Vasseur: I don’t know where power unit numbers came from

Vasseur: I don't know where power unit numbers are coming fromFrederic Vasseur, the new Ferrari Formula 1 team boss rubbished reports claiming the team is set to achieve major power unit horsepower gains in 2023.

Ferrari had one of the best power units in 2022, holding its own well against the grunt of Red Bull’s Honda-derived unit especially early in the season.

However, the Ferrari power unit turned out to be a frail one, with Charles Leclerc suffering from break downs in Barcelona and Baku where Carlos Sainz also suffered from issues, not to forget his fiery exit from the grand prix in Austria.

That meant Ferrari has to turn down its engines for the rest of the season to avoid further failure, and while some report claimed they have been able to increase the output by 15hp towards the end of 2022, new reports have emerged the team has been able to sort out reliability even more allowing them to extract a further 15hp ahead of the 2023 season; which means a 30hp-advantage over the last season.

These numbers are a joke

However new Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur has played down these gains, labeling the numbers floating around the media “a joke” insisting the focus is on reliability.

“I don’t know where the numbers are coming from, but it’s just a joke,” Vasseur said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “We made some step but it’s just about reliability.

“I think the performance last year of the engine was not an issue at all. The issue was the reliability and the first target is to fix it,” he added.

“So far it looks okay. But the reality of the track is a different aspect,” the Frenchman warned. “I think there were a couple of issues that teams suffered from, and it’s not just true for Ferrari.

“It’s coming from the track operation, bouncing and vibration, and everybody will have a much better picture in Bahrain in a bit more than two weeks’ time,” Vasseur maintained.

Vasseur has taken over from Mattia Binotto early in January, and is getting himself up to speed with the situation at Maranello, after what he described as a “crystal clear” handover process with his predecessor.

Ferrari will unveil their 2023 challenger on February 14, 2023.