Ferrari adds 15hp to engine before Austria GP (Update)

Mercedes will likely dust Ferrari every race in 2020, regardless of the 15 hp boost.
Mercedes and Red Bull will likely dust Ferrari every race in 2020, regardless of the 15 or 30 hp boost.

UPDATE (GMM) Ferrari says reports of a major car upgrade ahead of the resumption of racing in Austria next weekend were exaggerated.

Italian media in particular claimed that, compared to the Melbourne-spec car, the Red Bull Ring-specification 2020 Ferrari will have a slimmer nose, stiffer gearbox, new rear suspension and an engine with 30hp more.

But a team spokesman told Auto Motor und Sport: "We only have very small changes to the car.

"It was more important for us to understand the SF1000 better," he added. "We have made a good step forward."

The German report said the first major upgrade will hit the red car from Hungary – the third round of the initial 'corona calendar'.

Red Bull's 2020 car, tested over 100km by Alex Albon at Silverstone on Thursday, has also been upgraded over the shutdown period.

Max Verstappen did not travel to Britain for the outing because of the country's quarantine rules.

"We are bringing the upgrade to the car that was planned originally for Barcelona and a second one now for Spielberg," Dr Helmut Marko said.

"Everything is based on CFD and the wind tunnel, which adds a factor of uncertainty as we have the third stage of development now without knowing how the first and second one felt.

"But we had no way to test it so we have to assume that the data is correct," Marko added.

06/18/20 (GMM) Ferrari has reportedly found 15 horsepower to add to its 2020 engine ahead of the resumption of racing in Austria early next month.

Ralf Bach, a prominent German journalist writing for Sport1, said the update is also more reliable following problems with the Melbourne-spec engine in winter testing.

As for the power upgrade, Ferrari's engine was clearly superior in 2019 but it suffered a clear performance drop amid an FIA probe into its legality.

"Ferrari's power unit was much stronger last year," Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is quoted as saying.

However, he said it is too early to conclude that the same weakness would still have been seen if qualifying and the grand prix had gone ahead in Australia.

"Only in qualifying and in the race does everyone show their true strength, and we haven't been there yet," Wolff added.

"But I also would not dismiss Honda and Renault. My feeling is that pretty much all of the engine manufacturers are at eye level now."

Bach wrote that Ferrari has also tweaked the design of its 2020 transmission ahead of Austria, but that major aerodynamic upgrades will only be seen later.

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