Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Ferrari to introduce new power unit four weeks early at Spanish Grand Prix

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Ferrari has brought forward the introduction of its new power unit to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as it strives to close the gap to rivals Mercedes.

The new version of the Ferrari 064 V6 hybrid turbo was due to be introduced at the Canadian Grand Prix in four weeks time.

“We will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada,” said team principal Mattia Binotto.

“Shell, in close collaboration with our team, has developed a different formulation of race lubricant that will also be introduced with the new power unit, delivering increased performance.”

Ferrari ran strongly in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya but is yet to win a grand prix so far this season. Rivals Mercedes finished one-two in all four of the races.

Binotto expects the teams rivals will also bring new hardware this weekend, and said Ferrari’s upgrades are not confined to the engine.

“[It’s] traditionally a race where most of the teams bring some updates, therefore we can expect to see a step up in performance from our competitors.

“We are currently behind in the championship and we have to catch up, which we know means that our development work will be the key to this season. Having brought a new aerodynamic package to Baku, we will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona.”

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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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41 comments on “Ferrari to introduce new power unit four weeks early at Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. So Ferrari have pretty realised that their season is already critical if they’re bringing their new engine upgrade a month early, after the horror start they’ve had to his season compared to Mercedes 1-2 at every race so far. But I do believe Ferrari will close the gap to the Mercs this weekend until they (Mercedes) bring their own upgrades sometime this year, most likely at Canada.

  2. So, the second of three allowed for the season. I wonder if they’re still going to use the old one in non-power hungry circuits like Monaco.

  3. There were speculation current Ferrari PU spec has extra 30hp than Mercedes, but seems not enough to challenge them. Let’s see will this new PU brought extra 60hp advantage relative to Mercedes and shatter Mercedes comfort zone?

    1. Your estimates sound exaggerated by a factor of 3, if not more. Even 20 bhp more would constitute a sensational step forward at this level.

  4. I don’t know but it seems like Ferrari are more open about their development than Mercedes. But when they don’t get the results they want the wins and championships will start to slide away and pressure increases inside the team. On the other hand Toto says they are the underdogs and move even more attention to Ferrari.

    1. Um…You probably missed James Allison taking viewers step by step over Merc upgrades this season with T Kravitz? He went into a fair amount of detail about the car where they went wrong and where their gains have been won since. They also do a public on line debrief for fans. Ferrari put ice bags over tv cameras. Quite right too but lets not start silly season with Ferrari being the team of the people. Hell, they only started talking to the press again a few weeks ago.

    2. “it seems like Ferrari are more open about their development than Mercedes”, Funny……

  5. Oh no…….I get the feeling this may end badly with smoke pouring out of the back of the Ferraris. Oh well, fingers crossed for a Bottas/Hamilton recreation of Rosberg/Hamilton from 2016, maybe that way we get a good race.

    1. Jason Blankenship
      I agree. And this is why. Last season & during testing this year Ferrari wwre shown to have the most powerful power unit. The issue, (I read else where) or the main one at any rate, is getting the tyres to work properly within a wide temperature range with their car. Bringing so many aero updates to their car & power unit seems to me to be over kill. Mercedes bring updates to their cars sparingly, so they know where they are, and what you gain after applying it. This looks like a panicked move to me, (all be it planned for a few months) but least we forget, this could all go swimmingly, and Ferrari & Benito could be the heroes in Spain. I have my doubts, sadly.

      1. As do I, Harold. At this point, I’m just craving an interesting and entertaining race where Mercedes isn’t involved in the outcome.

  6. But will Charles be allowed to use it to its full potential?

    Good news regardless, and fingers crossed it gets them back in the fight proper.

    1. @nullapax Who says they’ll be bringing two? ;)

      1. @ninjenius LOL, nice one :) Reminds me of the front wing fun that RBR had with Webber ages ago!

        1. Not bad for a number 2 driver……!

      2. Wanna see it in No.16

  7. They had more HP in Bahrain, China, and Azerbaijan. Why accelerate the engine program when it’s not the engine that’s letting the team down?

    This sounds like setting the team up for engine penalties after the Summer break.

    1. Why accelerate the engine program when it’s not the engine that’s letting the team down?

      I think this is a misleading question, probably based on a binary world view.
      When it comes to engines, more power usually equals better.
      In terms of competitiveness, it doesn’t matter if your engine is 20 bhp ahead of everyone else or lagging behind: More power means improved chances of scoring many points, and that’s basically the point of F1.
      Also, improving one component doesn’t mean you’re neglecting everything else. Ferrari’s biggest issues (compared to Mercedes) may well be an understeering car as well as trouble keeping temperature in the tyres, okay. But it’s not like any of those issues have anything to do with what the PU engineers are doing. It’s their job to make the PU more powerful and reliable, regardless of whether the car has mechanical or aerodynamic issues that ought to be fixed a.s.a.p. And that’s what they’re doing. Someone smarter than us must’ve crunched the numbers before coming to the conclusion that the pros of introducing this second PU early outweigh the cons over the course of this season, and that’s why they’re doing it.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        7th May 2019, 18:23

        nase If that were the case, they would have had the engine update planned for Spain from the start.

        Besides, you still haven’t answererd the question. At all.

        1. @f1osaurus

          If that were the case, they would have had the engine update planned for Spain from the start.

          I fail to see the logic in that.

          Besides, you still haven’t answererd the question. At all.

          Erm, excuse me? Why should I answer a question that, as I said above, is misleading and makes no sense to me?

    2. grat
      Ferrari had the better and more powerful power unit last year, nothing seen so far this year suggests the Mercedes power unit is anymore powerful. Why rush to bring developments now when the likelyhood of introducing reliability issue is so high.
      Ferrari, look at the methods of the
      most successful team (your competitor) and learn from them. But no, Ferrari are been Ferrari, alas for F1.

    3. grat, is this upgrade necessarily about producing more power?

      There was talk during the second pre-season test that Ferrari were encountering problems with components failing sooner than planned during the long distance runs, particularly with the electronics and the turbocharger. In Australia, the radio transmissions seem to confirm that they were having to detune the engine, and all of the Ferrari powered teams seem to have had issues with recharging the energy recovery systems in Australia too.

      When you consider the changes to the engine control units Ferrari had to make, and the failure that Giovinazzi had in China when using the unmodified unit, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a change that Ferrari are having to make to address some of the reliability issues they’ve had in these opening races. Gains in performance might then come as a side effect of being able to use higher power engine modes, in much the same way that Red Bull said they intended to use the latest Honda engines, rather than being the primary reason for the change.

  8. DAllein (@)
    7th May 2019, 16:03

    Cool! Development wars are so exciting!

    Of course as a Lewis’s and Mercedes’s fan I am not particularly thrilled to see Ferrari win on Sunday, especially as I will be there somewhere on the Grandstand, but nonetheless it will be a great weekend!

    1. Even as fan, would you like a merc walkover this year or a fair fight between comparable cars and rivers?

      1. I welcome a Mercedes walkover, personally. It is already a fair fight, just Mercedes is doing the best job with the rules and regulations. When another competitor is worthy of beating Mercedes, i will also welcome that.

        I totally understand the disdain for Ferrari. but I will never understand the disdain for the team doing the best job.

        F1 has never been about comparable cars and drivers. But i’d also love to see that too.

        1. @gufdamm

          I totally understand the disdain for Ferrari. but I will never understand the disdain for the team doing the best job.

          You made it sound brutal and fair at the same time.

          But as fans of racing, we would like to witness that ‘another competitor is worthy of beating Mercedes’ come sooner rather than later. It isnt happening in the time frame we expected and thats what has made the sport slightly boring.

      2. DAllein (@)
        7th May 2019, 18:39

        Your question is quite poor. It implies that Mercedes “walkover” is somewhat unfair…

        Unfair to whom? And Why on Earth?

        Mercedes is doing tremendous job all these years. Fair and square. If someone can’t catch them – well, I fail to see anything unfair in it. And it is not for me to dwell on it.

        1. Nothing unfair.. just boring!

  9. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
    7th May 2019, 16:39

    IMO engines has nothing to do with it as with the drivers. It is strategy failure at Ferrari. They already have the fastest cars.

    1. Pjotr
      Direct and to the point. They just need to cut out the strategy errors, and have a clean weekend. Adding these updates could all go swimmingly, or it could be the start of more problems that need resolving.

  10. This team is a massively overglorified, seems in order to mask aero trouble they are pushing PU. This can only end in disaster for them.

    1. Would have to agree. I think they’re probably panicking as their chassis isn’t good enough yet and they still haven’t quite understood it yet. So, they’re attempting to find the gains elsewhere.. Which would be the power unit (the best performing part of their car).

      I don’t know if it’s only me… But Arrivebene seemed a whole lot more capable in the team principal role than Binotto does.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      7th May 2019, 18:25

      It seems more like Ferrari have tyre issues though.

      1. F1oSaurus
        Agreed. That’s what I though, and read elsewhere.

    3. The team, and by extension the brand, is massively over-glorified. How they continue to hold the fascination of F1 fans world over is beyond me. They are now consistent under-performers. I think Liberty will soon be able to relieve themselves of the stranglehold Ferrari has on the F1 brand if this continues. I welcome that.

  11. I only hope they’re not rushed/compromised reliability and long-run testing in this accelerated deployment of the new PUs. That said, fingers crossed, let’s get some closer racing, and – most importantly – let’s hope that the tyres allow for some sensible racing!

    1. Phylyp (@phylyp
      But that’s the problem though isn’t it? They appear to me to be panicked and are bringing what they have when ( from the outside) they might not need it. He’ll, they have not had a clean weekend.

  12. EB (@ebchicago)
    7th May 2019, 17:46

    Isn’t there regulation that says customer teams get the same equipment? Does this mean HAAS and Alfa get the same option to upgrade this weekend as well? Or is there a grace period where the manufacture can run a different spec as they build enough of the new engine?

    1. @ebchicago, I believe that they will have the option to upgrade, but in practise they probably will not do so.

  13. I’m happy they are really pushing hard bc I think they are already at a spot where it will be hard to win the championship unless they go on a crazy run. They need help on the tires and the handling more then anything. This PU upgrade will help. I also have a feeling they may have been trying to hide a PU problem ever since the start of the year that’s been hurting them in the race that we don’t know about bc it’s weird they can be so fast then just end up being slow. Let’s hope that they work it out bc even if your not a Ferrari fan you have to want a tight battle with them and Mercedes each and every race.

  14. Jimmy Norelli
    7th May 2019, 20:22

    Merc looks great and all,however,if Charles would of won in Baku. We’re not having this conversation.

Comments are closed.