Ferrari may ask the FIA for permission to make changes to its formula one engine on the grounds of reliability.

Ferrari may ask the FIA for permission to make changes to its formula one engine on the grounds of reliability.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine on Thursday said the Italian team's recent engine problems - including two failures for Fernando Alonso - have been identified.

Reportedly, the problem - which could cost Alonso grid places later this season if he runs through his allocation of eight engines - is with the pneumatic valves.

The report said too much air is escaping from the engine during the races, and because of the new regulations there is not enough time during the single pitstop to replenish the 2.4 litre V8s.

Auto Motor und Sport said that if Ferrari can prove to the FIA that the engine is suffering a general reliability flaw, it may be granted a temporary exemption from the 'freeze' on engine development.

The engines already used by Alonso and his teammate Felipe Massa, however, may not be altered.

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