Ferrari considers bold engine update plan for Russian GP

Ferrari is considering spending its first engine development tokens in time for the Russian Grand Prix in a bold bid to get its season back on track, Motosport.com can reveal.

Ferrari considers bold engine update plan for Russian GP
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H battle for position
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H

Despite having shown strong pace in the first three events, Ferrari is yet to fully capitalise on that form and deliver a victory it so seeks.

But now, despite an engine failure for Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain that means he is already on his second powerunit, the Maranello outfit is weighing up a radical idea of introducing an updated third engine already.

Sources have revealed that Ferrari had unlocked horsepower improvements on the dyno and is willing to spend three of its remaining nine development tokens to bring the combustion updates to track already.

It is thought that both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will get the new engine if the team decides to go ahead with its plan.

No downside

Although it would seem strange to have Vettel already put on to his third power unit of the five he is allowed this season, the reality is that a rotation system means there would be little downside.

That is because 30-40 percent of engine mileage is done in free practice sessions, where Ferrari can deploy the older specification of engines.

Furthermore, there are events – like the Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix – that are not so power critical so the newer units may not be so essential to be used there.

On the other hand, Russia is a power-sensitive track thanks to its long straights – and it is this situation that has made Ferrari consider a change to its plan.

Marchionne hint

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne dropped a hint about the scheme in China last weekend when he suggested the team was ready to bring forward developments.

Reflecting on the season, he said: “Things are going in the right direction. We have set ourselves important objectives, but we must learn to know a completely new car, so mistakes are understandable.

“Despite everything we could have won in Australia, and in general I am happy with the progress.

“But we have much work ahead of us, and we will bring forward an important development. Also, we know that Mercedes will not stop developing, so we have no illusions that they will be easily beaten.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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