Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is excited by the prospect of the team’s 2022 power unit, which is reported to have overcome the 20 horsepower drop that will come with the new engines.
Ferrari slumped to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship in the 2020 season, partly owing to an engine that was painfully down on power and led to their car being very slow down the straights.
2021 was an improvement; they managed five podiums between Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc last year, but they were often a significant distance off leaders Red Bull and Mercedes.
Binotto says that Ferrari were aiming to make their new power unit available for the final three rounds of the 2021 season, but ultimately opted to debut it in Sainz’s car at the Russian Grand Prix.
“Originally it was our intention to use this power unit, which we are developing for 2022, in the last races of the season, for example in the last three races,” he said.
The Italian concedes that the engine department has been a thorn in his side over the course of the last two years, and is adamant that there have been marked improvements in 2021 alone, let alone the new PU for next year.
“I think we’ve made a big step in PU. Because if you compare it to the past, in 2020 the power unit was our big weakness and we were a long way behind. If you look at where we are today, then the developments are obvious.”
Binotto confirms that Ferrari managed to get the engine completed well before the end of last season, and he is extremely pleased with the team’s efforts.
“The fact that we manage to do this, eight races before the end, was a great achievement by the team, which felt the pressure working as hard as it could to introduce the engine as early as possible.”
The 52-year-old appears very confident that there is still scope for advancement on the new engine, and promises that the team’s philosophies on next year’s PU have never been seen before.
“I’m pretty sure that we can make further improvements. What I can say about the 2022 power unit is: Believe me, there is a lot of innovation in it,” he said.
Ferrari finished third in the Constructors’ Standings last year, taking pole position in two races.
Leclerc claimed them both in Monaco and Azerbaijan, but a qualifying crash prevented him from even starting his home race, while he finished fourth in Baku.
The Scuderia have not won a race since 2019, when Sebastian Vettel took victory in that year’s Singapore Grand Prix.