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Masi unsure if FIA ruling hurt Ferrari power

Masi unsure if FIA ruling hurt Ferrari power
© Reuters
Race director Michael Masi says he has "no idea" if the FIA's clarification of the engine rules hurt Ferrari's performance in Austin.

Race director Michael Masi says he has "no idea" if the FIA's clarification of the engine rules hurt Ferrari's performance in Austin.

With the Italian team's sudden loss of pace coinciding with the FIA's Red Bull-inspired technical directive about the fuel flow rules, Max Verstappen concluded that Ferrari had been caught "cheating".

Ferrari hit back hard against those accusations, explaining that Sebastian Vettel's suspension problem, an older engine for Charles Leclerc, and a setup that prioritised downforce over top speed all contributed to the pace in Austin.

"We have a lot to analyse and understand but we do not believe that the result reflects our real potential," team boss Mattia Binotto said.

"We had extra downforce for this circuit but we just didn't have the grip," he added. "Mercedes simply was better."

Leclerc confirmed that his big problem in Austin was a lack of "grip", not a lack of power.

"It certainly didn't help that I had an older power unit but the gap was not because of the engine," he insisted.

Michael Masi, the F1 race director, was not able to shed light on whether Ferrari had to make changes to its power unit operation in order to comply with the rule clarification.

"I have no idea if they changed anything," he said. "I leave that to the FIA technical team."

But he defended Red Bull's method for seeking a clarification about what the team obviously suspects is the source of Ferrari's huge earlier power advantage.

"Everyone knows that there is a process and it has been around for a few years now," Masi said of the request for clarification and the subsequent technical directive.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25292276
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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