Ferrari believes they have now reached an agreement with the top power units in Formula 1, having struggled in this area last year.
After spending the offseason working hard to overcome their engine “drawback,” Ferrari team chief Mattia Binotto is certain that there is “very little” difference between Formula One’s multiple power units.
Ferrari and Red Bull (the latter employing rebadged Honda power units) have established themselves as the early pace-setters for 2022, going head-to-head for triumph in the season’s opening two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Red Bull and Ferrari-powered cars filled the first six spots through the speed trap during qualifying at the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit last time around, with only one Mercedes-powered driver breaking into the top ten.
The drawbacks of Ferrari’s power unit is no longer an issue
When questioned about the existing power unit pecking order, which consists of the Renault-powered Alpine squad, Binotto was delighted to say that Ferrari is now “more in line” with the competition, backed up by their own data.
“As we often said, last year we [had] a disadvantage that we tried to catch up,” Binotto explained to media.
“I think if we look at the data today, we are certainly more in line. On the first two races, and on the analysis we’ve done so far, it seems that between the power units of different manufacturers, the difference is very little.
“I think we’re really reaching a convergence, so while it was a disadvantage for us last year, it’s not anymore.”
Engine is not yet an “advantage” for Ferrari
Despite the fact that much improvement has been achieved, Charles Leclerc believes it is still too early to declare Ferrari’s engine drawback an outright advantage.
“I can feel the difference from the car [and] the progress that’s been made from last year to this year, which is nice,” said Leclerc, when asked about Ferrari’s apparent power unit gains.
“It’s the result of all the work of the guys back in Maranello and is also a reason why we are much more competitive this year, so it’s great to see that.
“On the other hand, I don’t think we have any advantage. I think we are very similar to where Red Bull is at the moment – they seem to be very strong power unit-wise.
“We need to keep pushing, but it is definitely a big step from last year.”
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