Ferrari engine chief Luca Marmorini believes that maximizing engine life will be one of the keys to success in Formula 1 next year.
The new 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 power units will be introduced in 2014, with each driver limited to just five for the season. By comparison, each driver is permitted to use eight of the current well-proven 2.4-liter V8 powerplants during a year.
Marmorini suspects that all three engine manufactures will struggle to avoid penalties next year while they work through the teething troubles of the new power units.
“Next year, whoever is able to handle the engine in a good way and be reliable will have a good result at the end of the season,” he said. “I guess that everyone in the second half of the season will be having a big problem as it will be very difficult to end the season without issues.
“Consider that we are speaking about 4-5,000km per power unit, so it’s almost double what we are doing right now.”
The 2014 regulations divide the power units into a six modules, with drivers allowed to mix and match their allowance for five of each one. A 10-place grid penalty will be applied if a sixth example of any of the modules is introduced, while the replacement of a complete engine will put a car to the back.
“The target is to have four power units per driver, per season, the five power units was set for the first year just to allow for some problems,” said Marmorini when asked about the penalty system. “The idea is to split the engine into six units, so you will have five turbocompressors, five internal combustion engines, five power unit electronics and you can swap them.
“The first time you use the sixth turbo compressor or engine, you will have a 10 grid position penalty and if you change the whole unit you start from the back.
“To prevent you strategically changing the complete power unit if you are at the back of the grid after qualifying, if the sum of the penalty exceeds the last position, you will transfer the penalty to the race after.”