Ferrari technical boss Pat Fry on Friday said he doubts one engine maker will get a big head start on its rivals in 2014.
There are paddock rumours that suggest Mercedes will have up to a 100 horse power advantage over engine rivals Ferrari and Renault with its new turbo V6 technology.
On the other hand, it has been said Ferrari is delighted with the 2014 rules, because it gives the Italian marque a chance to impress with its expertise in engine design, after an era mostly obsessed with aerodynamic gains.
Fry, however, told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “Aerodynamics will be as important next year as it was in the last 15 years.”
He thinks outright engine power and performance will not be the crucial factor.
“The differences between the different engines will mainly be determined by reliability,” said the Briton.
“The technology is so complex that five units per driver is really very little. I believe large differences performance-wise will not arise — perhaps in the race, when the fuel consumption determines the power.”
At the same time, Fry thinks it is possible the start of the new era in 2014 will open the door to a major technical innovation, a la the double diffuser of 2009.
“The aerodynamic regulations are pretty clear,” he said, “but I do see a few ways to interpret things differently.
“There will be solutions that have not previously been seen,” revealed Fry.
Meanwhile, after Red Bull’s Adrian Newey admitted his 2014 car is ‘ugly’, Fry refused to say the next scarlet single seater will be similarly unseemly.
“If it wins,” he smiled, “then no.”