Ferrari’s PU progress highlighted by Alfa and Haas

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking. Bahrain March 2022

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking in parc ferme with a cameraman in the background. Bahrain March 2022

With both Ferraris and one car each from their customers in the top ten in Bahrain qualifying, Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s power unit is “a step in the right direction”.

Leclerc kicked off the 2022 championship with a pole position at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday night.

Clocking a 1:30.558, the Monégasque driver edged Max Verstappen by a tenth of a second with his team-mate Carlos Sainz 0.006s behind the Red Bull driver.

There was also joy for Ferrari’s customer teams, Alfa Romeo and Haas.

Last season Alfa Romeo only broke into the top ten on four Saturdays while Haas did not manage a single Q3 showing.

Already this year both teams have one Q3 berth with Valtteri Bottas P6 and Kevin Magnussen seventh on his Formula 1 return.

It was encouraging for Ferrari, the Scuderia having put a new engine on the grid this season, one that was based largely on last year’s mid-season update.

“I haven’t seen the data [from qualifying] yet,” pole-sitter Leclerc told Motorsport.com, “but it definitely felt better than last year and it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think that obviously one Haas and the Alfa shows the we’ve made a step forwards.

“But it’s not to underestimate the work that they’ve done, because they were also very quick in corners. I think it’s a combination of both – the car and the engine.

“But speaking of ourselves, it’s definitely a step forwards and we look quite strong on the straights now. So, it’s good to see this.”

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto recently spoke about Ferrari’s updated PU, the Italian staying he believed they had recovered their 25bhp deficit to the Mercedes and Honda units.

As for Sainz, he says Ferrari “cannot underestimate the progress done on the power unit side.

“A big thank you and a great job to everyone in the power unit department because for sure it’s also helping the other teams.

 

“We need to keep pushing because it’s not like Max was slow in the straights at all, or the Mercedes.

“So, we need to keep pushing on that front. But at least this year it looks like we’ve done a step in the right direction and it’s good to see from the engine department.”

 

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