Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has admitted this year’s lack of competitiveness is in part due to the FIA clarifying power unit regulations.
A number of technical directives (TDs) were issued during 2019 and in the early part of this year to close loopholes in the power unit regulations, with Ferrari’s advantage from the early part of last season rapidly diminishing. This year the Scuderia has been comfortably off the pace of the front-runners while customers Haas and Alfa Romeo have also shown straight-line speed deficits, and Binotto has confirmed the clarifications have hurt the Ferrari power unit.
“The regulations are very difficult and complex,” Binotto said. “I think there are areas of the regulations of the power unit where maybe clarifications are still required. It’s an ongoing process which has always existed in the past and will exist in the future. Since last year a lot of TDs have been released eventually clarifying some areas of the regulations.
“I think that through these TDs we had to adapt ourselves. I don’t think it’s only the case of Ferrari, because looking at the power outputs this season I think most of the manufacturers somehow had to adapt themselves; but certainly as Ferrari we had to adapt and as a simple output of that we lost some of the performance we had.
“Now we’ve got a clearer situation in some areas of the regulations and hopefully that will continue in some areas if required for the future.”
While updates relating to the performance of a power unit are not allowed this season as part of new cost-cutting measures, Binotto says plenty of development is ongoing for the future but he wants further clarity on certain aspects of the regulations.
“Engine or power unit development is an ongoing process that we never stopped, probably since 2012 when we started developing those engines. We were doing developments also for this season that we will not be able to introduce during the season itself because we had that long shutdown period before the start of the season — which has not been the case for all the power unit manufacturers, by the way.
“But then obviously we will still develop and we somehow try to develop as much as we can by the start of next season. There are still areas of the regulations that need to be clarified and hopefully that may be done so that in the future at least there is sufficient clarity in the regulations to make sure that we’ve all got the same understanding.”