Binotto admits grave concern over Ferrari engine reliability

Ferrari-powered cars suffered four DNFs in Baku, resulting in plenty of concern for team principal Mattia Binotto.

It was the worst possible Azerbaijan Grand Prix not just for Ferrari, but also for Ferrari PUs, as four of their powered cars retired from the race.

Carlos Sainz was the first to retire from the race on Lap 9, the Spaniard ran straight on at Turn 4 after suffering from a hydraulic fault.

Next to retire was Charles Leclerc, who suffered a PU failure on Lap 21 whilst in the lead.

The Monegasque’s F1-75 released the typical plume of smoke, demonstrating an engine failure.

Guanyu Zhou and Kevin Magnussen both retired later on in the race, with the latter’s also ending after a plume of smoke was released from his VF22.

It further cemented Ferrari’s place as both the fastest, and most unreliable car on the grid, resulting in team principal Mattia Binotto having no choice but to address the matter.

“Certainly it’s a concern,” Binotto told Sky Sports F1.

“I think we said it even before coming here to Baku. Reliability is always a factor, which is a key factor in the battle, as the performance [is].

READ: ‘Leclerc and Sainz now understand why Seb got a hair transplant’

Article continues below

“As a team, we pushed a lot through the winter last year to develop the car. We’ve proved that we are not yet fully reliable. There is still some work to be done.”

The team are getting through PUs at an incredible rate, with Leclerc having also suffered an engine failure at the Spanish GP.

The upcoming Canadian GP will fill Ferrari with dread, due to the high speeds seen at the circuit which hasn’t hosted a race in two years.

Leclerc’s championship bid looks set to be all but over, with reliability issues hampering his title charge.

Binotto wants the team to “understand” the ongoing reliability issues, before attempting to fix them.

“I think the team will stay focused, work hard, [and] try to address those issues to make us stronger for the future,” Binotto added.

“I think at first we need to understand and analyse what happened today.

“Not all these issues are the same. Maybe some of these are a very quick fix, I don’t know yet. Honestly, I think we need to take some time to analyse, to understand.

“Maybe some are the same [as issues in] the past, maybe not.”

The Ferrari team principal wants the Scuderia to also investigate the issues that Magnussen and Zhou faced, in case they are all linked to one another.

Both the Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo F1 Team will be wanting Ferrari to sort the problem, with neither side being in a position to afford costly retirements.

“I think we need to analyse those ones,” Binotto admitted.

“I think maybe the [retirement] of Zhou is not related to our supply components. But again, something to look at. Overall, whatever is happening there, it’s always useful.

“The reason why we’re supplying customer teams is not for our business, it’s more to have technical feedback.

“So whatever is happening, it’s certainly useful, and we’ll take our time to analyse those components as much we’re doing for the ones which are featured on the red cars,” concluded Binotto.