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