Ferrari have done the best job of mitigating the power deficit that comes with the new fuel blend, according to a report.
As well as new ground effect aerodynamics this year, the technical regulations have seen the arrival of a brand-new E10 fuel blend which is made up of 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent ethanol.
This is part of F1’s sustainability push as it seeks to become a carbon neutral sport by 2030, and an engine freeze has also been put in place until the end of 2025.
The new blend made for a power drop of around 20 horsepower, but there were vibrant insinuations around Maranello over the winter that they had managed to completely mitigate that and close the gap to Honda and Mercedes.
Proportionately, estimations suggest that the Scuderia have found the best solution of anyone to the power deficit compared to last year’s engines.
“The engineers say it quietly, but Ferrari is sure to be the engine manufacturer that has recovered the most power compared to last season, despite the introduction of E10 fuels,” journalist Giuliano Duchessa wrote in a report for Formu1na.uno.
Following Ferrari’s one-two finish in Bahrain to start the season, it was reported that the Italian side have more power available should they choose to deploy it, and Duchessa indicates that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are indeed not deploying the full potential of the power unit at present as they lead the way in both championships.
“It seems [Mattia] Binotto’s team is then also playing strategy, not wanting to show the true power of their unit this early in the season,” he explained.
Ferrari’s title challenges in 2017 and 2018 fell away after a combination of reliability issues and a mistakes from Sebastian Vettel, so sources close to Ferrari suggest that Binotto is trying to keep the development scope as broad as possible.
“[They] are more interested in finishing the reliability data collection programme, at least until race 5 [Miami],” they said.
They are also said to be planning more developments to their power unit, but they will be “less important” than the one that helped Sainz to two podiums and eight consecutive points finishes at the end of 2021.