A Formula 1 paddock insider says Ferrari’s latest power unit upgrade could be worth a whopping 40bhp.
In a tweet on Thursday, RACER.com Journalist Chris Medland said he had been told by a source Ferrari new third generation power unit could produce an extra 40bhp from its upgraded ICE, MGU-H and turbocharger.
The new power unit was used by Ferrari customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo Sauber during Friday in Hungary but not by Ferrari themselves – who are expected to take it for August’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The third generation upgrade comes following the significant success of the second generation unit that Ferrari first introduced for its customer teams in May’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Last weekend’s German Grand Prix confirmed Ferrari’s power unit had become the new benchmark for Formula 1, following the dominance of the Mercedes PU since the beginning of the hybrid era.
Over the last five races, Haas has been the highest points scoring team in the midfield, which has allowed them to catch Force India and Renault at the top of the midfield in the Constructors Championship.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff complemented Ferrari’s power unit performance during Friday’s team bosses press conference, but added that this year has the “steepest development rate” he’d seen in the hybrid era, with regard to the chassis and power unit.
“Ferrari has a great power unit and they are setting the benchmark from race to race,” Wolff said, “they are able to extract more, and this is making us push.”
Medland’s original tweet said the new upgrade would be “substantial” for the upcoming Belgian and Italian Grand Prix’s – two of Formula 1’s high-speed tracks that will feature in late August, earlier September.
He admitted the upgrades were “not likely to make a huge difference” in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix due to the circuit’s slower, twisty nature.
Haas and Alfa Romeo Sauber have given Ferrari a chance to test four brand new power units in Hungary this weekend before Vettel and Raikkonen take it in next month’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft said this weekend would be a chance for Ferrari to “iron out any potential problems.”
Alfa Romeo Sauber didn’t have the greatest opening to the weekend after failing to crack the top ten in either of Friday’s two ninety-minute practice sessions.
Haas’ Friday went slightly better with both drivers sneaking inside the top ten. Romain Grosjean finishing both sessions as ‘best-of-the-rest’ in P7, with only the two cars of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull ahead of him.
The power unit’s true gains aren’t expected to be fully displayed until Saturday’s qualifying session, which is set to get underway at 3pm local time.
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) July 26, 2018