May 9 (GMM) According to whispers in the Istanbul paddock, Ferrari may have found a way to creep ahead in the horse power department this season despite the current 'freeze' on engine development.
It is common knowledge that, not only are the Maranello based team's drivers getting the best starts off the grid, the V8 power plant in the back of the F2008 is now perhaps the most powerful in the entire field.Last year, however, the engine situation between teams seemed closer, leading to suggestions that Ferrari's permitted tweaks for 2008 have added tangible performance to the unit.The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport estimates Ferrari's horse power gain compared to last year at "within the two-digit range".Most engine manufacturers made permitted tweaks to their V8 designs over the winter, but it is rumoured that some rival teams are unhappy that Ferrari's changes - apparently green-lighted by the FIA - seem to have resulted in a significant performance gain.Auto Motor und Sport said Ferrari's rivals are concerned that the Italian team's 2008 changes were submitted "under the pretext of reliability problems"."The (engine freeze) rules do not allow any great leaps. So whether a development has taken place to increase performance, I can not judge," BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen said at Istanbul Park."But I assume the normal procedures have taken place. I have no suspicions," he added.