Ferrari’s technical director Mattia Binotto revealed in the Friday afternoon’s FIA press conference that his team is adamant to survive the season with the maximum allocation of power units.
For the 2017 championship season, every driver is limited to use a maximum number of four power units. All of those units consist of six different elements.
The Scuderia got into a difficult position after unexpected changes of turbochargers quite early in the season. Both drivers are on their third unit of internal combustion engines, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics, but they have both already thrown all their turbochargers in the pool. To make the issue even more serious, Vettel lost a turbocharger from his pool, so the still useable ones have already some mileage on them.
When asked how concerned Ferrari is, the team’s technical chief answered that his group of technicians is well aware of the risk, but they still want to avoid any grid penalties by sticking to the units being still in the pool.
“Certainly it is somehow a concern in the fact that we had failure on the turbo at the start of the season and we have to replace them at the very start and you introduce very early in the season turbo number three and turbo number four.”
“We introduced as well in the following turbos some modifications for reliability. They are running well at the moment, so we’ve got all the pool at the moment that have been introduced but we’ve got all the mileage available on each turbo, so we are rotating them and, obviously it’s our objective to conclude the season with the current pool of turbos.”
Regarding Ferrari’s current competitiveness and possible dip in performance, Binotto categorically refused to confirm any suggestions that Ferrari may have either lost out in the development race or has been affected by the latest restrictions of their floor or the oil burning.
“There have been races at the start of the season where we have been competitive and others where Mercedes has been competitive. If you look, for example, Bahrain very early in the season, they have been very competitive in qualifying, we have been in the race. I don’t think that there is a clear tendency and a clear trend on the competitiveness of the two teams.”
“Certainly the development is very important. That has to be done race by race. There are still many races to go, we are just half of the season and I don’t see any reasons why this should be one trend or another one. I think that oil burning, as you mention, is something that is not directly related to Ferrari and the floor, honestly I don’t think there is any impact on our performance,” concluded Binotto.