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Ferrari warning over F1 engine performance balance

The Power Unit Advisory Committee has taken over investigations into the potential of balancing performance.

Vasseur Silverstone
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has warned any changes to assist Renault catch up with its engine performance must not provide the French manufacturer with an advantage on track.

Alpine's parent company and F1 powertrain manufacturer is seeking the ability to take steps to close the disparity in performance compared to its rivals having lost ground under the engine freeze.

Other OEMs have stretched ahead despite performance upgrades being outlawed - with reliability tweaks able to find small gains since the start of last season.

Renault's wish to be given the chance to develop and equalise the performance of its power unit compared to RBPT-Honda, Ferrari and Mercedes was given the backing of Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner ahead of the F1 Commission meeting held at the Belgian Grand Prix.

"The FIA has been analysing the PU performance of the cars during the first half of 2023 and concluded that there is one such notable performance gap between competitors," read a statement following the Commission meeting.

"On the basis of the commitment of the PU manufacturers and of the performance differences reported above, the F1 Commission discussed ways to remedy this discrepancy.

"The power unit manufacturers represented at the Commission agreed to give a mandate to the Power Unit Advisory Committee to consider this topic and bring proposals back to the Commission."

Start of balancing the performance

Offering his verdict on the discussions, Vasseur told media including RacingNews365: "It is true that when we decided to freeze the engine we considered that in exceptional circumstances, we could try to find a way to support the guys who will be completely out of the range.

"I am not sure Renault is so far away, but we don't have the same numbers.

"If we have to do something, it can't be a fuel flow. We have an approach with the wind tunnel allocation, where the [team] who is P10 gets more time in the wind tunnel.

"But it is not that teams will have 10 kilos [of fuel] less, you would allow the team to develop, not to give an advantage - it would be the start of balancing the performance."

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