Ferrari Formula 1 chief Mattia Binotto says the team’s fuel load was checked “at least 10 times” through the 2019 season prior to its fine from the FIA in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Ferrari was hit with a €50,000 fine after it was found to have added 4.88 kg more fuel than it reported to the FIA, becoming the first team to fall foul of new pre-race checks introduced this season.

Teams are required to inform the FIA how much fuel each car will be starting the race with two hours before lights out, with random checks then taking place to verify these figures.

Ferrari has faced scrutiny for its fuel flow meter in recent races amid allegations it had been running outside of the rules to gain more engine power, which emerged after the United States Grand Prix last month.

Speaking prior to the stewards’ ruling and issuing of the fine in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari F1 boss Binotto explained how the system worked, adding that it was not the first time the team had been selected to complete the FIA’s check.

“You have a quantity of fuel to be consumed in the race – 110kg – which you have got direct measurements through the fuel flow meter or through the injectors, or eventually through the weighing of the car,” Binotto explained.

“You weigh it at the start of the race and you weigh it at the end, you do the delta, and you will know how much you have consumed. To do that, you declare a certain quantity of fuel at the start of the race, that you are filling in the car.

“The FIA may sometimes check what has been declared by simply weighing the car and somehow try to verify if you have concurrence. It’s a procedure which is not the first time we are doing it.

“This year we have been checked at least 10 times. It’s not the first time.

“Today, we have a discrepancy, one which we don’t know the entity, and we’re simply waiting for details.”

The decision was expected to result in disqualification for Leclerc, only for the stewards to issue the fine for the breach.



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