MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Ferrari's rivals Red Bull and Mercedes are confident the FIA will clamp down on the Italian team if it is found to be running its energy recovery system outside the regulations.
There is no hard evidence that Ferrari has broken the rules this year, but there has been speculation that it has found a way to deliver more than the permitted 120kw from the power unit's MGU-K. The MGU-K is the part of the engine's hybrid system that recovers and deploys energy to the rear wheels, offering a maximum boost of 160bhp for roughly 33 seconds per lap.
One way to monitor the situation would be to fit extra hardware on Ferrari's hybrid system this weekend to double check the flow of energy from the MGU-K to the rear wheels and it is understood the governing body is keeping an eye on the situation to ensure the rules are being policed correctly.
After finishing third fastest in Friday practice, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel shrugged off the developing news story, saying such situations are common in Formula One.
"Obviously we heard about it but it's normal that every now and then you have something popping up," Vettel said. "This time it's for us probably, but in four weeks' time it will be for someone else.
"Ultimately I think it's the FIA's job to look after it and I think we trust them as much as the other teams trust them. But that's it, I think it's pretty straightforward. I think it's more outside talk rather than stuff we will discuss inside."
Rival team bosses Toto Wolff of Mercedes and Christian Horner of Red Bull were also asked about the situation during Thursday's FIA press conference in Monaco. Horner said it was up to the FIA to investigate, but stressed it was a team's obligation to ensure the car is within the regulations when it goes to scrutineering.
"We're not an engine supplier, so maybe Toto can answer more on the engine specifics but there have obviously been some rumours that no doubt you guys are cottoning onto as well," Horner said. "I'm sure that the FIA have all the competence to be able to able to measure, administer and look at the car that's presented for scrutineering and during a grand prix weekend, and of course it's the team's obligation to ensure that that happens. I think the FIA are probably the best people to point that question at."
Wolff agreed the onus was on the governing body, not rival teams, to check the legality of the car.
"Yes, Christian is absolutely right. We have legality topics come up regularly. Some are more controversial but it's the daily business of the FIA to check what the teams do. It is the obligation of the teams to comply with the regulations and this is an ongoing process.
"I have great confidence with whatever issues are coming up, be it on the engine or the chassis, the FIA has been on top of it a lot. And as far as I understand this is a process that's taking place as we speak and we will see what the outcome is."