The FIA has given permission for Ferrari to make modifications to its engine on reliability grounds. Both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso had engine issues in the first round of flyaway races, with the latter suffering two blow-ups to leave him rather short on engine supply for the rest of the season. Besides that, Sauber, one of two other teams using Ferrari engines (the other is Toro Rosso), also notched up some problems.

Ferrari looked into the matter after Shanghai and found an intrinsic problem with the design of the engine. It applied to the governing body and was given the green light. The modded engine will feature in this weekend’s Spanish GP. Maranello did not reveal the exact problem, but paddock talk says the problem is to do with air consumption, which could have been caused by leaking pneumatic valves.

“A lot of work was carried out on the test bench, completing several long runs and this work produced some solutions which it is felt will solve the reliability problems experienced in Bahrain and Malaysia. The team therefore requested and received authorisation from the FIA to make some changes within the framework of the current engine regulations and these modifications will be fitted to the engines to be used in Spain,” a Ferrari statement read.