March 5, 2020 / 1:10 PM / 24 days ago

Motor racing-FIA could not prove Ferrari's 2019 engine broke F1 rules

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Formula One’s governing body suspected Ferrari’s engine was not always operating within the rules last year but lacked conclusive evidence, the FIA said on Thursday.

The FIA explained in a statement that it had therefore reached a private settlement to avoid lengthy litigation and an uncertain outcome.

The confidential settlement, announced last week on the last day of pre-season testing, angered non-Ferrari powered teams who issued a joint statement on Wednesday demanding clarity and threatening legal action.

The FIA gave more information to try and clarify the situation a day later.

“The extensive and thorough investigations undertaken during the 2019 season raised suspicions that the Scuderia Ferrari PU (power unit) could be considered as not operating within the limits of the FIA regulations at all times,” it said.

“The Scuderia Ferrari firmly opposed the suspicions and reiterated that its PU always operated in compliance with the regulations.

“The FIA was not fully satisfied but decided that further action would not necessarily result in a conclusive case due to the complexity of the matter and the material impossibility to provide the unequivocal evidence of a breach.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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