Masi 'very confident' of FIA's ability to enforce ban on quali mode

© XPB 

FIA race director Michael Masi is "very confident" the governing body will have the ability to enforce the upcoming ban on special engine modes used in qualifying.

Ahead of last weekend Spanish Grand Prix, the FIA sent a letter to all teams revealing its intention of publishing a technical directive before next week's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa which will outlaw the use of special engine modes used by manufacturer's in qualifying.

Labeled "party mode" by six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, the ploy has been exploited with great effect by Mercedes since the advent of the hybrid era in F1.

The FIA is determined to implement the new rule as part of its increased scrutiny of F1 manufacturers' power unit, the governing body insisting that the "multitude and complexity of modes being used make it extremely difficult for the FIA to monitor compliance with all the PU-related regulations and provisions in selected critical moments of the event."

The resolution is intended on restricting teams from boosting power output in qualifying but also from turning engines down on race day to safeguard reliability by imposing a single mode that fits all circumstances.

However, given the potential ability for a manufacturer's many engineers to outsmart the rules by exploiting a grey area of the regs, there could be legitimate concerns about the FIA's capability of uncovering even small irregularities during its engineering game of cat and mouse with the teams.

But Masi believes the FIA's decision to regulate stems from its ability to enforce.

"I think we’re very confident of that, otherwise we wouldn’t have gone down the road that we have," he said.

"I know that the technical team in particular has done a huge amount of work on this, and has also consulted with the four power unit manufacturers to get their input into this.

"I think as the late Charlie Whiting used to say, we have a technical team of 10, you add a thousand people at each of the various PU manufacturers, so…

"But no, we are confident, otherwise we certainly wouldn’t be going down that road pursuing it."

But qualifying modes might not be the only topic covered by the FIA's upcoming technical directive.

A report from Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims that officials are also seeking to gain in-depth knowledge of how the various manufacturer's exploit their engine's Energy Recovery Systems to boost power.

The report contends that the FIA suspects one or two engine makers of not following the rules regarding their ERS.

It's unclear whether the FIA is probing in the dark or has legitimate concerns involving a specific power unit.

The governing body has reportedly requested drawings and CAD designs from Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda to verify the conformity of auxiliary circuits.

But the FIA also hasn't dismissed physical verifications of the units.

Watch this space...

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter