Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties
17 August 2017 – Ferrari is hopeful of avoiding power unit-related penalties over the second half of the season, despite both its drivers being on the limit with Turbochargers.
Under current regulations, drivers are allowed to use four of each of the six elements that make up the power unit, of which the Turbocharger is one, prior to grid penalties.
As soon as a fifth element is used, a 10-place grid penalty will be imposed, with a five-place drop applied the first time a fifth of any of the remaining elements is used.
After early-season failures, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen are already on their fourth Turbochargers, with nine rounds to run, putting them in a precarious position.
But while Ferrari technical chief Mattia Binotto admits this is a "concern", he is confident of reaching the end of the campaign with an effective rotation system.
"Certainly it is somehow a concern that we had failure on the turbo at the start of the season and we had to replace them at the very start," said Binotto.
"You introduce very early in the season turbo number three and turbo number four.
"Having said that, we introduced as well in the following turbos some modifications for reliability, and they are running well at the moment.
"We've got all the pool at the moment that has been introduced, but we've got all the mileage available on each turbo, so we are rotating them.
"Obviously it's our objective to conclude the season with the current pool of turbos."
Binotto also commented on the title battle between Ferrari (four victories) and Mercedes (six victories), which has ebbed and flowed over the course of the season so far.
Ferrari trails Mercedes by 39 points, closing in with a 1-2 finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I think that each race is different to the others," he said.
"There have been races at the start of the season where we have been competitive and others where Mercedes has been competitive.
"If you look, for example, at Bahrain very early in the season, [Mercedes] have been very competitive in qualifying, we have been in the race.
"I don't think that there is a clear tendency and a clear trend on the competitiveness of the two teams.
"Certainly the development is very important, and that has to be done race by race."