Ferrari have taken the decision to replace the engine in Felipe Massa’s car, with the mechanics starting work on the changeover at 10am this morning in Bahrain. It is the first engine change of the season, but neither team nor driver will face any sanctions, the rules allowing the engines to be changed providing the total amount used over the course of the season does not exceed eight.
Ferrari say the change is purely precautionary as Massa’s power unit started to show some worrying characteristics.
At 10am, when the FIA rules allow to work on the cars, the mechanics started to work on the F10 #7, replacing its engine.
This is a completely precautionary step: the engine, used by Felipe Massa up to the qualifying yesterday afternoon shows some abnormal parameters, but can still be used on the track, according to the applicable rules, during free practice sessions. Ferrari Statement.
Not the best start of the day. We are going to replace Felipe’s engine but just for precaution. The engine can be used again in FP sessions. @InsideFerrari.
Although Ferrari state the change is precautionary, and therefore it is likely the engine will be used again later in the year for Free Practice sessions, the fact that a power unit is showing signs of not being able to last a race distance in one piece is of slight concern.
Last year, Red Bull Racing ran close to the envelope with their use of Renault engines, the team admitting they may have to make an engine change and take the resulting grid slot penalty. Thankfully it didn’t come to that, but Ferrari may want to look very carefully at the engine the mechanics are pulling out of Massa’s car at the moment.