The Ferrari 675 project brought with it the same philosophy adopted during the 2022 Formula One championship. Last year’s F1-75 car was a very valid concept in itself that the Maranello technicians have not been able to develop. This, without mincing words, is the truth that emerged from the facts based on the data collected from last season and from the start of the current one. The reasons are well known. We discussed them several times in the last few weeks and one of the key factors is the difficult process linked to the simulator work that should have indicated the development potential of the F1-75.
In addition to this, another factor that contributed to the unsuccessful racing campaign of the F1-75 concerns reliability, an aspect that severely limited the performance of the Italian engine, which was limited in the second part of the 2022 season in order to “survive”. Although the technicians have identified the problem and theoretically fixed it, the current championship has expressed a different verdict in terms of reliability for the SF-23.
As the 2023 Formula 1 campaign started, Charles Leclerc’s first race meant a first technical failure at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. The number 16 suffered a technical problem in the last part of the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix and was forced to be stop the car trackside. An issue caused by the electronics that blocked the power unit.
We are talking about a major problem between the components responsible for recovering hybrid energy, managed by the SOC (state of charge) mapping and the energy store. A contrast that probably occurred due to an incorrect information status of the control unit, moreover replaced the previous day, which allegedly processed the information necessary for the functioning of the parts in question in an inexact way.
A scenario that brought Maranello’s experts back to the drawing board, as Ferrari was convinced that they had produced a power unit unaffected by reliability problems. Later, as a precaution, there was the replacement of internal combustion engines. A move that is certainly worrying above all because the same treatment has been suggested on customer cars as well.
Ferrari: the worrying signs of the 066/7 power unit
Although the information reported in this paragraph awaits further confirmation, through on-board observation of the SF-23 cars, the FUnoanalisitecnica Italian website noticed some elements that could contribute to the idea that Ferrari took some preventive actions for the turbo hybrid units.
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We are talking about some excessive care compared to the past in terms mappings used during free practice, different controls regarding the ERS in the race and an energy recovery obtained through the two motor generators, MGU-H and MHU-K, dissimilar to that which could observe in Bahrain.
As mentioned at the moment, the findings in this sense cannot be defined as factual. However, this gloomy context seems to “hide” some basic issues which, in all probability, may not yet be completely clear even to those directly involved.
Ferrari: the MGU-K of the 066/7 engine failed on Hulkenberg’s car
During the last round of the 2023 Formula One season we witnessed a clear step forward for the Maranello team. The maximization of the aerodynamic package together with the most suitable suspension configuration for the project, in fact, allowed the men in red to work within a clearly wider range of settings.
Although the results scored in the Australian Grand Prix should certainly be defined as bad, with zero points for Ferrari, from the mere point of view of reliability, no further critical issues emerged on the two SF-23 cars. This despite Riccardo Adami, track engineer of Carlos Sainz, during the various installation laps, asking the Spaniard to “cool down” the engine in turn 11 to better manage the operating temperatures of the engine.
However, if we take a look at the “affiliated” competitors who mount Ferrari power units, we detect an issue on Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas. The veteran German driver crossed the finish line of the Grand Prix regularly, under the Safety Car regime, only to then be forced to park his VF-23 on the outside of turn 1.
The former Racing Point driver had intervened on the radio during the last lap, launching a clear alarm for the American team: “For a few moments I lost power. Furthermore, the transmission was no longer synchronized.” A momentary blackout attributable to the malfunction of the MGU-K, in short, which has greatly worried the engineers of the Kannapolis, North Carolina team.
Shortly after, the power returned, giving the thirty-five-year-old from Emmerich am Rhein the opportunity to continue his race, to then obey the subsequent orders to park his single-seater prematurely, “Nico stop the car, we need to stop the car”, in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the mechanical parts put to the test by the restrictive rules on the number of components that can be used throughout the world championship before incurring penalties.
Now. Considering the philosophical approach of Haas, in fact very similar to that of Ferrari, a fact emerges that deserves attention: the American car, like the SF-23, showed a certain difficulty in the busiest phases of the weekend. However, the cases are not only reflected in tire management, but also refer to the management of operating temperatures under the engine cover
According to the information collected by the FUnoanalisitecnica editorial team, the long spring break will give the Ferrari engineers the opportunity to study all the cases listed in the article, with the aim of being able to decide the maximum power that can be released by the power unit without fear of running into nasty surprises, eradicating this worry from the minds of the Maranello team, to then focus themselves to the already complicated performance recovery against Red Bull.