Maurizio Arrivabene says Mercedes was 'fair' in its approach to the FIA to clarify a series of rules which could have potentially seen it come under strict scrutiny for its close relationship with incoming team Haas F1.
Ahead of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes sought to clarify a series of rules and regulations regarding bodywork design, data sharing, wind tunnel use and acceptance of entries, regarding them to be 'ambiguous' and therefore open to interpretation.
Core of the argument was the classification of when a team is regarded as an entry, a thinly veiled argument against Haas - which has developed its team around a close technical partnership with Ferrari - and the suggestion its rivals could have circumnavigated regulations regarding two-way development since Haas is not considered an 'entry' yet.
The subsequent ruling found that the FIA will close the perceived loophole by regarding any potential team as an 'entry', thus bringing it into line with regulations and restrictions. However, it also ruled that this has not retrospective bearing, so Haas or Ferrari would not be punishable.
Whilst Mercedes maintains the clarification was not specifically targeted at Ferrari and was more over whether it could also capitalise on the loophole, Arrivabene says he is satisfied with the outcome of the ruling and does not blame his rivals for the approach.
“We were absolutely transparent, we provided all the papers to the FIA step by step,” the team principal said. “We get it, so there is nothing wrong because we were transparent. I think the other guys were asking fair questions, if the FIA need to change the regulations we more than support it, it's absolutely fine.”
Had the FIA been satisfied with the original rules, Mercedes it would prompt an 'arms race' between top teams developing a second team for the predominant purpose of development. Even so, Mercedes has suggested it was willing to go ahead with this using its engine customers, with suggestion new client Manor could be branded as a second 'AMG' team.