Mercedes did the research that triggered Red Bull to ask the FIA to clarify the Formula 1 engine regulations during the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
Currently, despite the Ferrari denials, the prevailing wisdom is that the rules clarification is why the Maranello team’s power advantage suddenly vanished two weeks ago.
Max Verstappen even accused Ferrari of “cheating”, prompting a furious reaction by Mattia Binotto.
“[Max] pushed it a bit too far with that and he knows it,” Helmut Marko told Auto Bild when asked about Verstappen’s comment. “But the topic is also very emotional for him.”
Indeed, while most would like to see Ferrari put up a true challenge to Mercedes’ recent title dominance, the issue of fair play is an important one.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is quoted as saying: “If someone had done something that was clarified by the technical directive, that is a clear foul. We are not talking about a grey area.”
Marko revealed how, amid Ferrari’s clear advantage, the ‘suspect’ fuel flow measurements evolved into an official clarification by Red Bull, “Mercedes had researched in the area and we had the courage to make the official request to the FIA.”