Binotto: Ferrari fuel checked "at least 10 times" in F1 2019

Jonathan Noble
Ferrari fuel checked
Ferrari fuel checked

Team principal Mattia Binotto says Ferrari has been checked for its fuel levels "at least 10 times" in 2019 following the discrepancy found at Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ferrari was fined €50,000 by the FIA after it was found the fuel amount declared for Leclerc ahead of the race was 4.88kg different to the amount that the governing body found in the car.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

It came against the backdrop of a recent clampdown on engine tricks by the FIA, with Ferrari consistently denying any wrongdoing.

Binotto said that Abu Dhabi was not the first time the team had been scrutinised over its fuel levels.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said: "It is not the first time we are doing it. This season we have been checked at least 10 times.

"So it's not the first time and it has always been OK, but today we've got a discrepancy."

Binotto said that the procedure for checking fuel weight was well known and easy for teams to understand.

"You declare a certain quantity of fuel at the start of the race that you're filling in the car," he explained.

"The FIA may sometimes try to check what has been declared by simply weighing the car, emptying the car, weighing it again, do the difference, and try to verify if you got [a difference]."

Ferrari fuel checked
Ferrari fuel checked

The controversy over the declaration discrepancy came ahead of a race where both Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were told to use fuel-saving engine modes in the race.

Binotto says that the fuel-saving was not linked to the investigation and that it was actually a decision taken due to reliability concerns.

Asked by Autosport why the team had spent much of the race in engine mode four, Binotto said: "We had an engine failure in Austin with Charles, and we know that in terms of mileage we could have been at risk.

"I think we had to manage to save the tyres, at least on the hard, to potentially be on a one-stop race which has not been the case.

"So overall we believe that was right to simply manage engines, tyres and managing the race."

Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus

What to read next