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FIA approves Ferrari engine changes

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Malaysia 2010Ferrari has been given the green light by the FIA to make modifications to its engine on reliability grounds following the problems it has had in the early stages of the season.

Both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have suffered engine issues in the opening flyaway events - with Alonso suffering two blow-ups that has left him in particular on the back foot in terms of his supply for the season.

With customer team Sauber having also encountered its share of engine issues, Ferrari conducted a detailed investigation into the matter after the Chinese Grand Prix.

And after finding out that there was an intrinsic problem with the design of the engine, Ferrari applied to the governing body to be able to make some improvements to the power units on reliability grounds.

The Maranello outfit was duly given approval and the modifications will be ready in time to be fitted to the F10 cars at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

Although Ferrari has not outlined exactly what the issues were with the engine, they are believed to relate to air consumption, which could have been caused by leaking pneumatic valves.

A statement by Ferrari said: "A lot of work was carried out on the test bench, completing several long runs and this work produced some solutions which it is felt will solve the reliability problems experienced in Bahrain and Malaysia. The team therefore requested and received authorisation from the FIA to make some changes within the framework of the current engine regulations and these modifications will be fitted to the engines to be used in Spain.

"While since China, everyone in the Gestione Sportiva has been working hard as always on their various areas of activity, it is fair to say that over the past weeks, the staff in the engine department really produced a major effort, working night and day to analyse, evaluate and solve issues that have affected engine performance in past races."

The Spanish GP will also see Ferrari fit the full version of the F-Duct to both drivers' cars for the first time in practice, although a decision about whether the concept will be used for qualifying and the race will only be made after the results of the Friday sessions are in.

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