Ferrari to introduce one final power unit upgrade before development freeze

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have been on the receiving end of some misfortune in Ferrari's title battle this season.

Ferrari are set to beat the clock by bringing one final upgrade before engine development is frozen until 2026.

Formula 1 underwent one of the biggest changes to the technical regulations in recent memory ahead of this season.

More or less everything changed; ground effect aerodynamics were brought back, the chassis and wings were radically altered, and the engines were changed too.

Because of the different size and shape of the chassis, the engine has to be changed to fit into it, and the teams have also been working with a new fuel philosophy.

READ: FIA stresses exception to Formula 1’s engine freeze

The fuel is made up of 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent ethanol and, while this may not seem a big change, several alterations had to be made to accommodate the new formula.

Ferrari managed that better than most, constructing a power unit that has been capable of competing for race wins which, at the start of the season, was vital.

The combustion engine has been frozen until the end of 2025, but the teams still have time to bring upgrades to the electric side of the power unit, and this is something that Ferrari, according to the Mirror, are confident of managing.

The engines will be completely frozen as of the Belgian Grand Prix, and the Scuderia are expected to have made their final engine design before then as they seek to finalise an engine that is both fast and reliable.

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However, the engines may still be worked on at the FIA’s discretion if they can prove that reliability is an issue for them.

“Modifications may be made to resolve reliability problems after approval has been granted by the FIA,” reads Article 9.5 of the technical regulations.

“The reliability problem must be clearly documented and the modification must not give any performance advantage. A summary of the modification will be circulated to all teams.”

FIA head of single seater technical matters, Nikolas Tombazis, stated at the start of the year that the provision was added in the interests of fairness.

READ: Mattia Binotto ‘not surprised’ by poor reliability as he reveals Ferrari’s aggressive approach

“When we discussed introducing the freeze, we determined that, if one was in difficulty, everyone would engage in good faith to discuss how to solve the problem, perhaps allowing for some development,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“There is no interest in sentencing someone to be left behind for four years.”

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have both suffered two reliability failures do far this season, with the Monegasque losing wins in Spain and Baku as a result.

This had a knock-on effect on the Monegasque’s chances of winning in Canada when he picked up a grid penalty.

Sainz was denied a potential podium when he also retired in Azerbaijan, before the Scuderia were denied a one-two when the Spaniard’s engine blew out in Austria.

The 27-year-old would subsequently pick up a penalty of his own for the French Grand Prix, which he finished fifth after Leclerc crashed from the lead.

The lost points leave Ferrari 97 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Standings after 13 rounds of the season.