By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
With recent news out of Ferrari it looks like Formula 1 will once again be flirting with the 1,000 horsepower threshold soon. Mercedes comfortably hit 900 plus horsepower with their 2016 power unit and the old V10’s also broke 900 hp, but the last time F1 engines produced over 1,000 hp was during the peak of the original turbo era in the mid-80’s.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari’s 2017 car, code named 668, is an all out attempt by the prancing horse to reign in Mercedes. Along with the expected aerodynamic changes, the team has poured massive resources into redesigning its power unit and it may develop a full 1,000 horsepower when it hits the grid in Melbourne this March.
One of the strongest areas of developments in the 2014 to present regulations is in the combustion chamber, where teams have turned to so called turbulent jet ignition systems to create massive power from only 1.6 liters of displacement.
Ferrari has worked extensively in a partnership with Mahle to develop a new multi-jet ignition system which is rumored to be at the heart of these massive power gains. Mahle is well prepared for dealing with such prodigious levels of power after supplying various engine systems for Audi’s all conquering WEC LMP1 prototypes.
FCA Chairman Sergio Marchionne has instructed Mattia Binoto and the technical department at Scuderia Ferrari to spare no expense in redesigning parts for the 2017 regulations, which means rumors of 1,000 horsepower figures leaking out are a big projection of confidence from Ferrari.
The new car makes its debut on February 24 at Fiorano for a filming day before pre-season testing begins in Barcelona on the 27th.