Ferrari are set to bring an engine upgrade for the Russian Grand Prix which will see Kimi Raikkonen move onto his second power unit, whilst Sebastian Vettel – who has already suffered a failure in Bahrain – will take his third unit for the event.
Whilst drivers have just five units to last them the season – a record-breaking 21 races – Vettel’s move to a third unit isn’t of much concern as the unit raced in China, his second, can still be used at other events without incurring a penalty.
However whilst some outlets have touted the upgrade as a major step forward which could see the gap to Mercedes cut to nothing, Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has downplayed its significance, describing it as “nothing of great importance”.
“We will have something for Sochi, but nothing of great importance,” the Italian told Brazil’s UOL. “We decided long ago that the philosophy would be of gradual development.
“When you start a season with a totally new design, it makes no sense to come up with revolutionary [upgrade] packages.”
The upgrade is expected to see Ferrari spend three of its remaining nine development tokens.
“For the development of the engine we chose the same philosophy – of course we will use some tokens for performance, but it will be gradual,” added Arrivabene.
Ferrari will also introduce a new front-wing during practice this weekend with the aim of racing it on both cars.