Ferrari will use the two engines it removes from its cars in Bahrain for the Chinese Grand Prix, having concluded they are fit to be used.
The team say they are not concerned about the reliability of their engines despite the failure suffered by Fernando Alonso and the Sauber drivers at Malaysia, and both Ferrari drivers having to change their engines in Bahrain.
Head of engine and electronics Luca Marmorini said:
We have carried out an in-depth study into what happened and the two problems are not related to one another. In Sepang, Fernando’s engine suffered a structural failure, of a type we had never seen during the winter. 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 Sauber team experienced on the engine front at the last race, which we believe was down to an issue with electronic sensors.
Each car has eight engines it can use per driver over the season and we plan our usage strategy around this. 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.
The Shanghai circuit is not one of the most demanding for engines, as Marmorini explains:
I would describe it as medium load. It features a very long straight, but nothing that causes any particular concern for the power unit and also, the ambient temperature is not usually very high, which makes life easier on the engine front.
Each driver may use eight engines in 2010, which will typically see five engines doing two races each and three engines doing three races each. If a driver has to use a ninth engine they will incur a grid penalty.