Ferrari: Power-unit has found more than a tenth of a second


Ferrari head of power-units Enrico Gualtieri believes that the team have made significant improvements to their engine worth more than a tenth of a second per lap.

The Scuderia unveiled their 2021 car, the SF21, on Wednesday ahead of the start of Formula 1 pre-season testing which gets underway in Bahrain on Friday.

Ferrari struggled last season in a large part due to their deficit on their power-unit front, which came after the team made a confidential agreement with the FIA following an investigation into their 2019 engine.


The evidence of last season suggests that the agreement with the FIA saw their power massively impacted, with customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo also suffering compared to previous seasons.

However, the team appear to have been working hard on recovering from that setback and claim to have seen genuine progress.

“As engine engineers, last season on track produced a clear picture of where we were and that was our starting point,” Gualtieri said. “It was that awareness, combined with our determination, our skills and those of our partners that led to the creation of the 065/6 power unit for the 2021 season.

“We adopted a systematic approach, with all departments – design, simulation, development, track – working together to find every opportunity for improvement. Along with our colleagues on the chassis side, we worked a lot on the layout of the power unit, to make the overall design of the car as efficient as possible.

“With the internal combustion engine, we focused on increasing its level of thermal efficiency, in conjunction with our partner Shell and this has produced an improvement in lap time that we estimate at over one tenth of a second.

“We are also carrying out further development on the hybrid system and the electronics, in order to revise and optimise all components. All this in a season in which power unit test bench time has been reduced still further.”

While their engine got most of the attention last season, Ferrari also looked achieve “radical change” on the chassis side during the off-season.

“When we began the SF21 project, our first task was to identify which area of the car we should focus on in order to achieve a radical change,” head of chassis Enrico Cardile added.

“We opted for the rear end, designing a new gearbox and new suspension system. This, in addition to the efforts of our power unit colleagues has led to a much tighter rear end.

“We also looked at the cooling system, increasing the effectiveness of the central radiator and designed the body with more “downwashing.” Aerodynamics was one of the areas affected by the regulation changes aimed at reducing the ability to generate vertical load, in order not to put too great a strain on the tyres.

“That’s why, as we began developing the car’s aerodynamics, we set ourselves two goals: recovering more aerodynamic downforce than was lost through the regulations and reducing drag. Because of the regulations, less drastic changes were possible at the front end of the car. So, we developed a new front wing which works in conjunction with a new concept nose, but the chassis itself and the suspension is off last year’s SF1000.”