Here’s Why the New Ferrari Engine Won’t Solve Their Straight-Line Speed Issues

Published 09/17/2021, 8:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the sprint qualifying REUTERS/Massimo Pinca


Ferrari look a much improved outfit this season when compared to last season. Currently, they sit fourth in the constructor’s championship, trailing fierce rivals McLaren by 13.5 points after 14 races.

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There’s no doubt that the Maranello-based team improved certain aspects of their car. In addition, they believe their new power unit, which could make its debut next month, could aid them in their battle with McLaren. However, an issue with the aerodynamics of the SF21 looks likely to continue in the eight races that remain.

New Ferrari power unit might not solve the issues with the SF21

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Last year, the SF1000 delivered some of the worst performances seen by Ferrari in its glittering F1 history. Although the team managed three podium finishes, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc struggled to achieve consistent results throughout the season.

While the Italian outfit lost significant power, one of their biggest flaws was in the design. The SF1000 featured a wide nose, which impacted its ability to generate substantial downforce. This meant their car didn’t work well in terms of aerodynamics, which hurt their season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most teams opted not to change much from last year with their two development tokens. Ferrari decided to work on their gearbox and rear suspension, meaning the wide nose stayed on this year’s car. In fact, they are the only team along with Haas and Williams to keep the wide nose, with the remaining teams sporting narrower uses.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

During their home race in Monza, Leclerc and his new teammate Carlos Sainz struggled to keep up with McLaren. While the British outfit made their power advantage provided by their Mercedes engines count, the Italian outfit’s wide nose affected their straight-line speed to worsen their chances.

Although the power unit could make them faster, their existing aerodynamic issues look likely to weigh them down.

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The Italian outfit shifted its focus to 2022 during the season

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Despite finding themselves in the battle for third, Ferrari admitted their focus is purely on developing next season’s car. With new technical regulations coming into effect in 2022, they look to launch a much tougher challenge to their competition next year.

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With a new era of the sport set to begin in 2022, can Ferrari bring back their glory days of old? Only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

791 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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