Scuderia Ferrari plan to introduce a new engine hybrid system to the F1-75 cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz later this month, when the 2022 Formula 1 season resumes at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which will host the Belgian Grand Prix.
Given the current rules and regulation, several power unit components have already been frozen since 1 March. This includes the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), Turbocharger and MGU-H and it means that any developments that affect performance are no longer allowed by the FIA. However, teams can still bring improvements related to the reliability of the power unit.
Yet the MGU-K, Energy Store and Control Electronics have to be upgraded until the end of August, if teams did not decided to introduce these upgrades earlier in the championship.
The Belgian Grand Prix will be the final Formula 1 event before the specific deadline (1 September), which means that Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda and Renault have one last final opportunity to introduce performance upgrade before such developments are no longer allowed.
Formula 1 power units to remain frozen
Ferrari have worked hard on their power unit for the 2022 Formula 1 season and the results have been visible in terms of engine performance, especially compared to what could be seen in the last two years. However, the Maranello team has encountered problems with its engine, just like its customer teams, in the first part of the campaign, with Charles Leclerc having to retire from the lead on two occasions, at the Circuit de Catalunya and at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan, due to power unit failure.
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His Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz also suffered a fiery detonation of one of his power units at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, while he was on his way to a second place finish:
“Yes, we expect improvements to the hybrid system that can help us during the entire period of the engine freeze; we are working hard, but it won’t be a turning point,” Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto recently said in an interview for the Italian version of Motorsport, as the Ferrari boss also ruled out the idea stockpiling engine parts:
“I don’t think that’s a strategy, but rather the consequence. It was the case for [Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in 2021], because I don’t think that was predetermined. It’s always better to have the strongest, but most reliable engine.” – he added.
The other three engine manufacturers – Mercedes, Renault and Honda (Red Bull Powertrains) did not confirm for the moment if they intend to introduce any upgrade until the deadline. Beginning with 1 September, the power unit architecture will have to remain the same until the end of the 2025 Formula One season, while the 2026 campaign will be marked by the introduction of new engine regulations.