'Ferrari taking full risk of PU failure as Mercedes did last year'
Ferrari will not turn down their engine to minimise the chance of a failure, prepared to take on the “full risk”, that’s according to a report on Auto Motor und Sport.
Already this season both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, have two retirements apiece due to engine failures.
Both of Leclerc’s turbo issues, Spain and Baku, came when he was up in P1 while Sainz was in podium contention when he retired in Azerbaijan and again in Austria.
Following Sainz’s latest DNF, the Spaniard is expected to take a penalty at the French Grand Prix, Ferrari the first team to have both drivers hit with engine penalties in this year’s championship.
But it is not just the works team that is struggling with reliability, Alfa Romeo and Haas have also recorded engine related DNFs.
Ferrari are working on a fix but it is not yet ready to be raced, reports suggesting it will only be available around the time of the Belgian Grand Prix.
But don’t expect them to turn down the engines in the meantime.
“Absolutely not,” said AMuS’s Michael Schmidt. “They have to drive with full power. They have to take full risk. I think they are doing a similar strategy to what Mercedes did last year.”
Last year Mercedes was the team with the unreliable engine, Valtteri Bottas using six internal combustion engines, including a spate of three engine related penalties in four races.
Mercedes seemed to replace the Finn’s ICE at will as they knew a brand new engine had the power to cut through the field.
This year Ferrari are said to possess the most powerful engine, Toto Wolff saying is it “10kw up” on the chasing pack.
With Ferrari’s reliability fix expected to be ready at Spa, that will mean another round of engine penalties for the Ferrari team-mates.
“At the moment it doesn’t look like Ferrari has a solution to the engine problems,” Schmidt said. “Even if they have one, it will take time to build it into the engines.
“The current engines in the pool [both drivers] obviously still have the thing that causes the issues.
“Until the next engines come in the PU pool, it’s going to take until Spa for sure, and that would also mean another penalty for Leclerc.
“I believe Sainz will drive with a new PU in Paul Ricard.”
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