F1: Red Bull official calls Ferrari’s penalty in Abu Dhabi ‘a joke’

Charles Leclerc was allowed to keep his third place but the team was handed a $55,000 fine for a breach of the Formula 1 sporting code after the team declared a fuel load that was significantly different to the actual load put into the car.

Helmut Marko is calling Ferrari’s EUR 50,000 (US $55,000) penalty for a fuel infringement in Abu Dhabi as “a joke”.

The Red Bull-Honda official admitted that he spread the news about the FIA’s investigation into the incorrect fuel load declared by Ferrari prior to the race last Sunday “so that things are not swept under the carpet”.

Red Bull has been central to the speculation about the legality of Ferrari’s 2019 power unit which led to a flurry of technical clarifications that appeared to diminish the Italian team’s performance late in 2019.

But Marko thinks Ferrari’s incorrect declaration of the fuel-load aboard Charles Leclerc’s car at the 2019 finale was a clear rules breach.

“The rules are clear,” he told Auto Bild. “The mild punishment for that offense was a joke.”

Marko denies that Ferrari’s rivals are being opportunistic about causing a lot of noise concerning the team’s power unit.

“It’s about fairness, about compliance with the rules, and about the equal treatment of all the teams,” he said. “Ferrari’s engine was questioned on several points which are probably beyond any grey area, but nothing was done to correct it,” Marko added.

He warned that Red Bull could step up its confrontation with Ferrari in 2020.

“If we suspect that there are any irregularities, we will definitely protest, and then Ferrari will have to disclose everything and the FIA deal with it accordingly,” said the Austrian.

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