Ferrari has admitted that an FIA regulation clampdown for the 2020 Formula 1 season has impacted the team’s engine performance.

Ferrari’s engine came under scrutiny from its rivals following a dominant spell of performance in the second half of the 2019 season, resulting in the FIA issuing a series of technical directives around fuel-flows limits and burning oil for performance gains.

That led to a controversial “settlement” with the FIA on the eve of the 2020 campaign which angered Ferrari’s rivals.

Since the start of the delayed season, Ferrari and its customer teams has been lagging behind its rivals in the speed trap figures, suggesting the team had lost some of its previous straight-line speed advantage.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has now given the clearest indication yet that the regulation clampdown has reduced its engine performance.

"I think that the regulations are very difficult and complex," Binotto said ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I think there are areas of the regulations where maybe clarifications are still required. It's an ongoing process which has always existed in the past, and will exist in the future.

"Since last year a lot of TDs [FIA technical directives] have been released, eventually clarifying some of the areas of the regulations. I think that through those TDs we had to adapt ourselves.

"I don't think it was only the case of Ferrari, I think looking at the power output of this season I think most of the other manufacturers had to adapt themselves. Certainly as Ferrari we had to adapt, and as a simple output of that we lost some of the performance we had.

"I think that now we've got a clearer situation in some areas of the regulations, hopefully that will continue if required for the future.”

Asked about the challenge of getting on top of its engine struggles, Binotto replied: “The power unit development is an ongoing process that we never stopped since 2012, because that was probably when we started developing those engines.

“Now it’s a long time we have been developing them, we were doing developments as well for this season that we will not be able to introduce during the season itself because we had a long shutdown period before the start of the season.

“Which has not been the case for all the power unit manufacturers, by the way.

“But then, obviously, we will still develop and we try to develop as much as we can by the start of next season.

“And that’s one point. On the other side, as I said, I think there are still areas of the regulations that need to be clarified.

“And hopefully that may be done in order that in the future, at least, there is sufficient clarity on the regulations to make sure that we got all the same understanding.”

 

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