Ferrari admit engine ‘concern’ after Baku retirements

Henry Valantine
The stricken Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. Baku June 2022.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted the team’s power unit reliability is a “concern”, but is looking to remain level-headed as they search for solutions.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz retired with engine and hydraulic issues respectively, with Red Bull taking full advantage of their troubles and earning a one-two finish through Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on Sunday.

But their issues were not just limited to the factory team, as Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen were also forced to retire mid-race, with Magnussen’s car appearing to overheat after 30 laps.

Red Bull have now extended their lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship to 80 points, but Binotto tried to remain pragmatic after their issues.

“Certainly it’s a concern,” Binotto told Sky F1 after the race. “I think we said it even before coming here to Baku. Reliability is always a factor which is a key factor in the battle as [well as] the performance.

“I think as a team we pushed certainly a lot through the winter last year to develop the car, [but] we proved that we are not yet fully reliable.

“There is still some work to be done, but as I think we didn’t get euphoric at the start to the season, we will not be devastated right now.

“I think the team will stay focused, working hard trying to address those issues to make us simply stronger for the future.”

Leclerc also retired in Barcelona with a power unit issue, costing him what looked set to be two podium finishes, and potentially a victory – which has helped hand Verstappen a 34-point lead over the Ferrari driver at the top of the Drivers’ standings, when Leclerc had been 46 points ahead himself earlier in the season.

Binotto said the team are looking to work out what the solutions are to the problems on show in Baku in the coming days, with the Canadian Grand Prix coming up next weekend.

“I think at first we need to understand and analyse what happened today. So not all these issues are the same, so maybe some of these are a very quick fix. I don’t know yet.

“Honestly, I think we need to take some time to analyse, to understand, and maybe some are the same as of the past events, maybe not. So I’ve not [got] the answer yet.”