Ferrari realised it needed F1 upgrades "shortcut" at Australian GP

Ferrari's early upgrades and quicker introduction of a new-specification Formula 1 engine are a legacy of it deciding to "shortcut" its development programme after the very first race

Ferrari realised it needed F1 upgrades "shortcut" at Australian GP

After topping pre-season testing at Barcelona, Ferrari was comfortably defeated in Melbourne and is on the back foot against Mercedes after the first four grands prix.

Ferrari brought its first aerodynamic upgrade of the season to the last race in Azerbaijan and has brought more new parts to Spain this week, as well as an updated engine that was originally planned for Canada in two races' time.

Team principal Mattia Binotto explained: "Obviously when you are planning such a change on your schedule you need to do it a few weeks ago. It's not something we decided within that week.

"Having started the season in Melbourne, we recognised that we may have been late on our performance compared with our competitors.

"We tried to push on all the main items where we were already planning developments.

"We were looking for opportunities in anticipating some of the programmes.

"We did it already with an aero package in Baku which was introduced earlier compared to our initial programme. We did it here as well for the power unit.

"You achieve that by trying sometimes to shortcut or intensify the activity.

"I have to say that the people back at Maranello have worked very hard, and we are working still very hard."

Each driver is restricted to a certain number of engine components over the season.

They will get a grid penalty if they exceed three of the internal combustion engine, MGU-H and turbocharger, or two of the MGU-K, control electronics and energy store.

The early change means Ferrari's drivers must now complete 16 full grand prix weekends with its partially-used original engine, the new spec and the final upgraded unit.

Asked by Autosport if that would force Ferrari into a fourth engine at the end of the year, Binotto said he did not anticipate needing grid penalties.

"No, that's not the plan," he said.

"The early introduction doesn't mean that we cannot still use [the first engine] in some races.

"Maybe that can be an option - but certainly we are not hoping to have a four engines per season, per driver plan."

Ferrari's return to the scene of its strong testing form has triggered questions over why it slipped in competitiveness once the season began.

Binotto said his team "never dropped away" because people underestimated how strong Mercedes was by the end of testing.

"We already mentioned that they would have been very strong as well," he said.

"Since then we both developed our car. Coming here it's certainly not anymore the same car we had at the time.

"The weather conditions are completely different, the heat is certainly a different factor.

"So, are you exactly on the same page [as in testing]? I don't think you can compare."

shares
comments
Kubica and Russell's Williams F1 chassis swapped for Spanish GP
Previous article

Kubica and Russell's Williams F1 chassis swapped for Spanish GP

Next article

Ricciardo: Renault reached performance "stalemate" on Friday

Ricciardo: Renault reached performance "stalemate" on Friday
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023