Ferrari's worst fears are being realised as former Mercedes employee Shaila-Ann Rao has been linked to the FIA technical directive issued this weekend in Canada. The newly appointed F1 Executive Director has served as a special advisor to Toto Wolff in the past, while also working as general counsel for Mercedes.

The FIA issued a directive this week to address the extreme porpoising and bouncing issues faced by multiple teams this season. The sport's governing body stepped in after drivers sparked concerns over their health in the long-term.

The ruling was not welcomed unanimously on the paddock, with the likes of Red Bull Racing and Ferrari deeming it unnecessary. Christian Horner feels the bouncing issue is specific to teams, and that the FIA should not step in to change regulations midway through the season.

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff is hoping for a clean title fight next weekend ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/POOL via AFP

The meeting between the team principals reportedly got heated in Canada, with Mercedes' Wolff fighting for the FIA's new technical directive. Ferrari, who have also suffered porpoising, are in Red Bull's corner suggesting that the teams should deal with it themselves.

There was already speculation that Mercedes and the FIA had colluded after the Silver Arrows cars ran a second stay on the car to make the floors stiffer to reduce bouncing. The FIA will be under further pressure, with the Daily Mail reporting that it was Rao who oversaw the new technical directive, which is expected to benefit Mercedes in the long run.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has already voiced concerns about her appointment, and further implied a connection between the FIA and Mercedes in Canada. It was after teams saw the Silver Arrows team come up with a solution less than 24 hours after the technical directive was issued.

Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

"Toto says they did it overnight," Binotto said talking about the second stay on the Mercedes floor, as quoted by The Race. "What I can say is that Ferrari would not be capable of doing it."

"No doubt I'm surprised that a team is so strong in doing that overnight," he added. "I can maybe only trust what he's saying."

Meanwhile, Ferrari have also challenged the validity of FIA's technical directive. Binotto feels a TD can only clarify regulations during the course of a campaign, and he sees no grounds where it can alter regulations.

"For us, that TD's not applicable," Binotto said. "And it's something we mentioned to the FIA."

"A TD is there to clarify regulations, or to address policing. It is not there to change the regulations. That's [a matter of] governance."

Charles Leclerc (2R) and Ferrari CEO Louis C. Camilleri (R) celebrate with team members after winning the Italian GP in 2019 Miguel MEDINA/AFP