Ferrari receiving ‘positive feedback’ with regards to their winter reliability fixes

Michelle Foster

Amidst reports Ferrari have found as much as 30hp with their winter engine gains, PU boss Enrico Gualtieri admits there’s been “positive feedback” from the dyno runs but wouldn’t go into numbers.

Last season Ferrari’s power unit let them down, as it did their customer teams.

While the Scuderia’s PU was billed by rivals to be the most powerful on the grid, it proved to be the most unreliable with Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Haas all paying a hefty price.

Ferrari eventually made the call to turn down the engine in the hope of preserving some reliability and that meant the Scuderia didn’t win a single race in the back-end of the championship, ultimately settling for a distant second place behind Red Bull.

The Scuderia’s engine department spent the winter working on the PU’s reliability, Ferrari said to have found an extra 30hp by implementing fixes.

There are mixed reports as to whether they are actual performance gains or just the reversal of last year’s decision to turn down the engine.

But whatever it is, Gualtieri says the signs are all pointing in the right direction.

“Preparation work for the new season is usually one of the busiest times of the year And this winter was no exception,” said the Ferrari engine boss.

“Actually PUs have been frozen since last year, including fluids, so oil and fuel. And the only modifications allowed are those related to reliability.

“In fact, reliability was our Achilles heel last season and so we worked over the winter to solve our main problems to try and reach the desired level of reliability.

“That was our aim for 2023. And our work this winter was based on this.” recommends

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“We worked mainly on those areas that gave us the most trouble last season,” he continued.

“So we focused on the internal combustion engine and the electric motors. However, at the same time, we tried to capitalise on the experience gained on track last season.

“And so we looked at all the feedback and signs of weakness from the PU components that were used. Clearly, this involves various design areas of some components.

“But at the same time, we also revised when necessary our assembly procedures. The work involved all the PU personnel as well as our colleagues in the supply chain and our suppliers.

“We worked on all areas trying to understand the root causes of the problems we encountered on track and used all our available tools to try and solve them.

“In fact, the work involved all areas from design to experimentation, including the assembly process, to try and test new solutions in a very short space of time.

“We also made the most of the experience gained in the second half of last season and then further evolved some of the components where necessary. The work never ends, based on continuous improvement of the components to try and reach the required level of reliability.

“We’ve had some positive feedback on the test bench on some of the changes we’ve introduced. But as usual, the track will tell us if we’ve done a good job.”

New team principal Fred Vasseur is also cautiously optimistic but agrees they won’t know for definite until the SF-23 is on the track in Bahrain.

“I think the priority for everybody is reliability,” said the Frenchman. “Because when you are at this stage of the season, if you don’t have the reliability, you are not able to do the three days, and then you start on the wrong foot.

“We did the mileage that we have to do on the dyno, we are all optimistic, but only Bahrain will tell us where we are in terms of reliability and performance. So far, I would say that it’s all okay.”

Meanwhile Auto Motor und Sport reports the new Ferrari SF-23, which was presented to the world on Valentine’s Day, has a ‘larger working window for the aerodynamics’ that its predecessor.

“This gives drivers the necessary confidence in their car, and also helps with tyre management over the race distance,’ claims AMuS.

Last season Ferrari’s F1-75 was billed as a tyre-eater especially after the FIA’s technical directive at the Belgian Grand Prix forced the team to make changes.