Formula 1 journalist Craig Scarborough has weighed in on Ferrari’s bold project in 2022, suggesting that they have taken risks with both the engine and the chassis.
F1’s technical regulations have been completely redrawn ahead of the new season, with the aerodynamics of the cars drastically reducing as the ground effect makes a return.
These have arrived conjointly with bigger tyres as the sport attempts to facilitate closer racing, and the engines have also lost circa 20 horsepower owing to a new fuel blend aimed at sustainability.
Ferrari are said to have overcome this by developing a fuel blend of 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent ethanol together with partners Shell.
It appears to be a brave concept for the Scuderia and development on the new engines has been frozen until the end of 2025, but manufacturers will still be allowed to tweak parts of the engines should they encounter reliability issues.
Scarborough believe that the Italian giants have taken a leap with their new power unit, but the reliability clause does give them a “get-out.”
“There is a risk there, because once that engine is homologated in March it then runs through to the last race of 2025. So you could think ‘wow that’s a big risk,’ but if you have unreliability as we’ve seen over as we’ve seen over the recent years when engines have been frozen, you can make changes for reliability reasons,” he told Peter Windsor on his YouTube channel.
“Obviously Ferrari don’t want to have blown engines; they don’t want to be replacing lots of power unit parts and upgrading it but they do have that get-out and that does slightly soften the amount of risk that they would want to take because they know that they can fix it though this year and it still gives them several years of performance with this engine.”
As a result of the new engine, the Maranello squad have also opted for a brave chassis design.
Former designer Gary Anderson has revealed his scepticism over the functionality and performance of the new car and, while Scarborough does not doubt that that Mattia Binotto’s team have designed a good race car, he warns that they can ill afford to have made one with fundamental flaws.
“This is a test. I think the Ferrari chassis was working quite well through last year; it was the first time after all the engine debacle that they could actually really design the aero to match their own upcoming engine performance and it seemed to work, but to go with something so bold they have to have confidence in that wind tunnel CFD correlation and I have no reason to believe that they wouldn’t have that correlation,” he explained.
“Of course, if this turns out to be a it of a lemon because of the sidepods for example, then it would be very difficult for them to then claw back a new car particularly with the new wind tunnel CFD restrictions, budget restrictions and the time, plus everyone marching on with the development of their cars.”
Ferrari, along with all other F1 teams, are in Barcelona testing out their new car ahead of the 2022 season that kicks off on 20 March in Bahrain.