SUZUKA, Japan -- Ferrari technical director Mattia Binotto says his team cannot be fully confident it has solved the engine issues it faced in Malaysia.
Over the course of the Malaysian Grand Prix, both Ferrari's suffered the same reliability issue resulting in Sebastian Vettel failing to set a lap in qualifying and Kimi Raikkonen failing to making the start of the race. Speaking after Friday practice in Japan, Binotto said the team still doesn't fully understand the issue but said Malaysia was the first time the team had experienced it.
"You can never be fully confident of having solved the problems that we've got," Binotto said. "It's true the problem we had was completely unexpected and a problem that we didn't experience on the dyno or at the track for the entire season.
"There were some quality issue with the parts -- we failed with an inlet manifold on the engine from the compressor to the cylinder heads and it happened twice because we had the same problem with Seb in qualifying and Kimi in the race.
"It happened twice in the entire season both in Malaysia so some boundary conditions have affected the overall reliability which we are analysing but it is something we still need to better understand."
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said Maranello's quality control department would undergo a reshuffle following the issues in Malaysia, something Binotto confirmed in Japan.
"I think that to improve your performance you need to improve your car package overall but you need to also improve your organisation and we are considering something which is planned to improve the quality department. It is as simple as that. Our quality department will be reinforced, that is the part of the organisation our chairman was speaking of."
But after showing good pace over single laps and long runs over the last two race weekends, Binotto is confident Ferrari is making progress in terms of performance.
"Qualifying is the best way to understand that and we had the pole position in Singapore but not on pole in Malaysia. So I think there has been good progress this season. Battling for pole or being on pole was harder for us at the start of the season compared to today so overall our package has improved but it is never enough. Being fast is not sufficient, what counts is winning the race."