Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have received a late Christmas present from Ferrari, following reports that the team’s power unit is set to have an additional 30hp in 2023.
The report comes from Italian site Formu1a.uno, who also have information from “highly-qualified sources” that Ferrari’s 2023 car is a second faster than it was in 2022.
This will likely concern both Red Bull and Mercedes, given how strongly the Maranello-based outfit started last season.
Ferrari flew out of the blocks, with Leclerc having claimed two wins from the opening three races.
The F1-75 looked incredible, with the team having had a clear pace advantage over their rivals.
However, it quickly became evident that Ferrari perhaps forgot the pressures that come with having the best car on the grid, as a magnitude of issues quickly arose.
Ferrari had clearly opted for performance over reliability with their power unit last season, with their engine having resulted in DNFs for both Leclerc and Sainz.
Both of Leclerc’s engine failures occurred whilst he was leading, costing him crucial points.
Former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted last year that the team prioritised performance over reliability, after knowing that under the current engine freeze only reliability could be improved.
“We pushed the limits of performance beyond what would have been a normal reliability plan, and this is because we knew it would be important to close the gap on the competition before the development freeze for four seasons, knowing that reliability issues can always be resolved later,” Binotto said.
Engine failures, though, shouldn’t be an issue this year, with Ferrari having fixed their reliability issues, something which has resulted in the team having an additional 30hp.
With this in mind, Leclerc and Sainz will likely have a phenomenal car to start the year, especially with the report of it being a whole second faster.
Despite this though, Sainz and Leclerc will need to eradicate their own errors, whilst new team boss Frederic Vasseur will need to solve the team’s strategic blunders.
There is somewhat of a sense that everything is beginning to come together for Ferrari, with 2023 looking like their best chance yet at claiming their first World Championship since 2008.
The question is, though, will they once again buckle under the pressure?