Ferrari is confident there are no reasons to be worried about the reliability of its engines following an in-depth analysis on its failures in Malaysia.
Fernando Alonso was forced into retirement from the Sepang race after his power unit failed with two laps to go, on the same weekend that the Sauber team, also using Ferrari units, suffered engine problems. The team had made precautionary engines changes in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, leading to fears about its engine allocation for the rest of the season.
Ferrari said on Tuesday, however, that the engines have no issues and they will be used again in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. Engine chief Luca Marmorini also revealed that the problems suffered by Alonso in Malaysia were probably related to the fact that he had to use it differently due to a problem with his gearbox.
"We have carried out an in-depth study into what happened and the two problems are not related to one another," Marmorini told Ferrari's website. "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."
Marmorini, whose team is leading both championships ahead of the Shanghai race, says the Maranello outfit has reasons to be very pleased about its pace so far.
"I'm happy because I think the Ferrari package is quick, even if it could always be quicker, of course," he added. "Having said that, 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, getting even more out of it, working within the restrictions of the current regulations."
The engine boss also admitted it has been very hard to judge the unit's true performance so far given the unusual race conditions.
"Unfortunately, I would say that, so far, it is impossible to have a clear picture of how this side of the package is working, as there has not been a single race weekend not affected by the weather," Marmorini said. "In wet conditions, fuel consumption is a bit harder to control and becomes a less important factor.
"It's fair to say we have done a good job so far, based on work carried out last winter, but we continue to work on this aspect of engine behavior to improve still further. Once we have a race weekend that is completely dry, we will get a clearer picture of where we stand."