Ferrari is planning to spend its first in-season engine tokens in the Spanish Grand Prix, with its focus being on combustion and electronics development.
Although rumours in Bahrain have suggested the team has problems with its turbo, sources close to the Italian outfit have told Motorsport.com that any deficit it is facing is actually further upstream of the turbine.
For despite a turbo problem having forced Kimi Raikkonen out of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and the team aware it is not yet at the same level as Mercedes, it does not think that its weakness is in this area.
Instead, Ferrari believes its performance can be improved by lifting power delivery of its combustion unit through a mixture of a tweaked design to make the most of new Shell fuel, plus some electronic tweaks.
Both of those steps are pencilled in for the Spanish GP.
Exhaust gas target
The team feels that a step forward in power from the combustion unit will increase the flow of hot exhaust gas for the turbine, which will then allow it to deliver more power overall.
In Australia, rival Mercedes had noted that Ferrari was running out of energy deployment on the straights, which may be related to the issues the team is facing and the lack of hot gases to power the turbo.
Bahrain is especially challenging for energy recovery systems – with it believed to contribute 2.5 seconds of overall laptime – so this weekend's form will give a better indication of where Ferrari stands.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen led a 1-2 in final free practice, showing there is no lacking in its single lap pace, but any energy recovery deficit is likely to be more exposed in the race.