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The steps Ferrari has taken to address their biggest F1 weakness

Ferrari was hit with a sudden reliability crisis which plagued their ability to mount a title challenge in 2022 to Red Bull. But during the offseason the team has worked hard to rectify their problems.

It appeared to be a dream start to the 2022 set of regulations for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc won two of the first three races and could comfortably challenge Red Bull on pace. But after failures for both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, it started what would be a depressing spiral of reliability problems for the team. It was just a couple of weeks after that Leclerc dropped out while leading the Spanish Grand Prix. Having been 34 points clear of Max Verstappen at the start of the season, Leclerc was now 35 points behind - a deficit he would not reduce for the rest of the season. Ferrari customer teams also experienced similar reliability issues, with Zhou Guanyu in the Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen in the Haas dropping out of the race in Baku.

Ferrari rectify 'Achilles Heel' of 2022 season

It is for this reason that Ferrari has been working throughout the offseason to rectify this "Achilles Heel" according to Enrico Gualtieri, Head of Power Unit Area. "Preparation work for the new season is usually one of the busiest times of the year and this winter was no exception," he explained. "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. We focused on the internal combustion engine and the electric motors."

Track experience key to identifying weaknesses

Gualtieri says the team could capitalise on their prior experience on track to see if there was any obvious weaknesses in the power unit package. He continued: "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. Ferrari says understanding the main problems required a look into "all areas" including testing new solutions, something they did with Leclerc towards the end of last season . Gualtieri explained: "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."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout