Mercedes has reportedly stepped back from the group of seven teams that raised a complaint against the FIA following its ‘private settlement’ with Ferrari over the legality of its engine during the 2019 Formula 1 season.
During the final day of pre-season testing, the FIA put out a brief statement saying it had reached a private settlement with Ferrari over suspicions that its engine was operating outside of the technical regulations, however it couldn’t be proven.
This prompted seven rival teams; Mercedes, Red Bull, AlphaTauri, McLaren, Renault, Williams and Racing Point – teams not powered by Ferrari engines – to issue a joint statement demanding clarity and threatening legal action.
“We hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally. We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula 1,” the statement said.
This was followed up by another letter sent to FIA President Jean Todt, which was later rebuffed by the Frenchman who came out in support of the FIA’s handling of the affair.
During the season-opening Australian Grand Prix there were plans for a joint press conference amongst those seven teams to answer questions about why they have chosen to take that stance.
However following the cancellation of the race, Mercedes have reportedly backed away from the complaint with that call coming from senior personnel at parent company Daimler, keen not to be embroiled in an off-track political battle which could end up damaging the Mercedes and F1 brand.
It’s not clear if Mercedes’ customer teams, Racing Point and Williams, will also distance themselves from the action as well, which would seriously weaken the stance of the remaining four; McLaren, Renault, Red Bull and AlphaTauri.