Ferrari’s emergence as the fastest engine in F1 has caught many in the paddock by surprise, including Renault technical director Nick Chester.
After years of Mercedes dominance in the power unit stakes, Ferrari has emerged as the strongest engine supplier this season, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff estimating the time deficit in a straight line at Hockenheim two weeks ago to be worth half a second.
The Scuderia’s engine, and its battery, has been the subject of much speculation so much so that the FIA took additional steps in Monaco to monitor it, however, they found nothing wrong after the inspection.
For whatever reason Ferrari’s engine is definitely on the up and up as also witnessed by their customers Sauber and Haas’ on-track improvements.
Chester stated that “they definitely made a big step Canada-time. I’d say yeah, we are a bit surprised.
“They’ve got a strong engine anyway, but it’s really quite strong now.
“The performance is right up there.”
As for suggestions that some of Ferrari’s gains could have come from a blown rear wing, Chester said: “Not that we’re aware of. But it’s always hard to know what another team is doing.
“It just seems to be more power unit output. Their straight line speeds are very strong while running a sensible rear wing on the car. So they do seem to just have good power.”