The 2022 Formula One weekend in Baku brought back memories of the V12 era and the sight of a ‘bonfire of the Ferrari’s’’ as reliability plagued the Maranello team. First Carlos Sainz retired on lap 9 with a hydraulic problem and then surprisingly Charles LeClerc engine let go without warning.
In the modern era the sophisticated live telemetary more often than not gives the team a warning an engine is about to go and the drivers are ordered to stop the car. This can prevent serious damage to the power unit and is preferable to the kind of failure LeClerc suffered in Baku.
Following there race Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto confirmed the team had no idea what had caused LeClerc’s failure.
“But I don’t think only with the telemetry data we can have a clear answer to the problem. The components will be shipped back to Maranello and as usual, disassemble and try to understand and to fix them as soon as possible.
“Is it something which is down to quality, reliability, whatever else, usage? I don’t know yet. But I think it’s no doubt that when you’ve got so many reliability problems, there is a concern.”
LeClerc suffered an engine failure in Spain this season and the team quickly confirmed the issue in the following days, but this latest failure has so far gone unexplained by Ferrari.
Ferrari’s Monogasque driver had returned to his power unit number 1 after the Spanish failure so he will most likely be forced to take power unit three in Canada. However, if one of the failed Turbo components of the power unit cannot be repaired LeClerc will suffer a grid drop.
The issue with Carlos Sainz car should be easier to fix, though Ferrari revealed on twitter “Hydraulic components from Carlos’ car have already been examined. A short-term fix is in place for Canada, while work is on-going on mid/long-term solutions.”
Only being able to deliver a short term fix will be a concern for Sainz because clearly this solution is not long term and therefore not the optimal resolution of the issue.
Carlos Sainz has suffered at the hands of his team mate this season in qualifying and stands 0-8 down. The only other driver who has failed to out qualify his team mate this season is William’s Latifi.
Carlos revealed reliability is top of Ferrari’s agenda. “That’s the main objective and the team knows this, that we need to improve on this side, but we have been pretty good on reliability on my side but we have just been a bit unlucky the whole season and it has been quite difficult to get any momentum going this season.”
“I cannot do two consecutive races without anything happening,” reflected the Spaniard, “and the DNF in lap 9, you need laps and I need laps and to complete races to keep understanding the car.
The 2022 Canadian GP will be a real challenge for Ferrari as the Villeneuve circuit is power hungry with plenty of hard accelerating after the big stop chicanes and corners.
With a temporary fix for Carlos suspension woes and a new engine in Charles car that may be fatally flawed, the red team are looking shaky for round 9 of this seasons championship.
LeClerc was 36 points clear of Max Verstappen after three races, but the next five have seen the Dutchman establish a21 point lead over his Ferrari rival. That points swing is extraordinary and shows how far Ferrari have to go with sorting their reliability problems out.
Sunday’s race in Montreal is at island circuit named after Canada’s late Ferrari great Gilles Villeneuve.