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Customer engines vital to Ferrari's 2014 plans

Ferrari's engine chief says the development of new V6 engines for 2014 is already quite advanced - and that supplying customer engines is a crucial part of the process.
Ferrari hopes and expects to continue supplying customer engines to a number of their F1 rivals in 2014 when new technical regulations come into effect - and says that such deals were not only important to helping to pay the development costs, but are also crucial to the development process itself.

"I think a customer team is a very important opportunity for an engine supplier," insisted Luca Marmorini, Ferrari's Head of Engines and Electronics.

"First of all we can test more engines," he explained. "With there being no test during the season we can collect a much wider database. In this sense it's very good having customer teams.

"It's also important to have a reference with a car with basically the same engine, to have a good relative comparison to your car. So Ferrari is strongly committed to supplying a competitive engine to customer teams."

That said, Marmorini didn't know who would be in the Ferrari corner next season. Force India is said to be working on a Ferrari engine supply deal for 2014, but existing partners like Toro Rosso might equally be looking elsewhere.

"I don't know if Toro Rosso will be next year with us," Marmorini admitted. "Still now we're working very well with them, it's an important contribution for Ferrari's engine development and I think also we are giving them a competitive engine."

The supply of customer engines means that Ferrari even has to work in a sometimes strained partnership with their main F1 world championship competitors such as McLaren, who have the contract to supply the new version of F1's standard ECU.

"We had some problems but we were expecting them at the beginning, this is a brand new ECU," said Marmorini. "We are working with them, everyday they are having some update on the software and I am confident we are able to race with a reliable system but even to be done.

"We have a lot of development to do be done. So no panic at all, lot of work yet to be done," he continued, while also adding that the work done so far was already quite far down the road.

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