Ferrari uses new engine software following rivals’ complaints

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Scuderia Ferrari introduced an updated software after rival teams Mercedes and Red Bull accused the Italian team of using more electric energy then permitted. For long weeks, Mercedes and Red Bull were examining Ferrari's car more intensively than their own ones.

Ferrari has been in the spotlight for a few weeks after its rivals questioned the legality of its power unit and claimed that the SF71H produced more than the allowed electric energy. According to the rules, MGU-K can only deploy 120kW of power.

The stories have revolved around suggestions that Ferrari could allegedly use more than is allowed from its twin-battery arrangement, without it being picked up by the FIA sensors, and that it could be extracting more than the 4MJ of energy allowed per lap from the energy store to power the MGU-K.

Ferrari is the only team which splits it energy store in two halves which also means it has two outputs. This is not against the rules as long as it produces no more than 4MJ per lap and a performance of 120kW.

Mercedes and Red Bull claimed that they could see via GPS data during the Baku qualifying session that Ferrari gained a sudden increase of 20bhp which is equivalent to 3 tenths of a second in lap time. In contrast to that, Ferrari had no such a power leap in Barcelona.

After the Azerbaijan race, Mercedes informed the governing body, the FIA that Ferrari might have found a grey zone in the rule book. The Brackley-based team supplied the FIA with the possible way how the rules can be evaded. Following Mercedes claims, FIA started to investigate after Baku and requested performance diagrams from Ferrari.

The Italian team introduced a new software for the Monaco Grand Prix weekend which it has been used since the first practice session. The new software should eliminate all doubts about the legality of Ferrari’s power unit.

Previous allegations from Mercedes and Red Bull

This complaint is not the first one from rival teams Mercedes and Red Bull. Rumours of oil burn, secondary oil tanks and clever exhaust blowing maps have all been floated, despite the FIA never finding anything untoward with the car during on-event checks.

Mercedes accused Ferrari of using more than the allowed amount of 0.6 litre of oil, by injecting extra oil in the turbocharger and exceeding so the permitted amount. On 14 May the Anglo-German team sent a letter to the FIA about the matter. Charlie Whiting said that the turbocharger is part of the power unit, so the oil used in that engine component also belongs to the oil contingent. However, no engine manufacturer was forced to rebuild its turbocharger after the FIA clarification which means Mercedes' accusations were false.

For the Baku race, Ferrari modified its mirrors following Red Bull complaints. The energy drink-owned team found out that the strakes on the front of Ferrari's floor could be seen when viewed from above. A requirement of article 3.5.5 of the technical regulations is that no bodywork in a box region ahead of the sidepod and floor's leading edge should be able to be seen from above

After Barcelona, Ferrari also had to modify its unique halo-mounted mirror-winglets arrangement after Red Bull complained about its legality.