Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
43 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
57 days
09 May
Next event in
61 days
23 May
Race in
78 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
92 days
13 Jun
Race in
99 days
27 Jun
Race in
113 days
04 Jul
Next event in
117 days
18 Jul
Race in
134 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
148 days
29 Aug
Race in
176 days
05 Sep
Race in
183 days
12 Sep
Race in
190 days
26 Sep
Race in
204 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
208 days
10 Oct
Race in
218 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
232 days
31 Oct
Race in
239 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
260 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
274 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
281 days

Mercedes: Engine power not our only shortfall

Mercedes believes that "many" deficits it has with its Formula 1 car are behind Ferrari's current performance advantage.

Mercedes: Engine power not our only shortfall

On the back of Sebastian Vettel's crucial victory in Belgium, on a track where Mercedes has traditionally been strong, Ferrari's title hopes have been reinvigorated and it heads to this weekend's Italian GP as favourite.

Although much focus after the race was on the straightline speed advantage that allowed Vettel to blast past Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap, Mercedes think there are a number of key areas where the team is behind its main opposition.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "When I look at the race I see many deficits. We are a strong team but there are deficits that are obvious and cause us not to perform as we expect."

Pushed to explain the areas where he felt Mercedes was behind, he said: "You can see the deficits. It is the slow speed, and it is the traction. And this is what I would summarise as the main weaknesses at the moment.

"Plus clearly, compared to the Ferraris and the Red Bulls and the Force Indias, [we were] the car that was cooking the tyres the most."

Power games

Wolff is clear that what he calls an "innovative" Ferrari remains ahead in the power stakes after both introduced their latest engine upgrades at the Belgian GP.

He was also eager to play down talk that a reference Lewis Hamilton made to 'trick things' was not a suggestion of Ferrari doing anything untoward.

"They [Ferrari] have a power advantage," he said. "We saw that in qualifying that their power advantage is on various parts of the straight, and you can see that even if the exits are worse than ours, their engine keeps pulling,

"That is nothing that could be a trick. It might also be related to how you run the engine, how you calibrate it. But in the same way, they derated earlier in qualifying than we did.

"So yes, we can see that they have a slight power advantage and then you add that to our weaknesses out of Turn 1 especially, and that causes the double whammy. If you aren't very good on traction and you are being outperformed slightly on power then lap one happens."

Although Mercedes can not now introduce any major engine hardware changes without taking a grid penalty, Wolff believes there is still scope within the regulations to close the power gap to Ferrari.

"It is all about understanding your power unit and calibrating, extracting all of the performance out of the software, the fuels, the oils and optimising the whole way you run the engine. That is something which doesn't involve the hardware and this is an ongoing process. So the answer is yes you can find performance.

"There is no silver bullet. We won't find any performance that is suddenly going to add three tenths to the car, or to the engine, and we disappear into the sunset."

Mercedes is planning to introduce an aerodynamic update for this weekend's race in Monza.

shares
comments
Whiting believes Alonso's tyre could have hit Leclerc

Previous article

Whiting believes Alonso's tyre could have hit Leclerc

Next article

Ricciardo set for Monza penalties with new Renault spec

Ricciardo set for Monza penalties with new Renault spec
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return Prime

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021