Hamilton credits engine for Ferrari upturn

Carlos Sainz

Lewis Hamilton has credited Ferrari’s upturn in performance during the 2021 Formula 1 season to a revitalised powerunit.

The Scuderia finished last season sixth in the constructors’ championship, it’s worst result since 1981.

With last year’s cars largely carried over into 2021, little change was expected to the pecking order.

However, Ferrari has quickly established itself at the front of the midfield, a sizeable improvement on last season.

In 17 races Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel managed just 131 points between them in 2020.

After just six races this season, the team’s constructors’ championship tally sits at 94 points.

“It’s a fantastic step that they’ve taken,” Hamilton observed.

“I don’t fully understand. I think they’ve had a good car for some time, and just down in power.

“So I’m assuming they’ve taken a really good step with their engine, because they’re now up there with everyone else.”

Ferrari’s return to form has been highlighted by Leclerc claiming pole position in the last two grands prix.

While unable to start the Monaco Grand Prix, team-mate Carlos Sainz finished a strong second behind Max Verstappen.

It was the Scuderia’s best finish since last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

“I think it is through corners, they were very similar to all of us I think in Bahrain, it was just down the straights they were losing out,” Hamilton explained.

“But then again, in these places [Monaco and Azerbaijan] for some reason they’re mastering these tyres, particularly over a single lap.”

Ferrari’s upturn in performance has seen it rise to third in the constructors’ championship off the back of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a two point margin over McLaren.

Behind them, AlphaTauri, Aston Martin, and Alpine are split by 12 points, the first two having recorded podiums in Baku.

“It’s great to see three teams, three-four teams at the front,” Hamilton said.

“It’s great seeing the Renaults (Alpines), it’s great seeing the McLarens in the mix and even the AlphaTauris.

“It’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons that we’ve seen.”

Hamilton currently sits second in the drivers’ championship, four points down on Verstappen after a late-race mistake in Azerbaijan.

Formula 1 heads to France for Round 7, Paul Ricard the scene of the French Grand Prix on June 18-20.

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