Ferrari planning ‘significant’ engine upgrade

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz leads a Mercedes. Hungary August 2021

Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari racing ahead of a Mercedes at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungary August 2021

Ferrari, well within the rules, will upgrade their power unit before the end of this year’s championship, says Mattia Binotto.

All Formula 1’s engine manufacturers were permitted to upgrade their engines after the end of last season, allowed to update every single part of their power unit.

Ferrari, though, only upgraded some parts, leaving the Scuderia free to complete that before end of this season.

Binotto says they’ll do just that, expecting that it will be a “significant step” forward.

“We will bring power unit developments,” said the Italian team boss.

“Just to clarify what the regulations are in 2021: you may have a brand new power unit in 2021.

“It means that you may bring an update in all the components of the power unit, whatever it is – ICE, turbo, MGU-H, batteries, MGU-K, etc.

“But what we did at the start of the season, we didn’t complete the entire power unit. So there are still components which are the ones of last year.

“And we will bring an evolution of those ones. So, I think, that will be for us a significant step for the end of the season.”

Formula 1 will freeze engine development at the end of this season, the teams committed to running the same power units until the end of 2024.

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He, however, didn’t give a timeframe for the upgraded engine, which Ferrari could leave until the Italian Grand Prix or even after.

That means they’ll be running their current engine at both the Belgian and Dutch races.

As such Binotto concedes they could have a tough time at the power-hungry Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

“It will be a difficult race for us,” he told Autosport, “because we are seven tenths short of the best and most of these tenths, at least 60 per cent, comes from the engine.

“We lack this compared to the best and therefore we consider ourselves to be behind Mercedes and Honda to date.

“On a track like Belgium, if you look at our simulations, it’s a track where the engine matters a lot and on a qualifying lap I think the difference will be significant.”

Ferrari headed into the summer break level with McLaren on points but holding onto P3 ahead of their Woking rivals based on runner-up results.