Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner has confirmed that Ferrari’s engine is back at rival level after a disastrous last season in which they had the weakest engine in Formula 1 and finished sixth in the constructors ’standings.
Ferrari had the weakest engine all last season due to the consequences of a secret deal with the FIA, and as collateral victims were their clients Alfa Romeo and Haas who also suffered a significant drop in competitiveness.
But after the first two races of the new season, Ferrari is significantly better, just like Alfa Romeo, which is now fighting for points again, while Haas is at the end due to the lack of investment in the development of cars and inexperienced drivers.
Despite the poor speed they showed in the first two races, Steiner admits they can no longer complain about Ferrari’s engine being competitive again. "I think we're inside," Steiner commented on the engine situation.
“I don’t know the exact numbers, but the difference between the engines is very small. It’s hard to tell who’s a little ahead or who’s a little behind. But I think we're inside. " "We've caught the rhythm and maybe we're even a little ahead of some other powertrains."
Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto is pleased with the progress Ferrari has made over the winter with limited opportunities in a year in which all teams have the same chassis as last year and in which they were only allowed to change some parts on the car.
“The powertrain has definitely improved and I’m happy to see that both Alfa Romeo and Haas have progressed,” Binotto said.
For next season, in which engines will be frozen until the end of 2025, Ferrari plans to go a step further and change the long-standing concept that the turbocharger and compressor have on the rear of the engine, as well as Renault, while Mercedes has a compressor from the front since the beginning of the 2014 hybrid era The solution with a separate compressor from the turbocharger requires the placement of the MGU-H within the V-slope of the engine, between the compressor and the turbo, and after two seasons, Honda 2017 switched to such a concept.
The project of the new engine is led by Wolf Zimmermann, and another big change is the position of the compressor, which would not only be separated from the turbocharger at the rear of the engine but would be located in the intake box above the engine where it would be even more thermally insulated.
“I don’t know exactly for 2022,” Steiner commented. "There are other types of fuel and there's a lot of development in the background." "Everyone has to change something and develop new things so I don't know who will be ahead."
“But I know they [Ferrari] have been working on the powertrain for next year for a long time. That's why I hope Ferrari will be ahead of the others. "