The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), which includes representation from Ferrari, has given its unanimous support to the FIA’s controversial handling of the recent Ferrari engine row.
After FIA president Jean Todt instigated an investigation into Ferrari’s power unit, the FIA released a statement last week saying it had come to a confidential settlement with the Italian team. The lack of details in the statement caused seven F1 teams to issue a response demanding more transparency and reserving the right to seek legal redress if the FIA did not offer “full and proper disclosure” on the issue.
The FIA responded with a second statement, revealing it had held suspicions over the legality of Ferrari’s power unit following its investigation but decided to settle the matter privately because of the “impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach”.
The WMSC — which features Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto among its representatives and has no other representation from any F1 team — met on Friday and, among other issues, discussed the ongoing engine row. In a statement released on Friday night, it confirmed it supported the FIA’s handling of the situation and appeared to take aim at the seven teams in opposition.
“The council expressed unanimous support for the FIA President and the FIA Technical Department in regard to the overall management of the case, and strongly opposed any comments that undermine the reputation and image of the FIA and the Formula One World Championship,” the statement read.
The WMSC also approved an increase in the minimum weight of F1 cars this season from 745kg to 746kg as a result of new elements to monitor the legality of power units, believed to be related to concerns over the legality of the Ferrari last year.
In addition, it confirmed drivers would be now be allowed to change their helmet design race to race, overturning a regulation set in 2015 that attempted to create more consistency in designs to help fans spot drivers.
The WMSC also approved a plan to allow teams to use F1’s 2021-spec tyres, which are fitted to 18-inch rims, at the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi.