Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is ruling out using next year’s new Formula 1 regulations to return to the front ala Mercedes in 2014.
For 2022, brand new cars are being introduced with a great focus on ground-effect aerodynamics in an effort to improve the issue of turbulent air which has dogged F1 in recent decades.
The fresh sheet of paper is being seen as an opportunity to close the gap to Mercedes at the front, and potentially even end their so far seven-year reign of domination.
But after Ferrari endured their worst season since 1980 last year, Binotto doesn’t think 2022 can be the silver bullet to suddenly overhaul the black Silver Arrows.
“I don’t think you can compare the situations,” he told Motorsport-Total.com on 2022 vs. 2014.
“Back then, Mercedes was clever enough to develop its power unit long before anyone else.
“If there is one thing in common, it is that there is a big rule change, but the timing is very different.”
The chance for teams to gain an upper-hand by starting work earlier on their new cars was also quashed after development was prohibited until January 1 due to Covid-19 last year.
There’s also the matter of F1’s new $145m budget cap for this year and limits on wind tunnel usage, although a new sliding scale does give Ferrari a bit of a leg-up versus Mercedes.
One area where there are few restrictions though is the engine and reports this week claim the Scuderia is working on a bold new concept for 2022.
In late 2019, early 2020, an investigation by the FIA into the legality of Ferrari’s power unit largely triggered their dramatic loss of performance last year.
But according to Motorsport.com, under the guidance of Wolf Zimmerman, who has a strong knowledge of Mercedes’ unit through his previous work with Austrian company AVL, the Italian team is set to follow the German manufacturer’s lead by splitting the turbo and the compressor.
Where Ferrari would differ is the compressor would then go inside the intake box of the V6, also requiring a radical new intercooler design.
If successful, the benefits could be numerous in terms of performance both from the engine and aerodynamically, but with F1 introducing a freeze on development from next year, the pressure is on to get it right first time.