Scuderia Ferrari’s Hybrid Era Performance: Keeping Up The Fight

Scuderia Ferrari’s Hybrid Era Performance: Keeping Up The Fight

Since 2014, Formula 1 has been embroiled in one of its most complicated eras upon the introduction of the 1.6-L V6 Turbo Hybrid power units.

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2014: The First Year

Right from testing at the start of the year, it was becoming quite clear that only one team had got the new scientific engine formula correctly. Mercedes was quickly moving to the front of the field in terms of both performance and reliability. Ferrari, much like engine rivals Renault, was not so close in terms of performance, and were looking towards a year of developing and learning with such new technology.

2014 Ferrari F14-T

2014 Ferrari F14-T

Sure, Mercedes went on to dominate in 2014, with Lewis Hamilton claiming his second of now seven world titles, but Ferrari refused to completely yield.  Fernando Alonso took two podiums for the team in China and Hungary, almost beating Daniel Ricciardo to victory in Budapest that year, before his departure to McLaren in 2015. Breakdowns were common across the grid in 2014, with Ferrari suffering agonizing retirements with the F14-T at Monza and Suzuka, as well as a major crash for Kimi Räikkönen on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

The performance of the car was enough to challenge a resurged Williams team for third in the Constructors Championship right up to the final race in Abu Dhabi, but had to concede the place after Williams took a double podium to finish the race, with ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa hounding Hamilton for the win in the closing laps.

Despite a poor initial season, the team were determined to learn and improve for the coming years.

2015 – 2018: Vettel Leads The Charge

2015 Ferrari SF15-T

2015 Ferrari SF15-T

With Alonso gone to McLaren and Maurizio Arrivabene now in charge of the Scuderia, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel joined the team, a man who dominated the closing years of the V8 engine era with Red Bull. Three wins for Vettel in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore and second place in the Constructors in 2015. It enough to prove that the much-improved SF15-T was the start of promising prospects for Ferrari.

2016 Ferrari SF16-H

2016 Ferrari SF16-H

2016 saw a slow season with no victories for the team, despite Vettel coming close at the season opener in Melbourne and in Canada. With 2017 seeing new aerodynamic regulations. Vettel fought hard with Lewis Hamilton throughout the year, taking a total of five victories and 11 podiums that year. However, a crash at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix as well as a spark plug failure at the Japanese Grand Prix ended Vettel’s title hopes early, despite a late win in the season in Brazil.

2017 Ferrari SF70H

2017 Ferrari SF70H

Ferrari feared they were lacking to Mercedes coming into 2018, but Vettel soon turned the tables, taking victories in the opening two races in Melbourne and Bahrain. In total, he six wins and 12 podiums throughout the season. A crash at the German Grand Prix stalled Vettel’s progress to a first title in red as he lost out once again to Hamilton and Mercedes.

2018 Ferrari SF71H

2018 Ferrari SF71H

The team ended the season on a high though, with fan favourite Kimi Räikkönen taking his first victory in over five years with the team at that year’s United States Grand Prix.

2019 – 2020: Difficult Challenges

With the 2019 Ferrari SF90 suffering throughout the season with downforce issues, the team still were able to competitively fight at the front. Vettel lost out a commanding win in Montreal after been given a five-second penalty for re-joining the circuit in an unsafe manner despite controversial circumstances. He would get redemption in Singapore however, taking his only win of the season in the streets of Marina Bay.

2019 Ferrari SF90

2019 Ferrari SF90

Sought after young talent Charles Leclerc joined the team in 2019, and proved why Ferrari regard him so highly. An astonishing seven of the nine pole positions for Ferrari in 2019 were taken by Leclerc. His first victory came at the Belgian Grand Prix in the wake of the loss of close friend Anthoine Hubert at the previous day’s Formula 2 race. Leclerc sealed his future with the team when he won Ferrari’s home race at Monza.

2020 Ferrari SF1000

2020 Ferrari SF1000

Unfortunately, 2020 would be a year to forget for Ferrari. With the SF1000 lacking in both top speed and downforce, the team would go its first season since 2016 without a win, while the combined efforts of Vettel and Leclerc would only award 3 podiums for the team en route to a low 6th in the Constructors’ Standings.

Overall Performance

Races

Wins

Podiums

Pole positions

Fastest laps

138

17

85

20

25


2021: The Future Ahead

With Vettel departing the team for 2021 to join Aston Martin, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz has been signed to partner Leclerc. Sainz himself already showing his sheer talent and capabilities in F1 since his debut with Toro Rosso in 2015. Ferrari are also looking forward to a much more updated engine in 2021, as well as a revamped chassis, carrying over the 2020 chassis as per the homologation rules for the coming season.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

While Ferrari look to improve with their new car in 2021, named the SF21 and set to be unveiled on the 10th of March. The team are also keeping an eye on the near future of F1, with the team keen on beginning to work on a radical new engine design for the new regulations in 2022. This project will be in the hands of Wolf Zimmermann, who is currently beginning work on the concept of the engine.

Ferrari are hoping to improve from 2021 onwards and if this hybrid era of F1 has shown us anything, it is the simple fact that despite various issues and setbacks, Scuderia Ferrari is the one team that will always come roaring back.

Written by Cóilín Higgins.


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