For the 2022 Ferrari F1 car that is being designed in Maranello, the Italian side has decided to bet on an engine with a separate turbo and compressor, following the direction dictated by Mercedes at the beginning of the hybrid era. The novelty is that the compressor could go into the intake box, causing the miniaturization of the upper part of the engine. A courageous solution according to a recent report from Motorsport Italy, especially if the freezing of PUs is decided from next year.
Mattia Binotto has decided to take a risk. The team principal has chosen: in 2022, in the ‘ground-effect’ era, Ferrari will adopt a power unit with very innovative solutions to break with the recent past issue and try to regain leadership among the engine manufacturers
This is a very courageous operation because it will not be without risk: according to rumors filtering from Maranello, next year’s car will be born with a completely new supercharging system arrangement.
Wolf Zimmermann, who is entrusted with the development of the power unit for the new technical regulation, intends to separate the supercharger from the turbo, going in the direction of what Mercedes has pursued since the beginning of the hybrid era in 2014, namely with the arrangement of the first in the front part of the 6-cylinder, chassis side, and the second located as always in the rear, while today both are grouped together in the gearbox direction.
Naturally, the two elements will be connected by a shaft according to the regulations, following a technical approach that was developed by Ferrari, but then also followed by Honda.
Ferrari, however, will not limit itself to copying an architecture, because it will try to push research in the direction of an unprecedented solution, namely to bring the compressor inside the 6-cylinder intake box, and with a new arrangement of the intercooler.
The Maranello engineers, therefore, would be experimenting with a truly unusual layout that could also lead to the renunciation of the system of variable geometry horns, thanks to which it is possible to find the right delivery of power at the different engine speeds.
The very ambitious goal is to have an engine as powerful as others, but with a power unit packaging that should drastically favor aerodynamics, limiting the drag that was one of the serious issues of the SF1000.
In short, Ferrari would launch into a sort of miniaturization of the upper part of the engine which would also lead to a significant weight saving: we are talking about something that has never been seen in Formula 1 with great risks from the point of view of reliability, as this is a completely new solution that will take time to develop and fine-tune, as reported by Motorsport Italy.
In the working group directed by Enrico Gualtieri there are those who would have preferred to carry out a more traditional power unit, ‘daughter’ of the engine that will be used on the SF21, but the constraints dictated by the short time available, and, above all, by the introduction of the budget cap and the constraints on bench tests, required a decision to be made to pursue only one development direction.
And Mattia Binotto must be acknowledged the courage of having bet on the future, in the full awareness that the 2022 power unit will not evolve over the course of the year and that it could be frozen for the next seasons. It is all too evident that in Maranello they have decided to take risks, but if Ferrari has the ambition to return to the top to challenge the Mercedes on an equal footing, it must return to being the protagonist with bold technical choices.
It has been said that in recent years too conservative choices have been made in the Racing Department, so it was decided to dare with a concept that was conceived in collaboration with AvL, the Austrian company from Graz which for years has had a partnership with the Prancing Horse.