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Start Saudi Arabian GP
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FIA

FIA: New spot checks shouldn't be seen as suspicion of cheating

The FIA's Head of Single Seater Matters Nikolas Tombazis has stressed that new spot checks being introduced at Grand Prix weekends shouldn't be viewed as suspicion levelled at the teams selected.

Interview
To news overview © Alpine

The FIA's Nikolas Tombazis has clarified the process of the new random spot checks being introduced over Grand Prix weekends, and emphasised that these checks should not be viewed as suspicions being raised about the teams or cars chosen.

Over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, the stewards announced a bulletin to clarify that a car will now be selected at random at the end of a Grand Prix. This car will be fully stripped down and analysed by the FIA authorities to ensure conformity with the Technical Regulations.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA's Head of Single Seater Matters, has explained that this process should not be seen as the FIA being suspicious of the cars involved not being fully legal.

"The reason for this process is because, obviously, cars have become more and more complicated," explained Tombazis to media, including RacingNews365.

"As you know, it's not anything new, of course, we're saying and very difficult to dismantle.

"Over a race weekend, there's very few opportunities or no opportunities to actually go into enough detail. All teams are deeply suspicious of their competitors. And they think 'maybe team X, or Y is doing something'. And I'm sure that, maybe on occasion, some things may have happened below our radar.

"We don't have any suspicions or anything now, but we thought it's a good practice to start tracking cars a bit more thoroughly.

"We had to advise the teams in advance, there's a few things that need to be organised in order to do it properly.

"Teams need to know that there's a very tight schedule, logistically, because we can't stay for two days and do the checks.

"We wanted to make it random so a team can not get complacent and think 'I was tested last week, maybe I won't be tested. Theoretically, the same car could crop up twice.

"When we do this, we will select areas of the car each time not the same one that we check. So we can't check the whole car because that would take too long, but we're going to select to do a very in depth analysis of some areas.

"So the teams need to know that on Sunday after the race, they need to have the necessary support back at base. So we don't want them to tell us 'John is actually at a barbecue and can't be available and sorry, you know, we don't have the guy'. We want that guy to be to be available.

"The other thing is that we clearly hope we will never find something wrong because we don't want people to be cheating. But, in the remote chance that somebody is cheating, when we start the check, we'd like the team to tell us if the other car is the same or not the same. If a team is doing something dodgy, we want to be able to take proper action.

"It's just to put in a stronger deterrent, and it's probably something we should have done earlier."

"The reason the stewards sent the bulletin is because we don't want this thing to seen in any way as suggesting that the car being checked is suspected of cheating or something.

"Sometimes in the past, you know, we've confiscated parts. And then there's quite a lot of story, you know, the FIA is checking that this car is under investigation. And we don't want to see this angle to it.

"Because we don't think it is fair, if we select the car. As part of our routine process, we don't want the whole world to be saying this guy's suspected of cheating or something like that. We want that to be seen as us doing our job more thoroughly, not as Car X potentially cheating."

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