Formula 1’s manufacturer teams will enjoy a huge advantage in 2014 because of the complexities of packaging the new power units, reckons Ferrari technical director James Allison.
As teams continue to work on getting their new cars ready for F1’s first pre-season test at Jerez that starts on Jan. 28, Allison is in no doubts that works teams Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull will have the edge over customer squads.
“One of the massive advantages that this team has is that it has the engine and chassis under one roof,” said Allison, who rejoined Ferrari last year after a spell at Lotus. “That is an advantage in any year. But in one like this one, where you are packaging such a different power unit as has been necessary in a year like this, that advantage I think becomes quite large.”
Ferrari’s engine chief Luca Marmorini suggests that too much focus has been placed on the competitiveness of the engines alone, and believes success will ultimately depend on how the whole car comes together.
“The power unit is a big change, but also it will be extremely complex to incorporate the power unit in a competitive car,” explained Marmorini. “For Ferrari, this has been a joint project [between chassis and engine departments]. With the power unit project, it has been fundamental for reliability.
“Any decision in terms of the engine has been as a result of discussions with the chassis people, because in the end the car has to win, not just the power unit.”