Ferrari has managed to substantially improve its 2017 Formula 1 engine, according to customer team Haas after the American Formula One racing team described the reliability as being “amazing” at the end of the first pre-season testing session, that took place during this week in Spain. While Ferrari showed impressive pace with its own new car over the four days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, its revamped engine also ran without any major isssues, which is definitely a very encouraging sign.
And for Haas, which had to deal with several reliability issues during the 2016 Formula 1 championship, the progress its supplier has made with the new engine is very impressive, as team principal Gunther Steiner confirmed: “The engine and gearbox here, we had almost a flawless test with the same engine – we never changed engine. We had twice an electronics problem but it was a software problem, nothing big mechanical. I can honestly say that they have done a fantastic job. To come out here with a totally new engine, a complete new engine, and be this reliable, it is amazing in my opinion. If you look at the other ones around, and they are no dummies, they have quite a few issues. So from last year to this year Ferrari have stepped up a lot and it is very good.” – Gunther Steiner added.
Although for the moment the results from the first testing seassion should not be given too much attention, as many teams most likely did not concentrate on performance running, the first indications from the test suggest that there will be a very tight midfield battle this season. Haas could be in that pack, but Steiner says it is far too early to build up hopes of where exactly it can slot in: “I think we made a step, but how good it is is difficult to say yet. We are pretty happy. We still have some work to do to utilise it, but I think it is more like – we made a good step but have the others made an even a better step? We don’t know yet. The times are very confusing here. With the tyres it is pretty easy to see what they are doing, but the fuel loads are tricky to find out, or be certain about what is happening.” – Haas team principal concluded.