RACE DEBRIEF

    There's still plenty of racing to be done this season but the teams are already looking ahead at the sweeping set of rules changes that will hit in 2022, with all-new cars signalling a new era of Formula 1. Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has detailed the progress the Scuderia are on making their next championship challenger – with a significant engine upgrade on the horizon too.

    Next season ushers in a total overhaul of the F1 car, an emphasis on ground effect, re-engineered nose and wings and much more, in a bid to create a spectacle with more overtaking in 2022. And work is well under way on Ferrari's new car, according to Binotto.

    READ MORE: 10 things you need to know about the all-new 2022 F1 car

    “2022 is progressing and that’s the time when you are normally freezing the chassis geometries and the entire concept of the car, suspension layout, cooling layout so let’s say the concept is certainly a lot advanced,” he said.

    “While the concept is frozen the chassis is in production. It’s time we continue working on bodyshape, on the aerodynamics, the wings, bodywork etc, and no doubt we are working a lot on the power unit – power unit next year will be brand new in concept and design…” he added.

    FERRARI F1 GP BARCELLONA
    Ferrari finished runners-up in the championship from 2017-19, but fell to sixth in 2020

    Also in the works is an engine upgrade for this season that Ferrari hope will help them make some gains in the power stakes, with Binotto explaining why that is so essential to their aims of becoming the championship-contending squad they once were.

    READ MORE: Ferrari set for power boost in second half of the season with ‘significant’ engine upgrade

    He continued: “For us it will be important to make the most important step we can, knowing that is somehow the ultimate gap in terms of performance on the power unit.

    "Objective is to try and cap that disadvantage, to close it, so that’s why on the engine we are working hard and that is a key moment where not only you need to find performance but to start to fully homologate the reliability of the product for next season.”

    As for when the engine upgrade will be ready for use in anger, the Scuderia chief laid out some of the challenges they face – and wouldn’t pinpoint a race when it will be ready.

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    Ferrari sit behind McLaren in the constructors' championship heading to the Russian Grand Prix

    “We are working very hard to have them ready as soon as possible,” he said.

    “It’s a change in technology on the hybrid side. In order to introduce them we need as first to transport the materials and, being dangerous materials, we need full homologations and certification for it, so it’s not only a matter of developing the hybrid system on the dynos and to somehow prove the reliability but there are a lot of aspects that need to be addressed to have them available on track.

    READ MORE: Title tension, Ricciardo's form and the Alfa Romeo seat – 5 fascinating storylines ahead of the Russian GP

    “At the moment, there is not a race that is decided. It will be as soon as possible because we believe that running it as much as we can this season will be of interest for next season. Hopefully it will be in the next races, and very soon,” concluded Binotto.

    The Scuderia arrive at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix with a 13.5-point deficit to third place McLaren in the standings.