Ferrari to bring ‘significant’ 2021 F1 power unit upgrade

Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto has confirmed that his team will have a significantly stronger engine in the latter part of the season as some parts of the new 2021 powertrain have not yet been used so they are allowed to introduce them although engine development is banned this year.

Ferrari has made a big step forward with both the power unit and chassis this season after a disastrous sixth place finish in 2020, with Leclerc and Sainz keeping their team at the same number of points as McLaren led by Norris.

This year the power units are not allowed to be developed during the season so new improved parts for 2021 were only allowed to be designed by manufacturers once, but Ferrari admitted after half a season that they had not yet used all new power unit parts but used some 2020 parts, probably for reliability reasons.

It is not yet clear when Ferrari will introduce new specification of parts for its power unit, but Binotto has confirmed that this will not happen in Belgium and Italy, the next two races on the calendar that are very demanding in terms of engine power and in which Ferrari struggled in 2020

After Hungary, Binotto confirmed that Ferrari will have to write off Leclerc’s engine due to major damage in the collision in the first lap, and although Leclerc will have to take the third engine earlier than planned, it will not be a new specification because it is not ready yet.

“We will bring upgrades for our power unit,” Binotto confirmed.

“Just to clarify the rules for 2021 – you can bring a brand new power unit and all the components, engine, turbo, MGU-H, battery, MGU-K and so on [there are also control electronics and exhaust system].”

2021 British GP Sainz Ferrari SF21 rear end Photo Ferrari
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF21, 2021 British GP (Photo: Ferrari)

“But we didn’t complete the entire power unit at the start of the season so we’re still using some components from last season so we’re going to bring the evolution of those components.”

“I think it will bring us a significant step forward for the end of the season.”

Binotto confirmed that the new parts will not be ready for Belgium as he expects a tough race for his team.

“It’s going to be a tough race for us,” Binotto said for Spa Francorchamps, the next track on the calendar.

“Because we’re seven tenths behind the best, and most of those tenths, at least 60% [0.42 s] come from the engine.”

“We lack power compared to the best and that’s why we consider ourselves behind Mercedes and Honda. On a track like Belgium, our simulations show that this is a track where engine power is very important and in the qualifying lap the difference will be significant.”

Ferrari started 13th and 14th in Belgium last year, while they were even worse in Italy where they have started 13th and 17th. Leclerc and Vettel failed to score points in both races.

2021 Hungarian GP Sainz Ferrari rear end pitlane Photo Ferrari
Carlos Sainz, 2021 Hungarian GP (Photo: Ferrari)
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