One of Ferrari’s immediate problems is that its all-new 2014 Formula 1 V6 turbo engine is “too heavy”, according to Auto Motor und Sport, who said that customers Sauber and Marussia are also struggling with a Power Unit design that is overweight by at least 13 kilograms, which is also slow in a straight line.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt reports that the overweight Ferrari caught even the Maranello based team by surprise, having successfully argued against a further increase in the minimum car-plus-driver weight of 691 kilos for 2014.
Fernando Alonso finished a lacklustre fifth in Melbourne, “I have 12 points more than Vettel and Hamilton, which is a positive but I was missing 35 seconds to Rosberg. That must give us pause [for thought].”
“The Mercedes engines are another category, when I was behind the Force India it was impossible to pass,” added Alonso.
Indeed, technical boss James Allison admits: “Our competitiveness was not acceptable in Melbourne.”
“While we can take some satisfaction from the reliability shown by the F14T, it is clear that we have our work cut out to improve our car in order to compete on equal terms with the Mercedes team.”
“There is plenty about the F14T that is working very well, but we need to work further on the stability under braking and the speed on the straights,” added Allison
But slimming-down the Ferrari engine might prove difficult, as in the wake of the February ‘freeze’ deadline, changes can only now be made for safety, cost or reliability reasons.
The FIA’s Charlie Whiting revealed that all three Formula 1 engine makers, including troubled Renault but also dominant Mercedes, have already applied to the FIA to make changes.
“Ultimately, it’s for us to decide,” he said. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.