Enrico Gualtieri, head of the Ferrari power unit department, was perhaps one of the men most under pressure during the Ferrari winter.
During 2022 the power unit of the Prancing Horse had given excellent signals from the point of view of performance after 2 years in which it had seemed too subdued to be a “heart” made in Maranello (remember the secret agreement with the FIA.. .), but then several breakdowns prevented the team then directed by Mattia Binotto from competing with Red Bull in the fight for the world titles.
Although the engines were frozen last year, power unit manufacturers can only intervene for the purpose of improving reliability. And this was the case for Ferrari, with the engineers directed by Gualtieri who worked hard on the 066/7 to make it more reliable and guarantee the team and customers of the Prancing Horse a power unit that is more exploitable in its potential.
“The winter work of preparing the car is usually one of the most intense of the year”, admitted the Ferrari engineer on the day of the presentation of the new SF-23. “This winter was no exception as well. In fact, the power units have been frozen since last year, including fluids, therefore oil and petrol. So the only modifications allowed are for reliability reasons”.
“But reliability was our Achilles heel last season, so we used the winter to solve our main problems, to try and reach the required level of reliability. This was our main objective for the 2023 and in fact we based our winter work on this activity”.
Gualtieri, without going into the specifics of the interventions, admitted that Ferrari has worked on both the internal combustion engine and the electric ones and their components to find better reliability throughout the power unit package, involving not only the design areas, but also those of assembly procedures.
“The interventions we have made mainly concerned the areas in which we encountered difficulties during the past season. So we concentrated on the internal combustion engine and the electric motors. At the same time, however, we tried to capitalize on the experience gained on the track in 2022, so we tried to work on all the feedback and weak signals coming from the components of the power units used”.
Photo by: Ferrari
“This therefore concerned various areas of component design, but at the same time we revised, where necessary, some assembly procedures. It was a job that involved all the personnel dedicated to the power unit, but also our colleagues in the Supply Chain and our suppliers”.
“We worked on all areas to try to understand the causes of the problems we encountered on the track during 2022 and consequently we used all our main systems to try to solve them. In fact, it was a job that involved all the areas, from design to experimentation, also including the operational areas to try out new solutions in a decidedly limited time”.
“However, we have exploited the experience of the second part of last season to evolve some components where necessary. It is a factual work that never ends and which is based on continuous improvement of the components to reach the required level of reliability. We are having some positive feedback on the dyno regarding some modifications produced, but as usual the track will tell us if we have done a good job”, concluded Gualtieri.
Photo by: Ferrari
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