Ferrari took "systematic" approach to new F1 power unit design

Ferrari says it took a “systematic” approach to designing its new Formula 1 power unit for the 2021 season after struggling for performance throughout last year.

Ferrari took "systematic" approach to new F1 power unit design

Ferrari slumped to its worst season in 40 years in 2020 as it struggled with both a draggy SF1000 car and an underperforming power unit, the latter a consequence of a private settlement with the FIA over its 2019 engine.

It limited Ferrari to sixth place in the constructors’ championship and just three podium finishes, while customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas finished eighth and ninth respectively.

Ferrari has designed an all-new power unit ahead of the 2021 season after the regulations prevented in-season updates last year, allowing it to focus on every single area to make improvements.

“We tried to use a systematic approach calling on all of our departments - planning, simulation, development, the track - looking for any chance to improve,” explained Ferrari’s head of power unit Enrico Gualtieri.

“We identified the things we could work on later, after giving attention to the main ones, without forgetting the impact every choice would have on reliability.

“As a consequence, along with the chassis engineers, we have worked considerably on the layout of the power unit, trying to make the overall project for the car as efficient as possible.”

Gualtieri explained how Ferrari had managed to find a performance gain of over one-tenth of a second per lap in the main engine alone.

“We continuously worked on the internal combustion engine, aiming to increase its thermal efficiency with help also coming from our partner Shell, which has led to an advantage estimated at over one-tenth of a second per lap,” he said.

Ferrari SF21 detail

Ferrari SF21 detail

Photo by: Ferrari

"The turbo compressor has been revised to meet the needs of the engine, and at the same time we have planned to increased efficiency in the recovery of exhaust fumes.

“We’re also working on the hybrid system, on the electronic part, trying to revise all of its components and optimising them.

“The season we’re about to begin also has a phase of preparation with respect to the new regulations in which the hours of development of the power unit have been reduced even more. These regulations encourage us to be ready ahead of to time and to introduce most of the possible developments right from the first race.

“We have put enormous energy into this project but at the same time we’re working hard on the power unit for 2022. It will debut next year, and it’ll be even more important, because it will be with us for at least three years of races.”

After last year’s power unit proved to be by far the slowest in a straight line, Ferrari F1 chief Mattia Binotto said at last month’s team launch that the initial data suggested this had been resolved for 2021.

“Based on our simulations today, based on what we can see in terms of power output from the dynos, and the drag of the car from the wind tunnel, I think that we recovered quite a lot of speed on the straights,” Binotto said.

“So I'm expecting the speed not to be such an issue as it was. We hope to be competitive, but we will know it only when being in Bahrain, because it's always relative to what the others are doing.

“But we believe that our car is certainly more efficient compared to the one we had last year, and when I'm saying efficient, again, it is both from the aero point of view, and from the power unit point of view.”

shares

Related video

The car Ferrari hopes will arrest its alarming F1 slide

Previous article

The car Ferrari hopes will arrest its alarming F1 slide

Next article

Keith Greene obituary: F1 racer turned team manager dies aged 83

Keith Greene obituary: F1 racer turned team manager dies aged 83

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021