In a recent interview Jean Todt, the president of FIA said that he would love to reveal the information that was asked to be revealed by many, in regards of the controversial agreement with Scuderia Ferrari regarding legality of their 2019 engine and sanctions, but stated his unable to do so because the team from Maranello is stopping him from doing so. He expressed he felt FIA did the right thing by “going public” with the agreement between them and Ferrari rather than keeping it quiet, but this decision nevertheless was not received well by most in the Formula One world.
Many teams protested this decision, wanting to know the details of it. Todt said he encouraged the rival teams of Ferrari to do so and bring the matter up by protesting the Maranello team.
As he said: “If you ask me, I would love to be able to give all the details of the situation, but they [Ferrari] opposed. So, I mean, they have been sanctioned but we cannot give the detail of the sanction. And clearly we could have said nothing”
He added: But we felt that it would have been wrong not to say that the Ferrari case had been discussed and that there had been a sanction. Honestly, it's very simple. Very simple. We have put so much effort to come to our conclusions, which they [the teams] do not agree. Unfortunately, it is very much a fait accompli of technical matters, because our technicians say 'we cannot for sure demonstrate as much as we should that they [Ferrari] were not legal’."
Initially, it was Mercedes,Red Bull, Renault, McLaren, Williams, Racing Point and AlphaTauri who protested this decision all together. Shortly after Mercedes decided to pull out from the protest, leaving the rest of the teams with decisions on what to do next in that matter. Jean Todt expressed their call by saying that he thinks FIA has acted in the best way for the sport, but they’re unable to answer the teams’ call to be more transparent about the situation.
Todt said: “I have spoken individually with some of the seven teams. One of them [Mercedes] decided it was completely out of it, despite having been one of the leaders. Since then, I never heard about any other state of [change of heart]”
He then added: “I read in the press that it was a discussion between two chairmen. I received a letter in answer to my letter, where they confirmed they understand the position of the FIA. But it didn't mean they were happy of the position of the FIA, and they would love Ferrari to allow the visibility of the case, which I would love too. But we can’t."
These words are very interesting to hear from the president of FIA. The governing body over the Formula One and other racing events is unable to release information, and in that particular matter confirm if something is legal or not, because the team in question is stopping them from doing so, and they do not have enough of resources to be able to check and admit if Ferrari was indeed caught red-handed or no. After the information about the protest has been released in statements by teams, not so long after it FIA expressed they were “not happy” with them doing so.
As written in the official statement issued around that time: “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”
This might raise many question regarding the actual “best interests” of the governing body in the sport in the future, and has certainly not did well to their credibility not only among those ones involved, but also the fans and the media.