Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle says it is clear that Ferrari has “lost a significant amount of power” since their 2019 power unit was investigated.
While the findings of the FIA’s investigation into Ferrari’s 2019 engine has remained private, much to the annoyance of the rest of the Formula 1 paddock, the introduction of new Technical Directives towards the end of last season did at least suggest Ferrari had to make some compromises with their power unit.
And the Scuderia appear to be suffering from 2019’s hangover as the first two races of the 2020 campaign have showed they are clearly behind Mercedes and Red Bull in the pecking order and even appear vulnerable to the likes of Racing Point and McLaren in the midfield.
Ferrari were unable to get a true read on their fast-tracked upgrades at the Styrian Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc ended both his and Sebastian Vettel’s race early on with a very unnecessary collision.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 13, 2020
While the Scuderia have been keen to point out the flaws of the SF1000’s aerodynamics as part of the problem, the outsiders looking in are seeing the weaker power unit is having a big impact.
“This is a truly miserable time for the Prancing Horse team,” Brundle said in his post-Styrian Grand Prix column for Sky Sports F1.
“They have clearly lost a significant amount of power since the FIA clamped down in a few areas, and their chassis and aero are not yet fast enough either.
“To compound that Leclerc and Vettel report the car to be reasonably well balanced, and there’s nothing worse than a racing car which feels ok but is slow. You’d rather have handling issues to hang your hopes on.
“Let’s hope this track just didn’t suit them.
“In this compressed and late-running championship it will be a challenge to sort the car and motor out between now and next season – let alone next weekend.
“A disgruntled Seb Vettel has already been let go for 2021, and the last thing they needed was an all-red pile-up caused by their future young hope.”
Not a single Ferrari-powered car finished in the points at the Styrian Grand Prix which is the first time that’s happened since Mexico 2015.
RTL reporter Felix Gorner has speculated that Ferrari are missing as much 40-45HP on their power unit compared to their rivals.
“According to research from RTL, Ferrari are missing 40-45hp with their current engine compared to the others,” Gorner said.
“And the upgrades that don’t work…Vettel says the upgrades maybe gave them about 0.1s per lap and they had hoped for much more because the gap is much bigger. Rumours say the gap to Mercedes is around 1s per lap.”