'Formula One: Drive to Survive' Season 3: Was Ferrari cheating? A look at team's 'secret settlement' with FIA
In the docu, team principals expressed their doubts and Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner minced no words
Spoilers for 'Formula One: Drive to Survive' Season 3'
Netflix's 'Formula One: Drive to Survive' debuted on Friday (March 19) ahead of the 2021 season slated to start from March 28. Ferrari is the cynosure of all eyes after the team's disastrous previous season and much of the discussion behind their failures are attributed to their alleged "cheating" that irked the other team principals.
In 2019, Ferrari was unbeatable when it came to speed and performance, and that raised suspicions. The other teams put the FIA under tremendous pressure to investigate what was under the car's hood and rounds of a "secret settlement" made the headlines. The latest season of the documentary attempts to inform more about what exactly happened. For those unaware, the FIA, after an investigation, made a formal announcement.
"The FIA announces that, after thorough technical investigations, it has concluded its analysis of the operation of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit and reached a settlement with the team,” the announcement said. "The specifics of the agreement will remain between the parties."
"The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 power units for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels."
In the documentary, several team principals expressed their doubts and Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner minced no words when sharing his two cents on the topic. "Well, we highlighted certain things to the FIA, together with Mercedes, that we felt they should be looking at," he said. "It looks like Ferrari had an unfair advantage," opined Otmar Szafnauer, team principal of Racing Point, which is now called Aston Martin Racing.
However, Ferrari received some support from Haas F1 to whom they are the engine suppliers. Team principal Gunther Steiner said: "People say, why don't you change engine supplier?" He adds: "I think that is not what I call reality. Going forward, we are staying with Ferrari, even if at the moment, if it isn't easy."
The 2020 season was woeful for the Reds as they ended sixth on the Constructor standings. Vettel signed off his time with Ferrari with a 13th place final finish (33 points) while Charles LeClerc finished eighth with 98 points. Vettel will be replaced by McLaren driver Carlos Sainz.
'Formula One: Drive to Survive' Season 3 is available for streaming on Netflix.