F1 – Ferrari/Power unit 066/7: the 30 horsepower of “discord”

For several weeks now F1 speculations circulate about the alleged step of power of the power unit Ferrari which will equip the single-seater 675. In recalling that almost all the elements of the turbo hybrid units were frozen on 1 September 2022, the men of the prancing Horse they still worked on the power unit 066/7taking advantage of the derogation from the “freeze” granted by International Federation.

This is obviously not a preferential lane granted to the historic Modena team, but a chance offered to all manufacturers who have submitted evidence relating to real reliability problems accused during the 2022 season to the federal body. Maranellothe number of technical breakdowns suffered last year on the cars, added to the headaches suffered by the customer teams, does not give rise to any suspicion on the part of the competitor.

Regulation of the derogation from the “freeze” of the Power Units

Fix the structural problems of the engine 066/7 offered the possibility of being able to fully exploit its potential, deliberately controlled by Ferrari technicians through parsimonious management of the hybrid component (Read the technical details here). An opportunity to further enhance the heart of the red 2023

F1: the genesis of speculation on the improvement of the Ferrari power unit

Several sources have speculated that as part of the corrective changes to the red’s power unit, the men headed by Henry Cardile were able to extrapolate a surplus of 30 horses. The power unit component that cost many recalls a Charles Leclerc e Carlos Sainz is theMGU-H.

After the failure of the Monegasque in the Azerbaijan Grand Prixthe Ferrari he compulsorily managed the motor generator MGU-H less aggressively, in order to be able to limit the approval of new engines to a reasonable number. The conservative mappings subsequently adopted could have resulted in a loss of performance equivalent to about 2/3 tenths per lap.

By way of example, the operating conditions of theMGU-H. It can be seen that this component requires power from theERS to keep the turbocharger “on track” (avoiding turbo-lag, author’s note) at low speeds and high accelerator positions at the same time. In the other operating conditions theMGU-H always recovers power.

Power demand to the MGU-H as a function of speed and throttle position

The phantom recovery of 0.2 seconds would be equivalent to the fateful 30 horsepower of the new 066/7 power unit specification. Hypothesis sustainable with the old generation of naturally aspirated engines, since the increase in power was linear over a single revolution. However, in modern power unitthe power contribution provided by the hybrid component is not constant, therefore the estimate is unlikely.

Much more realistic to argue that the Ferrari PU can return to expressing the power of the first rounds of 2022, in which the nefarious reliability problems had not yet become apparent. And certainly the difference with the other engineers was not in the order of 30 horsepower.

Hypothesis rejected to the sender also by the mole team principal of the redhead Frederic Vassuer: “The numbers?, I don’t know where the numbers come from, but it’s just a joke”. Obviously the transalpine engineer has every interest in not overreacting even if these numbers were confirmed during the pre-season tests and in the first races of the world championship. It is also necessary to consider that one of the reasons for the defenestration of Matthias Binotto it was precisely the low reliability of the power unit.

F1: Ferrari caution despite claims of victory

Despite Vasseur has not hidden his ambitions for victory, he is a manager experienced to the point of understanding that repeating the mistakes of the past would be a own goal resounding.

It is reasonable to expect that also the revised and corrected version from the power unit 066/7 can be progressively put to the test despite the flattering on the test bench, information made known by the transalpine manager:

“It looks OK so far but the reality of the track is a different look. A couple of issues that teams, not just the Ferrariwere experiencing came from track problems, rebound vibrations and we will get a much better picture in testing in Bahrain”.

Track debut for Frédéric Vasseur, Scuderia Ferrari team principal – 2023 season

Much will depend on the overall goodness of the project 675. If the weaknesses of the 2022 aerodynamic design are resolved, the engine sector will also benefit, which will be able to unleash the full potential of the engine progressively and without frenzy. After all, on the French engineer’s agenda, reliability is one of the main priorities to be achieved in the very short term.

Author and graphics: Roberto Cecere@robertofunoat


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