Ferrari is in a race against time to develop an updated power unit for the 2021 Formula 1 season that it hopes will get around the limitations of the current engine under the technical regulations as interpreted by the recent extra directives regarding fuel flow, ERS distribution and oil burn.
The existing engine package – which last year displayed a significant power advantage over the field – has been rendered uncompetitive by these directives, with particular regard to fuel flow.
Among the Ferrari modifications expected to debut at Silverstone next month are a rearrangement of the radiator layout, to give a more efficient cooling/aero trade-off for the characteristics of the engine as it is now rather than how it was.
The post-pandemic increased restrictions placed upon power unit updates have hit Ferrari particularly hard.
The Italian outfit has endured a difficult start to 2020 after being hampered by a lack of engine power compared to last year, with the team currently occupying sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
As a result, Ferrari will spend a large amount of its permitted development allocation for next season on its engine, much like Honda – despite the Japanese manufacturer’s decision to quit the championship at the end of 2021.
“We don’t have currently the best engine, that’s right,” Ferrari team principal Mattia 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.”
Honda’s CEO Takahiro Hachigo recently stressed the company would not stop development work before it leaves F1.
“We still have seven races to go this season,” he explained. “Next year, we have another season, and then we’ll do our very best to try to win.
“For next year we will launch our new power unit so that we can do well together with Red Bull. And we are going to aim for the season championship.”
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|12:00 - 13:30||Free practice 1|
|16:00 - 17:30||Free practice 2|
|12:00 - 13:00||Free practice 3|
|15:10 - 17:10||Race|