Surer does not believe Ferrari have best engine

Jamie Woodhouse
George Russell walks past Charles Leclerc with the first place board. Bahrain March 2022

George Russell walks past Charles Leclerc as the Ferrari driver climbs out of his car that is parked in front of the first place board. Bahrain March 2022

Ex-F1 racer turned pundit Marc Surer is not convinced that the new Ferrari power unit is the clear class of the field.

Ferrari began their 2022 campaign in perfect fashion as Charles Leclerc won the Bahrain Grand Prix, leading home a one-two finish ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz.

With Ferrari going into this season set on returning to the summit of Formula 1 after two difficult campaigns, this result was the perfect statement of intent.

But it was not only Ferrari who thrived in Bahrain, their customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo were also the leading midfield outfits, while the Mercedes-powered McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams teams all failed to score a point.

That would suggest then that Ferrari have stolen a march on their rivals with these new power units, which included a switch to E10 fuel.

But, while Surer feels that the Ferrari engine is now a match for Mercedes and Honda, the latter’s engine now under Red Bull branding, he does not believe that the Ferrari PU is the outright best.

Charles Leclerc in front of the first place board. Bahrain March 2022
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in front of the first place board having taken pole position. Bahrain March 2022

“I don’t agree that Ferrari has the strongest engine, I think they are up on the [same] level as Honda and Mercedes,” he told Formula1News.co.uk.

“I hear from the customer teams that they found 25 horsepower and that’s what they were missing last year, so now they are on the same level. And remember last year they improved the hybrid and it was a big step for Ferrari.

“The customer teams did not have that; now they have the new hybrid and the stronger engine so that’s why they made a big jump as well.”

Next up is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from March 25-27, taking place around Formula 1’s fastest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which after modifications may well be even faster this season.

Surer says it is hard to predict which team will be on top in Jeddah, but due to its high-speed nature, explained that whichever outfit can perform best with low downforce will have the advantage.

So, he can see it being a Ferrari-Red Bull battle once more.

 

“It’s difficult to judge who will be fast in Saudi Arabia because it’s a completely different circuit with long straights,” he said.

“Looking at the straights in Bahrain, Red Bull was one of the fastest. They obviously didn’t have enough downforce in the slower sections so I think it depends which car works well with low downforce and we have no experience with that.

“But looking at Barcelona, which has a long straight and fast corners, the Ferrari worked on both tracks, Red Bull not so much, Mercedes neither, so it sounds [like] it will be again between Ferrari and Red Bull.”

 

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