Mercedes turns down power in Abu Dhabi amid MGU-K concerns

Mercedes has admitted to concerns over an MGU-K "gremlin" ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that has forced all its Formula 1 teams to turn down their power.

Mercedes turns down power in Abu Dhabi amid MGU-K concerns

With power unit components getting towards the end of their life, Mercedes' worries have been heightened by a recent run of breakages.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez lost a near-certain podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix when he suffered an MGU-K failure late in the race, while George Russell suffered a similar issue in Friday practice in Abu Dhabi.

Amid no definitive answer as to what is going wrong with the MGU-Ks, Mercedes has elected to try to play things safe for the season finale.

Turning the power down a bit almost certainly played a part in helping Max Verstappen take the first non-Mercedes powered pole position this season.

Asked about the situation, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff confirmed that all the power units had been backed off a bit.

“We've got a bit of a gremlin sitting in there,” he said.

“The MGU-K is below the power that it should normally give. We don't understand exactly why yet. So we've taken a bit of performance out of it, on all the Mercedes engines.”

Read Also:

The question marks over Mercedes' reliability played a part in Racing Point’s decision to switch Sergio Perez to a completely new power unit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It means the Mexican will start from the back of the grid.

Although the engine factor hindered Mercedes’ performance in qualifying, Wolff says that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ efforts have also been hampered by difficulties getting on top of the tyres this weekend.

“We didn't get the soft tyre right,” explained Wolff. “That's an outlier. The overall gap to the field is much smaller than we would have liked and we have to learn from that now.

“We can't say exactly what it is yet. We did quite well on the medium. The tyre suited us much better than the soft. But we were also very strong on the soft this year. You have to analyse the data, but we are not there yet.” 

Additional reporting by Christian Nimmervoll

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo: Alonso run shows F1 needs to bring back 'wow factor'

Previous article

Ricciardo: Alonso run shows F1 needs to bring back 'wow factor'

Next article

The Abu Dhabi GP as it happened

The Abu Dhabi GP as it happened
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021