Photo by: www.kymilman.com/f1

A couple of weeks ago, Honda delivered its first engine upgrade of the season and that was ahead of its original intent but due to reliability concerns, they made the decision. It was touted as delivering more power for longer periods, something that was welcome news to Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

This weekend in Spain, Ferrari will bring its first engine upgrade of the season, and like Honda, the Italians do so ahead of schedule. The reason? It may have something to do with being 74 points behind Mercedes in the championship and the onslaught of four 1, 2 finishes in a row by the German car maker.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said: “We are currently behind in the championship and we have to catch up, which we know means that our development work will be the key to this season.

“Having brought a new aerodynamic package to Baku, we will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona.

“On top of that, we will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada.

“Shell, in close collaboration with our team, has developed a different formulation of race lubricant that will also be introduced with the new power unit, delivering increased performance.

“It’s only down to a big team effort with everyone pushing hard to make up ground that we have been able to bring these developments forward.”

Spain has traditionally been the race that enjoys a profound amount of in-season development parts for all the teams and swapping an engine ahead of schedule is part of that although Red Bull says their upgrades this weekend are subtle.

Binotto said after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he felt Ferrari were not that far off the pace from Mercedes and if their new engine is any gain, then perhaps they can claw their way back to pole positions and wins but there is little doubt Mercedes will be bringing their own upgrades this weekend.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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jtr
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jtr

When you only get two chances to upgrade per season without grid penalties, it seems a bit silly to do so prior to Barcalona and Monaco, two of the tighter and less power-hungry tracks of the season. They’re just going to put extra miles on the engine when they won’t get as much benefit out of it as they would by waiting until Canada. Seems like they’re just compounding their issues from the start of the season by panicking and making an unforced error.

GrumpyGrizz
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GrumpyGrizz

I agree it’s early, but I think they need to find out if the upgrade does what they hope.

I also wonder if Charles Leclerc’s engine issue two races ago also sped up their timeline fearing that it might re-occur or happen to Vettels car.

More reasons to really dislike the 3 engine a season rule, my usual dislike of the race leader turning down their engine and coasting the last 3rd of the race.

the captain
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the captain

So I guess that means all we’ll hear about for the next two days is how strong the Ferrari is. Right up until Mercedes gets a 1,2 by .5 secs in quali then.