Binotto admits power unit issues ‘worrying’ for Ferrari

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Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is retired from the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, May 2022 Credit: PA Images
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is retired from the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, May 2022 Credit: PA Images

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has said that reliability issues for the Ferrari power unit have been “worrying” for Maranello.

Binotto has said reliability will play a key factor in the outcome of the 2022 World Championships, and admitted to feeling worried about the Ferrari power unit in the wake of Charles Leclerc’s race retirement from a comfortable lead in Spain.

As the championship leader at the start of the Barcelona race, Leclerc’s retirement resulted in him losing the lead to Max Verstappen – the Red Bull driver himself having retired from two of the first three races due to fuel supply issues on his RB18.

Leclerc’s MGU-H and turbocharger were the culprits behind his Spanish retirement, meaning the Monégasque has lost one of each – drivers are only permitted three internal combustion engines, as well as three each of the hybrid ancillaries such as the turbo, MGU-H, and MGU-K.

Leclerc isn’t the only Ferrari driver to have encountered issues, as Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas is already onto his third Ferrari turbo and MGU-H after seven races in the season – the Finn will take a grid penalty once he requires a fourth of either component.

Ferrari and Red Bull cars parked in parc ferme after the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2022. Credit: PA Images
Ferrari and Red Bull cars parked in parc ferme after the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2022. Credit: PA Images

Given that there are still 15 races remaining in the 2022 season, Binotto said reliability will be one of the main challenges to keep on top of throughout the year.

“Reliability is always a concern,” he told the media over the Monaco weekend.

“And when something is happening, it’s never great. So it’s worrying us. We are looking at what happened [in Spain]. And sometimes you’ve got straight explanations. It can be caused by external accidents. It can be caused by exceptional, let me say, circumstances. So other ones may be a true worry and concern”

Asked to clarify the cause behind Leclerc’s Spanish retirement, Binotto opted to remain tight-lipped: “What can I tell you? Not much! We did the analysis. We failed and damaged both the turbo and the MGU-H, so they will not be repaired.

“Obviously, we found the root cause; we fix it for Monaco, for the next races, and that’s all the detail I will tell you.”

 

Given Red Bull have had two retirements on Verstappen’s side of the garage, Binotto turned to Red Bull boss Christian Horner sitting alongside in the Monaco press conference and joked he hoped Ferrari’s title rivals would face more issues.

“Reliability has been a key factor so far in the championship because we failed in Spain, and I think for Red Bull as well – they’ve got three DNFs, we’ve got one,” he said.

“Our customer teams have got some as well. So it’s as much a challenge as performance – reliability is certainly a big challenge, and reliability, when you’ve got concerns, it’s never obvious to fix them in a short time.

“So yes, it is a concern. It doesn’t mean that we are too concerned, I hope Christian [Horner] is more than myself! But let’s do our best job from now to the end of the season and, hopefully, everything will be smooth and clear.”

The article Binotto admits power unit issues ‘worrying’ for Ferrari appeared first on Planetf1.com.

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