Leclerc & Vettel trust Ferrari over engine legality after FIA settlement

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Both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have trust in Ferrari regarding the legality of last year's engine following a settlement with the FIA.

Before the Coronavirus, the subject was set to be one of the main talking points in Australia, with seven teams threatening legal action as they demand clarity from the governing body on what they agreed with the Scuderia.

This after a technical investigation conducted by the FIA into whether Ferrari was running an illegal power unit by bypassing the fuel flow sensor came back as inconclusive despite suspicions.

“They should also trust the FIA for doing their work and I think it is completely understandable that they don’t explain absolutely everything,” Leclerc said last Thursday in Australia.

“There is a lot of work also for us on all the parts. So, if you make all of this public you will make all the work a team has done public and for me that is understandable.

“I fully trust my team that is for sure and I trust the FIA for making sure everything was okay so for me it is done and I look to the future.”

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When asked his view, Sebastian Vettel largely echoed his teammate. 

“For me, it’s very simple. Obviously I trust my team to do the right thing within the regulations at all time and I think we trust all of us, all drivers, the governing body, as in the FIA, to do their job for all teams on the grid. I think that’s probably the answer," he said.

Mostly, the drivers were not interested in going too in-depth on the topic, though Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton did admit ensuring fair competition was important.

“Things could have been handled better, for sure, but that’s really something that should be directed to Toto [Wolff],” he said via RaceFans.

“For us athletes, us drivers, you just want to arrive at the races, naturally all the teams are different in their performance, but you want to feel that you’re playing on fair grounds.

“So that’s the approach that we have and I don’t want to add much more because it’ll just cause more trouble.”

While Mercedes was believed to be the instigator of the latest push for clarity from the seven teams, Hamilton says the issue doesn't impact his relationship with Vettel or Leclerc.

“Between us, our respect has continued to grow over the years and that doesn’t change,” he said. “I think what goes on in the background between teams and the governing body, it’s a separate issue.”

The German agreed: "For me, it doesn’t change anything in terms of the relationship I have with other drivers and particularly with Lewis,” he commented.

“I think the respect that we share and has grown over the years is untouched and I don’t think this is a threat [to it].”

It has also been suggested in recent days that Mercedes has now backed out of that group of seven teams threatening action, this after a conversation between the Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius and Ferrari chairman John Elkann.