Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s rivals who hit out against its private settlement with the FIA over its engine must trust Formula 1’s governing body over the confidentiality taken out on the agreement.

The F1 paddock was rocked when the FIA released a statement at the end of pre-season testing confirming its investigation over Ferrari’s 2019 power unit and potential legality had been concluded through a private agreement with the Italian manufacturer.

All seven of the non-Ferrari powered teams sent out a joint statement ordering for full disclosure and transparency over the matter, with Red Bull key advisor Dr Helmut Marko claiming further action could follow over lost F1 prize money.

With Ferrari facing both the F1 paddock and media for the first time since the agreement at this weekend’s 2020 opener in Australia, Leclerc has defended his team and its privacy standpoint.

“They should also trust the FIA for doing their work and I think it is completely understandable that they don’t explain absolutely everything,” Leclerc said at Albert Park.

“There is a lot of work also for us on all the parts. So, if you make all of this public you will make all the work a team has done public and for me that is understandable.

“I fully trust my team that is for sure and I trust the FIA for making sure everything was okay so for me it is done and I look to the future.”

The crux of the Ferrari engine issue revolves around whether it was possible to interfere with the mandatory fuel-flow meter to get around the regulation limit of 100kg per hour, with Red Bull triggering an FIA technical clarification ahead of the United Sates Grand Prix which coincided with Ferrari’s run of pole positions ending.

Ferrari has since said the two incidents were not related, with its top speed performance compared to its rivals changed by the increase in downforce the team has run on its car.

“I think we added downforce as I said in Barcelona,” Leclerc explained. “We added downforce on the car which as a result lost speed in the straight but that is what we expected.

“Now time will tell whether we did it too much or not but for sure we are going quite quicker around the corners, especially in Barcelona, so I think this is the main reason.”

Last week a final tweak to the 2020 F1 rules was made to increase the minmum weight of all cars by one kilogram, which is believed to have been made to introduce a new fuel-flow meter on the engines as a result of the FIA investigation into Ferrari.

Ferrari lost its run of consecutive Australian GP wins 12 months ago when Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes claimed victory at Albert Park.

 

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