Formula 1

Ferrari’s Enrico Gualtieri gives insight on SF-23 power unit modifications: Reliability was “our Achilles’ heel last season”

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Reliability was of top priority for Scuderia Ferrari’s power unit development over the winter break, with Head of Power Unit Area Enrico Gualtieri explaining that the team focused heavily on finding fixes for the issues they faced last season. 

With power units frozen until the end of 2025 and unable to be upgraded performance-wise, Gualtieri said that reliability is the only area in which they can develop ahead of the 2023 season. 

This will be a key point of improvement for the team nonetheless, with Ferrari’s power unit directly to blame for three of the team’s retirements in the 2022 season, which led to further grid penalties and a significant loss of points. 

“Preparation work for the new season is usually one of the busiest times of the year and this winter was no exception. PUs have been frozen since last year, including fluids, oil and fuel and the only modifications allowed are those related to reliability, which was our Achilles’ heel last season.”

Gualtieri said that the team used knowledge and data they had gathered over the past year to reveal weak points in their power unit, and also modify their assembly. 

“We focused on the internal combustion engine and the electric motors. At the same time, we tried to capitalise on the experience gained on track last season and looked at all the feedback and signs of weakness from the PU components we used. We also revised our assembly procedures.”

The work doesn’t end here for Guatieri, who said that the team will continue to revise and improve power unit reliability into the season in order to avoid retirements and the chance of power loss in competition. 

“We tried to understand the root causes of the problems we encountered on track and used all our available tools to try and solve them. It involved all areas, from design to experimentation to try and test new solutions in a very short space of time. 

“The work never ends, based on continuous improvement of the components to try and reach the required level of reliability.”

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