Kimi Raikkonen Optimistic of 2021 Ferrari F1 Engine Being a “Step Forward”

March 13, 2021 4:50 pm

Serving a punishment by the FIA for using ‘illegal engines’? Or a step in the wrong direction regarding the engine development? Whatever the reason might have been, Ferrari saw an exponential decrease in power in their class-leading power units from 2019 to the 2020 F1 season. It proved to be the major reason for their downturn in form last year.

However, the good news coming out of the Ferrari camp in the offseason is that they have managed to recover most of their power. A new ‘Dyno engine’ has been much talked about.

So, as the pre-season testing is in full flow, can the drivers notice any substantial change in power?

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)

“Impossible to compare to something that we ran last year or in different conditions,” said Kimi Raikkonen after day 1 of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

The Alfa Romeo driver, of course, the only driver to race with all the Ferrari engines of the turbo-hybrid era. So, he is in the best position to make a comparison. If we are to believe his words, there may not be a huge difference from last season, “If you add 100s of horsepower, for sure, then you can tell.”

However, he does think that they made a step forward. Acknowledging that rivals like Mercedes and Honda may have not been stagnant either, he said“I am sure it’s better. But I am also sure that the others have not just stayed the same where they were last year.

“So, we will have to wait and see in the race where we are. But I am sure it’s a step forward (from last year).”

How have Ferrari fared at pre-season testing so far?

The first red flag of the winter testing belonged to the Italian outfit. Charles Leclerc‘s SF21 came to a halt in Sakhir in what appeared to be a technical or mechanical failure. They did not confirm if it was a failure of the power unit.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – AUGUST 04: Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and France during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 04, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

On the other hand, the new addition Carlos Sainz experienced no problems in the evening session. Overall, they put together a combined 115 laps of testing for the team.

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Bharat Aggarwal

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. His fandom for Formula One began with the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and he fell in love with NBA after watching Dirk Nowitzki create magic on the basketball court. He is also a Manchester United fan. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. When he's not following Formula One or NBA, Bharat also enjoys tennis and MMA.

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