If you listened to our F1B Podcast #153 (and if you’re not you should be), you may recall our very own Mark Hallam commenting on the fact that three Ferrari engines had trouble last week in Malaysia. You may also recall that we both discussed the engine change prior to the Bahrain GP for the Italian team as well.
This lead us to ponder the possibility that Ferrari may be facing a bit of an engine issue that could catch them out like it did Red Bull last year. You’ll recall that teams are allowed eight (8) engines for the entire season and should they use more than that, they face a 10 grid-spot penalty.
I was looking for some information on the situation and found a story with Fernando Alonso from Sky news in Italy. It seems the Spaniard isn’t worried about his engine failure last week nor is he overly concerned about the reliability issues that Ferrari seem to have had with their lumps from the beginning of the season. Following is a Google translation of the story:
I’m not worried about reliability. I think what caused the failure of my engine is an episodic event and the team told me that there is no connection either with the problems we had with the Sauber nor those anomalies that had recommended the replacement of engines on Sunday in Bahrain . As for performance, even in Malaysia we were competitive. That was the Sepang track with different characteristics than the two previous and the F10 has proven to adapt well. We still need to improve the exploitation of the tires on the first lap but the race pace we are very good, “said Alonso.
“Now we can expect a week of preparation for the Grand Prix of China. It ‘an opportunity to recharge your batteries for the drivers and the team will work to bring any innovations that can make the car faster. I think the F10 will adapt very well to the characteristics of the circuit in Shanghai and there are reasons to be optimistic, “said the Asturian. “In the next few races we always try to get on the podium: square consistently among the top three we will be in a good position to fight for the title.”
There is an interview on Ferrari’s website with Stefano Domenicali but he doesn’t say too much about the engine issue. He’s looking forward to China. This may be much to do about nothing but as both Sauber’s experienced problems in Malaysia (they have Ferrari engines) and Alonso had a DNF when his lump failed, it makes one wonder. It makes Ferrari fans worry.
Do you think they have a problem? Changing engines prior to the first grand prix of the season seemed a bit odd and while Alonso’s DNF could be blamed on the clutch issue he had, the Asturian says it was non-related. Reliability was less of an issue for them last year so what changed in a era of supposedly frozen engine development?