Ferrari’s power unit problems in 2020 prompted the team to bring a new unit to the track for the 2021 season. And while that unit has “definitely improved” the situation, ”according to team principal Mattia Binotto, Ferrari will introduce another all-new power unit for the start of the 2022 season as they look to get back to the top of F1.
With both Ferraris qualifying 1 ”9 from pole at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, the 2021 race a few months later showed just how far the team had come. Charles Leclerc using the new power unit in his Ferrari SF21 to qualify just 0 ”681s behind poleman Max Verstappen in fourth place. Binotto noted that he was satisfied with the progress of both the chassis and the engine, as Leclerc finally finished the race in sixth place, two places ahead of new signing Carlos Sainz.
“Definitely the power unit has improved, and I am happy to see also that Alfa Romeo and Haas have made progress,” said Binotto. “I think that for our part we have made progress in all possible areas. The aerodynamics is certainly better in terms of behavior and correlation, but the power unit, the car, in general, whenever improvements were possible, we tried to make them. “
“It is a complete package, so I would not divide it into areas: it is the complete package that is now better and that is enough”, assures the head of Ferraris.
Ferrari returned to the fight in Bahrain, but Binotto accepts that there is more to do. Despite this season’s progress, Ferrari’s ultimate goal is to be the pole scorer, rather than see how their drivers can get closer to the times of Red Bull and Mercedes drivers. And Binotto accepted that despite the progress Ferrari has made from 2020 to 2021, there is still more to do, as Maranello plans to launch another new power unit in 2022, along with the radical new aerodynamic regulations for the car. Formula 1.
“I would say that we are lacking in all areas,” said Binotto, when asked what improvements he would still like to see in his team. “I think we still lack in the engine, less than before certainly, so the gap has closed and I think we are getting closer.”
“I hope that by next year, when we have a new power unit again, we can catch up or have a benchmark for others. I think also in terms of aerodynamics it is a complete package again. But now the differences are getting narrower. The most important thing is that I believe that we are working in the right direction with the right tools and that will make us stronger in the future ”.
For his part, Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies reinforces Binotto’s theory, but he adds that “it takes a few more qualifying sessions to make sure you have a reliable number to go back to the factory and say, ‘okay guys, we know how far we’ve progressed, and here we are now compared to the others and Therefore, that is probably what they have done during the winter ”.
“I think that will not be possible until after two, three or maybe four qualifying sessions, when we will have a consolidated number of estimates of what the others have done” ditch.