Ferrari was one of four teams to take part in a two-day tire test after the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to help develop the 2022 Pirelli tire.
But it turned out that competitors doubted whether Ferrari fully complied with the requirements of the rules in how it decided to work with different floor specifications during one day of testing.
On Wednesday morning, the team was led by Charles Leclerc, and in the afternoon – Carlos Science, and images of two drivers ran with different characteristics of the floor.
The rules for testing F1 tires are quite strict with respect to the teams eligible to participate, and competitors were wary of the fact that the F1-75 Sainz seemed to be equipped with a new floor specification (below).
The recently revised Article 10.8 of the Formula One Sports Regulations sets out the requirements for teams as to which parts they can use, and prohibits teams from launching new experimental parts.
The rules state: “Cars on these tests must use only the components of the specification that have been used in at least one (1) race or TCC [testing of current cars] this year’s championship. These cars must fully comply with the provisions of the Technical Regulations. “
It adds: “No details for testing, component changes or changes to the setup will be allowed, giving the competitor any information not related to the tire test.
“Changes in mechanical adjustment, driver control changes and component changes are permitted if it has been previously agreed with the tire supplier that they are necessary for a proper tire evaluation or to complete a tire test.”
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, floor detail
Photo: Davide Cavazza
It is clear that the problem of the Imola test revolves around the floor specification that was conducted in the afternoon.
While Leclerc’s floor is considered a version that participated in the Bahrain Grand Prix, there is uncertainty as to whether Science Park has been put into operation before.
To comply with the rules, Ferrari would need to run components on one of two pre-season tests, if it did not participate in the race.
However, one aspect that may come into play is exactly what the definition of “components” in the rules actually means when it comes to customized design.
Ferrari declined to disclose full information about where and when Sainz Park was held before, but the team is confident that it is fully compliant with the rules and quite calm about the situation.
Autosport understands that at least one team has contacted the FIA to verify the legitimacy of what Ferrari has done, but others are scrutinizing the matter.
Sources indicated that the governing body is now in dialogue with Ferrari to find out what it conducted during testing to ensure that the rules were fully complied with.
Ferrari’s actions on the tests take place at a time when teams are making every effort to develop their floors to try to single out the guinea pig.
Ferrari’s new floor, which is at the center of the debate, has a revised edge, dropping the McLaren-style wing it appropriated earlier in the season.
It also has a bar mounted under the floor, similar to Red Bull, which was seen as a key component that helps prevent car jumps.