Ferrari will have an updated power unit two races earlier than planned, taking a new engine at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The race in Barcelona usually sees teams bringing new aerodynamic parts, but Ferrari has traditionally targeted the power-sensitive Canadian Grand Prix in June for a new power unit. However, team principal Mattia Binotto says increased work to try and reduce the points deficit to Mercedes has led to the engine update being approved early, with a performance gain expected this weekend.
“It’s time for the Spanish GP, traditionally a race where most of the teams bring some updates, therefore we can expect to see a step up in performance from our competitors,” Binotto said. “We are currently behind in the championship and we have to catch up, which we know means that our development work will be the key to this season. Having brought a new aerodynamic package to Baku, we will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona.
“On top of that, we will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada. Shell, in close collaboration with our team, has developed a different formulation of race lubricant that will also be introduced with the new power unit, delivering increased performance.
“It’s only down to a big team effort with everyone pushing hard to make up ground that we have been able to bring these developments forward.”
With Mercedes having secured a one-two finish in each of the opening four races so far this season, Ferrari currently sits 74 points adrift in the constructors’ championship, while Sebastian Vettel is 35 points off drivers’ championship leader Valtteri Bottas.