Ferrari have questioned the method used by the race stewards to inform the teams that they had to start the weekend s race on extreme-wet tyres. Ferrari have claimed that they did not receive until after the race had begun, hence why both cars started on the wet-option tyres.
Stefano Domenicali, sporting director of Ferrari remarked, “The habit of using the email between the teams and race control is done by the normal documentations, like information on the classification on the event, or something like that. But normally when there is some information that is very sensitive, related to the running – in this case, of the race – this information should be circulated as is written on the sporting regulation article 15.1, with the receipt that has to be acknowledged by the team. This is something that is there. But in any case I think that for sure, you can imagine that it would have been very stupid knowing that and doing the opposite. We didn’t know and that’s it, and it was not possible to take a decision like that.”
Domenicali has claimed that the team were only made aware on the tyre stipulation on lap 2 of the race when FIA race director Charlie Whiting told them over the radio. Luca Colajanni, press officer for Ferrari, then managed to obtain a copy of the notice from the media centre and delivered it to the pit wall. A team member then checked with race control and once the notice was confirmed, the team called both cars in to have their tyres changed.
Domenicali explained that immediately after the race, he contacted the stewards to try and discover what had happened to Ferrari s email. “We went straight away at the end of the race just to understand what had happened. They understood our point, and in a way that’s a note that has to come from the stewards as you know, and basically they were apologising for the fact that they used the usual system of using the email for normal communication also for this thing, and that’s what they said.”
Jean Todt has said that although the team are not happy, they will not be taking any action to try and rectify the situation.
“It would not solve the problem,” Todt began. “The race is over, the race is over. We want to understand better what has happened, the way it has happened. But I think to open a new controversy would not be good for the sport. I read already that sometimes in the interest of the sport we feel it’s better to leave it like that.
“I think it should probably be very wise to write a rule where you say that if you start under the safety car, then you have to fit full wet tyres. That would probably be a good rule.”
It seems that the FIA are concerned over what happened and have announced that in future, all emails will also be backed up by written confirmation.
A statement from the race stewards reads, “At a meeting of the Formula One Sporting Working Group held in Monaco on 7th December 2006, all teams agreed to an electronic distribution system to ensure that all competitors received communications simultaneously, with no time advantage for a team by virtue of their location in the pitlane. This system has been used throughout the current championship year.
“To avoid any recurrence of today’s problem, the agreed method of using electronic communications will continue to be used but in the future will be backed up by the traditional method of written confirmation.”