Ferrari is confident it will have a much stronger power unit 2021, based on the results it is seeing from the current development taking place on the dyno.
In 2019, Ferrari had the dominant power unit and was regularly the fastest team in a straight line, but technical directives severely hampered the Italian manufacturer and left it with the weakest engine this year. Upgrades during the season are banned due to cost-cutting measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but team principal Mattia Binotto is encouraged by what he is seeing from next year’s development.
“We don’t have currently the best engine, that’s right,” Binotto said. “I think that next year we may have a completely new power unit, that’s per regulations. As Ferrari, we have invested a lot in the development of the power unit for 2021, furthermore for 2022.
“It’s true the engine is currently running on the dyno. I think that the feedback in terms of performance and reliability is very promising.
“We’ve got as the question, dyno limitation, that’s down to us somehow to be efficient in the way we’re planning all the tests with the dyno, maybe be creative in the way we are approaching the testing but I think that even if we have got some limitations on dyno operations there’s still room for improvement. From what I can see today at the dyno, somewhat happy with the results.”
While Ferrari has been struggling for power unit performance this season, it has also seen a clear difference between the pace of its two drivers, with Sebastian Vettel having lagged behind Charles Leclerc. Binotto says small deficits are adding up to a bigger gap, but that Ferrari will continue to support Vettel right up to the end of the season when he will leave the team.
“I don’t think there’s a key difference. I think in the end it’s very small differences. We aren’t talking about a big number, it’s always a sum of hundredths per corner, per braking. It’s very little and it’s a matter of feeling, it’s a matter of feeling the grip, it’s a matter of extracting the potential. It’s our task and it’s our duty to help him, to support him in the ways he can deliver better and that’s it. Looking at the data there are no big differences, that’s the point.”