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Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 12:28 UK

Ferrari play down engine concerns

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari car in Bahrain
Ferrari were forced to change the engines in their cars for the Bahrain GP

Ferrari insist they are happy with the overall progress of their car and have downplayed concerns over engine performance so far this season.

The team have suffered a series of problems this year but engine and electronics head Luca Marmorini is confident these can be overcome.

"We have carried out an in-depth study and the problems are not related," he told the Ferrari website.

"I'm happy because I think the Ferrari package is quick."

Ferrari have started the season strongly, with drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso first and second in the drivers' championship and the team leading the constructors' chase by 10 points. But the team have been plagued by engine problems.

In Bahrain at the start of the season, Ferrari were forced to change the V8s on their cars before the race after discovering slight reading abnormalities, while at the recent Malaysian Grand Prix, Alonso and both Ferrari-powered BMW Saubers were forced to retire from the race with engine failures.

Our pace in the race can give cause for satisfaction on the engine and car side, even if we still have much work to do on the engine front to get even more out of it

Ferrari engine and electronics head Luca Marmorini

But Marmorini said the problems suffered by Sauber and Alonso were not indicative of a broader problem with the engine.

"In Sepang, Fernando's engine suffered a structural failure, of a type we never saw during the winter," he explained.

"We believe there was a role played by the unusual way in which the driver had to use the engine during the race, because of the gear selection problems he experienced right from the start.

"Additionally, there is no connection with the problem the BMW Sauber team experienced on the engine front at the last race, which we believe was down to an issue with electronic sensors."

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The problems with the power units mean Alonso has already used three of his allotted eight engines for the season.

This had led to concerns that he would have used up half of his quota by the time of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, only the fourth of this season's 19 races.

However, Marmorini eased such fears by confirming that Ferrari plan to reuse the Bahrain engines in Shanghai.

"Each car has eight engines it can use per driver over the season and we plan our usage strategy around this," he added.

"As a precaution, we opted not to use the Bahrain race engines in Australia, but they will be used in China, having concluded that they are fit for purpose, despite what happened at the Sakhir circuit."

And Marmorini is confident more can be achieved from their car.

"Our pace in the race can give cause for satisfaction on the engine and car side, even if we still have much work to do on the engine front to get even more out of it, whilst working within the restrictions of the current regulations," he commented.



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see also
Massa plays down title advantage
04 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel storms to Malaysian GP win
04 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Bahrain GP as it happened
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso faces first Ferrari test
29 Mar 10 |  Formula 1


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