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Ferrari gets boost for 2018 as F1 engine hits reliabilty targets

Ferrari's 2018 Formula 1 engine has hit its reliability targets on the dyno, while encouraging results from work on a new cylinder head concept have also been reported

F1 drivers will be limited to the use of three engines for the entire 2018 season, and manufacturers have focused intensely on ensuring their engines can last the minimum required seven-race distances.

The increased mileage needs of the new engines means that Ferrari has elected to start the campaign with an evolution of last year's 063 power unit - which suffered a spate of unexpected reliability problems late in the season.

Its target instead has been to deliver an increase in lifespan without any power drop compared to last year.

But Ferrari engine chief Corrado Iotti is believed to be leading a programme to introduce a new cylinder head later in the season, which will help in the pre-combustion phase of the engine cycle and could especially help challenge Mercedes' advantage with qualifying modes.

The engine will not feature an alloy steel piston concept, which had been proposed at the end of last year under previous engine chief Lorenzo Sassi but was abandoned in the early summer after it failed to deliver what had been hoped.

Sassi left the team in the wake of that situation and instead took up a role with Mercedes.

He is set to start work at Mercedes soon, following his enforced period of gardening leave, and could take with him inside knowledge of Ferrari's progress on the engine front in recent years.

Work on Ferrari's engine has been intense because of subtle tweaks to rules for 2018, which has included a further clampdown on oil burn.

Teams are now limited in the type of oil they can use, and must provide the FIA with detailed readings of oil usage throughout each race weekend, as part of an effort by the governing body to prevent them using oil for power boost reasons.

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