The Russian Grand Prix is all set to get underway this weekend. The teams are preparing themselves for the 53 laps of the 5.848-kilometre Sochi Autodrom, scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 26. Ferrari is also preparing for the mega event and has announced that its new engine will make its debut at the Russian GP. This new engine will be fitted in Charles Leclerc’s car while Carlos Sainz will have to drive with the old system.
As Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto had said during the summer that the team has been working on a significant new engine component development, and was hoping to introduce it in the second half of the year, they have decided to do it at the Russian GP. The much-anticipated power unit development will be fitted in Charles Leclerc’s car which will trigger a grid penalty and force him to start from the back on the grid.
“A great deal of effort has gone into this, both technically and logistically, and so as to be able to use it as soon as possible, its introduction will be staggered between the drivers. Charles will be the first to have the new hybrid system. This decision is a precautionary measure relating to the potential risk of using the battery pack damaged in his Hungarian GP accident,” said the team.
Carlos Sainz to drive with the old 2020-spec hybrid engine
While Charles Leclerc’s car will sport the brand new engine, Carlos Sainz will have to drive with the old 2020-spec hybrid system. The team said that a decision on when to fit the new engine in Carlos’ car will be taken after few evaluations. “In Sochi, Leclerc will have a brand new power unit and will therefore start from the back of the grid. As to when the updated hybrid system is fitted to Carlos’ car, that will be decided following an evaluation of the right compromise between competitiveness and the impact of the penalty,” they said.
The Italian team also revealed their plan with this engine and said that the new hybrid system is being introduced “to gain experience for the 2022 car project”. Notably, Team Ferrari is all set to introduce an all-new PU alongside a car that aims at sweeping all technical regulations.