Although everyone from Jean Todt to drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa has lamented Ferrari's poor reliability compared to McLaren this season, the Scuderia's solid engines will allow it to go for broke this weekend.

With each unit still required to last two meetings, the reliability record of the Ferrari V8 means that both drivers will be able to start the 17th and last round of the world championship with a fresh unit, allowing Raikkonen and Massa to turn up the wick in an effort to overturn the deficit to points leader Lewis Hamilton. Raikkonen still holds a slim chance of taking the drivers' title in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, while Massa is naturally keen to win 'at home' for a second time, and, although the freeze on engine development in 2007 means the Interlagos engines will be fundamentally the same as those used in recent races, head of track engineering Mattia Binotto confirmed that both will be able to go to the grid with engines that can be pushed past their normal limits.

"In the past, when we had this situation of not having to prepare an engine to last for two races, it could lead to some extreme engine experimentation from teams, but now, with the engine freeze, there are limits to what can be done," Binotto explained, "In the past, you could have carried out dedicated development for just a single race, or even built special components with a shorter life.

"This year has been quite different on the engine side, different in terms of development, as although there are still some areas where engine development is possible, it is on a much reduced scale compared to the past. The work we can do is very limited, but the management of the engine over a race weekend remains the same, which means you are operating with some targets and limits, trying to get maximum performance out of the engine while managing its reliability. Those elements remain the same as ever.

"However, while all components must remain the same, it is true that the distance the engines that we bring to Sao Paulo must cover is divided by two - 500 kilometres instead of 1000. It means that we can try to increase the severity of usage of the engine, for example by running higher revs try to get the maximum benefit in terms of performance, or run at higher temperatures."

 

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