FIA satisfied Ferrari ERS is legal

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- The FIA is happy Ferrari's power unit is operating within the regulations after spending the last two races investigating the way its Energy Recovery System works.

There was no hard evidence that Ferrari had broken the rules this year, but there was speculation over recent rounds that it had found a way to deliver more than the permitted 120kw of power from its MGU-K. The MGU-K is the part of the engine's hybrid system that recovers and deploys energy to the rear wheels, offering a maximum boost of 160bhp for roughly 33 seconds per lap.

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the FIA saw some data from Ferrari's power unit that it wanted to better understand and race director Charlie Whiting said the governing body approached the Italian team for an explanation.

"We had some concerns in Baku that were difficult to explain and we worked through it with them," he said. "There is something in the regulations, Article 2.6, that says it is the duty of the competitor to satisfy the FIA that their car complies at all times and they were having difficult satisfying us.

"Here [in Monaco], we are now satisfied and that's how it all went. The matter was exacerbated by unsubstantiated speculation that went through the paddock like wildfire."

But Whiting stressed that there was no clear indication that Ferrari was doing anything illegal.

"If we had a hard case, we would have gone to see the stewards but because it is such a more complex matter, it was difficult to understand.

"It is no different to anything else we do, except it was more complex. It became a bit of an issue after Baku because word got around, but for us it was just a case of scrutineering and checking things -- like we do with bodywork and wings and it was not different to those things, as far as we were concerned.

"It is different in that it took a little longer to get to the bottom of. In the past we have had issues with floors and it can take two or three races to chip away at it. With Ferrari, it is far more complex system than anybody else. We saw some things in the data we could not quite explain."

Although the governing body is now happy with the way Ferrari is running its ERS, Whiting said he may ask the team to run additional hardware in the future to make it easier to monitor the flow of energy.

"They are not running anything different here in terms of hardware, although we will probably do that in the future to make it easier,

"What we have worked out here is a method where we can establish it without having to use an additional sensor but it would be easier if they incorporated that in future designs."