Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon has stated its LMP1 car is “absolutely legal” in the wake of news that Porsche has filed an inquiry with the FIA and ACO over the legality of the new TS050 Hybrid.
Leading German publication Auto Motor und Sport reported earlier this week that Porsche has questioned the rear diffuser of the Toyota, which the German manufacturer questions that it could be outside of the rules.
“From our side we know very little because no one has told us anything,” Vasselon said.
“If you see our car, it’s absolutely legal. There’s no absolutely no discussion. The homologation process of the FIA has improved significantly over the years.”
Vasselon, who oversaw development of the Japanese manufacturer’s hybrid-powered challenger, cited the FIA and ACO’s increased scrutiny on the homologation process, which has changed in recent years.
“In the past, the FIA was coming in a rush three weeks before the first event and they were looking at everything and homologating or not. It was really [done] in a rush,” he said.
“Of course, this over the years has generated some issues, big changes.
“Now the process is completely changed. We start the homologation at the car concept. We are, at the moment, already discussing the legality of our next year’s car concept.
“This year’s car concept we started to discuss in July last year and we have had several dedicated meetings to review the progress of the car and to make sure it’s legal.
“So it’s 120 percent legal. With the process, the FIA and ACO cannot discover something at the last minute.”
Vasselon admitted that under the previous homologation process, manufacturers sometimes got away with questionable elements, but that is no longer the case.
“What has happened in the past is that a team would come with something a bit dodgy and three weeks before, ‘We cannot change.’ And then the FIA was forced to stomp and to give the homologation to something that was borderline because of lack of time in the process,” he said.
“Now this is totally different. We really present all the stages of development to the FIA.
“When things like this [happen], it’s good news because that means our aerodynamicists have done a good job.”
When asked Friday in the paddock at Spa about the inquiry, Porsche LMP1 team principal, and acting technical director, Andreas Seidl declined comment.
The FIA and ACO have also yet to release a statement on the inquiry.