FIA allowed Ferrari to modify power unit due to ‘reliability’

Ferrari have reportedly been given a reliability exemption that allows them to develop their power unit, something that is available to all manufacturers.

Ferrari were given a reliability exemption on their power unit by the FIA which allowed them to slightly modify its specification.

Amid the new technical regulations in the pinnacle of motorsport is a freeze on engine development, with the ICE already prohibited from being worked on by manufacturers.

Electrical components will be frozen midway through this year, but there is still room to develop them if a supplier or team applies for the reliability exemption.

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

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are now both on the same engine after the Spaniard had a new one installed ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while the 24-year-old received his new motor in Miami last weekend.

Sadly for Sainz, he never really got to utilise his amid an incident filled race in Bologna, while Leclerc was still beaten in Miami by Max Verstappen, although Red Bull did bring upgrades to the car itself, something Ferrari will do at the next race in Spain.

They also switched out the original engines at a time when they were only silghtly worn , but not so much so that they are unusable, so Leclerc and Sainz can still run their old power units during Friday’s practice session.

This enables them to conserve the new engine as much as possible so that they do not have to spend money on new engines later on down the line, which would be costly given the $140 million budget the teams are working with this season.

A report by Auto Motor und Sport suggests that the new engine is of a different specification after the FIA approved a change due to longevity concerns.

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Head of single-seater technical matters, Nikolas Tombazis, revealed at the start of the season that it was only fair to let manufacturers make alterations if they are worried about reliability, given that they would then be stuck with that spec until the end of 2025.

READ: Wolff defends Hamilton, calls for ‘dialogue’ with the FIA

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

Team principal Mattia Binotto recently affirmed his belief that Red Bull will eventually have to “stop developing” due to the cost cap.