Ferrari to use Bahrain engines in China

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Ferrari will use the two engines it removes from its cars in Bahrain for the Chinese Grand Prix, having concluded they are fit to be used.

The team say they are not concerned about the reliability of their engines despite the failure suffered by Fernando Alonso and the Sauber drivers at Malaysia, and both Ferrari drivers having to change their engines in Bahrain.

Head of engine and electronics Luca Marmorini said:

We have carried out an in-depth study into what happened and the two problems are not related to one another. In Sepang, Fernando’s engine suffered a structural failure, of a type we had never seen during the winter. We believe there was a role played by the unusual way in which the driver had to use the engine during the race, because of the gear selection problems he experienced right from the start.

Additionally, there is no connection with the problem the Sauber team experienced on the engine front at the last race, which we believe was down to an issue with electronic sensors.

Each car has eight engines it can use per driver over the season and we plan our usage strategy around this. As a precaution, we opted not to use the Bahrain race engines in Australia, but they will be used in China, having concluded that they are fit for purpose, despite what happened at the Sakhir circuit.
Luca Marmorini

The Shanghai circuit is not one of the most demanding for engines, as Marmorini explains:

I would describe it as medium load. It features a very long straight, but nothing that causes any particular concern for the power unit and also, the ambient temperature is not usually very high, which makes life easier on the engine front.
Luca Marmorini

Each driver may use eight engines in 2010, which will typically see five engines doing two races each and three engines doing three races each. If a driver has to use a ninth engine they will incur a grid penalty.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Ferrari to use Bahrain engines in China”

  1. are they using the engines for the race or just friday and saturday?

    1. all weekend if they dont damage them

  2. Once is an incident.
    Twice is a coincidence.
    Three times is a trend, a habit, an issue.

    I wouldn’t count Sauber’s failures in determining what Ferrari’s engine status is.

  3. I can see the first double DNF for Ferrari looming over the horizon…

    1. Has Ferrari never had two engine related DNFs in a row? Or do you just mean this year?

    2. The last time I remember both Ferraris having a mechanical failure was in the 1997 British Grand Prix. Does anyone know if it’s happened since?

      1. 2008 Australian Grand Prix.

  4. The gearbox problem made Alonso abuse the engine. To me it looked like he forced it into a too low gear, when trying to overtake, and the transmission caused the engine to overrev.
    Impressed with his ability to get that far with the gearbox problem and impressed with his fighterspirit, trying many times to overtake, even though his gearbox didn’t cooperate.
    Thus I don’t think we can hope for, or fear, a Ferrari double DNF;-)

    1. Now for the record Alonso is scum, but having said that!
      It was a really impressive drive on his part, It is always impressive when a driver is able to out drive a problem with his car.

      1. So Mike,

        Who do you consider an “Angel” in F1 then?

        1. Mouse_Nightshirt
          14th April 2010, 14:06

          Gilles Villneuve… Ayrton Senna…

          Sorry, sorry, sorry! That was dark I know :/

    2. Thats what I thought, but I thought they did`nt have engine braking, so that should`nt be able to happen should it ?

  5. After the first race Ferrari stated that the first engines would be used again. Alonso had a serious gear problem for most of the last race and would have caused serious problems for the engine. Remember that this year we have another two races and the same number of engines and I think many teams will have problems with this. Ferrari have in general produced reliable engines for quite some time now and I don’t see this as anything to give concern

    1. You must admit the feeling is there that the Ferrari, might be a little bit shaky.

      Both drivers experianced overheating in Bahrain, which admitedly might be circuit specific. 3 Ferrari’s collapsed in Sepang, though 1 of these might been unlucky.

      It’s not good to have engine trouble this early in the season, it doesn’t bode well for the sharp end of the championship.

  6. cant the burnt engine be repaired and used again ?

    1. I think -may well be wrong here- that they can fiddle with small parts but generally they can’t do much more.

  7. I thought it was reported when it happened that because of the time Ferrari changed the engines in Bahrain, between qualifying and the race, the engines could only be used again during free practice not a race.

    Am I misunderstanding how they will be used in China or did the original reports mean Ferrari would be allowed to use the engines whenever they liked but would not risk it.

  8. Can anyone give me a link where I can find which driver have used how many engines?

    Don’t they need to use the same engine for race that they used for qualifying?
    I guess last year the rule was that each driver have to use the same engine for free practice three, qualifying & race. (correct me if I am wrong)

      This has engine, gearbox etc stats

      1. Thanks for the link.

    2. Wasif1 they got to use the engines for two all weekends

  9. Hi everyone, I’ve got a question regarding Ferrari and their engines… at the Bahrain GP both Ferrari’s swapped out their engines between qualifying and race… ie. in Parc Ferme. On the official Formula 1 website it states the following:

    “Should a car require an engine change between qualifying and the race, then the driver concerned will be required to start from the back of the grid. Modifications to other parts or suspension set-up will require the driver to start from the pit lane.”

    Link here:

    So, my question is: Why did the Ferrari’s not start from the back of the grid? They started in their qualifying positions of P2 and P3.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. I think the site you linked to have broken up the full regulations and split them across several pages so the true meaning becomes a bit lost. Basically the engine change penalty only applies if the teams are using an engine outside of their original allocation of eight engines.

      You can find the proper regulations in full here:

      1. Thanks for that Keith. I’ve now read the parc ferme rules in the sporting regulations. They are quite specific about what work can be carried out, but there’s no mention of penalties in the event of an engine change. So I guess the changes Ferrari made must have fallen under the following paragraph:

        “Any work not listed above may only be undertaken with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned. It must be clear that any replacement part a team wishes to fit is similar in mass, inertia and function to the original. Any parts removed will be retained by the FIA.”

  10. Which engine from Bahrain are they using, the 1st or 2nd?

  11. The one they used in race. The one used in qualifying isn’t usable in quali or race except Abu Dhabi due to rules stating the engine change between quali and race.

  12. And who says Red Bull has the “BIG” Reliability problems?

  13. Sounds like I should get a job within a racing team.. LOL My immediate take on why Alonso engine blew was how he had to change gears and car wanting to go into neutral. It was almost inevitable to happen either that race or a future race if the engine made it. But I must say I’m glad they stuck to it and raced instead of just parking it and saving the engine for another race once they could fixed the gear shift problem and run it under less stress and “throw away” on of their engines.

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