Ferrari & Renault stuck with Spec 1 2020 engine after no Austria upgrade

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Ferrari and Renault will have to use their first specification engines throughout 2020 after not bringing an upgrade to the Austrian Grand Prix.

As part of the cost-saving measures introduced in the wake of Covid-19, engine development has been frozen for the rest of this year with all future units having to match the spec being used this weekend in Spielberg.

For Mercedes, there is the relief of having brought a reliability update to their engine following issues in pre-season testing, while Honda is understood to have found some performance with their latest unit for Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Ferrari though will have to use the same engine that was set to be used in Australia, as a reported upgrade wasn't ready in time.

“We shut down the factory for a long time so there has been very little time to develop," team boss Mattia Binotto explained via The Race.

"We didn’t bring anything different, now the engine, the power unit, is frozen for the season.

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“I know that other manufacturers had the opportunity to continue working, developing, we’re aware of that they could eventually [have] an advantage.

“That’s part of the game, I think that’s part of all the entire compromises we have accepted during the shutdown, looking ahead for the good of the sport.”

Likewise, Renault has confirmed their lack of an upgrade was purely taken as a financial measure to deal with the fallout from Covid-19.

“[It is one of the] trade-offs and sacrifices that we’ve made in order to manage a crisis that’s been extremely severe," Cyril Abiteboul said.

“We’re talking about a very large reduction of the prize fund, we are also in discussion with sponsors that have been very loyal but that are all facing challenges in their own business.

“We had to come up with some decisions, and one of those decisions we did, as far as we’re concerned, is that we’re going to pause engine development, focusing on what will be the next step that we will have the opportunity to discuss later.

“But indeed that means don’t expect any engine upgrade for us this year.”