Ferrari have earmarked the Canadian Grand Prix to crank up their engine as they are confident that the so far disappointing V6 turbo power unit can run bolder engine settings.
Ferrari Technical Director James Allison told members of the media in Monaco, “On the engine side, the only changes that you are allowed to make to hardware are for reliability so there is no opportunity for performance there. There is [however] a lot of opportunity to get more horsepower out of the same hardware as you increase your confidence in how hard you can push it.”
“As time goes by, on the dynos, you learn exactly where you can exploit the performance, and that brings you confidence to bring new settings that deliver actual horsepower to the wheels. That happens continuously and we have a step in that direction coming in Canada.”
In conjunction with the engine tweaks the Maranello outfit has a collection of upgrades to be bolted on to the yet to sparkle Ferrari F14T in forthcoming races, although no for the Monaco weekend which requires a package unique to the characteristics of the twisty street circuit.
The Italian team’s latest offering has done Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, drivers considered the best of the best, few favours and is clearly no match for the pace setters this season.
Allison acknowledged, “We have been relatively strong at front-limited tracks over rear-limited tracks, but I don’t think that we could claim to have produced a chassis that is, at the moment, the equal to either Mercedes or Red Bull. We’re not lagging hugely behind but there is still work to do before we can say we are truly happy with the chassis performance.”
“We brought upgrades to China that worked reasonably well. The car had a good weekend there. A a combination of improvements we made and a track that suited us a little bit better. We bought some things to Spain as well, but it was a much more modest set of [upgrade] pieces,” said Allison.
“All the big teams have similar sized facilities and a similar approach to work, so it is very difficult to achieve a rate of improvement that is substantially different to the people we are fighting with.”
“However, we’ve had a race or two where the pieces we brought to the track were useful but not big steps forward. We hope in the coming races to have a more steady progression of things which we hope will lift us up.”
“I think the key thing in this sport is to do the right thing and to do it long enough for it to have an effect. Much of what Ferrari does is already right. There are some things when I arrived I wished to change direction on and improve upon, and time will tell whether my judgement is correct.”
“I hope we will see some of the results of that this season, I hope more the next and even more the next. It’s a sport where you build up your power, you maintain your power, and utilise your power by doing the right thing for long enough with a mixture of short, medium and long term plans. That is what I’m trying to do,” revealed Allison.
Ferrari are currently going through a lean period, not having won a race since Spain last year, while this year Fernando Alonso has only once finished on the podium and Kimi Raikkonen yet to visit the podium – his best results to date a trio of seventh place finishes. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.