Sainz gets upgraded Ferrari engine soon, customers have to wait RaceFans

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Ferrari expects to give the second example of its improved powertrain to Carlos Sainz Jnr in the next few races.

Charles Leclerc was chosen as the first driver to use the new equipment at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

However, Ferrari is unlikely to roll out the upgrade to its Haas and Alfa Romeo customer teams before the end of the season.

Team Race Director Laurent Mekies explained how they will decide when to introduce the upgrade on Sainz’s car.

“The difference in performance will never be huge, because it’s about adding these little steps,” he said. “Sports sanction is important. We are also fighting for every point for the constructors’ championship, so we are trying to assess when it is reasonable to do so from a performance perspective versus penalties.

“Of course you don’t want to do it too late because the longer you wait the less benefit you will get from the change. So I think in the next two races we will probably make the roll call.

Formula 1 teams may introduce further powertrain upgrades next season, after which specs will be frozen. Mekies said Ferrari was eager to present the upgrade before the end of this year to assess its development direction for 2022.

“The main focus with this powertrain is first and foremost to work for the next year,” he said. “So the big push of the company to try to bring this new hybrid system right now, is to make sure that we can confirm that all the processes, all the development direction that we have for the PU of the next year is confirmed with the comments on the race track.

“It’s one thing to have the simulation, it’s one thing to have the bench tests, it’s much better if we can have confirmation on the track, which is why we are doing it.”

However, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner does not expect the upgrade to be provided to his team or other Ferrari Alfa Romeo users this year.

“That’s for 2022, the changes they’ve made,” Steiner said. “For us this year, it no longer makes sense to put it in place.

“I don’t think it would be logistically possible to do it for them either, because if they give it to us, they also have to give it to Alfa Romeo and I think they can’t do that.”

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Russian Grand Prix 2021

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