Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto claims the team don’t expect to collect engine penalties despite an early upgrade for both drivers.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are running the new ‘spec two’ power unit at the Spanish Grand Prix, and with drivers only allowed three engines per season, introducing a second of the campaign at just the fifth race seems like a risky strategy.
However, Binotto insists there isn’t a risk as nothing is stopping them from using the old engine at future events.
“The early introduction does not mean that we cannot still use P1 in some races, that can be an option,” he said via RaceFans.net. “But we are not hoping to have four engines per season per driver.”
Binotto claims that Ferrari’s fast tracking of the new power unit, which was originally meant to make its debut in Canada, was a response to the poor showing at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
“Obviously when you are planning such a change in your schedule or planning you need to do it a few weeks ago. It’s not something we decided last week,” he stated.
“Having started the season in Melbourne we recognised that somehow we may have been late on our performance compared to our competitors.
“We tried simply to push on all the main items where we were already planning developments and we were simply looking for opportunities and anticipating some of the problems.
“We did it already with an aero package in Baku which was somehow introduced earlier.
“We did it here as well for the power unit. You simply achieve that by trying maybe sometimes to shortcut or to intensify the activity. I have to say that the people back at Maranello, we intensified our activities and we are working still very hard. That’s what we need to do at the moment.”
There remains work to do for the Scuderia on the track after Valtteri Bottas claimed P1 for Mercedes in FP1 and FP2 ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.