Ferrari have been talking up their engine gains in the off-season with long-serving test driver Marc Gene saying it will be “one of the best” on the grid.
Engine power was Ferrari’s downfall last season, the Scuderia losing straightline speed in the wake of 2019’s engine Technical Directives.
Rivals had questioned the legality of Ferrari’s power unit, resulting in two TDs being issued by the FIA relating to fuel flow.
Ferrari lost power and pace and it showed in last year’s results with the team sinking to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Ferrari’s customers also suffered with Alfa Romeo P8 and Haas ninth.
The Italian stable opted to design an all-new power unit for this year’s championship, one that team boss Mattia Binotto has already stated “recovers” a lot of last year’s losses.
So much so that Gene reckons it will be “one of the best” on the grid.
“We don’t know exactly how much horsepower we have gained, but I have a rough idea,” Racingnews365 quotes him as having told Spanish radio station, Onda Cero.
“I don’t think we have recovered everything we lost compared to 2019, but much of it has been.
“The car is an evolution, but the engine is new.
“Last year Ferrari had the worst engine on the grid, but in 2021 we will have one of the best. I don’t know if it will be as good as Mercedes, but it will be very good.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 11, 2021
The Spaniard, though, has ruled Ferrari challenging for the World title.
While he does believe Charles Leclerc and his new team-mate Carlos Sainz will win grands prix, he doesn’t believe they’ll have enough to challenge Mercedes for the championships.
“We are not going to win this year, but hopefully we can take victories in some races,” he added.
“Right now our goal is to be on the podiums and to show that last year was an exception in the history of Ferrari.”
Ferrari will have its first competitive outing of the season in Bahrain on Friday as first Leclerc and then Sainz test the new SF21 on the opening day of pre-season testing.