Ferrari’s token-upgraded engine will bring it just 15 horse power short of dominant Mercedes’ turbo V6.
That is the claim of Germany’s Sport Bild as the world of F1 begins to descend on Montreal ahead of the Canadian grand prix.
The report said the upgrades have added 20 to 30 horse power, bringing the Ferrari unit to around 815hp in total. Mercedes’ engine is believed to be 830hp.
The upgraded Ferrari engine is in the Italian team’s Montreal luggage, but the team is reportedly yet to decide if it will actually be fitted to the cars at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Sport Bild said the decision may be taken as late as Thursday.
The extra power will be crucial on the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but Sebastian Vettel is already on the second of his four engines in the 2015 allocation.
In comparison, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg used just one engine apiece in the opening six races of 2015, an achievement described as “incredible” by technical chief Paddy Lowe.
The second Mercedes engines, to be used in Canada and beyond, are upgraded for reliability, but no performance ‘tokens’ have been spent.
“The Mercedes engine is still so superior that they don’t need to do that,” said Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko.
“They just play with all of us, using as much horse power as they need.
“Hamilton and Rosberg will continue to fight for the victory among themselves,” he predicted.
© RIF | GMM