Sebastian Vettel is confident the ongoing row over Ferrari’s 2019 power unit will not impact on the respect between himself and Formula 1 rival Lewis Hamilton.

Aside from fears relating to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the eve of the 2020 F1 season has been dominated by controversy surrounding an investigation into Ferrari’s 2019 power unit.

After announcing it had reached a settlement with Ferrari over the matter as pre-season testing came to an end, the FIA explained “it was not fully satisfied” that the Italian team had fully complied with the regulations when operating its engine, but felt it did not have sufficient evidence to prove its case.

The settlement was met by an angry response from the seven non Ferrari-powered teams, with Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Williams all releasing a joint statement demanding “transparency” and “full disclosure” regarding the investigation.

When quizzed about the subject during the FIA drivers press conference on Thursday, Vettel said: “As far as I understand it was cleared, I think for me it’s very simple.

“I trust my team to do the right things within the regulations at all times. I think all of us trust the governing body to do their job for all teams on the grid. There’s not much else to add.

“If you have a further detailed question then I am not the one to answer because it’s quite complex now, so probably not the best problem to give you insight.

“But for me it doesn’t change anything in terms of the the relationship I have with other drivers and particularly with Lewis,” he added.

“I think the respect that we share and has grown over the years is untouched and I don’t think this is a threat [to it].”

While Hamilton believes the situation could have been “handled better”, he insisted what goes on behind the scenes between teams should not affect the drivers.

"Between us the respect has grown over the years and I don’t think that will change,” he explained.

“What goes on in the background between teams and the governing body I think is a separate issue.

“I think it could have been handled better for sure but again that’s really something that should be directed to Toto [Wolff].

“As athletes you want to know that you are playing on fair grounds. That’s the approach that we have.”

 

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