Ferrari are holding back on an upgrade to their energy recovery system (ERS) as they seek to achieve maximum efficiency on any improvements before the freeze on development kicks in later this year.
The new technical regulations dictate that an engine freeze, which has already been implemented on the ICE, will last until the end of 2025, with the only exception coming in the form of reliability concerns.
Ferrari’s reliability has looked strong so far this year, and they have capitalised on the change of fuel blend to an E10 mixture aimed at improved sustainability.
They have been able to bridge the gap to the Mercedes and Honda power units, and reportedly have even more power to deploy in Miami next weekend after achieving their goals on reliability.
Part of this impending improvement will pertain to the electrical components, and they will freeze just as Formula 1 returns from the summer break this season, meaning that the teams and manufacturers have just over four months to maximise the capabilities of the power units before a full freeze is administered.
They could, in theory, keep bringing upgrades to the MGU and the ERS on a trial-and-error basis, but the $140 million budget this season all but precludes them from doing that.
Subsequently, team principal Mattia Binotto divulged that Ferrari will be working on an ERS upgrade until 1 September, ensuring that it is as effective as possible before it is integrated into the car.
“This is an update that we will carry with us as a base in 2022,” he said.
Engine upgrades will be vital for Ferrari as, while they have closed the gap to Red Bull on the straights, the Milton Keynes-based side are still usually faster, seemingly because they opt to run lower levels of downforce.
“That’s where we lose something in performance and we need to keep working on it,” Binotto added.
Ferrari are 11 points clear of Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship after the Austrian outfit sealed a one-two finish at last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while Carlos Sainz retired from the race on lap one and Charles Leclerc’s late spin put him down to sixth.