Ferrari lacks answers on Azerbaijan F1 GP engine problems

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Leclerc was leading the race, he was forced to retire with engine failure, just two races after a similar disappointment at Barcelona, ​​while Sainz reported electric brake failure after taking an escape route, the team stating that it was a hydraulic problem.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has also retired due to engine failure in the latest of a series of problems that have plagued Ferrari customer teams, while Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has also retired.

Speaking shortly after Sunday’s race, Binotto said it was too early to give details on what broke or whether the retirements were related to previous issues.

“We still need to analyze and understand,” he said when asked to explain the issues. “I think you can both cars, they had different problems. Together with Carlos we will now look at the hydraulic system, and hopefully we’ll identify it.

“On Charles, another one, definitely engine related, I think it’s pretty obvious by the smoke. Is that something we had in the past? I don’t think so, but maybe so, and we let’s also look at what happened to our customer teams.

“But I don’t think that with telemetry data we can have a clear answer to the problem. The components will be sent back to Maranello and, as usual, disassemble and try to understand and repair them as soon as possible.

“Is it something that depends on quality, reliability, anything else, use? I don’t know yet. But I think there’s no doubt that when you have so many reliability issues, there is a concern.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, returns to his garage after retiring from racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport pictures

“I know that in terms of the performance effort, the redesign of the full power unit, we’ve done a fantastic job. But that also means that overall, in terms of the product, there’s still very little experience and certainly I think that in terms of reliability, there is still progress that is needed.”

Binotto felt the team had made the right strategic choices ahead of Leclerc’s engine failure as the Monegasque was brought in under an initial virtual safety car while the two Red Bull drivers stayed out, a decision which left him with a handy lead when the RB18s came to a halt.

Although there was a tire lag of around nine laps as the two Red Bulls pitted, Binotto added that he believed Leclerc could hold on to victory – citing low tire degradation on the hard tire.

“I think the team was very responsive at the time of the VSC, we called Charles, because he was very close to the pit entrance,” Binotto explained.

“We were very, very sharp. I think the drivers reacted very well. And we kind of had, I think, a step advantage. Indeed it was still a very long race, we had to manage the tires until the end.

“The tire degradation on the hard that we saw was very low. So if we could have made the hard survive it would have been the right choice, but obviously we don’t have the answer to that.

“We’ll get the numbers and I’m sure everyone will take a look at them to get a prediction for when the race will end. But we felt very strong, definitely in the lead with a solid tyre. And Charles was very happy with the behavior of the car.”


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