After struggling in the first half of the season, Scuderia Ferrari have suddenly pulled up their socks. They went on to display superior straight-line speed compared to Mercedes at Spa and Monza. However, with that extra raw power, a new mystery on on hand, where did it come from? Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix 2019, the teams are determined to get to the bottom of the issue.
Mercedes, Renault and Honda are still racking their brains over this particular equation. It is believes that Ferrari has gained up to 40 kilowatts, which just under 55 hp. The two wins in Spa and Monza had two factors, Charles Leclerc keeping his head in the game, and a strong engine in the rear.
As evidenced in Monza, the Ferrari was a beast on the straights and neither Mercedes could sneak past. Monza was the place where the Ferrari power was truly unleashed, as they were nine tenths quicker than Mercedes on the straight. The only way Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could catch Charles Leclerc was in the corners, of which Monza had not many.
According to Hamilton, even with DRS at his disposal, “Despite these advantages, we only made up two meters on Leclerc on the home straight”.
Recently in the Ferrari post-race analysis, team principal Mattia Binotto credited the more powerful engine and the lesser drag for their win. According to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, “Renault, Honda and we are currently approximately on a plane. Only Ferrari stands out, and sometimes dramatic”.
According to Red Bull, they even went to the FIA to help them solve the mystery, but there has been no answer from them.
However, one theory is that the Ferrari needs a slow lap to build up to that power boost. This is because, it has been seen in specific phases, like in qualifying, the race start and the safety car restarts.
Though it is worth noting that this extra power is not available at Ferrari’s beck and call. Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc have to be very strategic in their implementation of the power.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, another theory is that under certain conditions Ferrari is able to feed 160 instead of 120 kilowatts from the battery into the system.
Secondly, during the slow lap, it takes place before activating fuel between the flow rate metering point and the high pressure pump. This move injects more fuel in the Q3 rounds than allowed.
The third theory is that the air collector (plenum) is cooled in front of the engine with oil and the engineers of this oil branch off a bit for combustion.
Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, all these theories are floating around, but there is nothing substantial.
The only thing that their rivals can say is, “It must be something very clever, what they do there. And if it’s legal, you can only take your hat off.”