Ferrari will introduce a new and stronger powertrain specification sometime in the second half of the season, and they hope that with this move they will further reduce the gap behind the leading teams by the end of the year.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto explained that last year’s components are in the current engine, giving them the right to upgrade those components to a new specification. Ferrari had about 7 tenths of a lag behind the pole position time in the first half of the season, and Binotto said 60% of that lag was on the engine, 40% on the aerodynamics.
The Ferrari boss also explained how they are able to introduce an engine upgrade even though engine development is frozen during the season. "The rules for 2021 say that you can introduce a completely new drive unit for 2021.
This means you can bring an upgrade of all components — internal combustion engine, turbocharger, batteries, MGU-H, MGU-K, electronics." "But we started the season with an engine that is not fully developed.
We still use some of last year’s parts. We will bring the evolution of these parts that will significantly improve performance towards the end of the season, and we will gain experience for 2022, ”said Binotto. Although Ferrari still lags behind Mercedes and Honda in a strong ranking of powertrains, they significantly reduced that lag compared to last year, when GPS analyzes showed that Ferrari had a lag of as much as 65 hp.
This year, the gap has been reduced to 25 hp, and the performance of Ferrari's engine is similar to Renault's. Thanks to an improved engine and excellent performance in slow corners, Ferrari won 2 pole positions this year, and they already have twice as many points as at the same stage last season.
"Our goal was to improve in all areas in 2021. One example is standing in a box. I think any tire change under 3 seconds is good. That may be a high number, but it is more important to be constant, not just fast." "The race can sometimes be ruined by problems when you stay in boxing for 4.5, 5, or 6 seconds.
84% of our stands in boxing this season were under 3 seconds, last year only 48%. The mechanics have certainly improved. " "Last year we were eighth in this parameter in terms of tire replacements, this year we are second, and only one team (Red Bull) is better than us.
As a team, we can still improve, and the car has room for improvement." "But the direction we are going is encouraging. We still have 0.7 seconds behind the best, but that's not just one area — it's the sum of the aerodynamics, the engine, and the whole system."
"I don't think we have a big gap in just one area — which is good because it would mean we have to make significant improvements in just one area, which can be a lot harder, ”added the Ferrari boss.