Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says Ferrari currently have the best engine on the 2022 F1 grid, after the Scuderia scored a 1-2 finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix and Haas' Ferrari-powered VF-22 finished fifth in that race through Kevin Magnussen.
Ferrari were widely regarded to have had the best engine during the 2019 season, but fell badly away in 2020 after an FIA investigation into the legality of their power unit.
However, the Prancing Horse seem to have returned to the top of the pile in 2022, with this year's F1 power units having to adapt to run on E10 fuels for the first time.
Reports in Italy suggested that Ferrari had already overcome the horsepower deficit brought about by the change in fuel composition before the season had even started, and Steiner is convinced that the Scuderia's Bahrain success is no fluke.
"I think the Ferrari is now the best engine," Steiner told media, including RacingNews365.com, with Magnussen's fifth place being Haas' best result since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, and the team's first points finish in 28 races.
"That gives a lot of credit to them, because they were in the same position as us, they had to take a lot of sh*t from people about [their lack of performance], and they just did their homework and came back with something very good."
Viewed by others:
Ferrari power units draw admiring glances
AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly echoed Steiner's thoughts on the Ferrari engine, noting the difficulty he had had in defending his position from Magnussen.
"These Ferrari engines are definitely back to where they were in 2019," said the Honda-powered Gasly. "It wasn't easy to keep [Magnussen] behind."
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was another to compliment the Ferrari power unit, with the Mercedes engine notably having been the class of the field for much of F1's turbo-hybrid era.
"I don't think that there's big differences between the power units but, clearly, Ferrari made a big step forward," he said.
"Last year, they weren't totally competitive and today, if you look at the singular event in Bahrain, it looks like they've outperformed everyone else."
F1 Podcast: First blood to Ferrari as F1's new era begins in style
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the 2022 season opener in Bahrain, which was won in dramatic fashion by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.