Despite a publicly cautious approach, Ferrari are reported to have “a lot of optimism” regarding their 2022 power unit.
Various predictions have been made about the Scuderia’s prospects for the new campaign, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner half-jokingly suggesting they could “smash us out of the park” at the opening race in Bahrain as Ferrari did not have a title battle to contest last season to distract from their development.
Sky Sports broadcasters Karun Chandhok and Ted Kravitz have been picking up encouraging signals on the grapevine. The latter has heard “a lot of positive noises out of Ferrari” and the former was told “they feel they made big gains on the power-unit side”.
Chandhok’s claim has now been backed up by Spanish media outlet MARCA, who are referring to “not only relative optimism, but a lot of optimism in terms of the work that has been done for more than a year” on the engine side of the operation.
However, as the team’s sporting director Laurent Mekies has alluded to, it is all very well bridging a gap to rivals from the previous campaign, but what if those rivals have made gains of their own during the off-season too?
MARCA, who are citing an Italy-based source, add: “The engine data looks very good, enough to be on a par with Honda and Mercedes in 2021.
“The aero and cornering data are also good, but here is the big question – what are they doing or finding in other teams? Despite this, the feeling is they (Ferrari) have worked very well, with full dedication and a lot of anticipation.”
The Wolf Zimmermann-designed engine has been nicknamed ‘Superfast’ at Maranello but that is a description unlikely to be heard from the lips of Mekies or team principal Mattia Binotto, who is setting Ferrari the target of challenging Mercedes and Red Bull without being confident of beating them over the entire season.
“Obviously, we assume that if Mercedes and Red Bull have managed to develop the cars we have seen in recent years, it means they have tools, methodologies, calculations, simulations and other certainties that have been fine-tuned over time,” MARCA quote Binotto as saying.
“I think it’s presumptuous to say today we will beat Mercedes and Red Bull. I think the right approach is to aim to compete against them.”
Ferrari ‘very optimistic they will be in the fight’
Ted Kravitz and Karun Chandhok have added to the growing belief that Ferrari could have a big 2022 season.