it clear.”
“I doubt they would be there if there wasn’t a measurable aero advantage, but these days that doesn’t have to be big,” responded Whiting when asked if the system provided Ferrari with an advantage.
Meanwhile, Auto Motor und Sport report that teams are considering protesting Ferrari in Monaco as the Italian team are believed to have a unique way of extracting around 20 bhp from the car’s battery. An exploit that has FIA engineers baffled for now.
Add to that the belching of smoke episodes amid the oil burning saga, throw in the extra paddle on Sebastian Vettel’s steering wheel and it is clear that Ferrari are either pushing the envelope or pretending to do so for whatever reason.
Big Question: Are Ferrari bending the rules a little too far?