Ferrari utilised an extra five horsepower to mitigate their deficit to Red Bull in Melbourne last weekend, according to a report by Formu1a.uno.
Charles Leclerc snatched pole position from Max Verstappen in Australia having looked strong all weekend along with team-mate Carlos Sainz; the Scuderia had gone quickest in two of the three practice sessions prior to qualifying.
A starter issue on the Spaniard’s car precluded him from setting a representative lap time following the red flag resulting from Fernando Alonso’s crash that had scuppered his first run in Q3, and he ended up in P9.
He then retired from the race early on after losing control of his Ferrari, but the championship leader suffered no such dramas, dominating the afternoon to claim his fourth victory in Formula 1.
It was reported after the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, where Ferrari claimed a one-two finish, that the Maranello side had more power at their disposal should they wish to use it, and Italian journalist Giuliano Duchessa reports that they were given a five-horsepower increment to allow them to fight against Honda’s power in Melbourne.
The Prancing Horses were up to 20kph slower than the Honda-powered Red Bulls in Saudi Arabia, though some of this can be accredited to the fact that they ran a higher downforce set-up.
Nonetheless, Ferrari’s reliability seems clearly superior at this stage of the season, and both Red Bull and Honda will have to wrap their heads around why, collectively, the main team and their junior side AlphaTauri have suffered six reliability failures in the opening three rounds of the year.
Max Verstappen retired from the race on Sunday late on, and he said that the lack of reliability for the four-time constructors’ champions at present is “unacceptable.”
“I think it’s more important at the moment to finish races,” he said.
“I mean of course today was in general was just a bad day [due to] not really having the pace, I was just managing my tyres and trying to just bring it to the end because it looked like quite a easy P2 anyway and I knew I could not fight Charles.
“So there was no point to try and put pressure on him, but yeah we didn’t even finish the race so it’s pretty frustrating and unacceptable.”