Ferrari: Too early to say if new engine has closed F1 power gap to rivals

Ferrari says it is too early to know whether its upgraded Formula 1 engine has helped it close the gap to rival power unit manufacturers Mercedes and Honda. 
Ferrari: Too early to say if new engine has closed F1 power gap to rivals

The Italian outfit debuted its upgraded hybrid system on its F1 power unit at Sochi on Charles Leclerc’s car, before Carlos Sainz was given the latest engine this weekend in Turkey, with both drivers forced to take subsequent grid penalties. 

Ferrari refused to reveal the performance gains it has been able to make with its new engine at the Russian Grand Prix, though it is believed the upgrade is worth between 8-9bhp. 

But Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies said the team will have to wait until next season to find out the true potential of its hybrid element compared to its main rivals. 

“When it comes to competitiveness analysis against the other manufacturers, it’s early days,” Mekies said on Friday in Istanbul. 

"Only one race weekend and obviously we will anyway have to wait until next year to see what will be there on step before we assess whether or not we have completed the catch-up work, or whether there is still work to do to be at the same level.” 

Ferrari has been concentrating its development efforts - including its power unit work - on next season’s regulation overhaul as part of its bid to return to winning ways in F1.

Instead of being present at this weekend’s race in Turkey, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has remained at its Maranello base to focus on progress for 2022. 

“The main target of this new hybrid system for us was to anticipate some of the work we are doing for next year,” Mekies continued. 

"So we were trying to validate the direction of development we have been taking on the PU development for next year. We fitted it on Charles’, it worked in a very smooth way through the weekend, which was the first objective. 

“Performance-wise it was never going to be a game-changer - nothing is nowadays, it’s small steps - but it was a step in the right direction and we are pushing forward with Carlos this weekend.” 

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