SportF1The teams ask for changes before the Haas/Ferrari collaboration

The teams ask for changes before the Haas/Ferrari collaboration

Following an impressively strong start to the 2022 season for Haas , some of his rivals have questioned whether he has benefited too much from his close links with Ferrari.

The American team has openly bought as many Ferrari parts as it can in the past, and this year has forged ever closer ties with the creation of a center in Maranello and the addition of several former employees of the Italian team.

That has fueled mistrust and fears that Haas may be gaining from shared knowledge, something teams working individually can’t get.

However, the FIA is fully confident that the Haas/Ferrari partnership is fair and legal, but that hasn’t stopped some from calling for the rules to be toughened going forward.

Mercedes director Toto Wolff commented: “I think a reform is needed, because we want to avoid these kinds of discussions that we have now and the controversy of the last few days or weeks. Everyone deserves to have a good performance, and people should be recognized when they have done a good job”.

“But some of the job or entity changes on the same premises are just creating arguments that are not necessary for the sport. As for us, you know, we had the wind tunnel case with Aston Martin in the wind tunnel. we had two years ago. What a shitstorm it was. But we’ve been managing it with the utmost diligence.”

“But going forward, if we were to compromise our, let’s say, earning capacity, we have to keep an eye on it, because neither team should be able to cooperate in the way we’re seeing today.”

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl believes F1 should be tougher on the matter and stop any form of team cooperation.

“It is clear to us that Formula 1 should be a championship of 10 constructors, or 11 or 12, which means there should be no transfer of intellectual property related to core performance,” he explained. “The most sharing should be allowed is power units and gearbox internals. That’s it, no infrastructure should be shared etc.”

“When you allow that, there will also be transfer on the car side and we know from the FIA that it is difficult to police. And if something is not possible to police, it must be prohibited.

“And it has to be done for two reasons: because it makes the B teams too competitive compared to teams like us and at the same time because the A teams also benefit from that, which is even more worrying for us.” .

“We just hope that with all the dialogue that is going on with F1, with the FIA and also between various teams, we will finally see some action in the next few years to correct this situation.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing, Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, in the team principals Press Conference

Toto Wolff, director of Mercedes AMG, Frederic Vasseur, director of Alfa Romeo, Otmar Szafnauer, director of Alpine F1

However, not all teams agree that things need to change. Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur believes the current rules are effective enough.

“I am not sure that we have to change the regulations, it is exactly the same story as the financial aspect: we have to apply the rules,” he defended. “And the rules are strict enough that it’s fair. And if you go by the rules, that’s more than fine.”

“That’s why I think we are trusting the FIA, because they have to do the job of regulator and they are doing it, they are doing it. And for me, it’s fine that way.”

Alpine director Otmar Szafnauer backed Seidl’s view that the crux of the matter is that the FIA can properly control any transfer of knowledge between teams.

“I agree with Fred, in an ideal world, the rules are pretty clear. The difficulty is policing him,” he said.

“So if policing those rules is impossible, then I think we should change the rules that can be policed to make it fair. So I think there needs to be more discussion with the FIA, and maybe a little reform in the rules so that can be controlled”

But Haas boss Gunther Steiner has downplayed what rival teams think, saying in the end all that matters is that the FIA is satisfied with his team’s relationship with Ferrari.

Asked about Seidl’s idea of inter-team partnerships being limited to just the gearbox and engine, Steiner said: “Yes, fortunately Andreas doesn’t run the FIA. So he can suggest it, but there is a government established that will define that.

“Sometimes there are things in the rules that if they don’t suit you, you can’t go and change them.”

“Mercedes have won the world championship eight years in a row, they had a very strong engine and good for them, they did a good job. But nobody said ‘oh, now we have to change the engine rule, because Mercedes is winning everything.’

“There’s a governing body there. And if certain people think they can change everything just by talking, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

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