Ferrari recovered from two challenging seasons to win three more races in the first half of the 2022 season. They finished 1-2 at the opening race in Bahrain.
Ferrari’s engine improvements, which enabled the team to close a significant performance gap with the Mercedes, Honda, and Renault-powered cars from the previous two years, have been a significant contributor to the team’s return to form.
Even though it wasn’t clear how good the F1-75 car was until the first race of the season, the engine numbers coming out of Maranello suggested Ferrari had advanced significantly compared to what Binotto had previously observed.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Binotto said, “We had a little more clarity on the power unit, sure. We understood where we were on the power unit, and the regulations were consistent.
“We set large numbers for objectives on the power unit. And in more than 25 years at Maranello, I’ve never seen what I’ve seen that we were capable of developing during the season for 2022 on the power unit.
“That demonstrates just how much the team has been able to deliver. So the power unit worked out great.
Ferrari took a stride forward despite being constrained for engine performance through 2020 as a result of research being halted in response to the COVID-19 epidemic and the drive to save costs.
The effects were especially noticeable in 2020, when Ferrari’s performance plummeted and it finished last in the championship for the first time in 40 years.
The FIA engine regulation crackdown as a result of its probe into Ferrari’s 2019 power unit and a subsequent private settlement with the Italian manufacturer contributed to this in part.
Ferrari’s engine improvements this year have been outstanding, although the team has occasionally had reliability issues. Due to problems with his power unit, Charles Leclerc has had to retire from races twice while in the lead, while Carlos Sainz’s teammate experienced an engine failure when finishing third in Austria.
When asked if the development freeze for 2022 was to blame for the dependability problems, Binotto responded, “I don’t know if it’s pushing it too far, because pushing on performance is never enough.
Without a doubt, performance will take precedence over dependability. Why does that matter? that it’s possible that our homologation plan was inadequate.
Additionally, we put limitations on the number of dyno hours for the power unit, just like we do for the others. And those constraints have had an impact on the outcome because, during other times when there were no restrictions, you would just have to put in more effort on the dyno to achieve the same results for performance and dependability.
So, when it comes to September, October, November, and December, you have to make your own decision because to the limitations imposed by dyno hours. And there is no doubt that we go beyond what a typical dependability plan would have called for in terms of performance limits.
“But it could have been frozen for four seasons since we understood it would have been crucial to close the gap. There is always time to fix reliability.
Binotto believed that the emergence of new problems on its power unit at the track this season was a regular part of the season-long process.
In contrast to the bench, the race track is “experiencing failures that are not fully understood problems, but may be difficulties that are [arriving] simply because we are adding experience to a very green project,” Binotto said.
“You’re just learning the product with all the specificity of a racing track opposed to a bench. I believe that was reasonable to anticipate. I’m not entirely shocked.