Ferrari is hoping to produce a “benchmark” power unit over the other teams in 2022, despite the team’s recent struggles in straight line speed.
Ferrari’s 2021 challenger, the SF21, has already proven to be an improvement from last season’s SF1000. The 2020 Ferrari encountered significant struggles with engine power throughout the season, making it one of the key areas of improvement for 2021. Thus, the Maranello team introduced a new power unit to the car that brought the pair of Ferraris to P4 and P8 during qualifying and P6 and P8 during the race at Bahrain. Following this success, team principal Mattia Binotto stated that he feels the power unit has clearly progressed since the misfortunes of 2020.
“Definitely the power unit has improved, and happy to see as well that [Alfa Romeo] and Haas progressed,” he said. “I think from our side, we progressed in all the areas that were possible. The aero is certainly better in terms of behaviours [and] the correlation, but the power unit, the car, overall, wherever it was possible to make improvements, we tried to do them.”
“It’s an entire package, so I would not really split it in areas – it’s the entire package which now is better and that’s enough.”
While Ferrari is now feeling uplifted about their new car’s strength, the team isn’t forgetting the challenge of 2022’s awaiting regulation changes. Binotto believes there is still a lot to improve on, including the fresh engine that Ferrari will produce for next year’s contender. However, the team boss is viewing the potential of next year’s car and power unit with plenty of optimism.
“I would say that we are lacking in all the areas,” Binotto said. “I think we are still lacking on the engine, less than before certainly so the gap has closed and I think we are converging.”
“Hopefully by next year, when we will again have a new power unit, we may catch up or have a benchmark for the others. I think on the aero as well – medium and high-speed downforce – I think it’s an entire package again. But now the differences are closer and closer. More important is I think we are working in the right direction with the right tools and that will make us stronger in the future.”